BEER USED TO BE SIMPLE. If you wanted something classy for a dinner party,
you looked for a green bottle from Holland or Germany. At a restaurant, you
perused a long wine list. There was no
comparable list for beer.
Now there are beer aisles crammed
with bewildering new brands and styles.
In some restaurants, the beer list has as
many categories as the wine list. As a
touché to the sommelier, the beer world
came up with its own certified expert, the
cicerone, who puts beer pairings on the
same plane as wine pairings. Industrial-chic gastropubs are bubbling up like the
froth on a freshly pulled IPA draft.
New Jersey can’t claim leadership in
this craft-beer revolution, but thanks to
some feisty entrepreneurs and a thirsty
populace, the Garden State is coming on
strong. When New Jersey Monthly first
delved into the beer boom in a March
2013 cover story, the state had 27 independent craft breweries and brew pubs;
as this issue went to press, the count had
more than doubled to 58, with 40 more
waiting in the wings. (Of course, brewing is hardly new to New Jersey, as documented in the poster-worthy illustration
on our Exit Ramp page.)
This month’s issue thoroughly updates the state of beer in the Garden
State with a wealth of information that
will quench the thirst of novices and
aficionados alike. We profile the state’s
16 best breweries (based on a poll of
experts) and take you on a tour of the
state’s hottest new taprooms—
continuing a bar crawl we started with that
You’ll also meet a surprising number of female brewers in the forefront of
Jersey’s craft boom, and several enterprising farmers who have begun to raise
hops—an essential beer ingredient—as a
resource for local brewers. We even provide a primer on home brewing, with a
comprehensive list of suppliers.
Now, can we suggest a nice Jersey-brewed pilsner to enjoy while you read?
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