First off, super huge thanks to Joe Bair for setting up this meeting several months ago. Derek from Kane worked some magic and arranged for a mini-tap takeover last night. Unos cleared 8 tap lines for Derek — which is perfect amount for 2 flights. We had Donut Shack, Morning Bean, Evening Bell, Sneakbox, Head High, Overhead, Black Tie Required and Sunday Brunch. Unfortunately, the succulent mafia had a meeting going on in the back room. So, we ended up taking over half of the bar with a whopping 32 club members, including a few first timers. This meant that we didn’t get to have a traditional tasting and presentation from Derek. But, he floated around and gave us an update about what’s going on at Kane. The big news was that Kane will officially hit their production capacity this year. Their 20 bbl system is turning out beer FOUR, yes, FOUR times a day! It is also worth noting that Kane recently picked up our good friend and club member Richard B. as a brewer. Thanks to D for the snaps!
Screamin’ Hill invited us out to see what they’re up to and drink some morning beers with them a couple of weeks ago. We visited them two years ago when they first opened. But, it was time to taste their latest offerings and hear about their expansion plans.
This dirt to draft brewery is making 80-85% of their ingredients on site. They’re growing 6 different varietals of grain at the family-owned farm where the brewery is located. Growing your own hops and grain on a relatively small scale introduces a whole new set of challenges to the brewing process — namely consistency. Grains and hops are tested by labs, but they find that they still need to make adjustments after the first batch brewed with a new harvest of any ingredient.
Screamin’ Hill is usually open on Saturdays. But, it’s worth checking their FB page before heading out. They sometimes run out of beer and skip a Saturday. On draft, you can find them at the Witherspoon Grill, the A&B in Princeton and at the Blend Bistro in Hamilton.
The Club’s July meeting has been moved to a new location this year. Chuck and Amelia DiSanto (461 Mt. Lucas Road, Princeton, 08540) will be our hosts for this summertime backyard potluck meeting. It will be hard to top the scenery and generosity of our long-time host for the July meeting, Paul Corkery. But, renovations and travel this month made it impossible.
In addition to some fantastic food from your fellow club members, there’s beer. The club usually provides the beer and — until recently — it’s been based on single style of beer. It’s a great way to dig your palate into the finer points of one style.
I really struggled with the temptation to springboard off of the May meeting. The syrupy artificial fruit flavor of Champale almost tempted me to say that we should do a fruit-infused pale ale meeting. Maybe it would help potential brewers taking on the challenge of “reinventing Champale.” But then I practiced saying it out loud and I just couldn’t make my lips say “Welcome to the fruit-beer style meeting…”
So, we’re going with a style that seems to be exploding on the scene event faster than the fruit beer — US craft session lagers.
Bring a covered dish or a little something to toss on the grill and a friend/designated driver. If you happen to have a fruit-infused beer that you particularly like, bring a couple along. All records will show this was a LAGER meeting!
It’s a bit late notice, but the club competition is set for October 18th, with a 1 pm start time. The location will be the Mill Hill Saloon, 300 S Broad St, Trenton, NJ 08608
Instead of the usual BJCP categories, we’ve decided to go with four broad categories:
Hoppy- IPAs etc
Roasty/Malty- Stouts, Brown Ales, etc
Crisp/Light- Pilsners, Kölsch, etc
Funky- Sours, Brett Beers, anything odd.
I’m sure there will be entries that could be in more than one category, use your best judgment. Please bring at least two 12-ounce bottles (or one 22oz), plain bottles are preferred. Extra beer is encouraged.
Please expect to judge in at least one catergory. We’ll go over how everything works the day of. We’ll be providing appetizers; the kitchen will be open for anything else.
Remember, the competition is open to club members only, so please be sure that your dues are paid up!
Any questions should be sent to PALEALESevents@comcast.net
Yes, that’s right it’s been 20 years since Joe Bair convinced a bunch of his customers to all show up one night at The Alchemist and Barrister in Princeton. We decided the only appropriate thing to do to commemorate the milestone would be to go back to The A&B and raise a pint.
As a new brewery, I think its always good indicator that you’ve got it right when the local homebrew club comes out and fills their trunks with your beer. Keep an eye out for Spellbound beers on tap. You won’t be sorry! They seem to be doing a little bit of everything style-wise and doing it well every time. Thanks to Michael Renegar, Jimmy and Bair for the pics!
We are always really excited when local homebrewers go big time. Spellbound Brewing has done just that. They’ve got a massive space, a fantastic tasting room and — get this– their very own canning line! Check the Calendar Page for details. Here’s Joe proving that he CAN clean out the mash tun with his eyes closed.
Our annual style meeting is always a great time. We had plenty of great food and some really good beers (and some not so good). Steve Rowley led us through a wide range of beers under the heading of bock, including maibocks, dopplebocks, weizenbocks and eisbocks. You can find some pretty dicey beers brewed in these styles — and some members could resist bringing them! However, the vast majority of the beers we sampled were great examples of their respective style. Thanks, Paul for hosting us once again. If you have an idea for the 2015 style meeting, add it to the comments of this post.
Another year, another Big Brew down in history… meeting again on the Suydam property in Franklin, the PALE ALES turned out 200+ gallons of homebrew! A big thanks to Paul and Robin for having us there, and everyone who showed up and had some fun! Got pictures I haven’t posted? Send them in and I’ll add them.