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USA, NJ: Esker Hart Artisan Ales gearing up to open in Bridgewater
Brewery news

What started as a hobby quickly turned into a passion for long-time Bridgewater native Robert D'Angelo who is gearing up to open his first craft brewery called Esker Hart Artisan Ales, the Patch reported on March 11.

D'Angelo along with his wife Brielle will run the new Hunterdon County Brewery, located at 20 Main St. in High Bridge, focusing on modern and classic beer styles.

They just got their license from the state to officially begin brewing on March 1 and are shooting to open by late April/early May.

D'Angelo was raised in Bridgewater from birth and went through the Bridgewater-Raritan school system.

It wasn't until 2014 that he was introduced to brewing by a friend.

"I was about to turn 21 and thought, 'Why buy beer when I can make it?" said D'Angelo to Patch. "We split a home brew kit and I fell in love with it and decided to run with it."

D'Angelo loved that with brewing he could make whatever he wanted.

"It was a fun science experiment in the beginning and became more of a passion instead of a hobby," said D'Angelo.

After graduating from Rutgers University in 2015, he was accepted into Niagra College Canada where he received a degree in Brewery Management and Operations.

He landed a job at Kane Brewing Company where he got more involved in the production side. Now he is taking the leap to open his first brewery.

"It's a big step," said D'Angelo. "My time in brewery school and Kane got me ready for this... It was an easy stepping stone from home brewing to pro-brewing."

At Esker Hart, D'Angelo plans to offer a variety of beers.

"I can brew everything but my passion is big imperial stoughts and barley wines - Barrel-aged beers," said D'Angelo.

He is hoping to have six different beers when he opens including a light lager, IPA, Double IPA, Sour Ale, Imperial Stout, Pale Ale, or a lower APB stout.

"We try to be as bold as we can without being too much. We try to focus on brewing in a traditional style," said D'Angelo. "We don't sacrifice quality for quantity… We take no shortcuts."

So why the name Esker Hart?

The name is derived from D'Angelo's Bridgewater roots. He grew up on Hart Drive and there was an Esker gravel pathway that flowed up a hill to his parent's house.

"It is a path to where we are now and where it all began," said D'Angelo.

11 March, 2024
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