Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Just What the Doctor (PhD) Ordered...Beer!

Alementary Brewing - The view from out front.
Billy Joel once sang “who needs a house out in Hackensack?” I am not sure who does but Hackensack could sure as hell use a brewery! There are currently over 4,000 breweries in the United States but a dismal amount of those are located within the confines of Bergen County, New Jersey. Luckily, that number is on the uptick with the addition of The Alementary Brewing Company in Hackensack, NJ.

Bergen County residents (they live in Bergenfield) Blake Crawford and Dr. Mike Roosevelt both come from very technical backgrounds. Blake is a former chemical engineer and Mike - who is quick to half-jokingly remind you that he “is the one with the PhD!” - is a trained molecular biologist with a history in the pharmaceutical industry. A combination of smarts, passion and a bit of luck put these guys in a position to say “take this job and shove it…I ain’t working here no more!” They are all-in.

Taps and temperature, front and center.
When we met, Mike was already full-time Alementary-minded. Blake actually couldn’t be there to meet because his “real job,” was still getting their money’s worth for one more week. The brewery was a week from opening day and everything looked immaculate. The physical brewery itself has a great aesthetic with a perfect combination of wood, glass and metal. The 8 taps behind the bar stick out from a natural wood-plank wall and the tap temperature gauges reside right above them. They decided to put the  gauges on the bar-side (as opposed to inside the huge refrigerated room that houses all the beer) for convenience and it also looks super cool. Blake and Mike each have their own domain at Alementary, where they can put their best talents to work; these areas are smartly labeled as “Artist’s Studio” and “The Lab.” Everyone knows that it’s all about the beer but having a well-thought out, sharp looking tasting room to drink that beer is a plus and these guys deliver on that front.

 She ain't too bad on the eyes.
My accomplice/photographer and I sampled all 8 offerings that were on tap: Let’s Begin! (Lime Gose), The Kolsch (Kolsch), 1st Session (American IPA), A-Game (American IPA), Vindication (Black IPA), American Tradition (American Pale Ale), Mr. Stevens (English Dark Mild Ale) and The Porter (a Robust Porter). None of the beers that are currently being poured went north of 6.2% as far as ABV is concerned, making them prime for downing quite a few on your visit.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed that we didn’t get to sample a nice hearty stout but before you know it, Autumn will be upon us again and I will get my chance. That being said, the Lime Gose was a pleasant surprise. Goes isn’t one of my preferred styles but the lime and lightness had me really enjoying this one.
I look forward to seeing what else this chemist and biologist cook up in the lab!
PhD Mike Roosevelt give his dissertation on Alementary's offerings

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