|Carton Brewing Company
6 E. Washington Avenue | Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Carton Brewing Company was founded by cousins Chris and Augie Carton along with their favorite homebrewer, Jesse Ferguson in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, where they were born and raised.
The turn-of-the-century red brick warehouse on East Washington Avenue is home to the 15 barrel brewhouse on the main floor and bustling tasting room upstairs.
Upon entrance, visitors are immediately whisked into a tour of the brewery, which includes a brief history of the building, an explanation of the brewing process, and a glimpse into where tasty beer is made.
After the tour, the $5 tasting begins upstairs with the beer that started it all, Boat Beer. The 4.2% ABV Session Ale was designed to be tasty and complex without the crippling alcohol. Kölsch yeast, German malts and American hops combine to create a crisp, refreshing, remarkable beer. They consider Boat Beer to be an IPA for everyday drinking.
Next I enjoyed B.D.G. (Brunch. Dinner. Grub.), a 6.0% ABV Country Ale that evokes the comforting crusty breads that pair with any meal. The full-bodied beer coats your mouth as the Aramis hops offer lemony, tarragon, and thyme notes.
The infamous 077XX was up next. The 7.8% ABV, 80 IBU East Coast Double IPA offers dank, resinous hop flavors with orange, mango and papaya aromas. The subtle sweetness of the malts is just enough. Pretty much everyone was picking up a four pack of 077XX cans to go.
After that was Red Rye Returning, a 6.5% ABV Rye Ale brewed with piney American hops, Simcoe, Cluster and Horizon balanced by the natural spicy touch of rye.
Next was Carton Canyon, a 6.4% ABV American Adjunct Lager brewed with two-row pilsner malt, Blue Agave nectar, then fermented with Cal Lager yeast.
Carton of Milk, a 4% ABV Session Milk Stout, followed. The extremely dark malts are balanced by the sweetness of milk and black currant notes of Bullion hops.
A special seasonal, Gilded Lily, was also on tap. The 10.6% ABV Belgian Tripel was brewed with white truffles. The “Trufpel” is a unique and tasty way to push through the cold, winter months.
There were also 2 beers available to go in waxed and capped 32-ounce glass growlers. Shipwreck Porter is a 10% ABV porter brewed with dark malts offering notes of coffee and chocolate and local wildflower honey, then aged in Brinley Rum oak barrels.
Pumpkin Cream Scobeyville Wood is a 9% ABV cream ale brewed with pumpkin roasted with a touch of orange oil, pink peppercorns and candied ginger then added to the mash. The finished beer is aged in Laird’s AppleJack barrels.
If those beers aren’t convincing you to visit Carton Brewing, look out for small batches brewed on “Tippy,” their 20 gallon pilot system. Past small batch beers include Batch #135: Pale Ale with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Salt, Batch #134: Savor Saison 2 with Saffron and Chili, Batch #105: Oat Smoked Porter with Cherries and Dank Hops, and Batch #77: Green Apple Sour with Wasabi.
Carton Brewing is currently open Thursday and Friday 5 to 7:30 PM and Saturday and Sunday 12 to 5 PM for tours, tastings, growler fills, and retail. Soon they will be expanding their space, which means expanding hours as well. Watch Carton Brewing’s Facebook page for updates.