January 2000 Newsletter

January, 2000


DATE: Monday, Jan. 24th
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
PLACE: Isaac Newtons, 18 So. State St, Newtown PA
PHONE: (215) 860-5100

Sebbie Buhler, beer marketing consultant, will present the beers of that premiere West Coast brewery, Rogue to our next meeting on Jan. 24th, 7:30 pm. Sebbie was the marketing representative for Rogue for some time until her job was outsourced to consultants.

Appropriately enough, with a new millennium dawning, Rogue has wisely rehired Sebbie to represent them in this area. Sebbie will be showcasing Rogue’s excellent products – although we’re not sure which ones, we know they’ll be good. Some of my favorites – Mogul Madness (Imp. Stout I think), Mexacali Stout (Smoked Pepper and Stout), Honey Cream, Shakespeare Stout, and – well, you get the picture.

Actually, I realized (upon talking to Sebbie at the SantaFest celebration in Phila.) I haven’t seen many Rogue products in NJ in the past few years. I’m sure that will change.

In related news, the next round of BYHB will be on Feb. 20, at a place to be determined. This will be the final qualifying round of the BYHB, and we will most likely hold the final round during Charlie P’s visit.



A happy post-Y2K to all of you, my faithful readers. I hope you all enjoyed your holidaze and New Year’s celebration. It’s been more than a month since the last newsletter – hey, everyone deserves a break once in a while. Anyway, I was sitting here and thinking, what were some of the best/most memorable beers (I can remember anyway) from last year. (Of course, I’m drinking some Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale and King and Barnes Christmas Ale as I’m remembering).

So, here goes:

Bosteel’s Trippel Karmaliat, Gouden Caroulus -15 years old, Anchor Steam Christmas Ale (98), Three Floyds Alpha King, Flying Fish cask-conditioned Belgian Dubbel, Swale’s cask Summer Ale on cask, Tunbridge Porter, Cinnamon Beer and Maple Porter
(homebrew), River Horse HopHazard on tap, Westmalle Trappist Ale, Aventinus Weizenbock and a great Lambic from ASN beer camp that I can’t remember the name of, the meads and ciders I drank at the Hoppiest Show of the Millenium, that weird-ass
Belgian beer from Dogfish Head (Raison D Etre), Lunacy, Stickebier (homebrew), Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Maerzen, Triumph’s Berliner Weiss, Alt Beer (homebrew), High
Point’s Dark Wheat, Hair of the Dog Adam Beer, Holiday Beer (homebrew), Harvest Moon Vanilla Porter, Rye Doppelbock (homebrew), De Konnicke, Belle de Strausseberg (a Flanders Red style which I’m probably miserably misspelling) and probably many
others I’m missing.

Cheers, Big Ears


As you may recall, we mentioned at the Nov. meeting that the club was looking at entering some club-only AHA competitions. We would like to vote and choose a club entry into the “My Barley Doesn’t Whine” Barleywine-only competition sponsored by Rillito homebrew club (Arizona).

So bring two bottles of your best Barleywine for voting. Whichever Barleywine is picked to send to the club-only event, the club will take care of the entry and shipping fees. The cutoff date for receiving entries is the Friday after our meeting, and the competition is on Feb. 5. Check the Rillito homebrew club website at www.goodnet.com/~eb21571/bwhome.htm for more information.


We are in the process of finalizing our plans for Charlie Papazian’s visit to Princeton on April 8. Based on the results of our informal and formal surveys regarding the agenda for Charlie’s visit, most of you favored holding the final round of the BYHB during his visit.

As it stands now, we will be hosting Charlie for a talk, possibly tasting, and most likely the final round of the BYHB at the Susan Paterson Center in Princeton on April 8th, probably around 6 or 7 pm. The center is right near Borough Hall at the juncture of 206 and Nassau St. More details should be available by our meeting, or shortly afterwards.

Brewery and Brewpub News in NJ


The NJ brewing scene suffered yet another setback this past Jan. with Jersey Jim’s brewpub (Hillsborough) closing its doors. According to several industry sources, the brewpub has gone into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and all of its assets must now be liquidated. Rumor has it that the brewpub has been in Chapter 11 for the past year. Calls to the brewpub have gone unanswered as of press time.

Jersey Jim’s is the third brewpub to close in NJ in the past two years. Kokomo’s (Wildwood) closed last year, and Maxwells (Hoboken) closed prior to that. Reactions from those in the industry ranged from shock, to mild surprise, to no surprise at all – everyone agrees, however, it is not good for the industry. Owner Jim Richards also served as president of the Garden State Brewer’s guild, an organization comprised of most of NJ’s 20 brewpubs and breweries.

I met with Scott Herscher, brewer at Jersey Jim’s for over three years, during the holidays and learned that he was leaving the brewpub for personal reasons (his wife is expecting). Jersey Jim’s had advertised for a replacement brewer on www.probrewer.com, however, so there was no indication that they were planning to shut down.

There have been some signs through the past year that the brewpub may have been having financial difficulty – the pub had closed on Mondays, taps would shrink in number inexplicably, brewing supplies were sometimes in short supply. In any case, it is sad to see another brewpub close in the Garden State.


J.J. Bittings (Woodbridge) will host its 2nd Annual Gold Medal
Competition on April 16th. This AHA- sanctioned homebrew competition is sponsored by the Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale and Lager Enthusiasts Society (WHALES). For competition information, check the J.J. Bittings web page at www.njbrewpubs.com. In other news, the pub is still featuring its
Beer2K (a Helles Bock at 6.6% ABV) and will tap a Mai Bock and Irish Red in March.


Heavyweight (Ocean township), NJ’s newest brewery, has bottled its latest product – Baltus OVS (Our Very Special) ale. Brewer Tom Baker describes Baltus as an assertive amber ale, brewed with English pale and German wheat malts, with an 8.2% ABV.

Those of you who attended the Nov. club meeting doubtless remember Tom Baker and his deliciously spicy and malty Belgian-style ale, Lunacy. I, for one, can’t wait to try Tom’s newest product. According to Baker’s web site at www.heavyweight-brewing.com, the beer will be sold at Circle Liquors (Pennington), Carduner’s (East Windsor), and Varsity Liquors (Princeton).

In addition, the brewery is kegging Lunacy, to be available in select locations. Baker is also brewing a new draft-only offering in Feb for distribution in the late spring, which is loosely based on the German Weizenbock style. Also, check out the brewery’s new web page at www.heavyweight-brewing.com.

Flying Fish (Cherry Hill) will be releasing its draft-only HopPhish in Feb., an IPA made with a combination of six malts and five hop varieties. Just for variety, instead of dry-hopping, the brewers have created a hop “tea” of Ahtanum hops and added it during primary fermentation to boost hop flavor and aroma. This beer will be available in half kegs and torpedo mini-kegs, with some cask-conditioned firkins at select locations.

Speaking of new products, I sampled the brewery’s limited edition Cherry Porter this past holiday season. Dried sour cherries are added during secondary fermentation, and the result is a wonderful cherry flavor and aroma balanced against roasty, chocolate notes.

In Lambertville, River Horse is hosting a chili cook-off on Sunday February 6th, 1-5pm at the brewery as part of the annual “Winter Festival.” The cook-off features chili from twelve area restaurants and benefits the town’s recreation department.

Up north, High Point (Butler) has added a new lagering tank to accommodate demand for its new Kristall beer. On Feb. 17th, High Point is doing a promo night at Union Ave. Grill, located next to the brewery.


Triumph is pulling out all the stops for its Mardi Gras celebration this year. Festivities begin on March 2nd with a special Creole menu. The party kicks into high gear on March 7th, with Snapperhead, a seven-piece band, which plays a mix of Zydeco, Swamp, Pop, Blues and Cajun music. Magicians, jugglers on stilts, tap dancers, balloon artists, and psychic readers will also be featured. Cover charge is $5. St. Patrick’s Day will feature live music from Paddy and the Pale Boys, Irish Stout, and door prizes – $5 cover.

In beer news, will anarchy reign in the normally refined streets of Princeton, will shagging run rampant, will riots break out, as Triumph serves up their most unusual beer ever – a Gruit-style ale? Gruit was the drink of choice for over 700 years in Europe, and is made with yarrow, sweet gale/myrtle, and wild rosemary (in place of hops). It is widely considered to be an aphrodisiac, euphoric and stimulant! Look for a Belgian Trippel in Feb/March also.

Triumph will also be hosting a Beer Appreciation class starting in the end of Feb. sponsored by the West Windsor/Plainsboro Adult Education, and taught by yours truly. For more info, try (609) 716-5034 or wwpce3@p…

And while we’re in Princeton – PALE ALES homebrew club will be hosting Charlie Papazian, father of homebrewing, as a speaker at the Suzanne Paterson Center in Princeton on the evening of April 8th. For more information, contact 609-890-8611 or paleales@a…

In New Brunswick, Old Bay has brought its two beer engines back online after a long hiatus. (During a recent visit, I sampled Climax’s Abbey Dubbel on cask!). Look for cask-conditioned British beers from the B. United portfolio in Feb., such as Woodforde Norfolk Nog, Black Sheep Riggwelter, J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale 1999.

And if you’re in New Brunswick, check out the delicious cask-conditioned Vanilla Porter from Harvest Moon – velvety smooth with the vanilla coming through delicately in both the nose and flavor (vanilla beans are added to the keg).

Gaslight brewpub (So. Orange) will host a “Cheese Tasting” on Sat. Feb. 26th. The tasting will pair craft cheeses and other foods with three Normandy ciders, two meads, a perry, and several other beverages TBA from B. United International’s portfolio. The event is co-hosted by B. United, and reps. will available to discuss cider and mead production. For more info, try 973-762-7077 or bunitedint@a…

In Feb., look for B. United’s portfolio of British beers on the guest tap at the brewpub as well, including Woodforde’s Norfolk Nog, Dent T’owd Tup, Black Sheep Riggwelter and J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale 1999.

The Bernardsville Stone Tavern will feature a special Valentine’s Day menu for couples Feb. 11-14. For St. Patrick’s, the brewpub will feature a bagpiper and Irish Stout. Lastly, Uncle Floyd will be bringing his wackiness to the brewpub on Feb. 19th and March 11th.

Long Valley brewpub will be featuring a Wee Heavy (7.5 % ABV) and a Northern English Brown Ale, similar to Newcastle. The pub’s fourth annual St Patrick’s Day festivities will feature the infamous Wheel of Beer (spin the wheel for food and beer specials) and the Stone Barn Stout, a Guinness-like clone. The Mardis Gras celebration on March 7th will feature live music and $2 pints.

In other news, Beers International is throwing its 17th Annual Tasting/Party at the VFW in Teaneck, on Feb. 6, at 5 pm. As always, this event will feature stellar beers and great food from Brew Chef Tim Schaefer (including gourmet kielbasa), door prizes and more. Proceeds benefit the Tomorrow’s Children Fund. For more information, call 973-853-BEER or check the web site at www.beersinternational.com. And of course, March 30th marks the beginning of the Beers International/Ale Street News tour through
Belgium. Call (973)853-BEER for more information.

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Princeton and Local Environs Ale and Lager Enthusiast Society