July 1998 Newsletter

July 1998


Please – read carefully!:

For some time, the amount of e-mail addresses that I have collected at my store is more bandwitdth than my ISP would like me to use – so we need to shift all those that enjoy PALES TALES to a new ISP. That means you must send a message with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line to paleales@altavista.net

Please do this now so you don’t have to remember to do it later. You will not get another issue of PALES TALES if you do not do this.

The new list will be managed by Kevin Trayner our recently elected Secretary. Kent Brehm, our past President and recently retired Secretary may be moving soon as his company is closing its office in Princeton.

The people that are on the list now, and who will visit my store in the future, will get a Princeton Homebrew newsletter ([only this mailing will be sent out in small groups; and over time, so it will not cause trouble.) This newsletter will be focused on Princeton Homebrew activities and not on PALE ALE activities, (Though, I predict some activities will overlap).

If you would like to be removed from this mailing list, Simply reply
with REMOVE in the subject line. This will help me reduce the bandwidth on future outgoing messages.



Homebrewers bring your brews to the next meeting as we will feature a judging panel and discussion of beers at our next meeting, July 27th, 8:30 PM at Triumph. Try and think of it as a formalized version of the “Hey I just brewed this, what do ya think?” exchange between homebrewers. Don’t be intimidated – this isn’t a test! The idea is to receive feedback from your fellow brewers and stimulate discussion about brewing methods, techniques, off flavors, etc.

This session should be fun and informative for all. Bring your good, your bad and your ugly beers. Maybe, some of our clubs AHA finalists will be good enough to share their spoils with us? Actually, I think I’d like my Garlic Lambic (Translyvanian Home Brewers guild) evaluated by the panel – I used an 18th Century Belgian sweat sock and I am curious to see how authentic the judges will find it.

After the judging panel, Triumph brewers Tom and Adam will be featured speakers. Ask about your favorite Triumph beers.


Last month’s meeting was a Wheat-beer gala event, with Greg Zacardi, founder of the High Point Wheat Beer Company presenting three great traditional wheat beers for our consumption and enjoyment – a blonde, a dunkel, and a test batch of a wheat marzen. The blonde and dunkel displayed a great deal of complexity both in aroma and flavor.

High Point specializes in German-style wheat beers under the Ramstein label using a traditional German yeast. Zacardi’s wife comes from a German brewing family located in Ramstein, Germany. Zacardi was inspired to brew a hefe-weizen after tasting her father’s beer – and the rest is history. Incidentally, Michael Jackson gives both of their beers 3 stars, with the dunkel receiving his highest rating for any dark wheat beer.

Greg talked at length about the trials and tribulations of making craft beer – competing with the big boys (Amheuser Busch), throwing out batches, and the beer climate in Germany. Zacardi was accompanied by Uli Maier,a German Brewer who has graduated the Munich Brewers School Brewmaster Program and is proceeding to graduate school at Weihenstephan or Dortmund, to answer technical brewing questions.

In addition to learning about making wheat beer, we also learned that in Germany there were really only large breweries (like Becks) or brewpubs, but no microbreweries. More importantly, many of us were reassured by knowing that the High Point Brewery is actually a former fallout shelter.

So, in case of global nuclear war, drive to Butler. As Zacardi put it: “It’s a good place to be stuck with all that beer.”


Congratulations to the following Pale Ales members, who made it into the second round of the AHA finals:

FIRST – Kent Brehm & Bruce Hammell, Hamilton, NJ, Robust Porter
FIRST – Richard Koch, Monmouth Jct, NJ, Vienna-Style Lager
SECOND – Roland Pena, Skillman, NJ, Classic English-Style Pale Ale
SECOND – Roland Pena, Skillman, NJ, Classic-Style Specialty Beer
THIRD – Richard Koch, Monmouth Jct, NJ, Munich-Style Helles


A Special Report by Kevin Trayner

Over 16 breweries and brewpubs poured close to 50 beers at the recent second annual Garden State Brewer’s festival. Flying Fish, Hoboken Brewing, Jersey Jim’s, Basil T’s, Triumph, Ship Inn, and many others were featured at the fest. Approximately 2500 attendees shelled out their $15 for the Waterloo Village festival held in Stanhope. This fest is sponsored yearly by the Garden State Brewer’s Guild, which represents an overwhelming percentage of NJ’s brewpubs and breweries (High Point and Climax are two notable execeptions).

Some comments – well organized, good food selections, not a lot of long lines. The guild has definitely ironed out the problems they had at last year’s festival. On to the beer… Many tasty, but very different IPA’s. Some standouts for me were the beers of Stone Tavern. John Van Decker brews what he wants to, and does a good job – I really liked the Porter and ESB. And, although I’m not sure exactly where it fits in the Belgian styles, the Belgian Farmhouse Ale from Flying Fish can be quite thirst-quenching!

Again, the Ship Inn never seems to disappoint – the Olde Pheasant Plucker tasted like an experimental homebrewer’s delight – kind of a hybrid of a Brown Ale and Porter. Triumph poured a decent hefe-weizen. I was also pleasantly surprised by Red Bank Brewing’s Molly Pitcher American Lager – an American style beer made with 6-row barley, Cluster hops and 25% adjunct corn. As an anti-adjunct person, I was suprised how flavorful this beer was – opinions on adjuncts anyone?? New brewpubs Pizzeria Uno brewpub (Woodbridge on Rt. 1 in between Menlo Park and Woodbridge malls) and Gaslight Brewery (South Orange) made their debut as well.


AUGUST 3, Buckeye Brewer of the Year at the Ashtabula County Fair, AHA Sanctioned Competition, Jefferson, Ohio. Entries due 8/3/98 with a $13 fee for 1 to 3 entries. Contact Richard Longden at (440) 964-8654.

AUGUST 8, Cornish Fair Preservation Days Homebrew Competition, AHA Sanctioned Competition, Cornish, ME. Entries due 8/6/98 with a $2/entry fee. Contact Randy Metcalf at (207) 625-4617] 8/8/98 to 8/9/98.

AUGUST 8-9, North Texas State Fair Homebrew Competition, AHA Sanctioned Competition, Denton, TX. Entries due 8/1/98 with a $5/entry fee. Late entries $7 ea. Contact Kevin Harvill at (972) 355-3230, e-mail: harvill@gte.net.

AUGUST 9-29 (?), Michigan State Fair, AHA Sanctioned Competition, Plymouth, MI. Entries due 8/7/98 with a $12/entry fee. Contact Stephen Klump at (313) 207-7570 (h) or (313) 446-2033 (w), e-mail: stephenklump@compuserve.com.

AUGUST 15, Josephine County Fair, AHA Sanctioned Competition, Grants Pass, OR. Entries due 8/13/98 before 1pm. Contact Michael Maas at (541) 476-0737.

AUGUST 15, 10th Annual Beer & Sweat, AHA Sanctioned Competition, Cincinnati, OH. Sponsored by Bloatarian Brewing League. World’s largest all keg homebrew competition. Contact Robert Pinkerton at 513-459-1046 (w), e-mail: robertp@cinti.net.

AUGUST 15-16, Evergreen State Fair Beer Brewing Competition, AHA Sanctioned Competition, Monroe, Wash. Entries due 8/8/98 through 8/10/98. Contact Steve Titterness at (360) 653-5168 (h) or (360) 658-9577 (w), e-mail: kimsplace@tgi.net.



JULY 24 – Sheraton Bucks County Hotel presents the 3rd Annual Ultimate Beer Tasting Festival and Clam Bake, 6:30pm. National and local brewing representatives will be featured. The $29.95 ticket also includes a traditional Summer Clam Bake Feast – steamers, crabs, carved beef and turkey, full salad bar … even desserts made from beer, plus door prizes! For reservations call (215)547-4100, ext. 343.

AUGUST 8, STOUDT’S MICROFEST (featuring 25 microbreweries and over 50 beers) at Stoudt’s Brewery, Adamstown, PA, 717-484-4385. IMHO, one of the best run festivals I’ve ever attended. (Camp at the campground near the Holiday Inn and catch the bus to the brewery!) There is another one in October, if you miss this one.

AUGUST 20, IPSWICH AND HARPOON BEER TASTING – If you like New England brews, the Yellow Brick Toad of Lambertville is hosting a “Massachusetts Microbrew Duel: Harpoon vs. Ipswich, Thursday, August 20th at 7 pm. Brewery representatives will be on hand to answer questions. The $19 admission buys you eight beers with light food accompaniments. The Toad has long hosted wine tastings, and has recently been featuring beer tastings. Call the 1-800-THE-TOAD for more information.

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Princeton and Local Environs Ale and Lager Enthusiast Society