SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NEW JERSEY
Residing at the first floor of a tan brick split-level edifice on the Boulevard two blocks from the ocean in the vibrant beach town of Seaside Heights, HEAVY REEL BREWING COMPANY opened its doors springtime 2018. A simple 3-barrel nanobrewery in the heart of the Jersey Shore, brewer Jeff Greco worked at Neptune City’s Little Dog with Jersey icon, Gretchen Schmidhausler, before venturing off on his own.
A li’l slice of heaven, the small floor-tiled pub contains eight silver-backed tap handles at the serving station, four small round tables, a railroad-tied left wall and some fishing photos.
Greco enjoys going just one small step beyond stylistic convention, giving each beer tried on this August ’19 journey a slightly heightened flavor profile. Heavy metal music plays as I imbibe six worthy brews.
First up, spritzy citrus-shined blonde ale, Undefinable Standards, let brisk lemon-limed Motueka hops and sugared orange spicing gently sail atop dry pale malts.
Soft-toned pinkish amber pleasantry, Follow The Iwa, a salty raspberry-induced Berliner Weisse, let sour lactobacillus acidity affect its tart raspberry luxuriousness, leaving mild green apple, cranberry and oaken cherry illusions on the tail end.
Easygoing ‘blended saison,’ Oblivion, brought tropical Mosaic-hopped lemon, orange and pineapple juicing to sugary malt spicing, briny barnyard graining and warm French breading.
Murkily hazed orange-yellowed New England IPA, Skin//Bones, provided lactic yogurt-milked grapefruit, passionfruit and gooseberry souring and sharp orange rind bittering, picking up puckered lime acidity and light green peppercorn herbage by the finish.
Utilizing chocolate, coconut and macadamia, sweet Imperial Porter, Staring Into Emptiness In My Eyelids will capture the attention of hearty dessert fanatics. Its toasted coconut alacrity rode above brown chocolate spicing, glazed macadamia sugaring and desolate blackberry notions.
Bringing dry oyster-shelled black chocolate to the fore, 34N 74W Barnegat Bay Oyster Stout retained black-malted molasses bittering to contrast less resilient milk-sugared rolled oats.