2020 Guide: 15 Top Breweries in New Jersey to Visit This Fall

by Liana Imparato
best new jersey breweries

The Oktoberfest has passed, but you can keep celebrating the season at New Jersey breweries throughout the fall. The state is home to dozens of craft breweries and taprooms, with more than 100 breweries and microbreweries popping up over the last 20 years. Each serves a unique portfolio of ales and lagers reflective of their home state and brewing styles, with autumn ushering in seasonal options like pumpkin ales. Following the New Jersey wineries line-up, we’ve put together a list of 15 New Jersey breweries for anyone from beer novice to hard-core aficionado to visit this 2020 fall season. Note that we only included those that are open for outdoor and/or indoor seating, and this list is by no means comprehensive. The following breweries are in no particular order.

1. Hackensack Brewing

Hackensack, NJ

new jersey breweries

The lineup at Hackensack Brewing | Hackensack, NJ

A local favorite, Hackensack Brewing has received high praises for their quality beers and unique slushies. The heated outdoor beer garden offers customers the opportunity to enjoy the brewery’s on-tap beers and beer slushies—like their mocha-cappuccino Irish stout slushie—even as the weather cools off. They also host events on Wednesday nights in the beer garden.

Indoor and outdoor seating options are available daily, no reservations needed. Bergen County residents can also call the brewery to take advantage of their delivery service.

2. Brix City Brewing

Little Ferry, NJ

best new jersey breweries

Brix City Brewing NE Pale Ale Out of Context | | Little Ferry, NJ

Established in 2015, Brix City Brewing is Bergen County’s first production craft brewery. Brix City Brewing is known for its New England-style IPAs, though they produce a range of beers including sours, pilsners and more. The craft brewery is open seven days a week for draft pours and to-go orders in its temporary taproom and beer garden. For a limited time, Brix City Brewing is also offering a delivery service.

Seating is first-come, first-serve.

3. Cricket Hill Brewing Co.

Fairfield, NJ

breweries nj

Celebrating 19 years in business at Cricket Hill Brewery | Fairfield, NJ

One of the original craft breweries in New Jersey, Cricket Hill Brewing Co. opened its doors in 2001. Cricket Hill boasts an array of brew styles but is well-known for options like the signature East Coast Lager. The selection on tap rotates weekly, and guests can enjoy them in the outdoor beer garden from Thursday–Sunday. 

Indoor seating is also available, but limited. No reservations are needed in advance of your visit.

4. Departed Soles Brewing Company

Jersey City, NJ

new jersey beweries

Departed Soles Brewing Co. Red Bandana | Jersey City, NJ

Established in 2015, Jersey City’s Departed Soles Brewing Company specializes in gluten-free beer (along with #DefinitelyNotGlutenFree options). The craft brewery offers a wide selection of unique beers and prides itself on being “a safe haven for all tastes.” Departed Soles’ flagship beer, GoodbIPA: Four My Homie, is available year-round, while other options rotate in availability. Their Ghost of Pumpkins Passed pumpkin-spiced ale offers a perfect opportunity to celebrate spooky season.

Outdoor seating is available at the brewery daily, with no reservations needed in advance. Be sure to check out their Facebook page to keep up with upcoming events and live music hosted at the brewery.

5. Ghost Hawk Brewing Co.

Clifton, NJ

Ghost Hawk Brewing

Snowball Effect and Balaton from Ghost Hawk Brewing Co. | Clifton, NJ

Ghost Hawk Brewing Co. boasts the title of Passaic County’s first craft brewery and taproom, opening in 2019 to the public. Among their selection of on-tap beers and to-go cans, Ghost Hawk’s Double IPA, Paradigm Shift, recently debuted. Try out the latest release or another option from their lineup outdoors in their seating area. The brewery also offers 20 percent off for healthcare workers and first responders.

Ghost Hawk Brewing Co. is open daily for outdoor seating and curbside pickup.

6. New Jersey Beer Co.

North Bergen, NJ

NJ Beer Co

New Jersey-themed beers from New Jersey Beer Co. | North Bergen, NJ

New Jersey Beer Co. produces quality beers inspired by their home state. Locals can appreciate their array of Jersey-themed selections like the Hudson Pale Ale, LBIPA, Garden State Stout and Skyway Saison. The brewery hosts trivia and live music events Thursday–Sunday at its outdoor tasting room.

Stay updated on the latest events at New Jersey Beer Co. via Facebook.

7. Montclair Brewery

Montclair, NJ

Montclair Brewery

To-go beer flight from Montclair Brewery | Montclair, NJ

A husband and wife-owned business, Montclair Brewery recently celebrated two years of business in the community. Montclair Brewery offers a range of styles for different tastes, from the Spicy Pineapple Belgian Ale to the Black Mamba Lager. The Black Mamba Lager, one of the brewery’s latest releases, is brewed with dark malts, mimicking the look of a porter or stout but giving it a lighter body. Guests can enjoy their drinks in the beer garden, with live music events through Oct. 18 in honor of the brewery’s anniversary.

Montclair Brewery outdoor seating is first-come, serve. Parties of five or more can make reservations.

8. 902 Brewing Co.

Jersey City, NJ

902 Brewing

A selection of beers from 902 Brewing Co. | Jersey City, NJ

902 Brewing Co. started with three friends and an affinity for home brewing. Named after the apartment where it started, 902 Brewing outgrew its Hoboken roots and transitioned to their current Jersey City facility. The New Jersey brewery crafts locally-inspired beers like the NJIPA and Welcome to Jersey City Imperial Stout. Events are taking place at 902 Brewing throughout the month of October, and the brewery invites guests to their outdoor seating area daily.

9. High Point Brewing Company

Butler, NJ

High Point Brewing Co.

Ramstein INK Black Lager from High Point Brewing Company | Butler, NJ

High Point Brewing Company crafts German-style lagers and wheat beers, under the headship of an award-winning brewer, Greg Zaccardi. Adopting the German brewing technique—and scoring some hard-to-come-by Bavarian yeast—Zaccardi created Ramstein Beer, named after the town in Germany. High Point continues to brew signature Ramstein lagers and wheat beers, with a barrel tapping of a new beer every Friday.

High Point Brewing Company is open Wednesday–Sunday.

10. Climax Brewing Company

Roselle Park, NJ

Climax Brewing Co.

The beer lineup at Climax Brewing Company | Roselle Park, NJ

A family-owned business, Climax Brewing Company started with a father and son’s home brewing obsession. The two opened Climax Brewing Company in 1996 with the goal of producing “classic styles of fresh beer” that, 25 years later, continue to receive high praises and accolades from the community. The New Jersey brewery welcomes guests for selective trivia nights, so keep up with their Facebook page to see when the next event is coming up.

The brewery is open on Thursday and Friday evenings.

11. Twin Elephant Brewing Company

Chatham, NJ

new jersey breweries

The perfect pour with Twin Elephant Brewing Company’s Foggiest Nation | Chatham, NJ

Twin Elephant Brewing Company is a small-batch brewery founded by three friends with a passion for beer. Twin Elephant’s “mindfully brewed” selection of lagers and ales uses locally-sourced ingredients when possible and prioritizes fresh and diverse flavors. Their beers can be enjoyed in the newly-opened outdoor seating area. Located in the charming town of Chatham, Twin Elephant is one of the top New Jersey breweries to put on your bucket list.

Twin Elephant is open for outdoor dining on Saturdays and Sundays.

12. River Horse Brewing Co.

Ewing, NJ

River Horse

Mango hard seltzer from River Horse Brewing Co. | Ewing, NJ

River Horse Brewing Co. crafts high-quality, balanced beers. From their IPAs, available year-round, to the seasonal Hipp-O-Lantern pumpkin ale, River Horse has a beer for a variety of preferences. The brewery welcomes guests to pack a lunch and visit the outdoor beer garden to enjoy one (or a few) of their array of beers and hard seltzers.

River Horse is open on weekends. Reservations are encouraged.

13. Flying Fish Brewing Company

Somerdale, NJ

Founded in 1996, Flying Fish Brewing Company has grown and evolved into one of the most well-known New Jersey breweries. Flying Fish outgrew its original location and transitioned to a larger, more environmentally-friendly space in Somerdale. This NJ brewery invites guests to sit outdoors and enjoy their selection of beers, like the beloved Hazy Bones, and hard seltzers.

Flying Fish Brewing Company is open daily for outdoor seating and curbside pick-up.

14. Axe and Arrow Brewing

Glassboro, NJ

Axe and Arrow Brewing

Tropic Thunder from Axe and Arrow Brewing | Glassboro, NJ

Located in the Glassboro town square, this New Jersey brewery produces a variety of beers for different tastes. With about 20 regularly available on-tap, Axe and Arrow serves classic styles as well as seasonal and experimental brews. The brewery also hosts events and welcomes guests to trivia night on several occasions through the fall season.

Outdoor seating at this NJ brewery is available on a first-come, first-serve basis Wednesday–Sunday.


15. Cape May Brewing Co.

Cape May, NJ

Cape May

Mango IPA from Cape May Brewing Co. | Cape May, NJ

South Jersey’s Cape May Brewing Co. sought to bring more local craft beer to the area, getting its start in 2011 at the Cape May Airport. Since its inception, this New Jersey brewery has grown in notoriety and medaled in many local, state and national competitions. The expansive property—including the beer garden, Brewtanical Garden and indoor seating space—provides ample room for guests to enjoy their array of beer options. 

Cape May Brewing Co. is one of the top New Jersey breweries and is open daily on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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James October 13, 2020 - 3:09 pm

Very interesting to list, missing one of my favorites.

Billy October 13, 2020 - 9:09 pm

The fact that Kane didn’t make your top 15 says everything you need to know about these being the “top 15” in NJ. You don’t deserve a platform.

Kevin Hlavaty October 14, 2020 - 1:41 am

Bingo! No Bonesaw. No Troon.

Elizabeth Monaghan October 14, 2020 - 10:14 am

Nuff said

Patrick October 13, 2020 - 4:36 pm

Disagree with most of this list but I think the most glaring ommisions are Kane and Carton. They are arguably two of the best breweries in the state and either of them not being on the list isn’t a matter of opinion. It throws this entire list out the window in terms of knowledge or objectivity.

I hope that people think twice before they use this list to determine the best beer/breweries that this great state has to offer.

B34N October 13, 2020 - 9:26 pm

Admittedly I have not tried all 15 but there are many top NJ brews not listed. What was the rating criteria? Maybe the title should be “15 Breweries in NJ to Visit” instead of “15 Top Breweries in New Jersey.”

Andrew Schoeffling October 13, 2020 - 10:08 pm

Some truly disturbing omissions here. No Kane, Carton , or Troon. I suspect either you have a personal vendetta against the 3 best breweries in the state…more likely this list was plucked out of a large novelty hat.

Amber Dietze October 13, 2020 - 10:09 pm

Where’s Lone Eagle in Flemington they have amazing beer. One of the best Italian I’ve ever had and don’t forget about the Fog!

Paul B October 13, 2020 - 10:23 pm

Big thumbs up for Twin Elephant! ~(: But wheres Troon? Kane?

Frank Gomati October 13, 2020 - 10:26 pm

Departed Soles doing big things in JC!

John October 14, 2020 - 11:31 pm

Heavy on the north jersey breweries and missing my fav, Bonesaw!

Warren October 14, 2020 - 12:03 am

This list is nonsense. Where is Kane? Carton? Magnify? Troon? Conclave?

Merry October 14, 2020 - 12:16 am

Cannot wait to visit Brix City and Twin Elephant this fall!

GTW October 14, 2020 - 1:21 am

I was not expecting…most of this list. How does a NY brewery get an honorable mention? That seems so intentionally disrespectful I’m not even sure how to qualify it.

I get skipping the usual like Kane, Carton, Cape May – but what about Source, Icarus, Last Wave, Gusto, and Tonewood? Referend! And other sleepers like Forgotten Boardwalk, Double Nickel, Glasstown…I could go on but I don’t think I should have to. Rough list.

Paul B October 14, 2020 - 12:30 pm

“Disrespectful” lol

Chris October 14, 2020 - 1:28 am

No Carton, Icarus, Kane, Source, Tonewood. Jeez I’d even put places like Cyprus, Magnify ahead of the others on this list. River Horse has been around forever and still can’t make decent beer. There’s no word for Climax being on this list.

Dave Simonetti October 14, 2020 - 2:02 pm

LOL… Does this person even drink beer. This list is laughable. No Troon, Kane, Magnify, Icarus… What a joke

Todd Robbins October 14, 2020 - 2:18 pm

Oh, shit, does Troon and Kane have outdoor seating areas?

Patrick October 15, 2020 - 6:51 pm

Kane just announced outdoor seating.

Gary October 16, 2020 - 12:31 am

My wife recently picked up a few selections of various beers from Jersey Girl Brewing Co in Hackettstown and I am surprised to find it did not make this list as it is far superior (IMHO) to the ones on the list that I am familiar with.

dave December 28, 2020 - 4:29 pm

902 is a joke, all ways have been. There beer sucks and is just as ams as there management to include coby and andrew

Jack March 14, 2022 - 5:55 am

Awesome places thanks for sharing. I have one website where can you submit your favorite brand votes and you can win the price

Jack March 14, 2022 - 5:56 am

Awesome places thanks for sharing. I have one website where can you submit your favorite brand votes and you can win the price


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