Reporting on NJ Breweries Since 2007
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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

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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.

 

 

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

 

 

Ramstein Tour
Here’s a reason to not bitch about the cold winter we’re having:

January’s deep-freeze has allowed High Point Brewing to do a second run of eisbock. Round 2 uses the brewery’s 7% ABV Double Platinum Blonde hefeweizen as the beer handed over to the frigid elements for icing up.

 

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.

Friday, 24 January 2014 22:55

Rinn Duin opens taproom, brewery for tours

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Rinn Duin Tap Pour

P
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.

Devils Reach 12OZ


Cape May Brewing’s big Belgian strong ale leads the brewery’s venture into 12-ounce bottles.

Folks at the brewery did a 90-case run of Devil’s Reach to get their feet wet with the Meheen bottler the brewery picked up last summer on the used equipment market. The 8.4% ABV brew, named for a narrow strait in Cape May Harbor, for now is limited to takeout sales of six-packs at the brewery.

There’s some technical stuff, i.e. check dissolved oxygen levels in the bottled beer, before it’s full speed ahead with the Meheen. (Oxygen, as we know, will turn beer stale and, thus, is a concern when bottling and canning.)

Cape May IPA CMB2Devil’s Reach was bottled early this month, and the brewery’s game plan is to bottle Cape May IPA and Sawyer’s Swap Barleywine later this winter.

The strong ale and barleywine previously have been available in bomber bottles. Cape May IPA, the flagship beer Cape May Brewing launched with during the summer of 2011, previously has been available draft only.  

 

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