Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beer Variety from New Jersey

Just what New Jersey beers are people drinking these days?  What are the post popular styles that are coming out of the Garden State?  In a previous post, I outlined what 6 bottled Jersey beers I would give to someone to represent New Jersey (kudos to Bryan from This Is Why I'm Drunk for the blog collaboration idea).  In this post, I'm going to look at NJ beers a little differently.

To get a good sense of the NJ beers people are drinking, I could call up each bar and liquor store around and see what their top selling brands are, call the breweries to see which is top grossing, or see what beers are top rated on any of those beer rating websites.  A quicker and easier way to achieve this, I believe, is to simply look up Untappd check-ins!  The beer rating websites may give you each brewers top-rated beer, but won't give you top selling.  Untappd may be a very small sample size compared to the real sales numbers, but I feel it suits this purpose quite well.  

First, let's look at breweries (those brewers in the state that send their beer via keg/bottle to liquor stores and bars, and only have a small taproom at the actual brewery).  I have listed each NJ brewery and their top 2 most checked in beers on Untappd.  Let's see if we can extract some useful information for the chart.

Note:  I didn't include any seasonal offerings.

BreweryBeerStyle / ABVUntappd Check-ins
BoaksMonster MashImperial Stout / 10%513
Two Blind MonksBelgian Dubbel / 7%439
Bolero SnortBlackhornBlack Lager / 6.5%627
Ragin' BullAmber Lager / 5%564
Cape MayCape May IPAAmerican IPA / 6.1%532
Honey PorterEnglish Porter / 5.2%401
CartonBoatSession Ale / 4.2%5205
077XXImperial IPA / 7.8% 3052
ClimaxIndia Pale AleAmerican IPA / 6%553
ESBESB / 5.5%358
Cricket HillHopnoticAmerican IPA / 5.2%2292
East Coast LagerHelles Lager / 4.2%1133
Flying FishHopFishAmerican IPA / 6.2%6163
Exit 16Imperial IPA / 8.2%4413
High PointRamstein Double Platinum BlondeWeizenbock / 7%528
Ramstein Blonde Wheat BeerHefeweizen / 5.5%367
KaneHead HighAmerican IPA / 6.5%3403
OverheadImperial IPA / 8.2%1722
New Jersey Beer Co.Hudson Pale AleAmerican Pale Ale498
Garden State StoutAmerican Stout391
River HorseTripel HorseBelgian Tripel / 10%3562
Hop HazardAmerican Pale Ale / 6.5%3231
TuckahoeSteelmantown PorterPorter 309
Marshallville WitBelgian Pale Ale140
Turtle StoneGreen SnaleHerbed/Spiced / 5.5%94
American StoutAmerican Stout / 6.5%87

Of the 13 breweries listed, 6 have an IPA as their most checked in product.  3 breweries (Kane, Carton and Flying Fish) have the top 2 spots dominated by an IPA and an Imperial/Double IPA.  I was quite surprised when I saw River Horse's top checked in beer was their Belgian Tripel, Tripel Horse.  I would have guessed either Hop Hazard, Hopalotamus or Special Ale.  Out of the 26 top checked in beers, 17 are a distinct style (~65%).  That's a lot of variability, and I can't wait to see how that changes as more and more breweries open up (as of this writing, 17 breweries are in planning).

Now let's take a look at New Jersey's brewpubs and their top checked in beers.

Note:  I did not include Iron Hill or Triumph, as they have also have brewpubs in Pennsylvania.

BreweryBeerStyle / ABVUntappd Check-ins
Artisan's Brewery and Italian GrillWest Coast IPAAmerican IPA / 6.2%33
Light AleAmerican Blonde Ale / 4.2%27
Basil T'sMaxwells Dry StoutStout / 5%97
Rosie's Tail Waggin Pale AleAmerican Pale Ale / 5.25%72
GaslightPerfect StoutAmerican Stout, 4.8%42
EliminatorBock, 8.5%40
Harvest MoonFull Moon Pale AleAmerican Pale Ale / 5.6%170
Jimmy D's Firehouse RedIrish Red Ale / 5.5%140
JJ BittingsWHALES IPAAmerican IPA / 7%289
Avenel AmberAmerican Amber / 4.7%164
Krogh'sAlpine Glow Red AleAmerican Amber126
Old Krogh Oatmeal StoutAmerican Stout90
Long ValleyGerman Valley AmberAmerican Amber161
Lazy Jake PorterAmerican Porter153
Ship InnBest BitterEnglish Bitter96
Trap RockGhost PonyHelles Lager / 4.6%164
Hathor Red LagerMarzen / 5.3%150
Tun TavernAll American IPAAmerican IPA / 6.8%240
Devil Dog Pale AleAmerican Style Pale Ale182
Uno Chicago GrilleIke's IPAAmerican IPA93
Uno Amber AleAmerican Amber66

In the brewpubs, the IPA is still quite popular, being the most checked in beer at 4 of the locations. In total, there are 11 different styles of beer out of the 22 top checked in beers (50%).  Great diversity, if you ask me.

This is definitely just a small snapshot of the beers offered throughout New Jersey.  Driving around the Garden State, you may be surprised what you will find.  If you're traveling the Jersey shore in Monmouth County, you can find an wild ale brewed with mulberry at Carton Brewing or an imperial porter brewed with locally roasted coffee at Kane Brewing.  Head out west to Milford, and you'll find yourself in a British style pub, and swear you were in Cardiff.  Heading down to Cape May?  Stop in Tuckahoe Brewing and Cape May Brewing for a smoked porter and a cranberry wheat using Pinelands cranberry.

There's tons of great beer in New Jersey, and it's only getting better.  Keep posted, as I will be taking a look at these Untappd stats every 4 months or so.  Cheers!

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  1. Awesome idea and execution.

    1. Thanks Bryan. To me, it will be most interesting to see how these change over time. I love seeing all of the diversity!

  2. Very nice breakdown. I have an idea of what to do whenever I get out there, besides calling you, of course. I need to check out Flying Fish when I do.


    1. Thanks! Are you planning on coming to the area at all?

    2. Yes. I need to show the lady NYC and she wants to visit every state... right now we just have no plans of when, etc. I'm hoping it's while we are still here in Bragg but I don't know...

    3. Cool man, lemme know when you're gonna come up!

  3. Hey Ryan
    As an aside to this article, we identify Boat as a session ale not a kosch/ipa hybrid. There are many reasons for this. It does use Kolsch yeast but isn't filtered for clarity and uses 3.5-4 pounds of new world hops per barrel. It has a largely Canadian malt bill. Its malts are also chosen to accent the mineral qualities of our water, so no crystal malts or other redder malts making it not a small IPA.
    It's semantics in general but when you make beers against type, like we do, you need to be careful what types they are identified as because people hung up on style, will miss the mission. If someone doesn't like Boat because it’s too hoppy too bitter, or for other reasons that's cool but If they don't like it because a kolsch is clear and not hoppy, or because an IPA isn't 4.2 and yellow then the communication on our part is a mistake.
    Either way cool article, thanks for caring about NJ craft as much as you do.

    Augie Carton

    1. Thanks for the input, Augie. I have seen Boat labeled as both Kolsch and IPA in many places (online, not in bars), so I am glad you found this page and were able to properly describe your beer.

      Thanks for coming by and keep doing what you do!

    2. Yea online people change things all the time. i say "well its not crazy to put salt in a beer they do it in Gose" and no matter how many times we ask untappd to change it to "other" people imieditly change Digger to Gose. It doesn't matter that there it's not sour and no corriander and that THERE ARE CLAMS IN IT people want to call it Gose because of the salt.
      On boat we say in the write up that we use Kolsch yeast because we find it significant, and no matter how many times we fix that on a site someone changes it to a Kolsch again.
      That's life off the beaten craft i guess, see ya on the next one.

  4. oh and just FYI Monkey Chased The Weasel is Mulberries not Elderberries, and it’s a wild ale not really a Berliner but that difference is so small we don't really worry about it unless we are talking to someone from Berlin

    1. Yikes, I must have had elderberries on my mind...Thanks Augie!

    2. if i had a dollar for everytime i have been accused of being elderberry minded.