Support Your Local Brewery!
While I ply my trade at Yonkers Brewing, I hail from Jersey City, NJ. JC has an ever-developing food, bar and cafe scene and is a great place to get the feel of New York City without all the congestion. I can certainly see Yonkers becoming the next “sixth borough” to build up the way Brooklyn, Hoboken and Jersey City have.
I digress…Jersey City’s first ever brewery, Departed Soles, opened it’s doors this past summer, but I never got the chance to pop by. Finally, since my friends and I had a free weekend, we wandered over to check it out yesterday afternoon.
Departed Soles has a small but eclectic tap room with a fun atmosphere. They are open Thursday-Sunday, but only serve flights on Friday & Sunday ($15 for a flight of four tasters, plus one pint of your choosing); they also come on a small skateboard, which is awesome. They had the Giants game going on a projector and Christmas cookies being passed around the long wood/metal tables. Definitely a cool place to chill and grab some brews.
The one super interesting thing about Departed Soles is that half of their beers are 100% gluten-free. They make regular beers as well, but the gluten-free options are just as appealing as the former.
My flight consisted of four of the non gluten-free beers: “Naughty (List) by Nature,” a well-spiced Christmas Ale; “C.R.E.A.M. S.O.D.A. A.L.E.,” a pale ale made with cream soda extract (great nose); an APA called “Light Rail Ale,” which was super easy-drinking and “Red Headed Step Brewer,” a flavorful American Amber. I really enjoyed the drinkability of each of them. You can tell a lot of care and thought were put into the brewing and naming of these beers.
I will admit, as you can see from my choices, I was a little hesitant to try a gluten-free beer…but I’m so glad that, in the end, I did. For my pint, I went with their Black IPA, “A Dark Night.”
For those concerned about gluten-free beers taking a hit in the flavor department, this one puts those fears to rest. It is made with nugget and cascade hops, which gave it a great nose and mild bitterness, but it also had a warming roasty flavor from the malt…a very well put together beer and probably my favorite on the day.
Brian, the brewer/jack-of-all-trades at Departed Soles, is a cool guy; I give him a lot of credit for juggling everything the way he does. I promised him I would bring him a growler of something cool from Yonkers Brewing next time I’m in there…perhaps the budding of a new beer friendship, who knows?
The moral of the story is, whether you are in Yonkers, Jersey City or anywhere else, always support your local brewery!