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Teaming up with the Oast House for a third year, Kane Brewing will make a wet-hop brew using Nugget and Cascade cones from the Burlington County hop farm.

The Jersey-grown-hops IPA is on the Ocean Township brewery's production schedule for Tuesday (Aug. 26) for a 20-barrel batch. About 145 pounds of hops were dropped off at the brewery on Monday.

"We're curious. We've never done a 20-barrel all wet-hop (brew)," owner Michael Kane tells Beer-Stained Letter. "When I was a homebrewer, I used to do 10-gallon all wet-hop."

Kane Hops2The beer is expected to finish out around 7.5% ABV. Oast House, located in Wrightstown, is expected to deliver another load of hops in about a week that will be used for dry-hopping.

This summer was the farm’s third growing season. In addition to Cascade and Nugget, Oast House has also grown Chinook, Columbus and Centennial cultivars.

In the two years prior, Kane Brewing has been limited to using Oast House's harvests for dry-hopping, and on a smaller scale. A much larger yield this year has afforded the opportunity to use the hops in the kettle, for bittering, flavor and aroma.

"This year they really ramped up. It's the third year, so the plants are coming in better," Michael says.


The first Saturday in September brings a second festival for 2014 by the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild.

Brews By the Bay, set for Sept. 6, is also a bistate affair, with consecutive four-hour sessions at the ferry terminals in Cape May and Lewes, Delaware, and, depending on which event ticket you opt for, ferry passes that allow you spend your day sampling Jersey-brewed craft beers and those made by our neighbors across the bay.

What makes this event rather cool is, it’s a sendoff for summer that fits nicely in plans for a post-Labor Day weekend getaway in either state. Or you can go the far simpler route and just enjoy some craft beer sampling, à la festival.

brew poster-4ABrews By the Bay is a spinoff of a festival on the Delaware side that has seen a good turnout over the two years it’s been held. To craft beer industry folks in both states, reshaping the Delaware fest into a bistate event seemed like a great way to build on the initial momentum. (It also gives the Garden State brewers guild a follow-up event to its annual June festival aboard the USS New Jersey on the Camden waterfront.)

To that end, Cape May Brewing co-owner Ryan Krill has been working with folks from Dogfish Head (and the Delaware Brewers Guild) who have run the Delaware event.

The result, Ryan says, is a fest where you can tailor your experience.

“You can buy a ticket for just one side – you can go to just Delaware or New Jersey. Or you can do both,” he says. “And how that works is, it includes a roundtrip foot-passenger ferry ticket.”

(It’s 60 bucks for both sessions; otherwise, it’s $40 for either the Jersey or Delaware sessions. Find tickets here. The Jersey-side event starts at noon, 4 p.m. in Delaware. As with festivals, the lineup can change. The Cape May-Lewes Ferry is also a sponsor.)

A sufficient number of ferries will be sailing during the hours of each session. So, catching a ride back to whichever side of the bay you need to be on shouldn’t be a problem. And there’s a good chance that at least one of the ferries will feature something craft-beery to do besides dolphin watching during the 17-mile, cross-bay cruise.

“We haven’t worked out the details of what we’re going to do on the boat yet, but we’ll probably have an event,” Ryan says.

  • NEW JERSEY Breweries
  • Cape May
  • Tuckahoe
  • Flying Fish
  • Kane
  • Carton
  • Rinn Duin
  • Glasstown
  • Iron Hill
  • Cricket Hill
  • River Horse


  • 16 Mile
  • Dogfish Head
  • Fordham/Old Dominion
  • Iron Hill
  • Stewarts
  • Twin Lakes
  • 3rd Wave
  • Argilla
  • Mispillion River Brewing


Saturday, 02 August 2014 14:13

A look at Spellbound's tasting room


A quick update from startup brewery Spellbound in Mount Holly ...

The brewery's equipment has been in for a while and now awaits power. Electricians will be on site for a couple of weeks, and an order of cans for packaging has been placed, says co-founder John Companick.

The tasting room is in the finishing-up stage, and John says he and co-founders Mike Oliver and Scott Reading are now looking at opening some time in September, a little later than originally forecast, but delays are not uncommon with any construction project.

Getting oriented in the 10-tap tasting room: The far door on the right is the entrance; the dark door on the left, just off the bar, leads to the brewery area. Windows that look out on the brewhouse are behind the bar. (Photo courtesty of Spellbound Brewing)


Trinity Smoked Scottish 70 is Toms River brewery Rinn Duin’s first beer to go into 12-ounce bottles and six-packs.

Rinn Duin christened its bottling line last week with a run – 235 cases – of Trinity (4.0% ABV, 18 IBU) done over a couple of days. The startup brewery plans to bottle two more flagship brews, St. John’s Irish Red (4.9%, 20 IBU) and Sandpiper English Brown (5.1%, 23 IBU), beginning next week.

Rinn-Duin-Bottling-4“St. John's is in the fermenter now; (it) will be our second set of bottles. Sandpiper will be the last flagship, and our next seasonal, English Half-Wit, will be the first seasonal bottled,” says Jacqui Town, who opened Rinn Duin with her dad, Chip Town, last year.

Half-Wit is a wheat ale made with orange spice tea to give it an English slant. (Rinn Duin brews English and Irish-style ales.) Rinn Duin’s other seasonals are River Toms English IPA (6.8%, 55 IBU) and Pota Caifé (5.1%, 30 IBU), an Irish dry stout with coffee.



A sort of postcard-like look for the entrance to High Point Brewing.  


A big delivery coming up for Beach Haus Brewery in Belmar in southern Monmouth County.

Founder John “Merk” Merklin says the six-vessel brewhouse and its complement of fermenters, brite tanks and tasting room serving tanks are scheduled to arrive Aug. 25.

The date also has some other significance for the Beach Haus folks. It’s coincidentally the same day Merk and his co-founder, Brian Ciriaco, welcomed their first commercial brew for the New Jersey craft beer market in 2010.

Tom-KehoeIt may seem intimidating to be a steward of a legacy that stretches back to the very moment King George III got served, namely with the divorce papers we celebrate as the Declaration of Independence.

But for Tom Kehoe and his Yards Brewing Company, playing a part in that American Revolution stewardship is an enormous source of pride.

For a decade and a half, the Philly craft brewery and City Tavern , a living-history restaurant in Old City Philadelphia, have been curators of historic beers, brewing and serving a quartet of 18th century ales, made from recipes walked back to heavy hitters in America’s Founding Fathers lineup.

“I love having this on my back,” Kehoe says. “I love the beers.”

The re-created spruce ale, porter, and pale and golden ales – Ales of the Revolution – go well beyond telling us how Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington satisfied their thirst.

They’re a tangible history lesson that puts brewhouse and tavern in the timeline of two of our earliest presidents and two of our shrewdest statesmen. The ales let us have a beer with our Founders, toast our past and future (and the pursuit of happiness) with some folks whose best work – our country’s way of life – still commands a big party every summer and is never far from our thoughts.


Cricket Hill Brewery is ushering in the second half of 2014 with a Simcoe-hopped double IPA.

Simcoenotic Imperial IPA (draft only, out July 1) is the latest installment in the Essex County craft brewery’s small batch series.

And while Garden State craft beer enthusiasts are getting to explore that brew, Cricket Hill is busy in the R&D department at its Fairfield digs, pilot-batching a first-ever Belgian dubbel and putting the finishing touches on what will be the return of its pumpkin ale.

Departed Soles Brewing Company has taken a giant step, if you pardon the pun, in its plans to brew and distribute a line of gluten-free beers, ales that switch out the traditional wheat and barley malts for fermentables derived from sorghum and similar other sugars.

Owner Brian Kulbacki signed a lease for 2,200 square feet at 150 Bay Street in Jersey City, in the Powerhouse Arts District among the city’s historic warehouses. The 11-block area takes its name from the idled Hudson and Manhattan generating station (Manischewitz also had a matzo factory in the district) and is home to artists and musicians living and working in studio-lofts.

Departed Soles would become the Garden State's only guten-free craft beer-maker and would join New Jersey Beer Company as Hudson County’s two craft breweries.

DPart-Soles-LogoGluten-free versions of IPA, black IPA, cream ale, stout and nut brown ale will make up the lion’s share of what Brian plans to produce for distribution to bars and stores from a 7-barrel brewhouse, complemented with 15-barrel fermenters. From a pilot-brewing rig, he plans to make some barley malt beers – lots of one-offs and R&D batches – for sale from an eight- to 10-tap tasting room.

“I’ll certainly be doing some regular beers that I’ve always enjoyed making,” Brian tells Beer-Stained Letter. “And I think the gluten-free beers we’ll be making belong in the craft beer section, not the gluten-free section. The taste is there; the flavor is there.”

The first-ever American Homebrewers Association rally to be held in New Jersey drew a healthy crowd to Flying Fish Brewing Sunday for a membership-drive mixer over craft beers, brewhouse tours and hobby banter.

Coming on the heels of the AHA’s annual national conference, at which a couple of Garden State homebrewers claimed prize medals, the rally served as a way to keep the drumbeat going for the growing hobby and the beer camaraderie it inspires.

Homebrewer-Rally3The crowd pulled predominantly from the South Jersey and Southeast Pennsylvania areas. But that’s something you would expect, given Flying Fish’s host town, Somerdale, is a Philly ’burb.

Nonetheless, the event was an opportunity for members of homebrew clubs from around the region to meet, catch up, and for those who went, to share tales from Mashing in Michigan, the 36th Annual National Homebrewers Conference, held the the weekend prior in Grand Rapids.

But there’s another takeaway from the rally: New Jersey’s craft beer profile gets a boost, a bit of recognition. The AHA is part of the Brewers Association’s extended family, so the Garden State enjoys a moment on the radar of the folks who champion craft brewing on the pro and amateur levels.

And that’s a good thing.

Congrats to Jim Fish of Brooklawn (pictured above), a Barley Legal Homebrewers Club member whose Flanders red took a first place in the sour ale category at NHC, and Doug Bellingeri, who won a second place in the German wheat and rye category.


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