Not even a year old, Magnify Brewing has consistently been making waves in the world of New Jersey craft beer. I had heard of it back in November, but wondered if the one hour trip north would be worth it. Let me just say, I'm kicking myself in the buttocks repeatedly because I waited way too long to actually go up there and visit the wonderfully decorated taproom in Fairfield, New Jersey. The first time I went there was for the release of their Woah Nelly (Farmhouse Double IPA) and their Low Visibility (Pale Ale). If you asked me if there was a single beer I didn't enjoy the first time, I wouldn't remember. But more about the beer in a second...
When you walk in, there's a very sleek and clean aesthetic to everything. Everything's organized and beautifully displayed and it all seems to stem from the simple logo that encapsulates everything that is great about this brewery. This is the kind of place you just want to sit down and have a few beers at and have great conversation, not only with friends but also with everyone else who comes in to have a beer or five.
Other industries could take note of the staff service from Magnify Brewing. Both of the times I visited, I was treated with an incredible amount of attention. And from the owner, to the brewer, to the rest of the staff, these people know their beer. Now, it might seem like I am a little too high on Magnify Brewing, but with good reason... they've done in less than a year what some breweries can't do in two. Their "Woah" series of DIPA's is extraordinary and every new Woah has been better than the previous one. After having cans of Woah Nelly on the first visit, I had Woah Equinox on the second, and it was even better. With Woah Amarillo having come out this past weekend, the sky is the limit.
One of the things I love about the brewery and its staff is the fact that they recognize that not everyone is going to like every single beer. It's this type of realism that will keep me coming back. Their 973 could very well be a great beer, but I didn't enjoy it as much. I was given a taste and when I informed them that it wasn't for me, the reaction was of "Hey, let's find you something else you'll like." AND with a positive attitude about it. These are my kind of people. I can dig THAT.
Alright, let's talk about the beers. Because God knows, they really need to be talked about. Their "Woah" series, as previously stated, has been nothing short of phenomenal. If you are a Double IPA fan, you are in luck, the Woah Nelly, Woah Equinox, and the Woah Amarillo should be for you. If I've missed any other Woahs, well, I apologize to you Magnify Brewing. Their Black Wheat is pretty darn good too. Normally, I'm turned off by anything with "Wheat" in the word... unless it's bread... but in this case, this beer is a great beer to sip on. Their Vine Shine IPA is a great "flagship" type beer that has finally been canned and released!
When they do have Pollinator on tap, do yourself a favor and grab that as well. It's a 7.2% IPA that is brewed with local honey and hopped very generously with Cascade and Centennial hops. I actually took a growler with the intention of having it at home, but it didn't even make it. A BYOB restaurant was as far as it got. Their Pale Ale, Low Visibility is pretty damn solid. But one area where Magnify really does shine is their out of the box saisons. I normally don't enjoy saisons, but their Search and even their Burnt are unique. With their recent announcement of their release of Contractual Obligations - an American style DIPA made with Citra and Mosaic, I'm more excited than ever for what Magnify has to offer.
And that brings me to what I like about Magnify Brewing the most: They put unique spins on "traditional" styles that result in the familiar with a healthy serving of the unexpected. Almost all of their beers are like something you've had before but not in a way you could remember. And although not all of them will be everyone's cup of tea, I'm sure there is something for everyone at Magnify Brewing. Hell, there's even classy little pretzel containers. Just look at it!
Fair warning, there are no flights here, no token or chip systems either. You can ask for a small sample of something to see if you'll like it, but it's just full or half sizes of each beer. Quite honestly, it doesn't matter. If there are 8 beers on tap, I can guarantee you'll like at least 6, even if 2 of those aren't traditionally not the styles of beer you would like. Magnify Brewing is a must visit if you're like me, the kind of person who wants to visit every single brewery in New Jersey, but then wants to revisit his favorites no matter the distance.