Tonewood Brewing Company 50 Clements Bridge Rd Barrington, NJ 08007
Review Date: 10/16/2022
Reported By: Pretzel
Reviewers: Pretzel, B3, Princess
A subset of The Beer Posse headed out to Tonewood’s latest brewery in Barrington. It was a beautiful Sunday autumn afternoon, and the weather was crisp and inviting. Luckily we found a perfect handicap parking space right in front. As a side note, I recently had surgery to fix a shredded Achille’s tendon, and am hobbling around in a walking boot. It’s not a lot of fun, but at least I qualify for a temporary handicap parking placard, which helps ease the pain a little. Boy, I’ll be sorry when that expires! It might have been a little easier to maneuver had B3 not parked where my door was blocked by the handicap parking sign. I managed, although there might be a scratch or two on his new car. Guess that’s Karma for ya!
Where Tonewood’s original Oaklyn brewery is small and cozy, Barrington’s is huge and industrial! I love this layout! There is outside seating out back, with picnic tables. Today, people with their children were handing out there. Inside is large, 2 bars, plenty of tables that were far apart to allow social distancing is required. Music was playing, and since inside is a little cavernous, the acoustics weren’t great if you wanted to have an intimate conversation. But that’s ok, since there is also seating out front, where small groups of people could hang out and converse on hot topics of the day. There are picnic tables, high tops, and long tables available for larger groups. There is also a loft area overlooking the brewing room and the tap room for those who are stalking others and need a vantage point.
There were literally 23 brews on tap, and 3 additional available pours from cans. 23 ON TAP!!! WOW! But then, here’s the bad news. Tonewood Barrington does not offer flights! WHAT!!!??? B3 had talked to one of the brewers on a previous visit, and they insist you only truly appreciate the taste of a beer from a full pour, and that a flight doesn’t do justice. Ok, so I can understand that, but how about letting the customer decide how they want to drink their beer? As part of The Beer Posse, we like to get flights of everything available when we are doing a review, so that we can select our favorites and get a full pour of those brews that stimulate our taste buds. I want to taste everything! (I usually share flights with The Stoutmeister, so we can ensure we can taste it all!) Not everyone is a beer connoisseur, and I do believe many people enjoy flights. Just sayin’. So the 3 beers I did have full pours of were all very tasty, although with no flights there were a few different ones that I would like to have tried, but I did not want to risk an entire pour only to discover it wasn’t my cup of tea.
The merchandise was the best I’ve ever seen, with the exception of no glassware currently available for purchase, but I understand it’s on order. They have shirts – T-shirts, button up shirts, hoodies, tanks, all in a plethora of designs and colors. Then there are canny packs, hats, tin signs, discs, water bottles, bar mats, tote bags, coozies, towels, and sunglasses! My previous favorite merch was Village Idiot, but Tonewood surpasses them to be my new #1.
There were only 2 beertenders on duty, so there was no one available to give us a live brewing tour. We basically did our own tour of the brewing facilities from the loft area, although it would have been nice to have some kind of documentation explaining the brewing process, although B3 and I have been on enough brewery tours to be able to give the tours ourselves. Their brewing equipment is massive and impressive. No wonder they have 23 beers currently on tap!!!
So we enjoyed the afternoon tasting beers, taking pictures and munching on delicious Mexican food from Little Jalapeno’s down the street.
Beers on Tap:
- Fuego – American IPA (ABV: 6.2%)
- Freshies – American Pale Ale (ABV: 5.0%)
- DDH Fuego – Double Dry Hopped IPA (ABV: 6.2%)
- Tipper – American Pale Ale (ABV: 4.2%)
- Midnight Landing – Wet Hopped IPA (ABV: 6.5%)
- Down Tempo – Double IPA (ABV: 8.0%)
- Rift – Modern American IPA (ABV: 7.0%)
- Monotone Citra – Singularly hopped IPA (ABV: 6.5%)
- Polyrhythm – Pale Ale (ABV: 5.5%)
- Halycon – Classic American IPA (ABV: 6.0%)
- Trail Beer – American Pale Ale (ABV: 5.7%)
- Tangent – American Extra IPA (ABV: 7.6%)
- Improv – Double IPA (ABV: 8.0%)
- SIPA – Session India Pale Ale (ABV: 4.8%)
- Elements – Oak Aged Czech Lager (ABV: 4.6%)
- Focal Point – Czech Pilsner (ABV: 3.8%)
- Biergarten – Marzen (ABV: 6.0%)
- Dreadnought – Dunkel (ABV: 4.8%)
- Lumberyard – Helles Lager (ABV: 5.2%)
- Poolside – Mexican style Lager (ABV: 5.2%)
- Parkway to Paradise – Dry Hopped Pilsner (ABV: 5.6%)
- Revolution – Coffee Porter (ABV: 6.5%)
- Still Night – English Stout (ABV: 4.0%)
- Blackbird – Schwarzbier (ABV: 4.0%)
Favorite Beers of the Day:
- B3 – Blackbird
- Pretzel – Biergarten, Dreadnaught
Additional Posse Comments:
- Princess – Very bright and open facility with large tables, also socially distances. Bonus is the food from Little Jalapeno’s (within walking distance).
- B3 – No flights! I was told brewers don’t believe in flights. They feel you need a full pour and they don’t want you mixing styles in a flight. Too bad – that means I won’t be trying more of their beers.
- Tonewood Brewing – https://www.tonewoodbrewing.com/
- Tonewood Brewing Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/tonewoodbrewing
- Tonewood Brewing Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tonewoodbrewing/
Final Scorecard (click to open): TonewoodBarrington
Overall Pretzel Score (8.18 out of 10):