The Garden State is home to more than 200 great breweries and brew pubs, and each one is distinct with a unique vibe that goes hand in hand with their inventive and sophisticated beer selection. To make the most of your experience, be sure to order a flight of beer so you can taste and compare a variety of refreshing and surprising styles and flavors. (Keep in mind that according to state law, production breweries in New Jersey are not permitted to serve food, but if they are located in a restaurant, then you'll find food available.)
Zed's Beer, an unassuming brewpub in the center of Marlton was chosen as “NJ Brewery of the Year” in 2020 by the New York International Beer Competition.” Offering an incredibly eclectic beer menu that changes with the seasons, this brewery’s co-owners Geoff Bado and Lori White, are passionate about their beer recipes and encourage guests to try a variety of brews (or flavored hard seltzer, too). A few favorites include creative offerings that are reminiscent of far-flung locations: Zed’s in Old London–British Brown Ale; Zed’s in Bavaria–Hefeweizen; and Zed’s in Ireland–Dry Stout. Those in the know are familiar with their charming and spacious “front porch” area. You can access their patio waitlist via their website and enjoy their tasty pours al fresco.
Eclipse brewing is the only craft brewery in the historic town of Merchantville, and it features a rotating selection of nearly 20 different beers on tap. As one of the smallest breweries in the state, Eclipse offers a cozy, friendly ambiance and has a lovely outdoor garden oasis for guests to relax and sip some brews. Husband-and-wife team Chris and Beth Mattern love getting to know their customers and have found some of their best-sellers include a coconut cream ale; an oatmeal porter; and a peach sour. If you visit in the summer, their blueberry variety will likely be on tap. Check out their website for live music, open mic nights, and trivia contests, too.
Mud Hen Brewing Company
In Wildwood, Mud Hen is a modern destination for great beer, and it offers a robust food menu with an array of casual fare. Set in an industrial ambiance with a massive outdoor patio, Mud Hen is a popular, trendy spot that attracts beer aficionados from the Jersey shore and beyond. It’s especially raucous during the summer months, but it gets a thirsty crowd in winter, too. Be sure to check out their menu, and try some of the best sellers, especially the Rising Tides ale, 1883 IPA, and Mudhen Pils.
Kings Road Brewing Company
King's Road, a tiny brewery on Kings Highway in downtown Haddonfield, is an inviting, neighborhood favorite and fun place to go for a pint or two. Beer lovers are always excited to see the wide variety of offerings here appealing to all tastes, including the El Dorado pale ale and Bright Spot IPA. It’s easy to relax here for a while and try a few brews on tap, or you can order a growler of beer and take it with you to your next destination—there are plenty of great restaurants within walking distance (or a quick drive) of this brewery.
Double Nickel Brewery
In Pennsauken, Double Nickel Brewing Company is a go-to, spacious destination for beer connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. With a tagline of “modern brewed classics,” this massive brew pub is home to an industrial yet stylish tasting room and bar area with soaring ceilings. It’s the perfect spot to sip their premium craft beers, and there are many great choices here. Double Nickel offers something for all palates by presenting their beer in three distinct series: core series, DNA series, or seasonal series. Whichever you choose, you’re certain to discover some bold and unexpected new flavors.
Sunken Silo Brew Works
In Northwestern New Jersey, Sunken Silo Brew Works is situated in rural Lebanon and serves up a selection of memorable, refreshing and distinctive craft beers, such as Cool Story and Crazy X. This new brewery is a destination for beer lovers across the state and has a rotating variety of brews throughout the year. Plan to stay a while as you sample and compare their palate-pleasing flights of hand-crated beer. And if you’re hungry, be sure to order a delicious, house-made selection from the popular Metropolitan Seafood conveniently located right next door!
Harvest Moon Brewery
In downtown New Brunswick, Harvest Moon Brewery is the locals’ go-to spot for a fresh pint in Central New Jersey. This hip, fun brewery with cool vibes is a welcoming place for the collage crowd (Rutgers University is located nearby) or just about anyone with a craving for hand-crafted beer. What’s more, you can also dine on some great food that was created to compliment the flavors of the beer.
If you’re into creative names to go along with your beverages, check out Magnify Brewing in the town of Fairfield. Choose among whimsical flavors like Pillow Talk, Cashmere Sweater, Frosted Flakes, and The Real Juice Boys of New Jersey. Whether you're a fan of dark beer, lagers, porters or stouts, you’re guaranteed to love every sip of these brews that taste as distinctive as their monikers.
Backward Flag Brewing Company
Backward Flag Brewing Company is a female-veteran-owned brewery named by Torie Fisher to honor the military and has won several awards in the past few years. Enthusiasts in the Forked River come not only for the refreshing and flavorful beers but for the staff as well, most of whom are police officers and retired military members.
In the heart of Southern New Jersey, Glasstown Brewery is situated in the rural town of Millville, known for its historic and fascinating glass-making facility and museum. Opened in 2013, by husband-and-wife brewers Jenifer and Paul Simmons, this brewery quickly became a regional favorite, with an extensive variety of rotating beer. A few best-sellers include their “856” and “609” IPAs named after the area codes in South Jersey. It’s an ideal place to visit, especially during the warmer months, as it features an abundance of pleasant outdoor space, perfect for relaxing and enjoying a brew.
Montclair Brewery is operated by husband and wife team Leo and Denise Sawadogo. These beer aficionados are passionate about sharing their eclectic array of award-winning craft beer. Fan favorites include Golden Buddha ale; Peach Smoothie Pie IPA and Chocolate Alpine Raspberry stout. Locals know that their outdoor beer garden is always a fun place to spend an evening hanging out while sipping and savoring this brewery’s incredible offerings.
Brix City Brewing
In the town of Little Ferry, in Northern New Jersey, Brix City Brewing’s tap room has become the top spot for innovative brews. Originally known for their crisp, hoppy IPAs, they now offer a wide array of beer varieties, such as their fruit-forward Strawberry Jams and Back-Up Plan. Just one look at their brilliantly colorful can designs will tell you this brewery is an exceptionally creative destination for New Jersey beer.
Hackensack Brewing Company
With a spacious, outdoor biergarten that’s open every day of the week, the Hackensack Brewing Company is a lively destination and a great place to broaden your horizons and explore some new flavors. Try their wide array of styles: Cat’s Pajamas, a pre-prohibition-style lager made with corn; or perhaps an Iron Palm Pale Ale; or a Moment’s Notice Irish Stout. Either way, you’re sure to fine a few artisanal favorites at this North Jersey brewery.
Red White and Brew Beer Company
The Red, White and Brew beer company in Audubon, New Jersey is home to a welcoming taproom and beer garden that’s open year-round. Beer fans from around Southern New Jersey flock to this microbrewery to experience a vast assortment of taste bud-tantalizing taps. Some of this brewery’s memorable and delicious standards include Checks and Balances IPA; Paul’s Midnight Ride porter, and Rosie’s Red ale. A few of the rotating brews are worth a taste, too. These include: Key Lime pale ale; Gritty Sunrise shandy; and Give me Liberty Kolsch.
Twin Elephant Brewing Company
Situated up north in Chatham, Twin Elephant Brewing Company was created by three devoted home-brewers who specialize in classic, handcrafted ales and lagers made with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. The comfortable, rustic-modern tap room and adjacent beer garden attract local beer lovers who appreciate the nuanced flavors that go into each handcrafted brew. Several of their top favorites include Proper Quaff Belgian Ale; All Together IPA; Adios Pantantolones Mexican Lager; Bayonne Bleeder red ale; and Bee Leash Saison.