Here is some beer content long overdue. Brian and I finally bumbled our way down to Lambertville, NJ, so as to tour the esteemed River Horse Brewery. I've been pestering Brian about this trip, having been engaged in a sordid affair with their Tripel Horse for quite a while now. I couldn't be happier with the result - an afternoon spent in the company of some of New Jersey's finest beer crafters, who were more than happy to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with us. If I come off as like some shameless fan-boy, well... if it quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it's probably a mallard.
When you first walk in you are greeted with a quaint little hang-out spot, filled with all the River Horse schwag you can get your hands on. I really dig their label art so I picked up the green t-shirt with white print you can see hanging on the back wall ('twas available short and long-sleeved).
I was particularly fond of this painting on the wall. The Hippopotamus is such a bad-ass animal!
We were greeted in the tasting room by the three Chris's. Head Brewer Chris Rakow(above), Brewer Chris McGrath, and owner Chris Walsh (who we met a few months back at Mohawk House). Eager to pour, Chris asked me what I would like.
Brian went after the freshly brewed Oatmeal Milk Stout, given our previous track record with it. It is so smooth and creamy - a great companion for the cold day's weather, and coincidentally they were also brewing and bottling Oatmeal Milk Stout while we there.
I had the Special Ale, which is an American Amber and quite the session beer.
A little informational card so as to familiarize yourself with all the River Horse beers.
I thought the line up behind the bar was neat - bottles both new and old.
They even have old labels framed and hung on the wall.
After larking about with the Chris's it was time for us to start the tour. We headed upstairs to the mill and brew house, where the final batch of this year's Oatmeal Milk Stout run was brewing away. I was also told there was a ball pit but we never got to play in it.
A nice variety of grains for all the River Horse brews.
They were in the process of rinsing the grains, which made me think - "This is the first tour we have been on where they were actually brewing a batch of beer." Amazing!
Chris insisted we taste the wort of this brew and had to keep Brian and I from drinking the whole bucket. So warm and delicious, it was better then any hot chocolate or coffee I have ever had.
We headed back downstairs to check out the bottling process of some Oatmeal Milk Stout that was brewed weeks before. If you see this beer around you better grab it while you can - it's a hot winter seasonal not to miss.
I guess they are shipping a lot of beer this week. We were told that ALL of these are spoken for already, and I am not surprised in the least.
The afternoon blew right by us. It wasn't until we stopped back in at the tasting room after the tour that Brian and I realized we'd gone the whole day without eating a crumb - liquid lunch indeed. The guys at River Horse couldn't have been any more hospitable, we had a fantastic day and definitely recommend paying them a visit and seeing the place for yourself. Check their website for tasting room and tour hours. I for one am damned proud to have such quality beer coming out of New Jersey.
80 Lambert Lane
Lambertville, NJ 08530