NORTH BERGEN, NEW JERSEY
In the blue collar industrial region of North Bergen just beyond the Lincoln Tunnel on Route 1-9, NEW JERSEY BEER COMPANY was co-founded by Matt Steinberg (check out my interview with him in the preceding 2010 NJBC entry) before local investor Paul Silverman took over a few years hence.
Now augmenting their usual fare (including indelible flagships 1787 Abbey Single, Hudson Pale Ale and Garden State Stout) with modishly experimental hybrids, sour ales and NEIPA’s, this rustic red brick fortress recently started producing canned beer for the entire Garden State, developing a prudently creative brewing team along the way.
On my rainy May ’21 sojourn, I discovered a dozen newly crafted elixirs (including eight kaleidoscopic India Pale Ales).
One of NJBC’s most popular India Pale Ale’s, beachy summertime moderation, LBIPA, brought sharp orange-grapefruit tanginess to piney hop resin contrasting honeyed pale malts above clayed grouting.
Laidback variant, Mango LBIPA, lost its subtle mango influence to lemony grapefruit-papaya tanginess and mineral-grained grassy hop acridity. But its Blood Orange LBIPA variant fared better as sweet-tart blood orange tanginess picked up candied pineapple-tangerine tartness in a fizzy pale malt setting.
Brusque beige yellow-hazed Imperial IPA, The Real Vaccine, contrasted sunny lemon-sugared tartness and sweet floral-perfumed grapefruit spicing against mild orange rind bittering and a gently persuasive black pepper burn.
Soft-toned tropical fruited Imperial IPA, Wearin’ My Birthday Suit, relegated its orange-peeled grapefruit, mango and peach tang and light wood tones above doughy malts.
Deeper and denser taste-wise, Tasting Colors, a double dry-hopped Imperial IPA, plied perfumed floral spicing to slightly sharp lemon-bruised grapefruit bittering and waxy mango-peach-tangerine tanginess.
Midrange West Coast-styled IPA, Decoration Day, let mellowly dry perfume-spiced citrus fruiting linger lightly over pale malt sugaring, rendering spritzy pineapple, grapefruit and orange zest.
Perhaps my favorite IPA, creamily milk-sugared ambrosial fruiting fortified Mixed Berry Milkshake, a Madagascar vanilla-conditioned dessert treat with marshmallow-sugared blueberry, raspberry and strawberry tartness gaining yogurt-soured kiwi-mango souring as well as pink lemonade nods and tertiary lingonberry-boysenberry snips.
Sunshiny orange-peeled grapefruit, peach and pineapple tang secured sessionable New England-styled Pale Ale, Garage, leaving herb-tinged pine resin on its splashy citric spritz.
Orange-dried fennel grassing and mild hop astringency surrounded the spelt grain minerality of easygoing golden ale, Beach Watch.
Salt-licked powdered candy raspberry tartness received pink wine-blushed oaken cherry acidity and pink lemonade sugaring for lollipop-like Raspberry Sunset Sour Ale.
Rapturous pink-headed, purple-bodied sour ale, Blueberry Waves, scurried tart blueberry pie sugaring into musky muscat grape, pureed raspberry and cranberry snips, finishing like blueberry jam.