|Village Idiot Brewing Company
42-44 High Street | Mount Holly, NJ 08060
The second stop on our Central New Jersey Beerventure was Village Idiot Brewing Company, located at 42-44 High Street in Mount Holly, New Jersey. The brewery opened its doors on December 20, 2013 in the former Bridgetown Pub spot.
Lucky for us, our New Jersey brewery expert and uhh-mazing friend Mark Graves, brewer at Manayunk Brewing Company and Episode 42: ‘Yunk Come Back Now, Ya Hear? guest, was working behind the bar at Village Idiot that day. We were excited to catch up with Mark!
Mark introduced us to founders and owners Rich Pelmay and Vince Masciandaro. The pair are long-time friends and homebrew buddies. Vince has been homebrewing for over 25 years, and Rich brings over a decade of homebrewing experience to the table. They are both members of South Jersey’s largest homebrew club, Barley Legal Homebrewers.
The pair still work their full-time day jobs while running the nano brewery, which brews 1.5-barrel (46.5 gallon) small batches, does not distribute, and serves beers only at the tavern-like location. They specialize in German-style beers and Belgian ales and currently brew 2 or 3 times a week.
Serving small batch beers allows for quick turnover, ensuring there will always be something new and different on tap each time you visit, as well as the freshest beer possible. In fact, the Infinity IPA, which had been on the night before, was already replaced by Batch 91 IPA.
The limited brewery license prevents breweries from serving food on premise, therefore customers are encouraged to carry-in or order delivery from one of the many restaurants within walking distance. Village Idiot provides menus for these local eateries for customers to peruse, including the recommended Downtown Pizza and Grill.
New Jersey law also requires every visitor to receive a brewery tour. Since Village Idiot is such a tiny nano brewery, visitors experience a tour through a PowerPoint presentation that shows the entire brewing process.
After enjoying the tour, patrons can purchase tokens before heading to the bar. Tokens cost $3 each. Most 8-ounce beer pours are 1 token, with 16-ounce pours costing 2 tokens. Some higher alcohol beers cost an additional token.
During our visit we sampled everything on tap…
- Bridgetown Blonde Ale – 4.8% ABV, 23 IBU crisp, clean golden blonde ale.
- Notafingah! Winter Warmer – 7.9% ABV, 20 IBU rich, robust, full-bodied winter seasonal.
- Abbaye Normale – 7.3% ABV, 19 IBU Belgian Dubbel with hints of chocolate and caramel.
- Batch 91 IPA – 7.3% ABV, 69 IBU IPA featuring Nugget, Falconer’s Flight and Simcoe hops.
- Revolutionary Rye – 6% ABV, 25 IBU spicy, red-hued brew inspired by the Battle of Ironworks Hill, which took place right outside their front door.
- Thong Remover Tripel – 9.8% ABV, 40 IBU Belgian-style tripel with hints of banana and clove.
Many of the brews are homebrew Vince and Rich’s homebrew recipes. Vince won a homebrew competition at the Tun Tavern in Atlantic City with the Thong Remover Tripel.
I enjoyed the Notafingah! Winter Warmer with cinnamon/sugar rimmed glass. The beer was quite satisfying and warming on the cold winter day. I also enjoyed Batch 91 IPA, which I took home in a Crowler.
Village Idiot brews some other creative beers that were not on tap during our visit including: Oatmeal Chocolate Stout, Summer Wild, Teddy Hopper Double IPA, Mullen’s Irish Red, and Oud Dublin Nitro Stout. We were one day late to enjoy a Crowler of Oatmeal Chocolate Stout with a chipotle inside… maybe next time!
Beers can also be purchased to go in 32-ounce mini glass growlers or metal Crowlers to go. The do not fill 64-ounce growlers. T-shirts and pint glasses are also available for purchase.