Thursday, July 17, 2014

Times They are A-Changing

I've changed a lot since getting into "craft" beer, "better" beer, "boutique" beer or whatever you would call it. I don't care how you review your beer, or if you think its 2/5 or 5/5.  Give me a bottle or a pint and I'll try it myself.  I haven't checked Beer Advocate or Rate Beer for a beer rating or tasting notes in months, and I feel good about that.

What do I do then?  I simply enjoy what I am drinking.  Sure, some beers are better than others.  If I don't like a certain beer, I just won't buy it again.  I'm not going to tell anyone else not to buy it.  Hell, they may even like it.  Different strokes for different folks is one of the things that makes this world wonderful.

I don't really like to go out much to bars to drink (unless its a brewery).  I find myself more and more preferring to pour a bottle or a growler in the comfort of my own home, where its quiet and I can be with my family.  Don't get me wrong, everyone now and then I like to go out, I just overwhelmingly like to stay in.

Beerfest?  Yeah, 9 times out of 10 I'll pass.  Generally not my crowd.  See paragraph above.

I realize this post is all about me and I've used "I" way too many times, but that's OK.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Free Will Brewing Company, Perkasie, PA

Free Will Brewing Co., Craft Beer, Perkasie, PA
Love the signage outside the stairs down to the brewery

I recently paid a visit to Free Will Brewing in Perkasie, PA.  Enjoy the pictures from my visist!

410 E. Walnut Street #10
Perkasie, PA

Free Will Brewing Co., Craft Beer, Perkasie, PA
There were 10 beers on tap.  Would have been 11, but sadly they were out of Will I Am Stout

Free Will Brewing Co., Craft Beer, Perkasie, PA
Lots of different fermentation projects were going on.  Free Will experiments with lots of different yeast and bacteria strains, as well as lots of different kinds of barrels.

Free Will Brewing Co., Craft Beer, Perkasie, PA
Peaking into the brewery from the tasting room

Free Will Brewing Co., Craft Beer, Perkasie, PA
Lots of packaged beer available to take out

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Updates on NJ Breweries (June 2014)

It is only June, but 2014 has already been a huge year of growth for the NJ beer industry.  In my last update on the state of beer in NJ, I highlighted 4 new breweries: Bolero Snort Brewery, the new Iron Hill in Voorhees, Flounder Brewing and Village Idiot Brewing.  Since then, beer is now being brewed at Hearthstone Grill, Angry Erik, Glasstown, Rinn Duin and Pinelands Brewing.  Let's look at these in a little more depth!

Hearthstone Grill
306 Gatzmer Avenue
Jamesburg, NJ 08831

Specializing in wood fired grill pizzas, Hearthstone Grill has everything from burgers to steaks to hot dogs. They also rotate traditional style, house brewed beer!  If you have a New Jersey Craft Beer membership card, you get 10% off your bill.

Angry Erik Brewing
10 Millpond Drive, Unit #8
Lafayette, NJ 07848

Angry Erik in Lafayette offers tours, tastings, pints and growler fills (32 oz. and 64 oz.).  They have hours from Thursday through Sunday, check their website for exact hours.  Some beers you might find while you are there are The Dainty Viking (an elderflower blonde ale), Stone-Hinged (an apricot ale), Hop-N-Awe (a double IPA, Three Ball Porter (a robust porter) and more!  New Jersey Craft Beer membership cardholders get $1 off growler fills.

Glasstown Brewing
10 Peterson Street
Millville, NJ 08332

Glasstown Brewing of Millville, NJ opened their doors in late 2013.  They have hours from Thursday through Sunday, check their Facebook page for up to date info.  Glasstown Brewing has an impressive list of beers on their website, including Maurice River Bourbon Brown, several IPAs and pale ales, and their signature ale, Glasstown Founder's Ale, which is brewed in the style of a west coast red ale.  If you're a New Jersey Craft Beer membership cardholder, Glasstown will give you $1 off a growler fill, and if it is a Sunday, they will give you $1 off pints!

Rinn Duin Brewing
1540 Route 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755

Rinn Duin Brewing of Toms River is currently open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and offer tours of their brewery every 30 minutes during open hours.  3 year-round flagships are offered: St. John's Irish Red, Sandpiper English Brown and Trinity Scottish 70.  They also usually have several special beers available (currently they are serving 2 one-offs of their St. John's Irish Red: 1 fermented with a Burton Union yeast and 1 fermented with a Scottish ale yeast).  Rinn Duin also gives a discount to New Jersey Craft Beer membership card holders: $1 off growler fills and 10% off merchandise!

Pinelands Brewing
140 South 7th Avenue, Suite 15
Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087

Pinelands Brewing of Little Egg Harbor recently opened up, and is open on Saturdays from 2pm-6pm.  Tours/Tastings/Growlers are available during that time, where you can try their rotating selection of beer. Some of what you may run into while there are Masons Wheat (an American Witbier), Evan John Porter, Evergreen IPA, Pitch Pine Ale (an American pale ale) as well as fresh old fashioned vanilla cream soda and birch beer.  10% off your bill to all New Jersey Craft Beer cardholders!

While these guys/gals are all up and running, there are more NJ breweries on the horizon, hoping for a late 2014 opening!  Keep an eye out for:

902 Brewing in Hoboken, NJ
Belford Brewing in Belford (Middletown), NJ
Garden State Beer in Egg Harbor City, NJ
Jugtown Mountain Brewing in Washington, NJ (Warren County)
Lunacy Brewing in Magnolia, NJ
Spellbound Brewing in Mt. Holly, NJ

There may be more, so just keep an eye out!

So, planning on visiting a brewery this weekend?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Weyerbacher Canes Venatici

Easton, PA's Weyerbacher Brewing Company, brewers of awesome beers such as Merry Monks, Blithering Idiot and Old Heathen, like to experiment with different beers in their Brewer's Select series. After having completed a beer for each letter of the NATO phonetic alphabet, they have now turned to constellations. I thought it would be fun to use this space to learn about the experimental beers that Weyerbacher is brewing, and also to learn a little bit of astronomy along the way!

Canes Venatici is the latest installment in the Weyerbacher Brewer's Select Series.  The beer was released on May 25, 2014 in Weyerbacher's taproom in 12 oz. bottles.  You can also find it on tap in limited amounts in Weyerbacher's distribution network.

Craft Beer, Weyerbacher, Canes Venatici
Canes Venatici is an ideal model for the camera

Weyerbacher Canes Venatici (from Weyerbacher)
  • 6.7% ABV maibock style lager
  • Showcases a unique hop in the flavor and aroma called Mandarina Bavaria, which adds a citrusy, orange character to the beer
  • Features 100% German malts: Pilsner, Munich and Vienna
  • Uses Apollo hops for bitterness
  • Fermented with a German bock yeast

Constellation Canes Venatici (info from Top Astronomer)
  • From Latin, "The Hunting Dogs"
  • The two brightest stars in Canes Venatici are Cor Caroli (alpha Canum Venaticorum) and Chara (beta Canum Venaticorum)
  • Chara shares many similarities to our star, and was thought to be a prime spot to look for like according to astronomer Margaret Turnbull

The orange flavors and aromas that must be coming from the Mandarina Bavaria hops really make this maibock unique.  It still has the biscuity backbone that is a hallmark of a good lager, and the orange complements it quite well.  Flavorful, without even bordering on being sweet, Canes Venatici is delectable, refreshing and thirst quenching.

Craft Beer, Weyerbacher, Canes Venatici
Canes Venatici - to me, it means summer is near

Interested in reading more about Weyerbacher's Brewer Select Series?  Link to my other posts here!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Flying Fish Celebrates 350 Years of New Jersey

This year, a 127 mile stretch of Atlantic Ocean shoreline, flanked to the west by pinelands and to the north by skylands, is celebrating 350 years of being known as New Jersey.  To celebrate, Flying Fish has brewed up a special beer, appropriated named NJ350.  A little research led me to the website for NJ350, which actually turned out to be an organization that is spreading the word and setting up events for Jersey's 350th. There is lots of great info there on NJ's history, so check it out!

Flying Fish Brewing Company, NJ350, New Jersey, Craft Beer
Flying Fish Brewing Company NJ350

Some facts on Flying Fish's NJ350 beer, from their website:

  • Ingredients:  English pale malt, flaked barley, blackstrap molasses
  • Hops:  Cluster, Simcoe, Centennial
  • Packaging:  750 mL bottles, 1/2 kegs and 1/6 kegs
  • 7.5% abv
Flying Fish Brewing Company, NJ350, New Jersey, Craft Beer
Flying Fish NJ350, proudly celebrating 350 years of New Jersey.  You got a problem with that?
Flying Fish Brewing Company, NJ350, New Jersey, Craft Beer
Flying Fish NJ350:  Doesn't have quite that dark a color in reality

On the side of the bottle, Flying Fish declares NJ350 to be an English stock ale.  From what I know, a stock ale is similar to an old ale or an English barleywine.  According to the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) guidelines, a stock ale refers to beers that were aged or stored for a significant period of time.  The first batch of this beer was brewed on or close to March 3, according to this link from All About Beer magazine, and went for sale at the brewery on April 17 at the Flying Fish taproom according to their Facebook page.  I hate pushing semantics, but this beer doesn't seem aged much to me.

However, whether it is aged or not, NJ350 is still a delightfully pleasant beer.  It reminds me of an IPA with a solid, malt body.  I found it worth it for the $8 or $9 that was paid, and the 7.5% ABV won't put you on the floor, which is always a plus.

Have you had Flying Fish NJ350?  What did you think?  Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cape May Brewing Company

Cape May Brewing Company, Craft Beer, Microbrewery, Jersey Shore, Cape May
Cape May Brewing, open every day!

1288 Hornet Road
Rio Grande, NJ 08242

Cape May Brewing Company, Craft Beer, Microbrewery, Jersey Shore, Cape May
Great looking taproom
Cape May Brewing Company, Craft Beer, Microbrewery, Jersey Shore, Cape May
CMBC just increased their number of taps to 20!  Lots of variation on their list!

Cape May Brewing Company, Craft Beer, Microbrewery, Jersey Shore, Cape May
Tours are offered daily, check their website for the timetable!

Cape May Brewing Company, Craft Beer, Microbrewery, Jersey Shore, Cape May
Brewing doesn't stop during tours!

Cape May Brewing Company, Craft Beer, Microbrewery, Jersey Shore, Cape May

Cape May Brewing Company, Craft Beer, Microbrewery, Jersey Shore, Cape May
4-packs of Sawyer's Swap, CPBC's American Barleywine were available for sale in the taproom

Cape May Brewing Company, Craft Beer, Microbrewery, Jersey Shore, Cape May
Nice hop garden near the entrance to Cape May Brewing Company

Cape May Brewing Company, Sawyer's Swap, Barleywine, New Jersey, Jersey Shore, Craft Beer, Microbrew
Sawyer's Swap was a delicious barleywine, a little on the hoppier side of barleywines

Friday, May 16, 2014

Where Have I Been?

Wow, its been awhile since I've posted anything here.  Some ideas have been bouncing around in my noggin, so hopefully Mould's Beer Blog won't join the sea of dead and forgotten beer blogs.  A drastic redesign may occur!

So what have I been up to?  My main goal in the last month or so has been to drink down the oversupply of beer I have at home.  Once I clear that out, I'm going to start some more homebrewing.  I've got several kits (smoked porter, warrior double IPA, bourbon dubbel) from the Brooklyn Brew Shop waiting to be brewed!

Thoughts on some hot button issues in beer recently:

American Craft Beer Week:  These days you can blindly flip through the pages of a calendar, point to a week, and it will be the craft beer week of a city in the United States.  From May 12-18, the Brewers Association (the trade group for American brewers) wants everyone to celebrate American Craft Beer Week.  They even have a website with ideas on how you can celebrate.

My thoughts?  All these craft beer weeks are a little silly, especially in areas where "boutique" beers are already popular and selling well (e.g. San Diego, Philadelphia).  These beer weeks are often pinnacled with rare (often one-off) tappings, tap takeovers and beer celebrity appearances.  HOWEVER, the public seems to soak it up and love it, and may increase business in areas where microbrewed beer is still in its infancy.

The Variety of Craft Beer:  Beer drinkers have more options now than ever.  Thousands of different IPAs, a plethora of porters and a barrage of Belgians.  Thanks to 18-wheelers, boats and planes we can have beers that were brewed in California, Alaska, Sweden, Japan and Australia.  And if you don't get the beers you want near you, just log onto The Beer Exchange or Talk Beer and you'll be able to find someone to trade with who is ISO something you may have.

My thoughts?  The insane variety of craft beer is all well and good, but I'm getting to the point where I don't need to try every IPA or bourbon barrel aged ale out there.  Plus, why would I want to buy an IPA or tripel that's been trucked across Rockies and the Mississippi River when there are plenty of superb beers that are brewed within 100 miles of me?  In the future, I plan on trying to drink local or homebrew as much as possible!  

Here's what I've been drinking, via my Instagram feed!