I’ve given quite a few talks on biking in New Jersey, and I always talk about the sites you’ll discover and how anything can be a destination. One example I use is Screamin’ Hill brewery, a farm brewery in the middle of rural New Jersey. And then I realized that aside from our first ride there (when it was closed), I’ve never given it its own blog post, just shared billing.
Time to fix that, and its fourth anniversary was a good excuse. Plus we wanted a shot at the free anniversary mugs. Little did we know that it opened two hours earlier than usual! The only reason we came home with one was because someone abandoned it by the plastic cups and one of the riders in the group was kind enough to hand it to us.
We discovered this place thanks to an article in Edible Jersey that described it as New Jersey’s first (and as of then only) farm brewery. Most of what goes into the beer is grown on the farm, and they have some funky offerings (what some friends would call “weird beer”). There’s IPA, wheat beer, fruit beer, pilsner, sour and more. Even one with tomato. So, yeah, you could say that’s weird. (I had the tomato one once. It doesn’t taste anything remotely like tomato juice mixed with beer.) Among the five beer drinkers I was with, however, one called it the best beer he’d had in a long time. Another noted how fresh the beers are.
What’s on tap varies according to what’s ready, and when they run out of something, they run out. Hours are incredbily limited — 3 pm to 8 pm on Fridays and 1 pm to 6 pm on Saturdays. BYO food. Really. It’s a very casual, picnic atmosphere with a few kids running around. (But no dogs.) We started out in the sun and ended up sprawled under a shady tree.
Even if you’re not much of a beer drinker, it’s a lovely bike ride. Once you get to the other side of US 130, the roads are pretty quiet, with a little bit of up and down as you get close to the farm (whose address, after all, includes the word hill).Continue reading