MORRIS PLAINS, NEW JERSEY
Opened for business, March 2023, AUTODIDACT BEER crafts precision-guided, stylistically efficient brews. Occupying a pristine Morris Plains strip mall in an epoxy floored neo-Industrial middle space, Autodidact is run by long-time friends Ron Scouten and Ron Cassell, whose beer journey started when they utilized stovetop brewkits.
A concrete-topped ten-draught serving station anchors the studio-like black ceilinged pub. There’s a loungey right side area, four metal-chaired left side tables and benched tables. Windowed brew tanks are in the back.
I sojourned to Autodidact one rainy Thursday afternoon in September ’23 to try all eight available brews.
Delicate light-bodied Bavarian-styled Pastel Pilsner allowed nutty millet graining and husked corn dryness to spread thru mildly musky herbal hopped pungency.
Crisply clean dry-bodied West Coast-styled Hexagram Classic Pale Ale retained orange-oiled yellow grapefruit bittering and resinous floral herbage above muskily grained pale malting.
Soft-toned Wash Grisette let herbal botanicals soak into lemon-oiled vodka salting contrasted by honeyed rum florality.
Dry sea-salted liming and mild coriander spicing guided Burn Out The Limelight Gose, leaving lemony cologne musk on key lime pie tartness at the backend.
Easygoing Colder Hearts Cold IPA placed flaked rice sweetness inside its lemony orange-peeled grapefruit spritz, retaining a mildly creamed vanilla froth to contrast its latent grassy astringency.
Peachy pineapple tanginess, orange-peeled grapefruit zest and mildly salted guava-passionfruit enveloped Dualism New England IPA, as dry cannabis-oiled Strata hops and lemony pined Pacific Sunrise hops coalesced above sugary pale malts.
Rye-dried Sign The Bill Phil NEIPA utilized Sabro hops to remit mild coconut toasting, candied lollipop tartness, lemon meringue piquancy, orange marmalade tanginess and sugary spicing.
Oats-charred molasses treacled thru the nutty black chocolate bittering of Hawks And Doves Oatmeal Stout, a dryer stylistic changeup.
On Thanksgiving Eve ’23, sank four new Autodidact creations, including two less creamier and sourer NEIPA’s (with citric-pined West Coast aspirations) plus a dryer witbier and a herbier saison collab. I chatted with co-owning brewer, Ron Cassel, who was manning the tanks this cold afternoon.
Dried orange peel tartness and sour lemon rot dotted the delicate coriander spicing and teasing herbal musk of Tempest Witbier.
An interesting alliance with gypsy brewer, Dekkera, citric herbed barnyard-grained farmhouse ale, Late Bloomers Saison, placed tart lemon meringue, tangy marmalade, sweet banana and key lime piquancy across basil, sage and minty lemongrass seasoning.
Sharp piney citrus bittering embraced NEIPA, Shellstar, lifting bright lemony orange-peeled yellow grapefruit sunshine above mild oats-dried malts.
Dryer than Shellstar, lemon-dropped grapefruit, orange and pineapple zesting fronted Glint, a West Coast hop-influenced NEIPA with mild peachy mango tang and lightly soured redcurrant-gooseberry snips topping buttery oated wheat creaming.