Breweries are popping up in small towns and I am loving it! Eclipse Brewing, located in Merchantville, is not only located in a small town but might be the smallest brewery in New Jersey so far.
Located on Park Ave, Eclipse Brewing looks like a house from the exterior:
On the interior, you have a cozy brewery with a beautifully finished bar and tables to enjoy their 18(!) beers on tap. All of their beers come out of a tiny closet! It’s amazing.
Eighteen beers for a tiny brewery is pretty incredible. In fact, since brewery owner and brew master Christopher Mattern opened his doors in October 2016 he has had 38 beers on tap. Once you take the tour with Chris, you will be amazed how he brews all his beers in such a tiny location. He brews all his beers on a 1.5 barrel system compared to the average 3!
Mattern has been homebrewing for 30 years, and decided to open his own brewery as part of his retirement plan with his fiance Beth Manning. After searching for a brewery near their home in Haddon Twp, they landed on Merchantville when they heard their mayor was actively seeking a brewery as part of its redevelopment goals. Mattern and Mechantville’s mayor Ted Brennan hit it off instantly, especially since he loved the beers he had with them on their first meeting(IPAs and Stouts).
Since they had 18 beers on tap, we knew we’d have to share at least 2 flights to get the full experience.
– Raspberry Hi Honey 10% ABV, malt, honey and raspberry
– Cream Ale 4% ABV, their lightest beer
– Citra Promised 5% ABV
– Cory’s Scottish Wee Heavy 9% ABV
– Light Lager 4% ABV, a light beer they recommend for “people who don’t like beer”
– Double IPA 10% ABV
– Saison Du Vin 5% ABV
– Witbier 4.5% ABV, orange and coriander
After sipping my friend’s Apricot Pale Ale (5% ABV), I decided to get a full glass of my own. I loved the dry apricot on the rim! Apparently their Apricot Pale Ale is one of their customers favorites. I can see why.
In addition to their beer, I loved the maps on their walls indicating how far people have traveled to visit Eclipse Brewing. There is a world map, and a specific New Jersey map that I loved putting a pin into (I am the first person to put their pin in Old Bridge, NJ FYI).
I also loved that this is a family friendly brewery. They have fresh popped popcorn, board games, and craft soda!
Ironically since retiring, Chris Mattern has been working 7 days a week…but when you’re doing something you love does it really feel like work?
Overall a pleasant craft beer experience at Eclipse Brewing! I know I’ll be visiting again soon!
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