EDISON, NEW JERSEY
Inside an old tan warehouse at the end of Raritan Center Is a little hidden gem, SOUTH 40 BREWING COMPANY. A bustling 2,000 square foot facility with a small taproom and rustic right side overhead-doored brewing area (with stooled tables, old brown couch, beautiful agrarian proprietary mural and rear brew tanks), South 40 opened up October 2020.
An L-shaped lacquered pine serving station with twelve taps and blackboard beer list consumes the cement-floored taproom. A few sidled TV’s, loungy couches and wood tables fill out the space. A makeshift parking lot patio adds further seating.
Former homebrewing proprietor, Kevin Pacansky, mans South 40′s tanks. Constantly rotating stylistic fare and crafting mostly soft-toned elixirs, Pacansky utilizes different yeast strains for each separate beer. Paying tribute to an old road to Long Beach Island, South 40 has garnered many critical plaudits.
On my initial muggy noontime journey, August ’23, discovered four interesting brown ale variants alongside three locally popular India Pale Ales, a dry pilsner, blood orange pale ale and a fruited sour while chewing the fat with knowledgeable beertender, Dan Scanlon.
Strictly for less discriminating thirsts, but drawing in macrobrew denizens, light aluminum cleared Pilz Lite will please simpler palates with its millet-grained, oats-dried, corny malt liquor musk.
Mild blood orange tartness picked up delicate perfumed spicing and distant tangerine-clementine-cherry snips for honey malted pale wheat ale, One Orange Brain Cell, a nifty orange upside down cake divergence.
Lightly acidic raspberry tartness and sour blueberry rasps guided fruited sour, Blowin’ Raspberries, allowing leathery oaken cherry, white pear and rhubarb pie illusions to latently flow thru its salty acidulated malts.
Unique flagship India Pale Ale, Happily Peared, added subtle pear juicing to sharp citrus bittering, dainty red apple/ prickly pear sweetness and wavered lemony green grape esters, gaining mild herbal spicing over oated wheat flouring. A welcoming IPA changeup.
Easygoing year-rounder 40 Sessions All Day IPA retained frothy oats creaming for smoothly withered grapefruit, orange and pineapple tanginess as well as dry floral-perfumed spicing. Perfect for investigative pale ale lovers jumping over to less hoppy IPA’s.
Another well balanced IPA, Citra Skies, let candied lemon, pineapple and peach plus tangy orange-tangerine snips create a dandy fruit salad with minor bitter pining and a buttery pale malt backdrop.
As for the quartet of brown ales, salted caramel propelled Harvey’s English Style Brown Ale, leaving sweet chocolate hazelnut caking on its lovely confectionery finish.
Off-dry Chuffed Chap Brown Ale combined caraway-seeded rye breading and charred walnut bittering with sweet chestnut-almond-butternut conflux and dark chocolate remnant over a buttered biscuit base.
Toasted coconut sweetness endured for Nui Brown Ale, picking up chestnut, praline and fig niceties over mild chocolate malting.
Arguably the best and most complex of the bunch, Pecan Sky English Brown Ale let candied pecan pie sweetness indulge its fudgy cake-battered chocolate base, gaining hazelnut molasses, burnt caramel, praline and toffee subtleties.