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Brewery Restaurants in NJ

What brewery/restaurants combos does anyone recommend in NJ, especially central?

Ive tried to try them out but havent had the best results. I know there is one out in Long Valley that I have not been to that I want to try. As far as others:

Harvest Moon, New Brunswick - best of the bunch, powerful beers though and distinctive tastes.
Triumph Brewery, Princeton- good food, but beer is all the same with different beers colored differently but tasting exactly the same
Basil T's, Red Bank - overpriced and overrated in my opinion for both food and beer offerings
JJ Bittings, Woodbridge - very good experiences there, not great variety of brews but the blueberry wheat is the best Ive had.
Rock Bottom, chain - not even worth a blurb in my opinion

Id love to find a place in jersey similar to goose island in chicago, will keep looking.
I look forward to hearing from others.

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  1. Yes, you definitely need to visit the Long Valley Pub and Brewery!

    And don't forget the place that started it all (at least in NJ) - The Ship Inn in Milford.

    http://britishbrewpub.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: ambrose

      The food at The Ship Inn is really terrific. Even the Mushy Peas, which are mashed frozen peas. Worth a trip. Pretty yown.

      I generally do not like Brew pub beer, but they have great stuff on draft and my fav, Blue Bird Bitter in bottles.

    2. Long Valley Pub and Brewery is one of our favorite local restaurants......really like that you can have a sandwich or salad or full dinner--whatever strikes your fancy. Often my husband and I are on different wavelengths on any given night, so it's nice to have a fairly extensive menu (not extensive like a chain [thank goodness] but extensive nevertheless.

      1. GREAT post. I've been to Moon, Triumph, Basil T's, and Bittings and I think your analysis is spot on. I thought Triumph was ok and remember liking a couple of their brews. Basil T's is terrible.

        1. To jump on the band wagon, definitely need to go to the Long Valley Pub and Brewery.
          Does anyone know if Circa in High Bridge falls under this category? The food was quite good but I can't remember if they brew their own beer.

          4 Replies
          1. re: viperlush

            I've been to almost all of the Brew Pubs in Jersey. I go to Bittings more often because it's close and I love the atmosphere. The beers are fair, but the Garden State IPA is exceptional and what I usually get. But the Long Valley Brew Pub is the best in the state for beer. Great Porter! The other beers are fine also.

            1. re: viperlush

              Circa in High Bridge does have its own brewery and sells its beers on the premises. I believe the restaurant also runs frequent beer festivals so at the right time it could be worth a visit.

              I have mixed feelings about Circa. Under the right circumstances it can provide a very good dining experience. Many dishes, however, are overpriced and the noise level on a weekend night can be a problem. Quality of service depends a great deal on who your server is.

              My recommendation would be to go to the bar section, not the main dining room, to check out the beers. You can monitor their web site to see if they have any special events planned:

              http://www.circa-restaurant.com/

              1. re: ambrose

                Never heard of Circa- and I keep up with beer and brewing pretty well- it's not listed as a brewery on any of the beer websites, etc.

                It looks to me, by reading the website, that Circa isn't a brewpub, but has "house beers" that are brewed by High Point in Butler which are served at Circa and other restaurants.

                1. re: JessKidden

                  You are correct. When I was last at Circa (some time ago), I was led to believe that they would be brewing on site. As you point out, their web site says that they are currently using the High Point in Butler.

                  Anyway, Circa would not be my first choice (or second, or third) among all the places mentioned here.

            2. JJ Bittings - beer is good, but go for the good burgers, very good wings, and excellent chili and JJ fries (not the butterfly regular fries, the sweet potato JJ fries).