To celebrate our anniversary my wife and I decided to check out one of our favorite New Jersey breweries, Carton Brewing Company (Atlantic Highlands, NJ). While there I was fortunate to be able to chat with Carton’s founder Augie Carton. Being that his brewery is known for brewing flavor packed, hoppy, sessionable, and creative beers I took this opportunity to not only discuss Carton Brewing and it’s beers, but also pick Augie’s brain about topics such as the growth of New Jersey craft beer and the New England style IPA craze.
Topics Discussed (in chronological order):
- Looking back on Carton Brewing’s first 5 years.
- RUB – 5th anniversary dry rubbed smoked porter.
- The growth of New Jersey craft beer since Carton’s opening.
- Augie’s opinion/s on the recent New England style IPA craze and his approach to brewing hoppy beers.
- Carton Brewing’s year round line up and rotating specialty / one-off beers.
- Closing remarks.
At Carton Brewing Company visitors are guided on a quick tour of the brewery prior to being led up to the tasting room where they’re given the option of purchasing tasting flights which include a 4oz sample of the brewery’s flagship beer, BOAT beer and 5 poker chips which can be redeemed for five additional 4oz samples of beers that they have on tap. As you may have seen in the above video and or photo album I tried 5 beers in the taproom and a can of RUB during the interview…For this post I’ve chosen to share very brief comments on and ratings of each beer that I tried instead of full reviews.
- BOAT beer – A great burst of citrusy hops in the aroma and initial flavor is joined by a crisp bready malt backbone and balanced bitterness in the finish. 8/10
- HopPun – Sweet tropical fruit throughout, balanced by moderate bitterness and a smooth malt backbone. 7/10 – good beer, but I didn’t enjoy the hop flavors enough to say I’d order a full glass.
- B.D.G. – As described by the brewery this beer is a well balanced beer whose malt character was just bold and complex enough for me that I pictured sessioning it with a meal. 8/10
- RUB – Because I was drinking it before its official release I had to quickly finish the can while taking photos after my interview of Augie. In turn, I wish I would have been able to sip this beer for long enough to fully appreciate its unique qualities. I will note that during this drinking experience the spice rub became a bit too dominant for my tastes and I therefore can not see myself drinking this beer without pairing it with barbecue. 6.5/10 – I hope I can try this beer again soon.
- Nitro Milk – Great semi-sweet chocolate and coffee notes enhanced by a smooth and creamy body. 8/10
- 077-08204 El Dorado – My favorite beer of this visit. Big citrusy hop aromatics and flavors coupled with just enough bready malt and hop bitterness. I could definitely drink a few glasses of this one. 9/10
Thanks to Augie and his team for making this visit so enjoyable for both me and my wife. Cheers!