Located in Hopewell, Troon Brewing is located on the property of Double Brook Farm in the same complex as Sourland Mountain Spirits and Brick Farm Tavern.
One thing that’s very cool and unique about the brewery is that it’s built in a barn that was constructed in the mid-1800’s. The brewery still preserves the historic features of the building. Not only is it charming from the outside, but the brewery inside also has the same rustic charm.
We met with owner and head brewer Alex Helms who showed us around and gave us a tour of the brewery. He’s a really nice, down to earth guy and will answer any questions you have about the brewery and his beer. Only is his mid-twenties, Alex is definitely of the youngest (if not the youngest) brewery owner in New Jersey.
After working in restaurants and homebrewing, Alex decided to open his own brewery. Helms says “Brewing beer is the closest I can get to cooking without having to work in a restaurant again. There are so many parallels between the two industries that I would be typing until I’m blue in the fingertips, so I’ll spare you and say instead that despite the challenges and how poor my understanding is of the basic tenets of business, brewing has been the most rewarding job that I’ve worked so far.”
So what made him decide to start his brewery on a farm in Hopewell? Helm says, “The choice to start Troon in Hopewell was directly related to the ongoing project of my landlord and friend Jon McConaughy. A few years ago, I was living in Maine and my Mom sent me a press clipping about Double Brook Farm. I was initially skeptical of how something of that scale would do in Hopewell but I made sure to keep tabs on their progress and when I finally had the opportunity to visit New Jersey again I was blown away by what he had accomplished in such a short amount of time. From there I essentially cold-called Jon through the farm’s website and it ended up with him touring me around the property, eventually leading us to a completely decrepit but beautiful horse barn that would eventually become the brewery. It sounds poetic in retrospect but about a year into construction it had me questioning why I hadn’t just moved into a warehouse and saved myself the anxiety.”
Just by stepping into Troom Brewing, you can feel that it’s not your typical New Jersey brewery. Unlike other breweries where you take tours, sit in the tap room, and sample beer…Troon Brewing is strictly for growler fills due to constrains by local zoning. They only have 2 beers on tap (which you can sample), and the rest of their beers are available at the Brick Farm Tavern. Although it’s a completely different business model than any other brewery I’ve been to, the place was packed! There wasn’t one moment we were there that people weren’t walking in the door getting growlers filled.
When asked what makes his brewery unique Alex Helms says, “If there’s anything unique about Troon it would probably be the fact that we are no frills and no bullshit. I’m not going to ramble on about the aromas and flavors in the beers we make because that’s all subjective and you should come to your own conclusions. I’ll try to offer new selections every time you visit because the obligation of a small brewery is to be experimental. Besides that, I make a concerted effort to know as much about the people who come in as possible because I genuinely care about what they are up to and how they, their families and their pets are doing at the moment”.
Although you can’t share a flight at Troon Brewing, you sample their beer at Brick Farm Tavern which gives you the advantage to drink their beer 6 days a week. Since they don’t have any flagship beers and they’re constantly brewing up new beers, you’ll find a great rotating selection of fresh beer on tap. The Brick Farm Tavern is a great farm to table restaurant, so I definitely recommend ordering a beer (or a few) and grab some food at the bar.
Beers I Tried:
– Sweating Through Your Clown Paint, 10.3% ABV – Imperial Sweet Stout.
– Patriarchy, 7% ABV – Easy-drinking Hoppy Ale
– Vaporwave 6.66% ABV – Extra Pale Ale
– Witless Aphorism, 10.1% ABV- DIPA with Cherry
If you make it to Troon Brewing, make sure you tour Sourland Mountain Spirits (read my review here) and grab a great lunch/beer at Brick Farm Tavern. It’s a great place to visit for an afternoon!
Additional Information on Troon Brewing:
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