Located in Millville, NJ, Glasstown Brewing Company serves as a testament of one couple’s hard work and dedication to a dream that they both had. Millville, the Cumberland County town for which the brewery bases its name, once served as the glass manufacturing hub of the United States. Over the years, Glasstown has established itself as a fierce competitor in the New Jersey craft beer scene and continues to make an impact. Despite their unusual location, a visit to the brewery is extremely enjoyable and is sure to put a smile on your face.
Co-founder Paul Simmons opened the brewery in 2013 after years of planning ideas and strategizing his business plan with his wife, Jenifer. After New Jersey allowed for more breweries and brewpubs in 2012, Paul took his years of home brewing experience and got right to work. At the time, Paul was working as an environmental scientist, a career in which it is frowned upon to be involved in any other business ventures. When his boss found out about the plan to open a brewery, Paul was fired immediately, leaving him with a difficult financial decision. Since Glasstown Brewing Company entered into the NJ craft beer scene later than most, they had to be sure to provide their customers with a product that will stand out from the other well-performing breweries in this competitive market. This was especially true given the location that was chosen to be the brewery’s’ home.
The brewery is located on the Millville Army Air Field, which was used pretty heavily during World War II. Located off of the beaten path in Cumberland County, New Jersey, patrons travel from all over to indulge in the only brewery within twenty miles. The Air Field is also home to a restaurant, distillery, flight training school, aviation museum, as well as vintage planes on display. Although it seems like an odd place for a Brewery to be located, Paul and Jenifer have done a fantastic job building the Glasstown brand and driving awareness of their beers.
At the time, Paul noticed that IPA’s and hop-forward beers were extremely popular and were responding well with craft beer fans across the country. The flexibility and potential to innovate that comes with brewing an IPA was something that appealed to him. While Paul and his wife Jenifer were hardcore hop junkies, when it came to deciding on what beers to feature at their new brewery, they had to keep the consumer in mind. At first, Paul brewed small batches for his friends and family in order to receive valuable feedback and perfect his recipes. He quickly realized that these beers were something special and deserved to be part of Glasstown Brewing Company.
To Paul and Jenifer’s surprise, Glasstown exceeded their expectations significantly from the first weekend. All of their worry and fear that came from the huge risk that was being taken was put at ease as each keg was emptied at an alarming rate. Paul and Jenifer knew that what they had was extremely valuable and had the potential to make an impact, despite its location.
At the core of Glasstown’s beer list is their flagship 609 IPA, a delicious New England style IPA that is surprisingly light in body, but presents an enjoyable citrusy finish with just the right amount of bitterness from the combination of cascade, citra, and simcoe hops. Hop heads can also enjoy their Danky Kong Double IPA, a beer filled with a variety of hop flavors, and some enjoyable dank juiciness that one would expect from a double New England style IPA. Some other varieties of beer that Glasstown offers include The Big Breakfast, a maple coffee porter that is sure to remind you of your favorite New Jersey Diner, and Nightcap Belgian Blonde, a Belgian style blonde ale that took home the bronze at the 2015 Atlantic City Beer Fest.
The future is very bright for Glasstown Brewing Company. Introducing new brews that give industry leaders a run for their money pretty regularly, Glasstown is sure to make an impact on New Jersey, and the surrounding area. Paul and Jenifer’s dedication to their craft is a testament to others that although it may not be easy, dreams can be achieved through hard work and passion for what you do.