Updated on July 15, 2023

Famous for its beautiful coastline, seaside resort towns, and long winters, New Jersey now boasts a bevy of the best breweries in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Which is no easy task considering the amazing places you’ll find to drink beer in the Hudson Valley, Brooklyn, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Portland, ME, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, to name a few.

Officially nicknamed the Garden State by Abraham Browning, the third state in our nation has a bountiful list of breweries. According to the Official Site of the State of New Jersey, Browning said that the Garden State “is an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and New Yorkers from the other.” Despite the wealth of brewing talent around New Jersey, this state shouldn’t be overlooked.

Let’s the Garden State new life. We tracked down the taprooms to stop at as you drive 150 miles from top to bottom.

This isn’t a concentrated city guide. You can’t hop on public transit or walk to all these spots. Instead, you’ll pack up the car and drive. But that’s what makes the trip worth it.

In New Jersey, you’ll find a tiny hut out in a field serving crowlers of the best beer in the state. You’ll discover a medal-winning homebrewer who opened one of the OG craft breweries. And, you’ll come across two breweries we noted in our list of the top forty women-led breweries in the country.

Officially, New Jersey (Brewers Association) has 152 breweries, ranking twenty-second in the country. But, since the state was one of the original thirteen colonies, we found thirteen of the best breweries to visit while in the Garden State.

Hop Culture’s 13 Best Breweries to Visit in New Jersey

Troon Brewing

130 Hopewell Rocky Hill Rd #5, Hopewell, NJ 08525

troon brewing
Photography courtesy of @troonbrewing

Here’s the deal at Troon: They make some of the best beer in the state. From hazy IPAs to the occasional pilsner, Troon Founder and Head Brewer Alex Helms brews world-class beers. But there’s a catch: The brewery is small. So small that availability is limited. As a result, this makes releases both elusive and exclusive.

Therefore, if you’re looking to snag a crowler or occasional bottle of Helms’ newest beer, you’ll need to be in tune with @troonbrewing on Instagram. Troon only announces new beer releases exclusively on the social media app. They add the link to purchase in their newest release post and remove it once the beer sells out.

For instance, on June 23, 2023, Troon dropped Worth Holding On To, a 9.8% triple hoppy ale.

If you’re visiting New Jersey, you’ll want to turn on Troon’s post notifications. Because for the last three years, Troon and its releases have peppered our best-of lists, including 5 Under-the-Radar Breweries With the Best Hazy IPAs, According to the Experts, the 20 best beers we drank in 2019, and the 15 best breweries to watch in 2019.

Helms’ talent runs the gamut from alluring fruited sour ales to a plethora of precision hoppy ales. In other words, we guarantee it’ll be well-crafted and expertly made, whatever you happen upon from Troon.

Pro tip: If you do miss a release, head to the nearby Brick Farm Tavern. The brewery’s only draft account serves several of Troon’s latest beer releases on draft.

Learn more

Kane Brewing Company

1750 Bloomsbury Ave, Ocean Township, NJ 07712 | (732) 922-8600

kane brewing sea summit west coast ipa best breweries new jersey
Photography courtesy of @kanebrewing

Before opening his eponymous brewery, Kane Brewing Co-Owner Michael Kane earned awards as a homebrewer. His medal-winning nature translated well at the professional level.

Kane has been an OG on the New Jersey craft beer scene. Since 2011, Kane Brewing has made a name for itself by brewing consistent, high-quality IPAs and imperial stouts. But what impresses us the most is that Kane’s popularity has only continued to grow over the past decade.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, people would dependably line up for periodic releases. Today, you’ll find beers like Sea Summit, a 6.8% ABV West Coast-inspired IPA with house Pilsner malt hopped with Simcoe, Centennial, and Waimea hops (plus a dry-hop of Citra, Centennial, and Simcoe.) Or Fresh Hot Coat (pictured in the article’s lead image), a 7.6% hazy with Mosaic Incognito and Riwaka in the whirlpool, and a Citra, Citra Cryo, Mosaic, and Riwaka dry hop.

If you visit New Jersey, you should absolutely pay homage to a brewery that set the tone for the entire craft beer scene in the Garden State.

Learn more

Double Nickel Brewing Company

1585 NJ-73, Pennsauken Township, NJ 08110 | (856) 356-2499

double nickel brewing co. friends giving hazy ipa best breweries new jersey
Photography courtesy of @doublenickelbrewingco

We’ve found something special happening at Double Nickel Brewing Co. Co-Founders Drew Perry, Brian Needham, Bob Dalsey, and John Dalsey* created the brewery not just to make great beer, but to make great memories and an impact.

For instance, every year, the brewery releases Friends Giving Potluck-style IPA, a Thanksgiving-inspired beer where all the proceeds go toward local organizations fighting food insecurity in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Virginia. Over the last five years, Friends Giving has raised more than $200,000.

Plus, Double Nickel makes fantastic beer. The Weekend Warrior hazy pale ale made our list of top beers to drink in spring 2020 and the Super Mega Dank 420 Chronic Kush Grand Daddy Supreme is a 4/20-inspired beer that always crushes it. And we’ve heard they have the best water in the state.

Double Nickel is a feel-good brewery brewing beer that makes you feel good. We really can’t say it any other way. If you want to have a good time with good people, you must hit up this brewery in New Jersey.

Learn more

*Editor’s Note: John Dalsey left Double Nickel in 2019 to found the Asian-inspired hard seltzer brand Nectar Hard Seltzer.

The Seed: A Living Beer Project

807 Baltic Ave Unit 4, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 | (609) 246-7324

the seed a living beer project can it be so simple pale lager
Photography courtesy of @theseedbeer

Atlantic City is usually associated with nightlife, casinos, and gambling. But Sean Towers and Amanda Cardinali’s brewery is a “living beer project” in a seaside adult playground that offers a different type of entertainment.

At The Seed, the interaction of naturally occurring microflora and fauna is on full display. The two-year-old brewery focuses on saisons and mixed-fermentation ales that have caught our attention throughout the last year.

Their “living beers” currently include beers like Can It Be So Simple pale lager (pictured above) made with a single mash-out decoction, one-hundred percent Rabbit Hill Malthouse Pilsner malt, and Czech Saaz hops. Also, Seeds of the Ocean kellerpils with aged hops and flowers and As Simple As Nightfall?, a dark spelt lager collab with Human Robot.

And though they specialize in rustic, earthier beers, The Seed offers something for everyone.

We told you to keep an eye on this brewery in 2020. And we were right! The Seed is a must-stop, even if you’re just in Atlantic City for high stakes.

Learn more

Twin Elephant Brewing Company

13 Watchung Ave, Chatham, NJ 07928 | (973) 507-9862

twin elephant nosh: motueka & idaho 7 american ipa
Photography courtesy of @twinelephantbrewing

Opened in 2016 as Chatham’s first official brewery, Twin Elephant has been quietly blowing up the Northeastern New Jersey beer scene. In our experience, friends and homebrewers Cindy De Rama, Tim Besecker (De Rama’s husband), and Scott McLusky are making some of the juiciest IPAs in the Northeast.

One of our top forty women-led breweries in the country, Twin Elephant credits De Rama with “a proclivity for recipe formulation with unique ingredients.”

For example, The Mighty Winooski, a double IPA the brewery calls “a magically creamy loving cup to calm the body and mind.”

And Nosh: Motueka & Idaho 7, part of a series that focuses the lens on two different hops every time. In this American IPA, find “two hops grown in rural peace worlds apart coming together in a parfait,” writes the brewery. “This one’s what the Nosh series is all about. Two hops accentuating and lifting each other into something more than the sum of its parts, beautifully aromatic and sticky rays of haze in the glow.” Twin Elephant says in this IPA, you’ll find smells like “Orangina juice, licorice stick, grilled pineapple, and orange Hi-Chew” that tastes like “pink grapefruit, red pine berries, tangerine soda, and strawberry-kiwi.”

Learn more

Mindful Ales


mindful ales cherie grisette best breweries new jersey
Photography courtesy of @mindfulales

A one-BBL brew system helmed by Dave Martin, Mindful Ales keeps things small and simple. Meaning it can often be hard to find the small number of 750mL bottles Martin puts out into the market. To find them, you’ll need to keep an eye on Martin’s Instagram or events page.

Even though you can’t visit a specific taproom to get Martin’s beers, the quality is worth the hunt. If you can grab something like the recently released chérie, a barrel-fermented grisette aged on whole New Jersey sweet cherries that makes use of barrels previously holding house-made skin-contact Sauvignon Blanc. Martin calls this one “vinous, oak, stone fruit, yeast, with a very ‘appropriate’ dose of cherry.”

In 2019, we named Mindful Ales one of our top new breweries of the year. And it hardly seems possible, but age has only made the beers better. When it comes to the juice at Mindful Ales, it’s definitely worth the squeeze!

Learn more

Icarus Brewing

1790 Swarthmore Ave unit 3 lot 2, Lakewood, NJ 08701 | (732) 276-6273

icarus brewing private beach blonde ale best breweries new jersey
Photography courtesy of @icarusbrewing

Opened in 2017 by Jason Goldstein, Icarus Brewing has quickly vaulted into the conversation of “brewery making the best New England-style IPA.”

After working for over a decade in the industry before starting his own place, Goldstein has put the Garden State on notice by churning out an overwhelming amount of hazies. With beers like Power Juicer: Oat Fluffed, Yacht Juice IPA, and DDH Yacht Juice (Citra), Icarus has some of the top hazy IPAs you want to be drinking right now. If you’re a hop head, bine purist, or cone connoisseur, Icarus is the brewery you can’t miss in New Jersey.

Learn more

Brix City Brewing

4 Alsan Way, Little Ferry, NJ 07643 | (201) 440-0865

brix city brewing
Photography courtesy of Brix City Brewing

Let’s be honest—when you’re asked to name big-time beer states, New Jersey usually isn’t the first one that comes to mind. But if you’ve learned anything from this list so far, it’s that the Garden State needs to be taken seriously.

But even among people who know and love the Jersey beer scene, Brix City Brewing is a bit of ahidden-gem brewery. But their buzzy hazy IPAs and sensational sours should capture your attention.

If you visit, keep an eye out for beers in the Jams series. For instance, Gravitational Jams, an imperial NEIPA that uses Conclave Brewing’s (see below) Gravitational Waves and Brix City’s Jams base.

Or Zesty Jams, an OJ-inspired hazy double dry hopped with Citra and Mosaic, conditioned on “buckets and buckets of fresh orange and grapefruit zest,” according to the brewery.

Lastly, Heady Jams, an OG Jams that Brix City double dry hops with Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy plus a grist of wheat and oats for an ultra fluffy, go-straight-to-your-head-yet-knock-your-socks-off hazy.

On the sour side, Mixed Up Alt Jams is actually a new three-way collab with Alternate Ending and Talulas Pizza, featuring a Berliner weiss base + cherry and cranberry puree + lemongrass and juniper.

Learn more

Conclave Brewing

11 Minneakoning Rd, Flemington, NJ 08822 | (908) 392-0893

conclave brewing hazy ipa
Photography courtesy of @conclavebrewing | Conclave Brewing

New releases come out of Conclave Brewing about once a month, and they often sell out in a single weekend. Why? Because Conclave Co-Owner Carl Alfaro brings his twenty-plus years of civil engineering experience to brewing beer.

Like Upstate New York’s Equilibrium Brewery, where Dr. Peter Oates and partner Dr. Ricardo Petroni use science to perfect their product, Alfaro lets his former career inform excellent versions of classic beer styles.

Subsequently, the results include the aforementioned Gravitational Waves, a 6.8% IPA dry hopped with Galaxy, Citra, and Mosaic, as well as Jubilee, a 6.5% ABV West Coast-style IPA with locally grown Cascade hops and Columbus, Centennial, and Simcoe.

Although you’ll see many of these beers classified as DIPA or American IPAs, these beers do tend to toe the line, often dipping into hazy. Which is why Alfaro’s creations earned him a spot on our list of the “5 Under-the-Radar Breweries With the Best Hazy IPAs, According to the Experts.”

However, Conclave doesn’t just make IPAs. Their rotating list includes an ESB, Czech pilsner, and porter, meaning the brewery usually offers something for everyone.

Learn more

Magnify Brewing Company

1275 Bloomfield Ave Building 7 Unit 40C, Fairfield, NJ 07004 | [email protected]

magnify brewing company oh yeaaa! sour x smell ya later ddh imperial ipa
Photography courtesy of @magnifybrewing

Do you think we’d talk about the New Jersey beer scene without mentioning Magnify?

In 2015, Eric Ruta knew he wanted to start a brewery but had trouble finding a space and securing the necessary permits. Despite the challenges, Ruta finally found the perfect spot in Fairfield, NJ, opening eight years ago with just four employees. And after doing much of the legwork himself for the first couple of years, Ruta and his team grew the brewery from obscurity into popularity.

Known for hop-forward beers, Magnify often attracts lines for its releases. While the brewery also pulls out a sour (hello, Oh Yeaaa! Kool-Aid sour), saison, or stout or two on occasion , for the most part, it’s triple, double, or single IPA releases that call fans from far and wide.

For instance, the incredibly perplexing Little Cold Side, a zero IBU IPA double dry hopped with Mosaic, Mosaic Cryo, Amarillo, and Chinook. Or Smell Ya Later, a DDH imperial IPA collab with Finback featuring Eureka!, Idaho 7, Citra, and Experimental 1320.

Learn more

Carton Brewing Company

6 E Washington Ave, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716 | (732) 654-2337

carton brewing company boat beer session ale
Photography courtesy of @cartonbrewing

Two words: Boat Beer.

Carton Brewing’s 3.5% ABV hazy, hoppy session ale—aka Boat Beer—has made waves as one of the most drinkable beers in New Jersey. Somehow, Carton sailed by the haze craze and crashed on the shore with a session ale. And we’re so glad they did. This is one crisp, refreshing ale made with Kölsch yeast, German malts, and American hops.

You can take a boat out along the beautiful Jersey coastline and crush a couple in one afternoon without being crippled.

Carton beer is New Jersey-made beer to its core. Cousins Augie and Chris Carton started the brewery in 2011 because they couldn’t find kegs of New Jersey-brewed beer. In 2019, Carton expanded to help the cousins keep up with growing demand and distribution.

And while we love Boat Beer, it’s certainly not the only Carton ale or lager we like to crush. Today, we highly encourage you to also try The Hook, a pale ale with Citra and a Galaxy dry hop, and Explosive Explosions Exploding Explosively, an ‘explosive’ triple IPA, among others.

Learn more

Backward Flag Brewing Co.

699 Challenger Way, Forked River, NJ 08731 | (609) 622-8911

backward flag brewing
Photography courtesy of Backward Flag Brewing Company

Veteran- and women-owned Backward Flag in South Jersey works hard to raise awareness about Veteran’s issues…while also making fantastic beer, of course.

If we’re visiting, we’re looking for Backward Flag Forward Assault Series: Something’s Missing a juicy, hazy IPA with Citra, Cascade, and Simcoe, where 100 percent of all proceeds go to a Veteran mental health charity. Or S.T.F.U Pale Ale conditioned with vanilla and brewed with Veteran-owned Black 6 Coffee.

Learn more

Ghost Hawk Brewing Company

321 River Rd #6, Clifton, NJ 07014 | (973) 259-6037

ghost hawk brewing company ghost hawk lager kellerbier / zwickelbier
Photography courtesy of @ghosthawkbrewingco

Ghost Hawk landed on our radar (get it?) several years ago thanks to the friendly folks at the “America The BREW-tiful” podcast.

In our opinion, Clifton-based Ghost Hawk makes great IPAs and lagers.

For example, check out the Ghost Hawk Lager (one of our “37 Best Beers to Drink in Spring 2023”), a kellerbier/zwickelbier brewed according to the German Beer Purity Law of 1516.

Or Apex Predator, a NEIPA with loads of Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic, and Ekuanot hops.

But they also have an incredible story.

All have combined to set Ghost Hawk soaring to great heights (get it??).

Learn more

Honorable Mention

Eight & Sand Beer Co.

1003 N Evergreen Ave, Woodbury, NJ 08096 | (856) 537-1339

eight & sand brewing co best breweries new jersey
Photography courtesy of Eight & Sand Brewing Co.

Named for a saying among train engineers that wished crews a quick and safe journey, Eight & Sand Beer Co. has picked up steam for the last half-decade or so.

In 2018, USA Today called the brewery one of the top ten in America. Moreover, the brewery’s Bad Hombre chili stout took home a silver medal from the Great American Beer Festival the same year.

Eight & Sand focuses on marrying old European styles with new American ingredients. With most beers falling under sessionable, Eight & Sand crafts award-winning, approachable beers wishing everyone a quick and safe journey.

Learn more

Tonewood Brewing

215 W Clinton Ave, Oaklyn, NJ 08107 | (856) 833-1500

tonewood brewing
Photography courtesy of @tonewoodbrewing

We came across Tonewood Brewing after a suggestion from one of our readers. A big Kane fan, who has checked in 130 different beers of theirs on Untappd, New Jersey resident Peter Gallagher, wrote to us saying he puts Tonewoods’ beers right up there with Kane!

The tap list at the original 15-bbl brewhouse in Oaklyn, NJ features sections like “Hoppy/Hazy,” “Lagers,” “Barrel Aged,” “Belgian/European/Etc,” and “On Cask.”

Gallagher recommends Fuego, the brewery’s flagship American IPA with Citra and Mosaic.

Per the beer’s Untappd description you’re getting a hazy IPA that has a “soft and sweet bread and biscuity malt backbone and up-front aromas of zesty grapefruits, lemons, peaches, and mangos, rounded out by an earthy and floral drag of resiny pine sap.”

Tonewood also has a location in Barrington.

Learn more

Bonesaw Brewing Co.

570 Mullica Hill Rd, Glassboro NJ 08028 | (856) 243-5464

bonesaw brewing
Photography courtesy of @bonesawbrewing

Another fan favorite, Bonesaw Brewing cuts you to the core when you read about how this family run business started. Today, under the guidance of award-winning brewer AJ Stoll, Bonesaw brews a little bit of everything—ales, lagers, stouts, sours, Belgians, IPAs, barrel-aged beers, and seltzers.

We recommend SWOOSH. The 7.1% ABV juicy IPA swoops in with gargantuan bursts of mango, peach, dried apricot, and cantaloupe. The brewery considers this a NEIPA meets West Coast hazy, so it’ll finish a bit more bitter and drier than your standard hazy.

Honestly, as long as its delicious, that’s all that matters, right!?

Learn more