Central jersey’s beverage-makers beckon you. You could spend weeks sampling all the wine, hard ciders, beer, and distilled spirits being made in Central Jersey! But that might be getting carried away. To make it easier for you, we’ve hand selected some of the best.
Ashton Brewing founders Steven and Donna Ashton have been brewing and judging beer for over 30 years. Steve is one of the world’s few Master Beer Judges, and the only one in New Jersey. Beer knowledge shows in the quality of the beer and breadth of styles they offer. Whatever the style, the focus is on creating a harmonious, drinkable and refreshing beverage. You can visit their taproom in Middlesex Borough or find their beer at fine liquor stores, restaurants, and bars throughout central New Jersey.
Opening in October 2021, Bellemara Distillery blends traditional distilling techniques from Scotland with distinctly American innovations and makes all products grain-to-glass from 100% malted barley. The initial range will include their flagship Single Malt Gin and Single Malt Spirit, and their American Single Malt Whisky is due late 2023. Enjoy tours, tastings, and cocktails on the outdoor patio or in the lounge overlooking the copper pot stills. Bellemara is located adjacent to Flounder Brewing at Carriage Farm, providing visitors with a range of craft beverage activities in a beautiful Central Jersey agritourism setting.
Following Hurricane Irene in 2011, Jan Chwiedosiuk helped his family’s Manville deli recover from devastating flooding as Brian Teel watched flood waters engulf his backyard in Rocky Hill. “If we can overcome this, we can persevere through anything” they said. The aftermath of the historic storm inspired them to start homebrewing as a hobby. The two long-time friends decided to make their dream a reality by opening Jersey Cyclone Brewing Company in May 2019. Located in Franklin Township, Jersey Cyclone uses a five-barrel brewhouse to produce a wide range of beers.
Descendants Brewing Company
Descendants Brewing Company at the Old Ship Inn is the first in New Jersey since prohibition to brew beer for consumption on-premise. It provides a family-friendly European pub atmosphere in the scenic Delaware valley. Enjoy craft-brewed ales and homemade, European-inspired foods with locally sourced ingredients. Located in quaint Milford Borough on the Delaware River, Descendants is a brew-pub offering its own beer plus a full bar with wine, an eclectic spirits collection and one of NJ’s largest whiskey collections at over 270 bottles.
In 2005, Jeremy “Flounder” Lees turned a small galley kitchen into a place he could make magic happen. Flounder soon pulled in his brother Daniel Lees and cousins Billy Jordan V, to help him with his homebrew adventure, eventually opening in a leased warehouse in Hillsborough, NJ. In May 2021 they are relocating to a gorgeous, newly restored 250-year-barn at Hillsborough’s Carriage Farm, destined to become a must-see agritourism destination in Central Jersey. Flounder is known for known for having a wide range of styles represented in our beer line-up sure to please any level of beer drinker. Open six days a week.
Harvest Moon Brewery
Located just steps from the major train station on the line between New York and Philadelphia in downtown New Brunswick, the home of Rutgers University, the Harvest Moon Brewery/Cafe is at the gateway to Central Jersey. A New Brunswick institution since 1996, Harvest Moon features a delectable menu along with hand-crafted beer brewed on site—making it the perfect place to begin or end your visit to take in the beauty, bounty, and beer of Central Jersey.
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
Hopewell Valley Vineyards creates handcrafted wines by blending Old World traditions with New World flair. Our award-winning wines coupled with our renowned hospitality has made Hopewell Valley not only a place to purchase excellent local wines, but a destination. Enjoy live music (no cover charge) and light fare food every Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon; brick oven pizza Friday and Saturday evenings. Indoor and outdoor seating areas.
Lone Eagle Brewing
Lone Eagle Brewing, established July, 2016 and located in beautiful, historic Flemington, NJ. With a large, comfortable open tasting room and loft that overlooks the brewing area, Lone Eagle Brewing is crafting a variety of amazing brews to satisfy a broad range of beer enthusiasts. From classical styles like Kolsch, Pilsner, Lagers and Stouts to hoppy IPA,s, New England style hazy IPA’s to Kettle Sours. Lone Eagle Brewing welcomes you to enjoy a great craft beer tasting experience with our friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Old Hights Brewing
Old Hights Brewing Company celebrates Hightstown’s history with balanced, hand-crafted beers, derived from the finest, locally sourced ingredients. It was founded by four local families with a passion for craft beer and our community. Their comfortable and inviting beer garden and taproom have become a local hangout as well as a destination for craft beer lovers. They have been lauded for a wide variety of beer styles, a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and for their fun and inviting atmosphere.
Old York Cellars
Old York Cellars is set amidst some of the oldest vineyards in the Garden State, offering a full selection of award-winning wines and an extraordinary experience inside and outside the tasting room. Framing scenic views of the Sourland Mountain range, Old York Cellars boasts 25 beautiful acres of preserved farmland and 13 acres of rolling vineyards. The winery hosts a variety of special events and exciting programs including seasonal Wine Festivals, Music Under the Stars, Comedy Nights, Specialty Tasting Experiences, and the exclusive Vintner’s Club. Old York Cellars is open daily from noon to 5pm and until 7pm on Saturdays during the Spring and the Summer.
Sourland Mountain Spirits
Sourland Mountain Spirits is New Jersey’s farm distillery, lifting spirits since 2015. The Sourland Mountains are rich with their history of farmers, bootleggers, rebels, patriots, fine craftsmen and artisans, is the perfect setting. Drawing from an aquifer at the base of the Sourland range, the distillery uses pure water sourced through the largest contiguous forest in Central New Jersey.
Sunken Silo Brewery
The name of this Hunterdon County brewery honors the family farms that were forcibly abandoned in the 1950s to create New Jersey’s deepest lake, Round Valley Reservoir, not far from Sunken Silo Brewery off routes 78 and 22 in Lebanon. After visiting, your best memories will be of the wide variety of high-quality craft beer styles. The seafood restaurant next door makes a nice complement, too.
Triumph Brewing Company
“Reopening Soon in Princeton’s Palmer Square” – New Jersey’s first licensed brew pub, located in the heart of Princeton, Triumph Brewing is a full-service restaurant and brewery serving an upscale American menu for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Triumph’s beer has a strong traditional German influence, and all is brewed in-house and rotated seasonally. Large party space for private events. Walking distance to stores and theaters.
Producing terroir-driven wines of balance and distinction, encouraging the expression of land and climate, crafted from grapes grown over 40-acres, across five specific vineyard sites in Mercer and Hunterdon Counties. The range of soils, topography, and microclimates allow winemaker Conor Quilty the ability to craft Burgundy and Rhone styled blends, and varietal wines that are showcased in a stunning tasting room in a historic barn. The Tasting Room is open 7 days per week, noon to 5pm.
Paul Hyatt, founder and head distiller at Skunktown Distillery, is now in a historic building in Flemington Borough with a large tasting room and perfect acoustics for live music, private-party space, and outdoor seating. Paul has spent years hand-peeling every potato sourced from a Robbinsville farm and used in his liquors. He sources his rye from a Warren County farm and only uses copper stills, to help create a smoother taste. Products include a golden gin; an oaked rum, which tastes like a barrel-aged rum; a spicy vodka infused with Carolina Reapers; a gin infused with South African red bush (rooibos) tea; and an apple pie moonshine – its best seller.
Sponsors and Places to Visit
Farms & Orchards
- 12 Farms Restaurant(Hightstown)
- Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse (Milford)
- Cherry Grove Farm (Lawrenceville)
- Dogwood Farms (Liberty Corner)
- Gorgeous Goat Creamery (Stockton)
- Griggstown Farm market (Griggstown/Franklin)
- Hidden Spring Lavender & Alpaca Farm (Skillman)
- Norz-Hill Farm (Hillsborough)
- Snyder Farm (Franklin)
- Stangl Farmer’s Market (Flemington)
- Terhune Orchards (Lawrenceville)
- Abraham Staats House (South Bound Brook)
- Black River & Western Railroad (Ringoes)
- East Jersey Old Towne Village (Piscataway)
- Griggstown Bridge Tender’s House (Princeton)
- Howell Living History Farm (Hopewell Township)
- Princeton Battlefield State Park (Princeton)
- Historical Society of Princeton (Princeton)
- Morven Museum & Garden (Princeton)
- Old Barracks Museum (Trenton)
- Prallsville Mills (Stockton)
- Rockingham Historic Site (Kingston)
- Red Mill Museum Village (Clinton)
- Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (Skillman)
- Wallace House & Old Dutch Parsonage (Somerville)
- Washington Crossing State Park (Titusville)
- William Trent House (Trenton)
Hiking, Biking, Kayaking
- The D&R Canal Tow Path
- D&R Greenway Land Trust (Princeton)
- Duke Farms (Hillsborough Township)
- Fairview Farm/Raritan Headwaters (Bedminster)
- Leonard J. Buck Gardens (Far Hills)
- Mercer Meadows (Lawrence Township)
- Natirar Park (Gladstone)
- Six-Mile Run Mountain Biking Trails (Somerset)
- Sourland Mountain Preserve (Hillsborough Township)
- The Watershed Institute (Pennington)
- Ashton Brewing (Middlesex)
- Bellemara Distillery (Hillsborough)
- Cyclone Brewing (Somerset)
- Descendants Brewing (Milford)
- Flounder Brewing (Somerset)
- Lone Eagle Brewing (Flemington)
- Harvest Moon Brewery (New Brunswick)
- Hopewell Valley Vineyards (Pennington)
- Old Hights Brewing (Hightstown)
- Old York Cellars (Ringoes)
- Skunktown Distillery (Flemington)
- Sourland Spirits (Hopewell)
- Sunken Silo Brewery (Lebanon)
- Triumph Brewing Company (Princeton)
- Terhune Orchards & Winery (Lawrenceville)
- Unionville Winery (East Amwell)