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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.