TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY
Open since January 2014, Toms River-based RINN DUIN BREWING (named after a famous Irish castle and since 2019 operating as Toms River Brewing) crafted sessionable English-styled ales as well as approachable barrel-aged elixirs, a few hybridized treats and anything that struck their fancy. For their first anniversary, entrepreneurial father-daughter combo, Chip and Jacqui Town, created an approachable candi-sugared Belgian Dubbel using Irish barley, English hops and Irish yeast called Black Thorn.
Local disabled marine, Charlie Ryan, recently took over head brewing chores from veteran homebrewer, Ryan Michaels (formerly of Sly Fox). And as of my July 2015 visit, the brewery now bottles two of its year-round mainstays and a few specialties.
Inside a tan-hued, maroon-trimmed edifice behind Bacchus Winery, Rinn Duin’s just three-and-a-half miles west of the New Jersey Parkway on Route 37. Its Irish shillelagh-topped tap handles serve the wood-floored Tasting Room, a cozy area with a beautiful hand-made silver tin ceiling, wood-shelved beer bottle collection, several Irish themed photographs and one TV. A 25-barrel brewing setup presently takes up some of the 6,500 square-foot space.
Rinn Duin’s United Kingdom-inspired bottled selections (reviewed fully in Beer Index) included yellow-fruited Lawnmower English Blonde, mocha-dried Sandpaper English Brown, caramel-toasted St. John’s Irish Red and coffee-roasted Pota Caife Dry Irish Coffee Stout.
Alongside each of the aforementioned bottled selections tried on draught, three more worthy elixirs were quaffed as 4-ounce samplers and then by pint glass.
Peat whiskey-malted Trinity Scottish 70 brought serene kiln-smoked campfire residue to crisp tobacco-roasted reedy hops and poppy-seeded Scotch licks. Light-roasted coffee beans influenced Hiberian Dry Irish Stout, a sweeter selection than Pota Caife that gathered black patent malts, dark chocolate, powdered cocoa and charred oats.
Before departing, easygoing Bourbon Pota (aged in Elijah Craig barrels) blended dark-roasted coffee beans with oats-dried brown chocolate and a subtle hint of bourbon.
Making some of the most consistently rewarding and authentic mild ales, Rinn Duin will easily satisfy anyone with a hankering for crisp Brit-styled nectar.