Hitting the Brix

Brix City Brewing

Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution, and Newark NJ is called the Brick City . . . never mind that the brewery is in Little Ferry, rather far from Newark. The tasting room features an wall-sized map of old Newark with numbered markers for about 65 breweries that were in the city in the late 19th Century. Prohibition and adjunct lagers killed those off, so it’s time for a new generation.

This is the brewery in walking distance of my office. It’s just as well that the tasting room isn’t open at lunchtime! The beers are listed in the order in the photos, but not in the order in which I drank them.

Brix 1

Brews Willis IPA

Slightly cloudy gold with a moderate white head. The nose is of strong fruity hops and a hint of pine. Coming back to this after Just Another IPA, the aroma doesn’t seem that hoppy at all. The flavor gives nice stone fruit with an immediate hoppy edge. Malt emerges on later sips. There is lots of flavor and it’s easy to go back for more. Hops build on the finish with citrus peel emerging. 6.2% ABV.

Cheap Labor Pale Ale

Clear golden straw with a generous white head. Aroma of stone fruit & cracker malt. Coming off the Tripel, the hops leap right out, stronger than an English IPA. Light citrus and light stone fruit lead the flavor of a very straightforward beer that resolves into a quite bitter hoppy finish. Quite sessionable at 5.2% ABV

Just Another IPA

Quite cloudy apricot-nectar color with a light white head ringing glass. It has a dusty herbal earthy nose with stone fruit notes over biscuit malt, subtle. The flavor gives a sort of fruit & bread quality like eating a plum with a lightly sweet doughnut. Unusual. The finish is like bitter lemon peel with almost a balancing sweetness, but it doesn’t reach balance. Not a favorite but really interesting. The apparent strength belies it’s 9.5% ABV.

Belgian Tripel

Clear pale amber with virtually no head. There’s almost an apple cider nose with yeast coming over the top with light esters. Doesn’t look like a Belgian but certainly tastes like one. The esters come right out with peach and pear and banana, with biscuit malt and a tingly quality that must come from the hops. Long fruity lightly sweet finish. Sneaky strong at 10.5% ABV.

Brix 2

Gloria Belgian Blond Ale

Slightly cloudy light straw with a brief white head. The nose is very Belgian, yeasty & estery. Very clean and refreshing flavor with really spicy hops. Goes great with lightly flavored food, ham & cheese and Italian potato salad. The finish is lingering banana with spice. 5.5% ABV

Porter Authority

Dark brown with chestnut highlights and a medium off white head. The nose is roasty with coffee notes. On the palate comes a smooth mouthful of roasty malts with light coffee notes and a light crystal sweetness underneath. The body is relatively light for a porter. The finish continues smooth and roasty, quite refreshing, a very good porter. 6.3% ABV

Chuck Bowman Black IPA

Black with a generous light tan head coating the glass. Nose of fruity hops with toffee & liqueur notes, slightly hot. Mildly creamy body with malt going immediately to sharp hops. There is a very light sweetness balancing everything nicely. Good stuff as the finish continues those flavors with some malt building back in. 6.9% ABV.

Brix Baltic Porter

Opaque brown with a brief off tan head. Very roasty, a very malty nose and almost a meaty quality. Oh, very refreshing! the medium body emphasizes grain over dark toffee over coffee. There’s a long tingly finish continuing the flavors of the palate. 7.5% ABV

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