February 2003 Newsletter

ISSUE #71
February 2003

Beers of Harvest Moon
DATE: Monday, Feb 24th
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
PLACE: Harvest Moon, 392 George Street, New Bruswick, NJ
PHONE: (732) 249-6666

Our Feb meeting will feature the beers of Harvest Moon brewpub in New Brunswick, presented of course by their new brewer, Matt McCord. I had heard good things about Matt’s beers, and when I
had a chance to sample them recently, the buzz proved to be true – well-balanced, interesting, and one sip made you want to take another!

Matt has been doing a lot to build up the brewpub’s reputation – keeping seven to eight taps on at all times, making the brewpub’s first lager, and bringing back cask beer on a regular basis.

The brewpub has gone through several brewers in the past years, but it looks like this one is here to stay for a while. Come join us and become reacquainted with the great beers of the Harvest
Moon.
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BARLEYWINE STYLES MTG PULLS OUT ALL THE STOPS

The club’s first style meeting of the year was not to be missed – everything you wanted to know about barleywines, stock ales, strong ales and old ales; a plethora of commercial and homebrewed examples, including some aged ones; and a healthy
does of humour.

If I could encapsulate everything that Joe presented and was discussed about barleywines, strong ales and old ales, all the knowledge and wisdom that flowed around the room…

OK, my memory is actually a little foggy, but I remember Joe saying something about “sipping a rocking chair by a fire, or sipping something fiery near a rocking chair.” Well, I think you get the gist of it!

Seriously though, we sampled eight or more barleywines that evening. Some of the highlights included:

#Fullers Vintage 2000
#Weyerbacher’s Blithering Idiot
#Brooklyn Monster 2003
#Victory Old Horizontal 2000 (one of my favorites of the evening)
#Two versions of homebrewed Barleywine from Steve Rowley and Andy and Laurie Koontz/Harmon, which used two different yeasts (English and American), with very different tastes.
#Homebrewed Barleywine from Joe and Dave.
#More barleywines….

Joe talked about the murky origins and delineations between the designations of stock ale, old ale, strong ale, and barleywine – pointing out that some breweries will call their holiday seasonal a barleywine simply because it is the strongest beer they make. It was great fun and educational for all.

A special thanks to Triumph again for hosting the evening’s festivities and supporting great beers. Many of us enjoyed a pint or two of the brewpub’s beers beforehand – the Imperial Stout being a
favorite of many, and apropos with the topic of strong beers.

SAKE MEETING SLATED FOR MARCH 10th

Get ready for a slight departure from barley in our March meeting, when PALE ALES member Bruce Hammell presents sake! Bruce, a longstanding member of Pale Ales and former gold medal winner
in the AHA nationals, organized the first ever national sake homebrew competition in the US last year. This first ever homebrew competition was part of the Sake Summit, the first real large- scale sake educational and marketing event in the US.

Bruce has been quite a trailblazer in the land of homebrewing sake, and there is just no one better on the East Coast to present this topic folks. (I understand Bruce will be bringing samples of the
winners of the homebrew competition from last year as well.)

Like all beers, sake is made from a grain – rice, and fermented with yeast (a separate mold called koji is used to break down the enzymes in the rice). Sake, also called rice wine, has been brewed by mankind for thousands of years. Sake is one of the most widely drunk beverages in the world, and enjoys a popularity in countries such as Japan, Korea, China, and India. There are a handful of sake microbreweries in the US as well.

The meeting will be held at BANZAI Restaurant in Hamilton, and will include a video of the sake making process, samples, and more. Attendees may want to sample from the sushi/sashimi and other
entrees. Don’t miss this one – there is a whole world of sake out there that warrants some exploration.

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR 2003

Here is a quick list/recap of the club’s events for the year. Note that some of these are tentative, but this gives you a darn good idea of what we are planning for the upcoming year:

JANUARY – Barleywine styles meeting

FEBRUARY 24TH – Beers of Harvest Moon

MARCH 10TH – Sake meeting

APRIL – Styles meeting – Pale Ales

MAY – Big Brew (We’re tossing round the idea of a
California Red, with each person using a
different yeast).

JUNE – Summer Ales

JULY 12TH (tentative) – Annual NYC Pub Crawl

SEPTEMBER – Focus on hops (hop picking, hoppy
styles)

OCTOBER – Cooking with beer

DECEMBER – Meads

DECEMBER – Club’s Hoppiest Show on Earth AHA
competition (yes, we are doing it this year again!)

UPCOMING BEER EVENT CALENDAR

FRIDAY, FEB. 14th – VALENTINES DAY – Dark beer, chocolate, and lovin’. Perhaps, some Porter, Imperial Stout, or Belgian Dubbel and Dark Belgian Chocolate… and raspberries? (Barry White ain’t got nothin’ on dark beers and chocolate baby.)

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 19, Andy’s Corner Tavern (Bogota) celebrates a special NJ Night, where it will feature nothing but great beers from NJ. The password for the night is “swordfish.” Pass it
on.
Check out www.andyscornerbar.com for more info.


FEB 22-23 – Overnight Bus/Brewery Tour to Jersey Shore and Delaware – Leaving from north Jersey, also pick up at Metro Park

Includes: Transport (incl. ferry) by luxury bus; overnight lodging; tour, tasting and pizza lunch at Heavyweight Brewing Co., tour and tasting at Dogfish Head, Milton, DE; dinner and beer and rum tasting at Dogfish Head Brewpub, Rehoboth Beach, DE; lunch and tasting at Tun Tavern Brewpub, Atlantic City.

Give ASN a call at 800-351-2537 or visit the website www.alestreetnews.com.

FEB. 25: THE DARKEST NIGHT — Imperial Stouts (tap & bottle) featured at Blind Tiger Alehouse, 10th & Hudson, NYC (212) 675-3848.

MARCH 17TH – ST. PATTY’S DAY. ASN and Tim Schafer, the Brew Chef, are hosting a St. Patty’s dinner, which will feature beerhunter Michael Jackson, and a St Paddy’s day menu. A stellar
event to be sure!

MARCH 22 – University of Pennsylvania Archaeological Museum tasting. A tutored tasting from Michael Jackson, great food, great beers, and a great setting.

Check out
www.museum.upenn.edu/new/events/calitem.php?which =108 for more info.

Contact the Annenberg Center for tickets at http://www.annenbergcenter.org/.

NJ NEWS

CRICKET HILL (Fairfield), NJ’s newest brewery, has weathered the harsh economic climate, celebrating its one-year anniversary this
January. “Sales have been brisk,” according to owner Rick Reed. Currently, the breweries products are sold in over 200 locations in North Jersey, he said. The brewery has also added two 30-barrel fermenters, which will increase production by about 30% – to about 2500 barrels per year.

The brewery makes a Pale Ale style beer and a Helles style lager, and does not plan to add any new beers in the near future, although they will be doing a cask-only British ale for the Cloverleaf bar in Caldwell, said Reed.

A little publicity via network TV probably hasn’t hurt sales either. Cricket Hill was actually featured on the Dec. 7th episode of the reality series “Change of Heart” – the couple on the show stopped at the brewery as part of their date. In addition, Cricket Hill’s beers are also featured on the set of the CBS series “Hack.” “Although
the name is obscured, it is clearly our label,” said Reed.

Lastly, Reed and Cricket Hill (and Dave Hoffman of Climax as well) will be featured on a Discovery Channel special on microbreweries, he said. For more info on the brewery, check out
their web site at www.crickethillbrewing.com.

The third time is the charm at HARVEST MOON in New Brunswick apparently. After losing two brewers within the space of a year, the brewpub appears to have hit pay dirt with its latest brewer, Matt McCord, who came on at the end of 2002.

Like most brewers, McCord’s path to brewing was a crooked one. Dissatisfied with his career options as Psychology major, McCord instead turned to his love for beer, found a new passion in homebrewing, and eventually enrolled in the American Brewers Guild Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering program. McCord, who hails from Vorhees was apprenticing at Manayunk brewpub in Philly, when he saw the opening for a head brewer
at the Moon.

McCord’s has made his number one mission strengthening the brewpub’s beer reputation. Since he came on in November, McCord has been working hard to improve the number of beers on
tap, variety and quality – and has been fairly successful on all accounts. For starters, during the holidays Harvest Moon had eight beers on tap – a first for the brewpub. That pace may prove too hard to maintain, admits McCord, although he is committed to having seven full taps.

In addition, you can expect to see cask beers semi-regularly as well, and by the time you read this, the brewpub will serve its first lager ever on tap. In terms of quality, all of the beers I tasted were well-made, balanced, and enjoyable.

Stylistically, McCord favors British styles, with some love for the Belgians as well. “I love English hops and malt, and I love session beers.” Speaking of session beers, one of my favorites was Prince Edward’s Mild Manor, which was anything but mild in flavor. English Hops and layers of malt fight out for supremacy over a 5% ABV body- a little big for a Mild, but a superb session beer. At the other end of the spectrum, the pleasantly spiced holiday ale was fruity and rich with a nice malt background. Even the regular-sounding Amber Ale was a pleasant surprise – with some nice malt complexity and a hint of smokiness. Look for an Imperial Stout and
Belgian Trippel this winter, in addition to a German Pilsner.

On a separate note, I also ate dinner at the brewpub, and our dinners were excellent – from the crisp onion rings to the creamy Caesar salad, to the tangy, spicy five-spiced chicken. In short, if you are in the New Brunswick, give the Harvest Moon a try; I think you’ll be glad you did.

Up north in Butler, I chatted with Greg Zaccardi, owner of HIGH POINT BREWING at a recent open house over some great traditional German weizen and lager beers.

The Winter Wheat weizen doppelbock (9.5% ABV) tasted fantastic fresh from the keg – big, chocolatey and fruity, you could feel the warmth of the alcohol, but not really taste it too much. This beer just gets better every year. On the lighter side, the Golden Lager, brewed to Trap Rock’s award-winning recipe for Ghost Pony Helles, was just a great, balanced session beer.

Zaccardi really piqued my curiosity when he mentioned that he had done an ice-brewed keg of the Winter Wheat – which weighed in at 12% ABV. I’d know quite a few people that would like to try that some time Greg! Speaking of new brews, High Point will be releasing an authentic Maibock (7.5% ABV) in March of this year.

This marked my first trip to the brewery, which is in Butler by the way, and not High Point (as the brewery name might lead you to think). Zaccardi and co. originally wanted to build a brewery in High Point, but the infrastructure really wasn’t there to support it. Instead, they set up shop in a historic 120-year old warehouse in the sleepy, once-upon-a-time industrial town of Butler. Butler (and the warehouse) were once the location of the American Hard Rubber, Inc. factory, which manufactured hard rubber items ranging from fighter plan tires to bowling balls. (In fact, the company did quality control tests on the bowling balls by dropping them from several stories to see how high they bounce!).

The brewery holds an open house from 2-4 pm on the first Saturday of each month. Call (973) 838- 7400 for more information.

Dave Hoffman OF CLIMAX (Roselle Park) should be releasing his first lager (Pilsner) brewed with the new system by the end of Feb. Look for the brewery’s Maibock in April as well.

Going south, a few new faces are popping up at FLYING FISH (Cherry Hill). Jon Zangwill comes on as head brewer. A Florida native, Zangwill has worked The Foundry in Pittsburgh, the late
Neversink Brewing (Reading, PA), and most recently starting up a pub in Hawaii. Mark Hummel will continue as a staff brewer, and take over the new role of packaging manager (as well as dad of twin baby boys!). Another Floridian, Casey Hughes joins the Fish as a staff brewer. Hughes worked at Key West Brewery, which recently merged with Ybor City Brewing in Tampa.

By the way, if you haven’t tried the Grand Cru, the Fish’s take on a Belgian Golden Ale, be sure and check it out. A nice Belgian yeast character, spiciness and a 7% ABV dose of alcohol provide the warmth to ward off theWinter chill.

HEAVYWEIGHT (Ocean) is expanding its facilities to take over adjacent space next door, essentially doubling the size of the brewery, according to brewer Tom Baker. The new space will house additional fermenters and provide more space for tours/open house events, possibly a small gift shop area. The timing is right as the brewery is looking into expanding its distribution of its big beers. Speaking of big beers, this year’s Old Salty weighs in at close to 12 % ABV, and has a wonderful rich toffee-like maltiness, reminiscent of the best English Barleywines. Lay down this one for a month or two before sampling it (longer
if you can wait), as it is a tad on the sweet side.

Look for the smoky, malty, always enticing Cinderbock in Feb and March, brewed slightly larger this year. In other news, Tom and wife
Peggy will be at this year’s Groundhog day/Lucky Cat cask festival at the Grey Lodge Pub in Philly on Feb. 2nd. Also, the brewery’s beer will be part of the Barleywine Dinner at KClinger’s Hanover,
PA on Feb. 23rd.

The beer hunter himself, MICHAEL JACKSON, will be gracing the green pastures of the Garden State this ST. PATTY’S DAY. ASN and Tim Schafer, the Brew Chef, are hosting a St. Patty’s dinner on
March 17th at Tim Schafer’s Cuisine in Morristown, featuring Michael Jackson as a special guest. The menu looks great and will feature beers from some of NJ’s finest. Call ASN for more information at 1-800-351-2537.

On Feb 22-23, ASN will host a combination NJ/DELAWARE CRAFT BEER TOUR. Tour goers will take a ferry ride from scenic Cape May over to Dogfish Head’s new brewery in Milton, DE. Dinner will be at Dogfish Head’s original brewpub (which also distills rum!). On the return trip, tour goers will grab lunch at Tun Tavern in Atlantic City. The $185 cost is inclusive. Check
www.alestreetnews.com for info or call.

JJ BITTINGS (Woodbridge) is celebrating its seventh anniversary in the form of a Mardi Gras Bash on February 22nd, according to brewer August Lightfoot. Upcoming beers will include a Doppelbock (yum!) and Amber.

LONG VALLEY (Long Valley) is bringing back its malty, warming Wee Heavy Scotch Ale on the hand pump. Also coming are a Dry Stout for St. Patrick’s day festivities, and a Northern Brown Ale.

TRAP ROCK (Bernardsville) continues its beer dinner tradition in the coming months. The Feb. 4th beer dinner will feature special guests California craft brewer Anderson Valley, with ASN’s Karl Mende hosting. In March, Sierra Nevada will return for its second beer dinner at the brewpub. For more info, call (908) 665-1755. On
tap, look for a Trappist Ale (8.5% ABV), Special Bitter, and Expresso Stout. Speaking of beer dinners, Pizzeria Uno Metuchen) will be hosting another beer dinner on March 24th. Call the brewpub for more details at (732) 548-7979. Upcoming beers at the pub will include an Oatmeal Stout and Dunkelweizen.

TRIUMPH (Princeton) is bringing back ye medieval Gothic Ale, a Gruit-style beer. As brewer Tom Stevenson puts it: “Made from herbs other than hops for that wild and crazy, psychedelic and aphrodisiac feeling that our ancestors enjoyed.” Also coming on tap – the brewpub’s Imperial Stout, the chili pepper flavored Jolie Blonde, and Roggenbock, the pumpernickel rye Bock beer.

BASIL T’S (Red Bank) Mug Club, NJ’s largest, is going strong in 2003, having sold out before Christmas, according to brewer Gretchen Schmidhausler. On tap, look for Dr. G’s Honey Brown Ale, which is made with local honey. “Perfect for the cold and flu season,” Schmidhausler notes. And of course, the malty Iceboat Ale will be coming on to warm up the local group of chilly iceboaters, who put in at the Navesink River across the street from the brewpub.

HOMEBREWING EVENTS

BEST OF BROOKLYN HOMEBREW CONTEST – FEB 22!
The Malted Barley Appreciation Society (MBAs) presents the
6th annual “Best of Brooklyn” homebrew competition.

10 a.m., Saturday, February 22, 2003 at The Brooklyn Brewery

Homebrewers from all over the area are encouraged to send in entries.

Last year the Best of Brooklyn contest awarded over $2,000 in great prizes. This year we hope to top that. We will award prizes and ribbons for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of every (BJCP) category in addition to Best Of Show and 2nd BOS.

And of course, we will again have the “First Time Contestant’s Best of Show” award. New homebrewers compete not only in the general contest, but also in this special round open only to brewers entering a contest for the first time. So go ahead and enter! There’s no reason to be intimidated by more experienced competition.

ENTER OR REGISTER TO BE A JUDGE ONLINE NOW!
http://hbd.org/MBAS/bob2003.html.

FOAM ON THE RANGE HOSTS 1ST AHA TECHTALK
COMPETITION MARCH 15, 2003

Dear Fellow Homebrewers:

Foam on the Range proudly announces that it will serve as the host club for the 1st Annual AHA TechTalk Competition!!!

The competition will take place Saturday, March 15th, 2003 and the entry deadline is Wednesday, March 12th, 2003. Entries will be accepted for the following BJCP Categories:

Category 6A: American Pale Ale
Category 6B: American Amber Ale
Category 6C: California Common Beer
Category 10D: American Brown Ale

The styles have been specifically selected to encourage new homebrewers to feel comfortable entering the contest as well as
their more experienced colleagues. The goal of the competition is to provide the best, most constructive and valuable feedback to each entrant.

Entrants MUST be AHA members to enter since the competition is sponsored and conducted under the auspices of the AHA. If you
are not already an AHA member, you can send in your registration
paperwork with your entry or contact Tom Kosinski, FOTR’s Head Schmoo and AHA Liason at tmkmasher@m…
to join.

Full details and rules can be found in the attached .pdf file or at the
club’s website at http://www.foamontherange.org/club_files/techtalk
r1.pdf.

Remember, we need judges and stewards to make this comp a success and it is a sanctioned AHA/BJCP event, so all who help out are eligible for experience points! If interested in assisting as a judge or steward, please contact me at hopfenkopf@h….

Please distribute this announcement to all fellow brewers who might be interested!

Fire up those kettles and get ready!!!

Cheers,

Jon Douglas
Minister for Information
Foam on the Range

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Princeton and Local Environs Ale and Lager Enthusiast Society