Thursday, September 11, 2014

Upcoming NJ Beers - as of 09/11/14

Howdy y'all!

This week we see some new beers from Pinelands Brewing, Kane Brewing, Flying Fish, Carton and Belford Brewing.  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Upcoming NJ Beers - as of 08/30/14

This week, we have 1 new bottle label and the rest are keg labels. ...

The bottle label is from River Horse Brewing (Ewing, NJ) and is for their IPA.  I originally thought this would be just a rebranding of their Hop Hazard Pale Ale, but it looks like to be a completely new recipe.  I love the label artwork for the bottles.

Angry Erik Brewing (Lafayette, NJ) had keg labels for Summit Up (an IPA), Dubbel Blade (an abbey dubbel ale) and Fika (a sweet stout).

Kane Brewing (Ocean Twp, NJ) had a keg label approval for their 3rd anniversary beer, One Thousand Ninety Five.  

Flounder Brewing (Hillsborough, NJ) had sixtel label approvals for their Hill Street Honey Ale and Saison du Flounder.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Flounder Brewing's August Tour Day

The team over at Flounder Brewing in Hillsborough, NJ opens up their brewery to the public once-a-month for an open house. Sign-ups for the open house are announced via Flounder's Facebook page.  Visitors are given a brief tour of the the small brewery, including a story of how a group of homebrewers turned their hobby into a business.  The brewing process is explained, and afterwards, the visitors are walked over to the bar for complimentary samples of each beer.  You may also purchase one pint of beer (~$5) and/or a growler fill ($8-$16) of a beer you want to bring home.

Their were 3 beers on draft for Flounder Brewing's August event:

  1. Hill St. Honey Ale
  2. Saison du Flounder
  3. Saison du Berliner Weisse (soured saison/farmhouse sour...not quite sure what the final name is!)
Saison du Berliner Weisse was available straight, with raspberry syrup or with strawberry syrup.  All 3 were great.  Flounder had prepared homemade syrups for the occasion, and they were top notch.  I brought home a growler of the Saison du Berliner Weisse and tried to use some syrup I had at home, but it just wasn't the same.

Below are some pictures I took from the event!

Follow Flounder Brewing's Facebook page for when the next open house will be.

Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Flounder's banner.  Not soon-to-be anymore, they've been fully operational since around November '13!
Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Jeremy 'Flounder' Lees giving a rundown of the brewing process they use at Flounder Brewing
Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Flounder Brewing's brewhouse.  No longer the smallest in NJ!

Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Flounder shares their space with East Coast Yeast, a company who propagates unique yeast cultures for commercial and home brewers.  Here are the vessels that ECY uses.
Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Flounder's taproom.  They employ an online sign-up service for tours to keep the taproom from becoming overcrowded.
Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Flounder's taps!
Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Flounder offers 32. oz and 64 oz. growlers to bring their beer home in.  Or you can bring your own to use, as long as it has the government warning label on it!  Pint glasses, hats, shirts and keychains are also available to show off your Flounder love!
Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Flounder expects all the beer they have to be sold at their open house.  Time to start brewing more!
Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Saison du Berliner Weisse
Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Saison du Berliner Weisse w/ raspberry syrup
Flounder Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey Craft Beer, Brewery Tour
Saison du Berliner Weisse w/ strawberry syrup

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Upcoming NJ Beers - as of 08/10/14

Here are some beers that recently got their labels approved in NJ.  Get ready!

Bolero Snort Barrel Aged Javahorn

Bolero Snort Blackbeard's Blackhorn

Carton Brewing Regular Coffee Imperial Cream Ale

Pinelands Brewing Cannonball Stout

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Thursday Blogshare (08/07/14)

Lots of good beer content today, so let's jump right in!

1.    "On Ageing, Condition and Best Before" from Pete Drinks

     Pete's article here accentuates the point that some beers are really meant to be enjoyed as fresh as possible.  He stresses that if a brewer wants their beer enjoyed 3 months from the bottling date, then they need to stamp or print the bottling date on each bottle, and declare that it is meant to be drank within 3 months (even if distributors/sellers want to keep it on the shelf for 6 months).
     Pete writes from a UK perspective, but it couldn't ring more true here in America.  As a customer, we are bombarded with beers on the shelf that have the potential to be very old.  I don't want my IPA to be under a layer of dust.  The brewers and distributors need to patrol stores that sell their beer, and be aware if old beer is being sold that isn't supposed to be old.  There's no better way to lose a customer than with a beer that's lackluster solely due to age.

2.  "EVERYTHING wrong with Beer at this Moment" from Beer Compurgation

     Another post from a UK writer, the Beer Compurgator is fed up with some things in his beer scene. From bottles vs. cans to bashing to cliques, a lot of the same can be said about segments of the beer industry in America.
     I, however, decided to write a post in an opposite, optimistic light.  While I agree its not perfect, here are some things that are RIGHT with beer in America today.

3.  "Brewery - Finback Brewery, Queens, NYC" from I Drink Good Beer

     NYC has rather quietly sprung up with a variety of new breweries.  Just in the last few years, the area around NYC now serves as a home to Broken Bow Brewery, Gun Hill Brewing Company, Transmitter Brewing Company and more.  In this case, Brian from I Drink Good Beer paid a visit to the newcomers at Finback Brewery in Queens.  Finback looks like the real deal, and as always I Drink Good Beer brings it with great photography and a descriptive summary of the brewery.

4.  "What Is the IPA In 2014?  Where Is It Headed?" from DC Beer

     It's probably not a coincidence that Jacob from DC Beer published this article in time for this year's IPA day.  First, the reader is brought up to speed with some of the current renditions of IPA (or at least where IPA finds its name on labels these days).  Then, interestingly, predictions are made for the future of IPA. Check 'em out, its good reading!

5.  "IPA Day is August 7: Forgive Me For Yawning" from Growler Fills

Articles like these are pretty common when IPA day is here, and I usually agree with them.  Here's one from Alan of Growler Fills.  If he's listening here, a Berliner Weisse day is an outstanding idea.  I would definitely be in on it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What is Right with Beer in America Today

Lately, there have been a number of overly negative articles on the state of beer today.  I decided to look at beer in a brighter light, and make a list of 5 things that are RIGHT with beer in America today.  Feel free to add anything you think is also right with beer today in the comments below!

1.  Selection

There is literally a beer for everyone these days.  An ultra hoppy ale, a mouth puckering sour, a crisp lager or a creamy stout.  You are likely within short driving distance of at least 1 of the > 3,000 breweries in the U.S., and if not, then a liquor store that sells more than BMC.  Pair your beer with a meal, pair it with an activity, or just plain have a beer.  Any kind you can possibly think up!

2.  Accessibility

Sure, while there are cliques and snobs out there that may make the beer industry intimidating to some, beer is truly more accessible today than it's ever been.  Chances are your local brewery serves up tastings and tours on the weekends (and sometimes during the week).  In most states, these tours and tasting are quite cheap or even free, unlike most wine tastings and tours you may attend.  Also, if you can't make it out to the brewery, brewery reps are constantly out at liquor stores giving out free tastings of their beers!  The brewery's website often will have a list of where the reps will be pouring out their goods.

3.  Affordability

Like any other hobby or interest, you can spend as much money as you're willing to shell out.  However, you really don't have to shell out as much as you think in order to enjoy a good beer these days!  Sure, there are lots of high-end bottle shops and bars, but there's an equal number of bars out there that serve great beer where you don't have to spend more than $5 or $6 a pint.  If you want to take your beer home, it's A LOT cheaper to buy some from the liquor store or find a shop with a growler station.  You will save tons of money.

4.  Delicious

There is a ton of chatter on the interwebs about a lot of "craft" beer these days not quite cutting it in terms of quality. I say humbug.  Sure, you may encounter a few speed bumps out there, but the overall quality of "craft" beer in America is excellent.  The ratio definitely leans towards tasty as heck, even if all the beers can't be white whales.

5.  Local

Having a brewery or 2 in town definitely boosts the local economy.  Good beer is something people are ecstatic to travel for these days.  When people are in town to visit a brewery, they likely spend their hard earned money elsewhere in town as well.  From restaurants to food trucks to gas stations, everyone is benefiting from the breweries in town.

Can you think of anything more that is RIGHT with beer in America today?  List it below!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

New Jersey Beer Label Approvals - as of 08/02/14

Some highlights this week in New Jersey's bottle and keg label approvals, we see a large format River Horse bottle, a canned porter from soon-to-open Spellbound Brewing, an Irish-style Red Ale from Cape May's Tuckahoe Brewing, and keg approvals from just opened Belford Brewing in Belford, NJ!