(201) Gold Coast Fall 2015 | Page 57

Round Up F W 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 inspired sweetness. WHERE TO DRINK IT: In the brewery’s tasting room at 150 Bay St. in Jersey City (check hours at facebook.com/DepartedSolesBrewery) or at a host of rotating local bars, which are regularly updated on Facebook as well. (201) GOLD COAST FALL 2015 55