JERSEY CITY — Talk about bad timing. After a year of planning their big move to a new space from Hoboken to Jersey City, 902 Brewing Company hit a road block in the form of a statewide shutdown.
“March 15 we got approved to operate, and then March 17 we all got shut down,” explained co-owner Colby Janisch.
At the helm of the brewery are Janisch and partner Don Vogt, who started the company a decade ago inside their Hoboken apartment.
When they saw an opportunity to expand the brewery — which specializes in local pale ales and IPAs — to a large warehouse along Pacific Avenue, it was a no-brainer.
But it was also a rough start.
“We thought, ‘Are we doing the right thing’ and ‘Should we just shut down shop?’,” Vogt said. “Is someone telling us not to do this? But if it doesn’t knock you out it makes you stronger.“
When restrictions on indoor capacities started to loosen up in addition to the return of bar service, things picked up.
Their 6450 sq. ft. hangout with a lavish rooftop was no longer collecting dust.
“Finally seeing people not afraid for their lives and sitting down and relaxing and conversing and stuff was like — this was the goal,” Janisch said.
Despite COVID cases rising across the Garden State, the outlook for the brewing bros is optimistic. They say they’re ready to switch gears if need be.
“We hope we don’t go back there, but at least we have an idea of what the dark ages look like,” Janisch said.