Eclipse Brewing - Philly Brew Tours - All-Inclusive, Guided Brewery Tours &  Craft Beer Events in Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey


Eight miles east of Philly on the Jersey side in the borough of Merchantville at a black-fenced tan Victorian hideaway just off the main drag, ECLIPSE BREWING COMPANY was opened for biz October 2016 by two acclaimed local birders. One of the finest nanobreweries in the area, entrepreneurial couple Chris and Beth Mattern regale a wide variety of beers with significant attention to detail, having the moxie to churn out a bunch of spiffy small-batch suds from their tiny backroom brew space.

Eclipse’s cozy cement-floored white walled interior features a six-seat oak top bar (with 20 draughts and central TV) plus two wood tables and several barreled tables. A picnic-benched front area and three covered deck benches line the grassy perimeter. Vinyl records spin as I delve into a dozen elixirs at the bar with wife.

An impressive array of thirst quenchers crowd the right wall blackboard menu. A spectrum of dazzlingly kaleidoscopic cream ales are featured during my February ’24 excursion – alongside an English mild, dry pale ale, Belgian blonde, porter, two stouts and an intoxicating fruited barleywine.

First up, sweet dewy peat and honeyed brown tea graced English Mild, a lightly creamed moderation with buttered rye base.

Dry pale malted 7th anniversary pale ale, Eclipse 7, got muskier as its dry wood tones and  lemon rind bittering gradually ascended.

Ground coffee-steeped Coffee Cream Ale retained mild vanilla creaming for its milk-sugared coffee continuance, snagging a spritzy lemon twist.

For same-based Coconut Cream Ale, toasted coconut sweetness and zippy pineapple zesting rode atop sedate pilsner-malted corn flaking and grassy hop astringency.

Yogurt-soured peach puree sweetness picked up creamy vanilla snap and tart-candied edge as tertiary apricot, nectarine and dried fig snips wavered for Peaches N Cream Ale.

Lingered habanero peppering heated up the salty mango tang of Spicy Mango Cream Ale, relegating limey guava-kiwi snips.

Fluffily creamed cocoa-dried raspberry tartness regaled Chocolate Razz Cream Ale, a Neapolitan-styled soft ice cream alternative.

Honeysuckled raspberry puree tartness guided Raz Hi Honey!, an unassumingly 10% ABV Belgian blonde ale with spritzy lemon spree and beet-sugared wheat base.

Another raspberry treat, stupendous Raspberry Drizzle reached an incredible 18% ABV as syrupy raspberry tartness stuck to treacly caramelized sugaring, gaining luxurious barleywine, sweet whiskey and cognac warmth. Highly recommended.

Creamily brown chocolatey HACC Porter let cacao nibs-roasted almond, honey and flaked coconut blend into affluent bourbon vanilla serenity.

Softly frothed espresso creaming and mild dark chocolate bittering placated Irish Stout – Nitro, relegating its black cherry bruised dried fruiting.

Sweet brown chocolate contrasted java-roasted dry cocoa influence of luscious Russian Imperial Stout, picking up hazelnut coffee, chocolate cake and fudged brownie illusions.