Is This Distllery One of NJ’s Best Date Night Spots?

by Peter Candia

By this point, you’ve probably heard of Bellemara Distillery in Hillsborough Township, NJ. This premier craft distillery produces single malt whisky, gin and a list of other creative and fun spirits. You can buy many of these bottles as is, or enjoy them at the distillery—neat, on the rocks or in one of Bellemara’s many handcrafted cocktails. This dedication to quality, artisanal spirits has made Bellemara one of the hottest destinations in Somerset County. 

Bellemara Distillery

Bellemara Distillery’s focus is single malt spirits. Head Distiller and Co-Owner Camden Winkelstein got his Masters of Science in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland—where he specifically studied the art of single malt distilling. Along with wife and business partner Christina, the couple looked to bring a distillery to New Jersey that specializes in single malt whisky. 

Bellemara Distillery is one of the few NJ distilleries where everything is made in-house and the only one that’s solely dishing out single malts. With American Single Malt Whisky, a neutral spirit, two gins and more, Bellemara Distillery has become a place for whisky aficionados and cocktail lovers alike. Everything—from the whisky to tropical gin—is made from malted barley. This dedication to the grain puts Bellemara in unique company as one of just a handful across the entire nation whose primary focus is single malts.

The Bellemara Distillery bar | Photos by Mel Ibarra

NJ’s Best Date Night Spot? 

And while Bellemara Distillery is the premier destination for whisky lovers in the state, its draw extends well beyond just that. Bellemara’s cocktail program (accompanied by friendly bartenders), seamless design and dedication to the guest experience has allowed the space to flourish into one of NJ’s best date night spots. 

Guests enjoy a myriad of hand-crafted cocktails, such as the Beach Igloo, a perfect cocktail for the transition into Spring. It features coconut-washed spirit, pineapple, orange, and a vanillapunch. It’s tropical and balanced with a noted complexity—the perfect drink to get to know someone over. 

Or, maybe you like to riff off the familiar. Bellemara Distillery offers a seriously impressive gin and tonic featuring their own single malt gin, orange, cranberry,  rosemary, and allspice. It’s a classic taken to the next level. 

Floral Spritz | Photography by Mel Ibarra

One of my favorite parts about Bellemara Distillery’s cocktail program is the unique structure of it, largely due to strict NJ liquor laws. In New Jersey, distilleries are unable to carry any alcoholic spirits that they do not make. This means no other brands of whiskey or vodka, no vermouth, Aperol, sparkling wine, etc. This obstacle has become one of Bellemara’s greatest strengths, showcasing their creative poise behind the bar. Digestifs and aperitivos are made in-house for plays on the Negroni or Manhattan, while a plethora of homemade bitters might anoint other cocktails on the list. This creates conversation and an insight into what it means to be a NJ distillery. For the guest experience, it can mean discovering new flavors you otherwise would not have. 

Take a seat at the spacious first-floor bar and enjoy a couple of shaken cocktails, or head upstairs to the lounge—replete with leather couches and a cozy fireplace—and sip on an old fashioned. In the warmer months, the patio is a popular spot to post up. One of Bellemara Distillery’s biggest draws is the variety of experiences guests are treated to. 

Of course, a date night is nothing without a bite to eat, and while Bellemara Distillery doesn’t directly offer food themselves, guests are welcome to order takeout via food delivery apps or bring food along with them to the space. Additionally, Carriage Farm—the property in which Bellemara Distillery is located—has a rotating list of food trucks all year round, meaning guests are treated to convenient food options often. 

Testo Pizza, Endless Empanadas, Va Fa Napoli Pizza, Designer Dawgs and Korean Carne are just a few of the upcoming food options that will park right outside of Bellemara Distillery. For the full list and schedule of food trucks coming to Carriage Farm, click here.

Bellemara offers refreshing cocktails and tastings | Photography by Mel Ibarra

More Than Just Whisky

Bellemara Distillery specializes in single malt spirits, making it a standout in New Jersey and in the US as a whole. Their in-house production of everything from single malt whisky to Aquavit ensures a unique experience for guests. Combine that with a playful cocktail list, inviting atmosphere and an unbeatable vibe, and Bellemara Distillery easily becomes a top choice for your next NJ date night. Plus, with food trucks regularly parked outside, and the option to order takeout or delivery, there’s always something delicious to enjoy alongside their drinks. Bellemara Distillery isn’t just a place for great drinks—it’s somewhere for an all-encompassing experience. 

Food Near Bellemara Distillery

If you’re planning a trip to Bellemara Distillery, you might be wondering what some of the food options in the area are. Check the Carriage Farm food truck schedule here, or plan an order from one of the nearby restaurants. Here’s some of the spots that Bellemara fans like to order from:

The Landing 

Order here 

Catered Affair

Order here


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Catered Affair (@cateredaffair)

Bella Pizza

Order here  


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BoroPizzaHunter (@boropizzahunter)

Falafel House

Order here 

Cafe Piazza

Order here  

Roman Gourmet

Order here

About the Author/s

All posts

Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Yes, I would like to receive emails from The Digest Online. Sign me up!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: New Jersey Digest. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact