By Tyler Barth
It’s been a long road trip for the Glenbrook Brewery, but finally the barrel has stopped rolling.
After several years of trying to break into the Morristown market, Heath Traver and Darren Cregan cut the ribbon Friday at 95 Morris St.
The brewery’s journey started with a proposed location across town, on Abbett Avenue. But neighbors raised concerns about aesthetics, alcohol fumes, and even explosions.
“That didn’t work out, the people there didn’t want this in their neighborhood,” said Traver, of Morris Plains. “I think it’s better off here, better location, it’s bigger, it’s going to get more foot traffic.”
“Here” is the former home of Auto Concepts – Van’s East. Construction started in late 2019, but then the pandemic got in the way. When construction resumed, projects were limited to one specialty per day. One day it was plumbers, another, it was electricians, and so forth.
“It was a challenge. We were paying rent on the space even when we weren’t here,” said Traver, whose other gig is with a golf course irrigation company.
“We had to take out loans. We had some financial support from family. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without help from the family. It was tough.”
“Our project was funded by the Peapack and Gladstone Bank. They did a good job managing the resources and our loan. That’s what kept the budget going,” added Cregan, a Morris County native who works for Life Extension, a vitamin company in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Cregan said he and Traver, his brother-in-law, began brewing in 2011 and came up with the brewery idea a year later. They registered their LLC in 2015 and started scouting locations.
Another group obtained town approvals in 2017 for a brewery at the Morris Street location, but those plans fell through.
Glenbrook’s opening celebration mirrored the brewery’s Revolutionary War theme. The 2nd New Jersey Brigade, a band of Continental Army re-enactors, performed a short march, with Matt Byrne jamming on the bagpipes.
After a few quick words, Mayor Tim Dougherty, still hobbled by a winter mishap, cut the ribbon. Then everyone was free to try the American-style Colonial Ale; Jacob Arnold’s Porter, which adds hints of coffee and chocolate; and Fort No-Nonsense IPA
Morristown First Lady Mary Dougherty and Council members Sandi Mayer and David Silva also attended the festivities.
“We’re so glad that you guys were able to find a time and place to open up this brewery, because let me tell you, it is a buzz!” said the Mayor.
“I know how hard you guys have worked in pulling this off. On behalf of the town, we welcome you and wish you great success. We know it’ll pay off.”
Customers are allowed to walk in, fill up, pay and leave. They also can sit and order. Parties are limited to eight people.
Social distancing is in effect, and customers must wear masks while standing. They cannot stand against the bar and drink.
Situated across the from the future M Station office complex, the Glenbrook Brewery is open Wednesday to Friday from 4 pm to 10 pm, Saturday from noon-10 pm, and Sunday, noon-6 pm.
The Brewery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays: Those are brewing days.