Conclave Brewing — Allie Feick Portfolio


Moving from its mall-bound digs in Raritan to a sterling gray aluminum-sided Flemington warehouse fourteen miles west in January 2020, CONCLAVE BREWING has seen an increasing demand for their crisp elixirs since getting licensed five years hence.

Conclave now joins Lone Eagle as a Flemington brewery fixture. Several community tables dot the midsized Edison light-fixtured pub space. The marbleized amber concrete floor glazes the interior and the compact serving station features at least sixteen tap handles. The large high-ceilinged left room brew tanks climb towards the sky and further expansion in this gargantuan microbrew space seems inevitable.

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On my February ’20 stopover, I enjoyed four previously untried goodies.

Perfectly centrist flagship, Gravitational Waves New England IPA, posted a punctual tropical fruit-spiced Galaxy-Citra-Mosaic hop blend that allows mild floral pining to soak into juicy grapefruit, pineapple, mango, orange and peach zesting.

Floral-perfumed citrus zest brightened Taiji IPA, as mildly creamed crystal malting glazed crisply clean yellow grapefruit-embittered orange tanginess.

Heady dark candi-sugared quad, Artaban Belgian Dark Ale, received a spicy dried fruited barrage of golden raisin, plum, prune and dark cherry.

On the dark side, bittersweet cocoa nibs and vanilla beans enhanced Liquid Velvet Imperial Porter, pervading its syrupy dark chocolate malting with decadent delight.



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Just down from Flemington’s bustling Liberty Village near the railroad station at a gray 5,000 square foot building out in rural western Jersey (fifteen minutes from Princeton), LONE EAGLE BREWING began operations July ’16. The brainchild of local homebrewers Todd Becker and Bob King, Lone Eagle gained instant attention by local denizens.

A quaint spot with a fenced-in family-styled patio, its white-walled high ceiling interior features right side silver brew tanks, a wood lacquered central bar and four yellow-wooded community tables. A loft above the serving station hosts private events when not seating patrons.

Along the left wall is a beautiful Brewing Process mural with a TV hanging above.

As my wife and I visit during a rainy Friday, October ’18, we sample nearly a dozen homebrews.

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Impressive West Coast-styled flagship offering, Maiden Flight IPA, placed juicy yellow grapefruit, tangerine and pineapple tropicalia alongside lightly embittered orange rind as honeyed pale malt sweetness gained attention, leaving fusel 8% alcohol acidity upon its pine-toned black tea musk.

Equally fine yellow-hazed medium body, New England Chowdah India Pale Ale, stayed brightly refreshing as spritzy lemon zest, yellow grapefruit bittering, sour pineapple juicing and white peach tartness glazed citric hop dusting with minimal pale malt intrusion. In the recess, herbal snips, gin whims and phenol astringency reside.

Less complex Spelt Wrong IPA, a hazy New England-styled double dry-hopped brew, suited milder tastes as gentle spelt graining softened tart lemon, sour grapefruit and juicy orange subtleties above mild pine resin (and light alcohol esters).

Straightforward Local Pale Ale brought delicate orange-peach-tangerine tanginess to grassy hop astringency above frisky crystal malts.

Splendid beige-yellow hazed Return Of The Juice let lightly spiced lemondrop tartness dance on the tongue while grassy celery vegetalia provided an earthen backdrop.

Leafy autumnal foliage and sweetly soured fig led dry-spiced Marzen Oktoberfest Lager, retaining dewy Noble-hopped earthiness and navel orange rot above its baked bread bottom.

Subtle nuttiness imbued dewy Hunterdon Wet-Hop Brown Ale, a caramel-malted moderation with roasted tobacco hints and resinous hop bittering.

Sharp ashen hop-charred nuttiness and dark chocolate roast leavened Turkey Trot Porter, as its dry raw molasses bittering upended any sweet hazelnut propensity.

Stylishly thin rum barrel-aged Dowton Abbey Dubbel brought dark Belgian candi sugar to spiced rum, dry bourbon, sparkling champagne and Scotch spirits, drizzling oaken vanilla upon tertiary green grape esters and soured fig nuances.

Aged in rum-soaked oak chips, Belgian Dark Strong Ale relied on candi-sugared toffee sweetness and sweet fig-plum-prune-raisin dried fruiting to contrast its mossy earthiness.

Dryly complex English-styled Bourbon Barrel-aged Wheat Wine left whiskeyed bourbon-burgundy warmth upon gin-soaked raisin, prune and fig as well as caramelized toffee buttering and oaken vanilla sedation.