Reporting on NJ Breweries Since 2007
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It doesn't take a black pepper saison to get Augie Carton talking about beer.

However, Carton Brewing’s saison, Comma, its newest release, is the beer that’s fresh on the mind of the eponymously named brewery’s co-owner.
Nope, talking about beer is just something Augie is driven to do, with equal parts fervor and cerebralness.

Throw in some practicality, too.

“For anything as subjective as flavor,” he says, “the way to get better is by gathering inputs from various perspectives and trying to reconcile them to your experience. That is done through conversation.”

That’s why on Sundays during brewery tour hours you’ll usually find Augie in a discussion circle somewhere near the brewhouse area. Or tasting pilot batch beers in the Carton pipeline.

If you go, be ready to talk flavor, and not just that of latest releases but about what makes a beer great. Period.

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.

 

Spellbound-Brewery-Floor-Plan
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.

Hops-Addition
If you couldn’t get your head around this week’s annoying early spring snowfall, then maybe this will help you find some purpose to a grueling winter that is hopefully now over.

High Point Brewing industriously took advantage of this year’s polar onslaught with a spree of ice beers, four times as many as the Butler (Morris County) brewery normally does over a typical winter. Two of the brews are gone, alas, but two more are waiting in the wings for brewery releases in April and May.

Hunterdon-Exterior
Hunterdon distributors and River Horse Brewing are gearing up for a big blitz of Summer Blonde Ale.

IMG 8020At its Whitehouse Station warehouse Friday night, Hunterdon will load 15 trucks with nothing but River Horse’s big-selling warm weather seasonal. Come Saturday, those trucks will fan out to 425 accounts, delivering what will amount to 6,000 cases, 200 sixtels and 170 half kegs, says Hunterdon sales manager Jeff Rancan.

The big Summer Blonde push is an annual happening at Hunterdon; this year is its third, coming just a few days earlier than the usual start-of-April release. The first year saw roughly 4,000 cases total of Summer Blonde (4.5% ABV) get shipped.

“I love this day and it gets bigger and better every year,” says River Horse owner Chris Walsh. “It symbolizes that better weather is just around the corner and all the great stuff that comes with summer.  

“It also caps off the weeks of planning and coordinating with Hunterdon, so that we can get New Jersey's Summer beer on as many shelves and on as many taps as possible for its loyal followers to enjoy.”

River-Horse-Event

 

Saturday, 22 March 2014 18:53

Boaks Brewery? Uh, no, but more Boaks Beer

 

Sixtels Boaks
Think everyone these days is imagining having a brewery and taproom?

Guess again.

Brian Boak’s fine with contract brewing, even being a gypsy brewer, having his beers made from place to place.

No, if anything, Brian’s picturing company growth: wider distribution and new beers to join his Belgian brews and imperial stout produced for his Boaks Beer label by High Point Brewing (Ramstein).

 

Grain-Out
New Jersey's two largest craft brewers say proposed federal food-safety regulations could upend the longstanding practice of having farmers take breweries' spent grain.

Proposed regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act would essentially require spent grain being used in livestock feed to be dried and prepackaged on site, via a process in which human hands aren't touching it.

BSL-ACFEST-InfographicHere’s a number to know: 7 million.

As in 7 million bucks. That’s what pours into Atlantic City over a single weekend thanks to the annual Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival.

The 9-year-old craft beer event, set for April 4-5 at the Atlantic City Convention Center, has grown into the casino resort’s largest consumer event, bigger than its annual boat or car shows.

Celebration of the Suds, as it’s also called, is easily New Jersey’s largest craft beer festival and a player on the national festival circuit. So, it’s economic clout is worth mentioning, especially when you consider the Brewers Association, the Denver-based trade group for the craft brewing industry, goes to considerable lengths to highlight the economic impact craft beer and brewing make.

Jon Henderson, whose Good Time Tricycle production company stages the Atlantic City Beer and Music festival, had far more modest expectations for that first show in 2006.

“We thought we would do a nice beer festival, see 3,000 or 4,000 people and really discover beer, help the whole craft beer movement, meet some people and have fun,” Jon tells Beer-Stained Letter. “Fast-forward nine years later, we’re a 24,000-person festival, one of the biggest in the country.

“The Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival is actually responsible for $7 million in economic (activity) in the city. That festival, for one weekend, brings Atlantic City an estimated $7 million in non-gaming revenue.”

Such as more than 1,000 room nights at area hotels, plus business at restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.

“People are staying; they’re going to grab dinner, then they’re going to go do a show,” Jon says. “They only spent four hours at the Convention Center at the beer festival.”

You can download a copy of the infographic at our Facebook page. See the festival's entire brewery lineup here.  

Here’s a fast rundown of Jersey brews* on the bill: 

Beach Haus
Boaks Beer
Bolero Snort
Cape May Brewing
Cricket Hill
Flying Fish
Harvest Moon
New Jersey Beer Co.
Pinelands Brewing
Rinn Duin
River Horse Brewing
Tuckahoe Brewing

*Some breweries may have opted out but are still on the official lineup. 

 

 

BeachHause-Rendering
East Coast Beer expects to start interior work this spring at what will become the company’s new home in Monmouth County, making it the first of the Garden State’s three contract craft beer companies to open its own brewery.

 

Bolero-Imperial-Porter
Bolero Snort is greeting its first anniversary with a flurry of activity, including the release of a commemorative imperial porter and grabbing some store-shelf presence in 16-ounce cans.

“We did 991 bottles … 991 bottles hand-filled, hand-labeled, hand-numbered, hand-waxed. It was a very long weekend of work, but we got it done,” says co-founder Bob Olson, discussing the 7.7% ABV limited-edition anniversary porter that becomes available this week.

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