Friday, September 26, 2014

Upcoming NJ Beers - as of 09/26/14

There are only 3 new labels to take a look at this week.  

First we have a label for the bottled version of Cape May Brewing Company's Honey Porter, then keg labels for Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing's On the Waterfront (Bitterly Corrupt Pale Ale) and Belford Brewing's API India Pale Ale.

Have a great weekend everyone!






Friday, September 19, 2014

Upcoming NJ Beers - as of 09/19/14

There are some awesome new beers coming to NJ (eventually!).  This week we have the can label for Carton Brewing's Epitome, which is an Imperial Black Ale.  Coming in at 10.3%, it is a dark, bitter beer!  I had a growler of this last year, and it knocked my socks off it was so good.  Packaging will be in 16 oz. cans.

Flying Fish has had the label approved for another Exit Series beer.  For this release, they traveled down to Exit 3 and brewed up a Blueberry Braggot.  Like Epitome, this beer is no slouch, and comes in at 15% ABV.  Packaging will be in the 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. bottles, so bring a friend to share!

Next, we have 2 keg labels from Flounder Brewing.  One is for a pumpkin saison (!!), and the other is for their pumpkin ale, which they are calling Floundering Pumpkin Ale.  I'm looking forward to stopping by their brewery when they have more hours for tours/tastings/growlers to try these!

Last, but certainly not least, Angry Erik has had a new label approved for Dainty Viking.  This blonde ale sounds interesting, as its brewed with elderflowers and coriander.  One of these weekends I really need to make it up to Lafayette and check out their brewing space!


Carton Brewing Epitome
Flying Fish Exit 3 Blueberry Braggot
Flounder Brewing Pumpkin Saison
Flounder Brewing Floundering Pumpkin Ale
Angry Erik Brewing Dainty Viking


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Catching Microbrew Fever

Thanks to Vin from Bier Battered for the idea of a "Throwback Thursday" post where we write on our introduction to craft beer and the first microbrews we remember drinking.  Enjoy, and feel free to share your story!

If there is one thing beer nerds like to do, its to recount their craft beer origins.  Swapping stories about their first Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, or their first Anchor Steam, or perhaps their first Pete's Wicked Ale.  For me, it wasn't any of these.  Rather, I found my way into craft beers in Maine, and the first craft beers I discovered were from Atlantic Brewing, Bar Harbor Brewing, Shipyard and Maine Coast Brewing.

It was on vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine where I happened upon these beers, probably around 2004. In this bustling tourist town, with lobsters and clam chowder aplenty, Maine beer was sold everywhere.  And more important, it was good!  Much better than the standard light lager I was used to drinking.

Atlantic Brewing Co.

You know those brochure displays that hotels in touristy areas usually have in the their office?  Well, in Bar Harbor, Maine they had one for a a brewery tour at Bar Harbor's own Atlantic Brewing Company.....Perfect for a Rainy Day!  One day when rain was imminent, my family and I decided to go on this tour, and I was hooked.  I remember touring their small facility, and learning what wort was and that it's spelled "wort" but pronounced like "wert."  I remember the tour guide giving a story of a time their brewmaster thought that a particular batch of beer wasn't quite up to snuff, so he dumped the whole fermenter.

I was hooked.  From there, the tour group went into the tasting room, where we sampled the beers Atlantic Brewing had to offer.  If my memory serves me right, they had Real Ale, Coal Porter, Island Ginger and Blueberry Ale available to try, and I loved them all.  I couldn't wait to bring some of these home with me and show them off to my friends.  (you can find a blogpost I wrote while on a later trip to Atlantic Brewing Co. here)

Show them off I did, but then a thought occurred to me.....I wonder if there are any microbreweries in NJ?  They were called microbreweries back then, not craft breweries.  I still wish they were just called microbreweries, and that the whole "craft" descriptor never came to be.  Either way, I did some internet searches and found several I could go check out.  There was Harvest Moon in New Brunswick, Triumph in Princeton, River Horse in Lambertville, and Weyerbacher in Easton (a little bit over the Delaware River in PA).

Weyerbacher was the first brewery in the area I remember visiting.  The tour was great, and the samples were aplenty.  I can recall Weyerbacher's mix-a-case policy, and bringing home 12 oz. bottles of Merry Monks, Hops Infusion, Blithering Idiot, Black Hole and others.  My palate definitely wasn't quite ready for beers like Merry Monks and Blithering Idiot, but I remember getting through the case and learning a lot about the different beers.

There was no turning back.  Eventually, I discovered liquor stores that had great microbrew selection, such as Petrock's in Hillsborough and the beer department in the Wegmans grocery store.  I was trying to try every beer I could, ticking beers before ticking beers was a thing.

I wouldn't change a thing!

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