Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Upcoming NJ Beers (and Meads!) - as of 10/22/14

Howdy all!  It's been a few weeks since I've sent out an update on new NJ beers coming to the market.  This week, we also have meads!  Check em all out, and enjoy!

First, we have two meads from newly opened Melovino Meadery in Vauxhall, NJ.  Melo Evil is a sweet honey wine with ghost peppers added, and it comes in at 12% ABV.  Pirum Lust is a 13% ABV honey wine that is made with spiced pear juice, and is meant to be consumed during the cooler months.

From Cherry Hill, we see the label for Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing's Funnel Cake Boardwalk Ale.

Cape May Brewing Company had a ton of keg labels approved.  Here we see the keg label for Geek Out Ale.  Other kegs approved were Ashley's Ale, Andrew's Ale, Justin's Ale, Steve's Ale, Richie's Ale, Hi-Flyer Ale, Double Marker Ale, Crows Nest Ale, Cornelius Mey Ale, Crusty Barnacle Ale, Queen Street Ale, and Concrete Ship Ale.

Belford Brewing from Middletown, NJ has a new label for an Altbier named Hund.

Angry Erik Brewing from Lafayette, NJ now makes an Angry Mohawk Pale Ale, as well as H2Ale, an ale brewed with natural flavors.

Ocean, NJ's Kane Brewing looks like they plan on having some Hop Lab experiments.

Here is the neck label for River Horse Brewing's (Ewing, NJ) newest Brewer's Reserve, a baltic porter.

Last, but not least, New Jersey Beer Co. had a label approved for Little Town New Jersey Ale.  I wasn't able to get an image, but it's a typical keg label.  Looks like they will be making a house beer for Little Town, a restaurant in Hoboken.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weyerbacher Brewers' Select: Canis Minor

Canis Minor, a Brewers' Select beer from Weyerbacher, was released on draft throughout Weyerbacher's distribution footprint around a month ago (early September).  It is also available in 12 oz. bottles in Weyerbacher's visitor center while supplies last!

Weyerbacher had previously used the NATO phonetic alphabet to name their Brewers' Select beers. After reaching the end of the alphabet, they decided to start using Northern Hemisphere constellations (in alphabetical order, of course), to represent their one-off beers.

Why not learn a little astronomy while enjoying some (hopefully) fantastic beer?  Here are some facts about the Canis Minor constellation, followed by some notes on the Canis Minor beer!

Canis Minor (constellation) (from Top Astronomer)
  • In Latin, Canis Minor can be translated to "Lesser Dog"
  • Along with Canis Major (Greater Dog), they are said to be following Orion
  • Canis Minor is home to 2 bright stars
    • Alpha Canis Minoris, also known as Procyon
      • 7th brightest star in the sky
      • a binary star system (apparently there are lots of opportunities for a Tatooine out there)
      • 11.41 light years from Earth
    • Beta Canis Minoris, also known as Gomesia
Canis Minor (the beer!)
  • Saison
  • 6.9% ABV
  • Brewed with Pils, Wheat and Carapils malts
  • Apollo, Perle and Brambling Cross hops were added
  • Fermented with Belgian and French yeast strains
  • Weyerbacher tasting notes:  grapefruit nose and a spicy, herbal, dry finish
Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Canis Minor, Brewers Select Series, Craft Beer
Weyerbacher Canis Minor, 6.9% ABV Saison
The tasting notes from Weyerbacher were pretty close to my experience with Canis Minor.  The aroma and flavor were full of citrus:  orange, grapefruit, lemon.  A bit of spice, yet not too much to be overpowering.  Perhaps a little soapy.  Overall, Canis Minor was terrific.  It is not one of your funky saisons, but its still worth a pint if you see it at the bar. I would pair it with a light salad and sushi.

Check out my posts on some other Weyerbacher Brewers' Select beers:

Aries (Blend of Imperial Pumpkin / Old Heathen)
Auriga (American Stout)
Bootes (American Strong Ale)
Camelopardalis (Belgian-style Imperial IPA)
Canes Venatici (Maibock)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Upcoming NJ Beers - as of 10/03/14

There were definitely some interesting label approvals for NJ beers this week ---

First, we have two 12 oz. bottle approvals from Cape May Brewing Company (Rio Grande).  Mop Water, which is an ale brewed with spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, whole-bean vanilla), and Coastal Evacuation, a double IPA brewed with Centennial hops.  

Next we have a keg label from just opened Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing (Cherry Hill) for a smoked porter they are calling Morro Castle.  Sounds tasty to me.

Last, but not least, we have a keg label from soon to be opening Spellbound Brewing (Mt. Holly). The label is for their porter.

Cape May Brewing Company, Craft Beer, New Jersey
Cape May Brewing Company, Craft Beer, New Jersey

Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing, Craft Beer, New Jersey, Morro Castle

Spellbound Brewing, Craft Beer, NJ

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!