Reporting on NJ Breweries Since 2007
BSL Placeholder
BSL Placeholder2
« »

Jersey brewer Gretchen Schmidhausler has been going to the Great American Beer Festival for the past 16 years, serving as a beer judge at the event for half as long.

But this year, when the festival kicks off its annual three-day run in Denver Oct. 2, Gretchen will be home in the Garden State, in fact, a few blocks from the beach in southern Monmouth County.

"I sent my regrets ... I let them know I wouldn't be able to make it this year," she says. 

There's a good reason, and it has everything to do beer: Gretchen's just-licensed Little Dog Brewing Company will probably be opening around GABF time. 

"It's not just a weekend,” she says of the annual Colorado trip. “I would have been out there for five days. I don't now how I would manage that.”

Because duty calls, with an exciting new chapter. There’s lots to do between now and October. 


Little-Dog-LogoThe ink on Little Dog's state brewing license is still fresh: Just a week ago (Aug. 28), New Jersey regulators inspected Little Dog and gave Gretchen the green light to join the state's growing roll call of craft breweries. The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s visit capped a half-year buildout that transformed a defunct coin laundry along Steiner Avenue in Neptune City into an ale brewery with a tasting room.

Published in News


After a parade of stainless steel-laden trucks to Spellbound Brewing’s loading dock, the next delivery truck to pull up will most likely be loaded with malt and hops, yet another signal of “beer soon” from the Mount Holly craft brewery.

On Wednesday, a canning line was offloaded at Spellbound, the last of the equipment that co-owners John Companick, Mike Oliver and Scott Reading acquired to outfit their production brewery.

“All the equipment we need is in the building,” John tells Beer-Stained Letter.  “It’s nice seeing it here, knowing that we don’t have to wait for another (equipment) truck to back up. The next truck that backs up is going to have our ingredients.”

On Wednesday evening, the Cask ACS line, capable of putting up 30 cans a minute, sat freshly uncrated, waiting to be tucked into its spot in the brewery floor plan. 

Spellbound-BrewhouseThe canner and depalletizer arrived a couple weeks after Spellbound’s 20-barrel brewhouse was forklifted piece by piece off a flatbed trailer; in weeks prior, it was the brewery’s fermenters.

There’s still some crucial work ahead, i.e. electrical work and completing the coldboxes. But the finish line is very close, John says, and a summer opening with eight to 10 taps in the tasting room is within reach.

“Right now, we’re just working on finishing up the electrical, getting the permits; same thing with the plumbing,” John says. “Then we're down to getting our certificate of occupancy, getting our OK from the state after inspection, and then we’re ready to go.”

When that happens, Spellbound will become the second Mount Holly craft brewery to open its doors. Village Idiot Brewing opened late last year just three miles away along High Street, the main thoroughfare through the town, the county seat of Burlington County.


Published in News


Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing has released an image of their completed 30-barrel brewhouse.

In an email to people who signed up with the brewery’s member-benefits group, called the “Refuge Society Club,” Forgotten Boardwalk also indicated the brewhouse equipment has been tested and the only thing standing in the way of making beer – so far an IPA and Belgian wit have been announced – is a licensing inspection by state regulators. The brewery indicated it did not have a date for inspection.

Forgotten Boardwalk's email provided no other details. 

Among New Jersey growing number of start-up breweries, Forgotten Boardwalk is probably best known for taking over the Cherry Hill business park space where Flying Fish, now New Jersey's largest craft brewery, began making beer in 1996. Flying Fish moved 10 miles south to much larger space in Somerdale two years ago. 


Published in News
Spellbound Brewing enters a homestretch with its buildout. The Mount Holly brewery on Thursday took delivery of its 20-barrel brewhouse and some other equipment. Owners John Companick, Mike Oliver (that’s Mike operating the forklift in the video) and Scott Reading have been forecasting a late June-early July launch. Thursday’s equipment arrival helps keep that objective in sight. 
Published in News

Forgotten BoardwalkDavid Bronstein, a brewer for Sly Fox who got his start in craft beer on Flying Fish’s bottling line, has been named head brewer for startup Forgotten Boardwalk in Cherry Hill.

Owner Jamie Queli announced the hiring on Wednesday. 

“David started his young career in 2005 as a bottling line worker in our space, which was formerly occupied by Flying Fish,” Jamie says. “He now gets to return to the space with a completely new vision, new equipment and new identity with the highest title.”

David is expected to start the third week of April. He spent more than seven years at Sly Fox Brewing in Pennsylvania, the last four years as lead brewer. He was part of the brewing team that won five Great American Beer Festival medals, including two gold and two silver. At Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing, he and a yet-to-be-hired assistant will work on a 30-barrel brewhouse. 

“I am excited for the freedom to experiment and make some great beers that showcase the passion and curiosity that were sparked during my first batch of homebrew,” David says.

Last summer Forgotten Boardwalk leased the Olney Avenue business park unit in Cherry Hill where Flying Fish Brewing launched in 1996 and operated until moving to Somerdale in 2012.

FB-KeyForgotten Boardwalk is still in its buildout phase; brewery equipment is due toward the end of the month. The grain silo, gycol unit and coldbox are in. Wednesday’s announcement of a brewer projected a May opening for the brewery.


Published in News

It’s April, and the new month finds startup Spellbound Brewing with a green light from federal regulators, plus a super-busy calendar for a brewery buildout delayed by a rough, snowy winter.

Published in News



Pinelands-Opening Taplist
Grand opening is right.

Tiny Pinelands Brewing opened its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday, March 1; a flood of beer enthusiasts lined up to check out the brewery tucked into a small business park in Little Egg Harbor and sample a lineup of five ales.

The turnout was impressive – with a strong showing of local residents – and it’s another sign of craft beer’s still-rising profile and widening reach in shore areas like southern Ocean County, where the big macro brands still sell a lot beer.

Pinelands-Opening PourPinelands-Opening PintGlassA back patio was put into use with a propane heater to warm the crowd occupying picnic tables beneath a tent. Out front, there was a steady line of folks showing up for the tour. Inside, taps at the cold box filled glasses and growlers; a bar toward the front poured pints and samples.

“You can say I’m shocked. I did not expect this many people,” says Jason Chapman, who founded the brewery with his friend, Luke McCooley. “I expected a crowd, but (not) this intensity, nonstop.”

The grand opening followed a family-and-friends gathering the weekend before.

Even with the previous event, Jason was still able to stockpile 8 barrels of beer – pale ale, IPA, stout, a witbier and porter – for the public opening. (Pinelands brews in 1- and 2-barrel batches and began production at the end of January.)

Halfway through Saturday’s opening, the stout kicked, though a cask-conditioned version of it still poured on firkin, a surprise offering, only hinted at in the brewery’s promotional efforts for the opening.

“We wanted to do something cool for this. I’m going to keep that thing going. I think I might do a dry hop, like dry hop an IPA,” Jason tells Beer-Stained Letter.

State regulators licensed Pinelands Brewing in late January. John Kugler, Sean Collins and Nick Brown are the additional partners in the brewery.

Tasting room hours are for now Saturdays only, noon to 5 p.m.

Pinelands-Opening CrowdA


Published in News


Pinelands Brewing Hops Weigh
Beer in the tanks for Pinelands Brewing.

The tiny, newly licensed production brewery at the southern tip of Ocean County began brewing Friday evening, a day after New Jersey regulators granted a license to make beer.

Published in News
Friday, 24 January 2014 22:55

Rinn Duin opens taproom, brewery for tours

Rinn Duin Tap Pour

ints and growlers
from the tasting room at Rinn Duin Brewing …

The newly licensed brewery did steady business with its brown and Scottish ales Thursday evening, the long-awaited start of public tours and opening of its six-tap tasting room. The evening also marked the release of the English/Irish-style session ales that are the core of Toms River production brewery’s beer lineup.

Published in News

FB JQ Jan2014
A glimpse inside start-up Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing’s takeover of the Cherry Hill building that was Flying Fish’s founding location.

Last week, concrete pads for Forgotten Boardwalk’s brewhouse and fermenters were poured, while work on the brewery tasting room buzzed away on the other side of a wall.

Published in News
Page 1 of 2

Upcoming Events

  • 15 Nov
    2020 Membership Printing event 02:00 PM to 02:00 PM

  • 18 Nov
    Beer Glass Giveaway @ McGinley Square Pub 11:00 AM to 07:00 PM

    Have a beer, take home a glass, mug, snifter or tulip. Snifters and Glasses from your favorite local and non local Brewers: Brooklyn, SixPoint, 902, Ommergang, Kane, Allagash, Green Flash and many more. Every

  • 15 Nov - 18 Nov
  • 18 Nov - 18 Nov
  • 18 Nov - 18 Nov
  • 19 Nov - 19 Nov
  • 19 Nov - 19 Nov
  • 19 Nov - 20 Nov
  • 19 Nov - 20 Nov
  • 19 Nov - 19 Nov
  • 19 Nov - 19 Nov
  • 19 Nov - 19 Nov
  • 19 Nov - 19 Nov
  • 20 Nov - 20 Nov
  • 20 Nov - 20 Nov