The Garden State
If there were one word that could be used to describe the brewing and craft brewing history in New Jersey it would be, complicated! The first brewing occurrence happened back in the mid 1600s in Hoboken, when the Dutch settler, Aert Teunissen van Putten became New Jersey’s first brewer. Sadly, this only lasted until 1643 when this area was taken by the Lenni Lenape tribe.
The next significant step in the New Jersey brewing world began with the 19th century and the settlement of German immigrants. Two German men in particular, Joseph Hensler and Gottfried Krueger, built breweries in Newark, New Jersey that remained open until the middle of the 1900s. Newark was quite a hotspot for New Jersey beer, being home to supposedly 242 breweries by 1880.
In 1840, perhaps the most famous New Jersey brewery was opened under the name P. Ballantine & Sons, named after the Scottish owner Peter Ballantine. By 1879, this brewery was approximately double what Anheuser Busch was at that time, but in a sad turn of events, no one in the Ballantine family was alive after the year 1905. Thankfully, the brewery continued under new ownership and management with the same name until it was acquired by Fallstaff in 1972, and later sold to Pabst only 13 years later.
Pabst has recently put the effort in to revive what was once the Ballantine brewery, but to keep up with the 21st century beer competition, has decided to direct their focus to the craft brews.
In the early 1950s, Anheuser Busch opened a branch that would eliminate all others and by 1986 be the only brewer standing.
1995 is the year the first brewpub in New Jersey opened, under the name The Ship Inn. However, there is some dispute over who really deserves the “oldest” credit, since the 1996 Climax Brewer claims to be the oldest microbrewer in New Jersey, and Flying Fish Brewing from 1995 claims to be the largest craft brewer and microbrewer even though their doors didn’t open until 1996. We think all craft breweries in New Jersey are incredible, however, on paper Flying Fish has earned the most GABF medals.
With some of the best beer in New Jersey and some of the best breweries in New Jersey, these are the ones you must go to: Carton Brewing, High Point Brewing, Kane Brewing, Magnify Brewing, and Spellbound Brewing, along with of course so many more.
We have had the pleasure of featuring some of the best New Jersey craft breweries in our beer of the month club, including: Double Nickel Brewing Company, River Horse Brewing Company, and Flying Fish Brewing Company. We are always looking to find and try new beer from New Jersey to add to our monthly beer deliveries.
Double Nickel Brewing Co.
A South Jersey brewery on the rise!
Before opening their doors in 2015, the Double Nickel Brewing Co. tea ...Read more...
River Horse Brewing Company
Offering a diverse, yet focused, line-up of bold, unfiltered beers
River Horse Brewing Company was founded in 1995 by two brothers in ...Read more...
Flying Fish Brewing Company
The world’s first virtual microbrewery is today's largest craft brewery in New Jersey
Flying Fish Brewing Company has an incredibly unique story behind it. ...Read more...