hen Tucker Littleton and Colby Janisch’s small apartment in Hoboken at the corner of 7th and Bloomfield
could no longer sustain the space needed for their
burgeoning brewing hobby, they found an ideal spot at 902
Washington St. with a back yard to brew, a full bar used to store
and pour, and an extra bedroom dubbed “the brew room.” By
this time they were spending a good amount of time with another hobbyist, Andrew Brown. Three brewers in one apartment can
mean only one thing: start-up business. In 2012, named for the
apartment that made it all possible, 902 Brewing Co. was born.
“It’s something all of us had dreamed of at one point or
another,” Brown says. “Brewing beer is a lot of fun and
experimenting with new recipes is invigorating.”
902 Brewing pumps out about 40 barrels a month in keg form
only (they are currently trying to get bottles approved) and have
been on tap in more than 60 locations, including 10 in which the
brewery has a dedicated draft line or cask ale tapped.
While 902 is contracting with a large brewer to handle their
production, the boys are painstakingly seeking out a suitable
home in the “Mile Square.” They’ll have it no other way.
“People that don’t live here don’t get it and simply think it’s
the land of parking tickets/boots and drunken bar crawls,”
Brown says. “For those of us who have made Hoboken home
love the fact that technically it’s a city but feels like a small
town. People look out for one another and support each other
whether it’s helping a neighbor shovel out their car or coming
out to the grand opening of a new store or restaurant.”
COURTESY OF THE BUSINESSES
WHAT’S BREWING: Three mainstays: Heaven, Hell or Hoboken
(walks a fine line between IPA and double IPA with Nugget hops
coming through at the back end – 6.5 percent ABV); Pale Ale True
Hoboken ‘PATH’ (a light, refreshing, full-bodied session beer –
5-6 percent); Black DYNOmite Black
IPA (a jet black true IPA with a wellbalanced hop profile – 7.3 percent).
WHERE TO DRINK IT: Has been in
more than 60 locations with
10 featuring a dedicated draft
line or cask ale tapped. A map
of its most current locations are
featured on the website.
or Brian Kulbacki, dealing with death has always been
commonplace. His family’s funeral home eventually
became his place of employment as a business manager.
But nothing could prepare him for the death of his best friend,
Chris Ward, who was involved in a single-car accident in 2010.
Prior to that fateful day, he and Ward, sitting around drinking
some beer, had discussed opening a brewery. Both had brewed
before and grew fond of it, particularly for the quest to create
gluten-free beers, inspired by Ward’s celiac disease, in which he
was diagnosed shortly before his passing.
“After he passed, I stopped brewing for awhile, and it wasn’t
until a friend convinced me to brew another batch, and a year
and a half later ‘going pro’ came to mind,” Kulbacki says. “I
knew I wanted to do my own thing, in his memory, not work for
someone else. On top of that, I felt my recipes for gluten-free
beer were darn good, and I don’t believe it is a passing trend.”
After graduating the
American Brewers Guild
brewers school, his
flagship IPA took third out
of 777 entries in a New
York City brew contest.
Departed Soles is what
he named the company
(homage to Chris and
their affinity for sneakers). He soon set up shop
in the trendy Powerhouse
Arts District in downtown
Jersey City at 150 Bay St.,
where he is the owner,
head-brewer and only
employee – sans family and friends pitching in when possible,
as well as a network of other brewers who lend support.
“I believe in our product and I wanted to be in the trenches
making it, controlling the process from grist to glass,” Kulbacki
says. “If I’m going to convince people that gluten-free beer can
be good, I want them to know I’m making it that way, and show
them just how we’re doing it, so they can give us a shot.”
WHAT’S BREWING: A flagship IPA made with gluten-free
ingredients; GoodbIPA is an orange citrus beer with subtle hops;
A Dark Knigh t is a dark, roasty and earthy hop-forward black IPA;
and Red Ale, an 8.2 percent ABV
Belgian tripel with honey-malt
WHERE TO DRINK IT: In the
brewery’s tasting room at 150 Bay St.
in Jersey City (check hours at
or at a host of rotating local bars,
which are regularly updated on
Facebook as well.
(201) GOLD COAST FALL 2015