Reporting on NJ Breweries Since 2007
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Village Idiot Rich Vince Fermenters
he mash-in
was done, and the waiting had begun.

Plenty of time before the next step – sparging the grain for the chocolate oatmeal stout – plenty of time to devote some attention to a few other tasks.

Rich Palmay stepped away from the brewhouse space situated in a former tavern kitchen and pulled up his email account on a laptop computer left on the nearby bar. He clicked on an email, a much-anticipated missive from the state of New Jersey.

"It's here," Rich announced to his brewing partner, Vince Masciandaro, who stood a few feet away.

"Attached," Rich read aloud from the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control email, "is a pdf of your license certificate that will be mailed to you shortly."

Wednesday, 04 December 2013 13:14

Pinelands Brewing sprinting toward finish line

Pinelands Brewing is winding down the buildout in its space in a southern Ocean County business park.

Over the past few weeks, founders Jason Chapman and Luke McCooley, joined by three new partners, have been putting the finishing touches on the 3-barrel brewery in Little Egg Harbor, about a 20-minute drive north of Atlantic City.

Sunday, 01 December 2013 03:41

Rinn Duin brews its first batch

Rinn Duin First Brew
Ocean County start-up brewery Rinn Duin christened its 25-barrel system on Saturday, brewing a brown ale, one of four flagship session beers in the company's planned lineup.

Thursday, 28 November 2013 06:47

Carton aims for new heights with hops

HopRocketHow do you show your hoppy, flagship ale even more love after you've given it some craft beer rock star treatment by putting it into cans?

Give it a ride in a rocket.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 03:00

N.J. OKs license for Glasstown Brewing

Glasstown Brewing in Millville, N.J.
Glasstown Brewing in Cumberland County has joined the ranks of New Jersey's two dozen craft breweries.

Officials with the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control on Monday inspected the nano-sized brewery in Millville, giving Paul Simmons and his wife, Jenifer, the green light to produce their planned lineup of ales, pending the city granting its final blessing.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 18:11

N.J. winter seasonal gets shout-out


A New Jersey craft beer brand lands a spot on's list of winter seasonals.

Beach Haus Winter Rental (5.6% ABV) is the schwarzbier that East Coast Beer Company brought to market two years ago, the second label in the Point Pleasant Beach contract brewer's lineup.

Last summer, East Coast Beer announced plans to build a brewery at the site of the Freedman Bakery in Belmar, Monmouth County, and bring production of its four-beer lineup to New Jersey.

East Coast's beers have been brewed by Genesee in Rochester, New York, since the company launched in late 2010 with its flagship label, Beach Haus Classic American Pilsner.'s list, published Wednesday, highlights a slew of beers produced by Brewers Association members from six regions across the country. Winter seasonal beers are a lucrative category for U.S. craft brewers, says Julia Herz, publisher of, a website under the banner of the Brewers Association, the Boulder, Colorado-based organization that represents most of the craft brewers in the U.S.

“Winter seasonals are a favorite among beer lovers and craft brewers alike … this craft seasonal category has contributed to two of the top three sales weeks during the same time frame, according to the IRI Group’s Supermarket scan data,” she says.

From neighboring Pennsylvania, Yards Brewing's Olde Bartholomew (10.3% ABV) barleywine and Victory Brewing's Winter Cheers (6.7% ABV) wheat ale also made the Northeast region list.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013 06:26

Brewpub HearthStone readying its house beers

HearthStone Growler
New Jersey's newest brewpub is about ready to put its house-made beers on tap.

The folks at HearthStone Grill in Jamesburg in Middlesex County say keep an eye on their Facebook page for the details of when it will happen.

But that could be very, very soon.

Friday, 15 November 2013 22:55

AHA survey: Who is the American homebrewer?

Homebrewer Graphic
These are heady days for homebrewing.

Never has the hobby enjoyed the popularity that it does now, and much of its surging growth has happened over the past eight years.

Earlier this week, the American Homebrewers Association trumpeted some statistics about the brew-it-yourself crowd, estimating the U.S. has 1.2 million homebrewers who make about 2 million gallons of beer a year.

Friday, 15 November 2013 18:07

A talk with mobile canner Iron Heart

Carton Brewing has put its Boat beer into the liquor store pipeline. See the distribution list here.

Once a draft-only beer, Boat (4.2% ABV) was the Atlantic Highlands brewery's answer to the question of which New Jersey craft brewery would be the first to can its beer. (A Jersey-brewed craft beer in cans was always a when, not an if.)

Last summer, Carton struck a deal with mobile canner Iron Heart and took with it a little bit of glory and the kind of mentions that typically come when craft beer trends from other parts of the country surface in the Garden State.

Monday, 04 November 2013 15:33

A peek inside Spellbound Brewing's site

Spellbound Interior
quick update about Spellbound Brewing ...

Now that the trio of John Companick, Scott Reading and Mike Oliver (that's them in the photo) have the keys to a business park suite at 10 Lippincott Lane in Mount Holly, attention turns toward acquiring the brewing equipment that will ultimately make Spellbound's lineup of ales. 

The 20-barrel brewhouse and related tanks will come from Premier Stainless, and the trio are about ready to push the button on placing the order.

Meanwhile, there's the matter of getting into shape the interior and grounds of the site they officially leased in late September. (The place was once a textile mill.)

Figure on a winter's worth of cleanup and renovation in Spellbound's immediate future.

Target date for opening? They're projecting mid-spring-ish.

If you're tracking Spellbound be flexible, though. There's generally an obstacle or two that needs to be cleared, and that can slow things. 

The Spellbound folks hope all the research they've sunk into their planning will help keep the project moving along steadily, minimize the hiccups. 

(See past Spellbound coverage.) 

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