A Local’s Guide to Monmouth and Ocean County’s Best Breweries!

A Local’s Guide to Monmouth and Ocean County’s Best Breweries!

Whether it’s a hot summer day in July and you’re craving a sessionable, dry-hopped pale ale, or it’s the dead of winter with the coastline blanketed in three feet of snow resulting in the necessity for a rich, dark malty stout, the Jersey Shore breweries scene is exploding with talent and innovation. It’s an extensive list, but each brewery offers something unique, while also sharing their story by crafting a variety of styles that speak to their identities.

We also compiled a list of our favorite South Jersey Breweries so feel free to check them out as well if you’re traveling south this summer.

Carton Brewing – Tinton Falls

With a desire to bring unique flavors of craft beer to the Atlantic Highlands community, Augie Carton and his cousin Chris formed Carton Brewing. They opened here because of its proximity to their six generations of family in Middletown. In the summer, Boat Beer is an easy-drinking refreshing, session ale that goes down pretty smoothly, along with the Whaler! Only closed Monday and Tuesday for tastings, try to sneak in early because the space fills up fast! 6E. Washington Avenue, Atlantic Highlands (732) 654-2337 http://cartonbrewing.com

Birdsmouth Beer – Oceanport

A birdsmouth is an industry term for a type of carpentry joint used to join wood or other building materials together. Birdsmouth Beer brews its lagers to complement everyday activities with family, friends, and community to join people together. Their NJ pride is prominently displayed in their logo with NJ’s state bird, the Goldfinch. With friends and family as the foundation of the brewery, they welcome everyone with open arms to join their community and help to continue to build something meaningful. Some of their beers on tap include the Vienna Lager, which is crisp and clean like all their beers, the Dark Lager and the Hoppy Pilsner. 675 Oceanport Way, Oceanport (973) 352-2842 https://birdsmouthbeer.com/

Asbury Park Brewery – Asbury Park

“Live Loud” is the motto for this musician-owned brewery by the sea. Opened by Jeff Plate who had bought the rights to the name “Asbury Park Brewery” over a decade ago, he waited patiently for the craft brewery scene to make its way into the Jersey shore. Their goal is to create seasonal and sessionable beers with high-quality ingredients in traditional brew styles. The XPA, Extra Pale Ale is brewed west coast style with a balanced amount of hop flavor. Don’t blink when driving to find this spot! It’s tucked away in an unassuming building off Main Street! 810 Sewall Avenue, Asbury Park (732) 455-5571 http://www.asburyparkbrewery.com

Kane Brewing Company – Ocean

Think unfiltered and hop-centric for one of the most quintessential New Jersey craft breweries tucked away in an industrial complex in Ocean. Kane Brewing Company, founded by Michael Kane, intertwines his love of small beach and coastal communities with his beers by naming most of his brews after nautical surf, American-style and smaller sized themed phrases. Head High is one of their top staples, a take on an American-style IPA that everyone should be required to sample. The brewery is open for tastings Thursday-Sunday, and if that’s not enough, Kane is now canning, bottling, and allowing the general public to bring home smaller-sized kegs too. Check out their online swag store to support this incredible local brewery! 1750 Bloomsbury Avenue, Ocean (732)922-8600 http://www.kanebrewing.com

Beach Haus Brewery – Belmar

Originally founded in a small garage, Beach Haus Brewery combines the founders’ love of brewing beer with growing up along the Jersey Shore. Brian and Merk create multiple styles that can cater to anyone’s beer preferences. Don’t feel pressured to sample all the brews in one day, as Beach Haus is one of the few breweries open every day with more modified hours for the winter season. The vibe is beachy and playful, just like their flagship beer, Classic American Pilsner, available year-round and incredibly crisp and refreshing. It’s a BYOF (bring your own food, that is!) and plenty spacious to hang with friends sampling over ten different Beach Haus brews. 801 Main Street, Belmar (732)202-7782 http://www.beachhausbeer.com/

Ross Brewing Co.

Ross Brewing Company is Monmouth County Born and Brewed and is NJ’s first waterfront brewery. They hope that their customers enjoy their beer onsite at their brewery in beautiful Monmouth County or out at their favorite bar or restaurant in New York City; in their backyard by the firepit or on their boat out on the river. Ross delivers extraordinary quality, boldness, and innovation, every single time. The kind of craft beer that will inspire, satisfy, and make you want to have another one. 909 Main St, Port Monmouth (732) 835-7677 https://www.rossbrewing.com/

Little Dog Brewing Co. – Neptune City

All you need is decades of brewing experience, a few medals from the Great American Beer Festival, and a little dog mascot for inspiration to start your own brewery. Gretchen Schmidhausler made her dream come true with a little help from a Kickstarter campaign to create Little Dog Brewing Company in Neptune. Focusing on German-style ales and a few seasonal offerings all in small batch quantities, Little Dog is open Friday-Sunday for tours and tastings. Gesundheit!, is a favorite of ours, a classic amber style that’s nor too light nor too heavy. You can sample or bring a bottle home too. Feel good about supporting this “Little Dog” amongst larger breweries in the area! 141 Steiner Avenue, Neptune City (732)361-3555 http://www.littledogbrewing.com

Source Brewery – Colts Neck

At the Source Brewing farmhouse, you will be able to taste a broad spectrum of fresh, rotating brews that can be enjoyed inside the taproom, or out on the front yard patio, the backyard biergarten, the upstairs mezzanine, or on the rooftop terrace overlooking our grounds while watching a gorgeous Colts Neck sunset. Families and pets are welcome, along with beer novices and hardcore aficionados alike — they have something for everyone to enjoy. Ingredients are sourced from their own cultivated farmland close by, and by local farmers throughout the state. 300 Route 34, Colts Neck, (732) 431-2337 https://www.sourcebrewing.com/

Red Tank Brewing Company – Red Bank

Seated in the middle of “Hip City” Red Bank, NJ, a bustling hub on the Jersey Shore. Red Tank is a stone’s throw from the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic and walking distance from the trains to New York City. Red Tank: The Art & Science of Handcrafted Beer lives inside of a newly renovated building on Monmouth Street. They have the perfect setting to sit, relax, and meet and greet with a beer in hand.  Come and take a tour of the fantastic stainless steel brewhouse and learn the steps it takes to brew a perfect beer. 77 Monmouth Street, Red Bank 732-865-9500 https://www.redtankbrewing.com/

Toms River Brewing

Steeped in American-Irish Tradition, Toms River Brewing blends time-honored brewing methods with innovation and modern beer chemistry to produce their unique portfolio of styles. TRB has over 15 beers on tap including the St. John’s Irish Red Ale, Hoppin’ Jack Flash IPA and the Black Cherry Blues Hard Seltzer. Raise a glass- we can all be a little Jersey Irish at Toms River Brewing. Slainté! 1540 Rt 37, Toms River 732-608-1004 https://www.tomsriverbrewing.com/

Artisan’s Restaurant and Brewery – Toms River

We know we’re in for a treat when a local restaurant has an in-house Brewmaster crafting six seasonally rotating brews on draft! Artisan’s Restaurant and Brewery is a brewpub in Toms River open daily for lunch and dinner, but also brews in-house and features their own beer club memberships. A few classics like the Artisan’s Irish Red Ale and Jersey Shore IPA are commonly on tap, but if you’re not in the mood to commit to a full pint, you can order a sampler flight and bring home a growler too. Bottoms up! 1171 Hooper Avenue, Toms River (732)244-7566 http://www.artisanstomsriver.com

Icarus Brewing – Lakewood

Icarus Brewing is Lakewood’s first microbrewery. Jason Goldstein named his beer venture Icarus Brewing because of his continuous ambition and constant striving for something greater, like the Greek mythological figure. Passionate about handcrafting each recipe, whether it’s a hoppy IPA or a Rye Saison, the most important thing to Jason is having a sense of balance with each beer. Flavor, taste, and alcohol should all be in unity, and we truly look forward to visiting this new newcomer to the Jersey Shore brewery scene. Let us know when you get a chance to visit! 1790 Swarthmore Avenue, Lakewood http://www.icarusbrewing.com

Backward Flag Brewing Company – Forked River

Quality, community, and education are the top goals of Backward Flag Brewing Co. A veteran-owned brewery in Forked River, the three owners are passionate about sharing their beers with both the beer novice and master taster alike! Flights, pints, growler fills, and tours are available Friday through Sunday, and there are annual membership packages! Partial to the Forked River Mountain Stout with notes of vanilla and cocoa, the owners often mention they appreciate the feedback on their recipes that they continue to brew and adapt with each batch. 699 Challenger Way, Forked River (609)994-0422 http://www.backwardflagbrewing.com/

Oyster Creek Brewing Company – Waretown

Oyster Creek Brewing Company started as a guy with an appreciation for good beer. Then he began to make his own beer and well, he was pretty damned good at it. It evolved from an occasional hobby, to monthly brewing sessions, to a passion, and then into a dream of opening a brewery. Oyster Creek Brewing is a “nanobrewery”, which basically means that it is smaller than a microbrewery but bigger than their backyard. Oyster Creek has a small brewing area in the back and a taproom up front where customers can sit and have a drink or fill a growler to take home to enjoy. Their products are also gluten-reduced to accommodate those who are gluten-sensitive in a way that preserves taste and quality. 529 Route 9, Unit 5 Waretown (609)-622-2944 https://www.oystercreekbrewing.com/

ManaFirkin Brewing Company – Manahawkin

It’s everyone’s dream to find their passion and turn it into a career. Well, that is just what Donn Hoosack and Todd Hunt have done. Their love of great beer has been with them for years as they’ve traveled to breweries up and down the east coast. In 2016 they made the decision to begin working on their dream. With a love for beer and an unrelenting work ethic, ManaFirkin Brewing Co. opened up on May 21st, 2017. All of their beer starts off as whole grains which are then milled in the room behind the awesome ManaFirkin surfboard. 450 East Bay Avenue, Manahawkin (609) 756-4798 https://www.manafirkin.com/

Belford Brewing Company – Belford

Calling themselves a “Brewtique,” Belford Brewing Company has a façade that’s reminiscent of an intimate antique cottage. Mike and Kevin are two brothers who were originally in talks of opening their own restaurant, but instead opted for a hobby they had shared: brewing beer! With a tasting room featuring a wide array of their brews on tap, the “Core Five” is their vision of highlighting five progressive house staples from a light Witbier to a brown ale and then a stout. Lobster Pot, a nut-brown ale, is a local favorite, and be sure to stop in for a sample of a seasonal new brew each week! 84 Leonardville Road, Belford (732) 769-7168 http://www.belfordbrewing.com/

Triumph Brewing Company – Red Bank

Triumph brews traditional styles from around the world with a concentration in lagers, staying away from the trendy, the extreme, and the undrinkably weird. Their beers, neither filtered nor pasteurized, are served directly from lagering tanks and sparkle with a freshness you will find nowhere else. Crowlers and Growlers can also be taken home with you. 1 Bridge Ave, Red Bank (732) 852-7300 https://www.triumphbrewing.com/red-bank/

Screamin Hill Brewery – Cream Ridge

Screamin’ Hill Brewery is the combination of a love of beer and farming that harkens back to a time in America when life was simple and farmers brewed with what was at hand from the year’s harvest. Bring your family and friends to Bullock farms and take in their beautiful 100 acres of preserved farmland that brings you their Pumpkin Ale and barley, wheat, and rye from the family farm to make their own base malt. 83 Emleys Hl Rd, Cream Ridge (609) 401-2025 https://screaminhill.com/

Twin Lights Brewing – Tinton Falls

At Twin Lights Brewing in Tinton Falls, you’ll find two year round beers, the Twin Lights Lager and the Double Vision IPA, along with the 10+ beers they have waiting for you on tap. If you’re wondering why the name of this brewery sounds familiar, they got their name from the famous Navesink Twin Lights Lighthouse in the Highlands. From what started as homebrewing in 2016 to where they are now, grab some friends and head over to Tinton Falls. 4057 Asbury Ave, Tinton Falls (732) 997-4900 https://www.twinlightsbrewing.com/

Battle River Brewing – Toms River

Come in today for a cold one at Battle River Brewing located in Downtown Toms River. They have IPAs, Pilsners, Stouts, Porters, HefeWeizen and more. You can also take a tour of the brewery or if you’re looking for an event space, they got you covered. On tap you’ll find hard seltzers, lagers, Blonde ales and so much more. 69 Main St, Toms River (732) 240-5028 https://www.battleriverbrewing.com

Last Wave Brewing Company – Point Pleasant Beach

Last Wave Brewing Co. offers a tropical and approachable craft beer made in the heart of the Jersey Shore. One cool thing about Last Wave is that they’ll deliver their cans, crowlers and merchandise right do your door with their easy ordering system on their website. If you prefer to visit their taproom, they have malty/dark, IPAs, sour and crisp beers on tap to try. 601 Bay Ave, Point Pleasant Beach (732) 450-8600 https://www.lastwavebrewing.com

Frye Brewing Company – Point Pleasant Beach

Frye Brewing is a family owned brewery located in the heart of Point Pleasant. Their goal is to provide beer made by locals to the bars and liquor stores in the area as well as provide a welcoming tap room where you can come and enjoy Frye’s ‘flagship’ brews or try a one-off experiment or a seasonal. We totally support their “Support Your Local Brewer” motto. 2257 Bridge Ave, Point Pleasant (732) 604-4263 http://www.fryebrewingcompany.com

Heavy Reel Brewing Company – Seaside Heights

Owner and brewer of Heavy Reel Brewing Co, Jeff, got his start in Seaside in 2018. There were a lot of spots he looked at back when he was just brewing on a little 2.5BBL system but settled in Seaside because it felt like the right fit. A little bit pretty, a little bit of an edge…quintessential Jersey. Jeff operated out of that space, gaining recognition within the industry as being a brewer that was ready to push the envelope and make beer that made people scratch their head but before they knew it they were ordering another pour. They currently have 15 beers on tap that’ll keep you coming back for more. 1520 Boulevard, Seaside Heights (732) 702-2880 https://www.heavyreelbrewing.com

*Thank you for making it to the end of the list, we also complied our favorite South Jersey Breweries to check out. Read it here!