June 1999 Newsletter

PALE TALES NEWSLETTER
ISSUE #36
June, 1999

**** SECOND ROUND OF BRING YER OWN HOME BREW ****

DATE: Sunday, March 28th
TIME: 4-6 p.m.
PLACE: Princeton Homebrew
PHONE: (609) 252-1800

We will hold the second round of the style-free, club only, Bring Yer Home Brew competition this coming Sunday (June 27) at Princeton Homebrew, from 4-6 pm.

If you will be bringing beer (no meads or wines please), e-mail Joe ASAP (schd@p…) and Include the OG ( or lbs. of fermentables), relative hoppiness or maltiness, yeast used , and any special ingredients. Please park on the street (no meters on Sunday) and not in the back lot on competition day.

To briefly recap the rules:

1. Each brewer must bring 36 oz. of one of their beers. No beers that have already won prizes, please.

2. Each brewer will pour their own beer. Those present (incl. brewer) will then vote using simple evaluation sheets. (Pens and clipboards welcome!)

3. Styles are not important. Beers should be evaluated on freshness and lack of off-flavors. Each person will privately write down their comments, and after sampling all of the beers, decide which ones will advance.

4. There will be four quarterly competitions and a final. To advance, you must become a member of PALE ALES. (To become a member, please bring a check made out to PALE ALES for the amount of $24 to the competition.)

5. You can only have one beer in the finals. If you do not advance, you can try again in the next quarterly competition.

6. Present and past officers of PALE ALES have final authority in settling any disputes.

Over 60 people showed up for the first round at Ryck Suydam’s hop farm, and we gained some new members as a result! Hope to see you there!

As an added treat, some of the Stickebier made at this year’s Big Brew will be available to sample! Rumor has it there may be a live band there to rock us into the competition!

Our next regular meeting will be held tentatively on July 19th – date and details to be announced, with the next round of the BYHB slated for October.

For more competition information, contact Joe Bair (609-252-1800) or myself (609-520-2357 or 609-890-8611)

BEER AND PROSE FLOW AT MAY MEETING

Our last meeting at Isaac Newton’s in Newtown, Pa was a dual treat. Awash in great beers from Victory, courtesy of Head Brewer Bill Covaleski, participants were then beset by the beer prose of Lew Bryson, Pa beer icon.

Victory’s Hop Devil and St. Victorius were offered and happily consumed. Covaleski fielded questions on Victory’s various brews. For example, did you know that 60 percent of the malt used in Hop Devil is Vienna?

Next on tap, was famed author/beer drinker Lew Bryson, fellow ASN writer and author of “Pennsylvania Breweries,” who offered his sage perspectives on drinking beer in the Keystone state.

(Note: Dave Stuart of Cooper & Sons, Ltd., an Australian brewery with over 125 years of brewing experience, was also slated to appear, but had to cancel due to illness. But don’t worry, we plan to tap him for a future meeting.)

STICKEBIER IS THE STAR AT THE SECOND ANNUAL BIG BREW EVENT

The AHA sponsored its second Big Brew celebration this past May 1st, and many from PALE ALES participated as brewers or drinkers!

More than a dozen people brewed about 45 gallons worth of beer at Princeton Homebrew (a.k.a. The Frankenstein Hut), with close to 100 people visiting during the day.

Our club brewed with a Stickebier (like a German version of an IPA) recipe. “One of the most unknown delicious styles in the world today,” according toJoe Bair.

The base malt was a 50% Pale Ale/Vienna mix, to give a 1.064 OG (Bock strength) – with excellent attenuation. Spalter select hops (donated by Steve Rowley) were used to give an IBU of 80. Different yeasts were used for variety.

Come to the BYHB competition this Sunday, as some will surely be available to sample!

Special thanks to Larry Kennedy and Steve Ashton for the use of their pots. Over 2,000 brewers in the US, and some overseas (South Africa, Europe, Japan, Canada, and Australia) as well, joined together to brew over 6,000 gallons of beer from either a Stickebier or Milk Stout recipe.

Big Brew festivities are designed to celebrate and call attention to the hobby of homebrewing. Congress officially recognized May 1as National Homebrew Day in 1988. Today, an estimated one million people homebrew in the U.S.

For more information about Big Brew ’99 visit the official web site at www.beertown.org/bigbrew99

BREWERY ROAD TRIP IN THE WORKS FOR FALL!

We are currently trying to organize a Brewery Road Trip this Fall. Plans are very tentative at this stage. We would like to visit Yuengling, Stoudts, and Victory breweries, most likely in Sept., and there would probably be some per person cost to offset the bus rental.

The transportation costs are posing the biggest problem currently. The cost for a large bus is too great, and A-1 (although less costly) prohibits drinking! One possibility is that we could organize several designated drivers and car pool down, but of course that makes it less fun for some.

So, at this point, we your leadership would like to ask for your input. Your ideas, suggestions, etc. are welcome!

HOMEBREWING DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS

A Special Report from Dave Corbishley in Houston

I’ve been in Houston for about a month and just ventured out to the local homebrew store. I happened to hit the store the day the local homebrew club was meeting and brewing out on the sidewalk. The store is in a strip shopping center and they just set up a cooker outside the front door.

Yes, I went and joined the other side, the KGB that is, or Kuykendahl Grain Brewers. Their slogan is Join the Party. Check them out at http://www.thekgb.org. Other local clubs include, The Foam Rangers and Brew Bayou.

The club is building a three-level brew setup to keep at the store. They brew at the store at least 2 Saturdays a month and split the cost of the grain bill with the store.

When I’m back in June I’ll try and bring a couple of shirts, the club has a nice logo and the shirts are a lot of fun.(Ed Note: Ask Joe!)

The KGB had a contest on June 6th at the St. Arnold Brewery here in Houston. All the local clubs have a joint holiday party at St. Arnold’s. Any way, hope your all doing great!

(ED NOTE: Thanks for the Summer Ale from St. Arnold Brewery – slightly malty, nice hops, refreshing and clean!)

BARLEYCORN REPLACED BY MID-ATLANTIC BREWING NEWS

Yet another beer newspaper bites the dust as Barleycorn closes shop, joining Southern Draft News, which closed earlier this year.

According to a letter mailed out to AHA homebrew clubs, a new paper will be replacing Barleycorn – Mid-Atlantic Brewing News (MABN). The letter goes on to say:

“The main difference will be that MABN will focus more on local events, including homebrew club happenings. This is your opportunity to publicize any events your club may have had or plans to have (brewery bus trips, brew-a-thons,homebrew competitions, etc), as well as the names of members whose beers won ribbons at competitions.

MABN will focus on Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Southern New Jersey, and Central/Eastern Pennsylvania. (If your club resides in Northern New Jersey or Western Pennsylvania, your area is covered by other brewing publications, so please let me know so I can remove you from the MABN email list.)”

The first issue is due out on August 15. Contact Ben Schwalb at benbrew@e… for more info.

FRESH BREWED IN THE GARDEN STATE:
Brewery and Brewpub News in NJ

GARDEN STATE FESTIVAL ON TAP THIS WEEKEND

The big brewing event in NJ is the 1999 Garden State Craft Brewer’s festival this Saturday (June 26), at Historic Waterloo Village, Stanhope, NJ. The event runs from 12-5 pm.

Tickets are $16 in advance, or $20 at the gate and may be purchased directly from Waterloo Village or Ticketmaster. (Some brewpubs will sell tickets also.)

This is a great opportunity to sample beer from most of NJ’s brewpubs and breweries in one spot. Food, cigars, homebrew supplies will be available, and live music will be provided as well.

For more information or directions, contact Waterloo Village at (973) 347-0900. Attendance will be capped off at 2500 this year.

FARM BREWERY BILL ON HOLD FOR NOW

To give somewhat of an update, you may recall that Ryck, and Connie Myers (Flemington), NJ Assemblywoman spoke spoke about the “Farm Brewing” bill (Bill A-1168). This bill would allow farms to brew and sell beer on the premises, much in the same way wineries do in many states, was recently presented to the NJ State Legislature. The bill would establish farm brewery and winery-brewery beverage license and permit farm wineries to produce hard cider.

For the time being, unfortunately, the bill has been withdrawn for revisions -one of the main reasons being that one of the components of the bill requires 51% of either the hops or barley used in the beer to be grown on the farm, and that number is a little high for most farmers to reach.

This bill could be a great benefit to farmers such as Ryck. I must say, drinking his delicious rich porter at the last competition, admiring the pastoral scenery, it sure seems like a good idea. Voice your support! Check out www.njleg.state.nj.us for more information.

KROGH’S DEBUTS AS NJ’s NEWEST BREWPUB
(long story)

Krogh’s of Lake Mohawk (Sparta) is now NJ’s newest brewpub. Krogh’s history in Lake Mohawk goes back beyond beer, though. One of the first structures in the area, Krogh’s building dates back to 1927 – predating the man-made lake itself! (Krogh’s got its name from the Danish surname of the second owners. )

Current owner, Bob Fuchs purchased the restaurant in Nov. 1981 and has run the bar/restaurant ever since. Krogh’s journey from bar to brewpub began about four years ago. As proprietor Fuchs puts it: “Krogh’s, Lake Mohawk and beer are synonymous!” Fuchs admits that at the time of the microbrew explosion, he didn’t know much about beer: “We’ve always sold a lot of beers, and had a good bottled beer selection.”

Fuchs largely credits Rachel McCullough, Entertainment Manager for building up Krogh’s beer reputation. McCullough was involved in developing Krogh’s beer menu, and she also developed the bar’s NJ on Tap event, which has run for the past three years, and features NJ beers paired with complimentary food items. “We’ve had an excellent reputation for a long time as a beer bar,” said
McCullough.

McCullough also books the musical acts for the bar – Woodstock legend Richie Havens plays there once a year.

With the legalization of brewpubs in 1995, turning the bar into a brewpub seemed a natural transition. “We knew that if we could make a good beer, we could sell it,” he said. Initially, Fuchs planned to start out with a small three-barrel system and brew only extract beer. Things weren’t that simple though. After a year of researching brewpubs, it took Fuchs nearly two years more to find and purchase the right system for the brewpub.

As he lacked the technical background, Fuchs found the process quite overwhelming. “It was very confusing, $80-100,000 for equipment, and I had no idea what they were talking about!” he remembers.

Fuchs journeyed far and wide looking at different systems. Ironically, after all Fuch’s travelling, he returned to NJ and discovered a brewing system manufacturer practically next door – Pub Brewing in Mahwah. When all was said and done, Fuchs purchased a $100,000 five-barrel, all-grain system, which would brew 10 kegs of beer.

Larry Cooper from Mountain Valley helped set up the brewing equipment initially, and took them through the first six batches. Eight months later, the brewpub was ready to start brewing their inaugural batches.

Carl Cooper, chef of 18 years in the restaurant seemed a natural choice for the brewer. “Creating recipes in the kitchen or with beer, it is very similar,” said Fuchs. Krogh’s features six taps – a Celebration Ale, Brown Ale, Golden Ale, Pale Ale, and Oatmeal Stout, and a rotating seasonal (currently, a Maibock). In addition, Krogh’s has nine other taps and some bottled beers.

Fuchs makes no bones about it, the selection of six taps is designed to cater to Krogh’s clientele, with the recipes modeled after their best sellers – Sierra Nevada, Guinness, Bass Ale, etc.

I visited Krogh’s about a month ago on a Saturday night, and the small bar, with the look and feel of a dark, cozy log cabin, was packed. All of the beers I tasted were well-made, and drinkable. I particularly enjoyed the malty, smooth Celebration Ale, and the delicate, fruity Golden Ale. Other tap selections included Corsendonk, Lindemen’s, Sierra Nevada Barley Wine, Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock, and Victory Hop Devil.

In addition to cost of the brewing equipment, Fuchs has put in about $400,000 worth of renovations into the interior and brewing area. Renovations for the outside of the building should be complete by the end of June. As they are still tweaking the brewing system, current plans are to have a grand opening in the summer in July or August, according to Fuchs.

“Business has been great,” said Fuchs of the brewpub. “Customers love the beer. We’re packed every night.” For more information on Krogh’s, check out their web site at www.kroghs.com.

NJ BREWERY NEWS

Flying Fish recently held its fourth private “E-mail List Only Fest” this past Friday June 18, which featured several hours of free beer, pretzels, and you can harass the brewers too! The Fish hold these get-togethers as a way of saying thanks to all the folks who support and follow them over the Web.

On tap were the quenching, tart, summer seasonal – the Farmhouse Summer Ale, the delicately balanced cask-conditioned BlackFish (mix of Extra Pale and Porter) from the beer engine. And last, but not least, was the ESB, just kegged and tapped.

While at the brewery in fact, I met the founders of what will be NJ’s next brewery – Blue Collar Brewing in Vineland, NJ (western part of South Jersey). Four working-class guys with day jobs, who got together to do something they love – brewing. And yes, surprise, surprise, they are homebrewers (several are members of the Gloucester County homebrewers club)!

The brewery is currently enduring the ATF approval process before they can start brewing – so figure on beer being available in July or August. True to its namesake, Blue Collar will price its craft beers for a working man’s wages, to compete with the domestics, according to co-owner John Bonato. The all-keg brewery plans to release a Pale Ale initially. I haven’t had their beer yet, but I like the concept, and they seem pretty genuine, so I plan to check them out. Contact John Bonato at 609-690-1950 or bcbrewer98@a… for more info.

Let me also put in a little plug for fellow ASN writer, who has the scoop on So. Jersey hoppenings, Gary Monterosso. It was nice to meet Gary, and finally put a face to the name. Gary also runs an email newsletter on beer happenings which may be of interest. Contact him at whatzontap@a… for more info.

In Butler, brewing at High Point has been really picking up for the summer. “It’s Wheat Beer season!” said President Greg Zacardi, noting that for the past three months sales have doubled every month.

In an interesting tangent, the brewery is getting into the brewery hardware business. The brewery has secured exclusive import rights in the U.S., for the “Kompensator Foam Fighter” faucets. The faucet enables the pourer to adjust the foam rate directly at a tap handle, and ranges from $79-89. “They are especially good for brewpubs,” noted Zacardi. Also, High Point now has a web page –

Dave Hoffman of Climax (Roselle Park) is retiring his darker beers (Nut Brown and Porter) for the summer, and focusing on the Cream Ale, ESB (featured in Michael Jackson’s “Ultimate Beer”) and IPA. “Nobody wants to buy the dark stuff in the summertime,” he quipped.

In contract brew news, Backwoods Brewing’s Pale Ale, brewed by River Horse (Lambertville) is now available in six packs – a drinkable ale with a nice, dry hop character, and a good body. Justice Pale Ale (formerly brewed by Hoboken), also contract brewed by River Horse, is now available in six packs in North Jersey, according to owner Eric Wentz. Wentz has tweaked the recipe a bit for authenticity, and the beer will now be dry-hopped with Cascade.

A blast from the past – the retired old Vernon Valley brewery in the Vernon Valley (now Mountain Creek) ski resort is finally being laid to rest. The brewery, which went out of business in the early 90’s, is now being dismantled and shipped back to its original owner of the resort – a Mr. Mullhill, according to Mountain Creek management. Management does not have any plans for the space, and your guess is as good as mine as to what the previous owner will do with the equipment!

NJ BREWPUB NEWS

After a long hiatus, Triumph (Princeton) will be holding its second Gambrinus’ beer dinner this year on . The six-course gourmet dinner will feature the beers of Triumph and special guest brewer River Horse. This will be my first Gambrinus dinner, so I am looking forward to it. Call the brewery at (609) 924-7855 for more information about the dinner or upcoming events.

On July 23rd, Triumph will be at the Quick Check NJ Festival of Ballooning (Readington), which attracted more than 100, 000 people last year and features nearly 125 hot air balloons. Call l-800-HOTAIR-9 for more information.

Jersey Jim’s (Hillsborough}will be tapping a Hefeweizen, and bring back on the Porter, according to brewer Scott Hercher. Look for an IPA and Doppelbock in the fall.

Harvest Moon brewpub (New Brunswick) has been featuring a monthly cask-conditioning event in conjunction with Flying Fish brewery – nothing like a cask of beer to create some brewer solidarity! Speaking of casks, Harvest Moon’s weekly cask-conditioned offerings have been selling real well, according to brewer Jim Watson. (I had a great cask American Brown ale there last month!).

Going East, Basil T’s will be featuring a Scotch Ale as the seasonal at the Red Bank location, while the Toms River location will tap a
Raspberry Wheat beer.

J.J. Bittings (Woodbridge) hosted its “First Annual Gold Metal” competition this past April 11. The AHA-sanctioned homebrew competition was sponsored by the Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale and Lager Enthusiasts Society (WHALES), and received over 100 entries, according to George Bird, competition organizer.

The brewpub plans to brew the winning entry, an American Pale Ale made by Andrew Henckler (Jackson Heights, NY). For competition information, check the WHALES web page at www.pw1.netcom.com/~d.d-mick/WHALES.htm.

In other news, the brewpub has a new head brewer – Brad Rettinger, who replaces John Eisenstein. Rettinger brewed at Weeping Radish brewery (Manteo, NC) and Hammerhead’s brewpub (Key West, FL) and also has worked in the brewing systems industry as well.

Trap Rock (Berkely Heights) just released their Maibock. At 7% ABV, this beer was lagered for over a month, and is the first lager recipe the brewpub ever made, according to brewer Scott Cetera – hopefully Scott will bring some to the Garden State fest this month!. Expect to see more lagers in the coming months – a Pilsener, Octoberfest, and a Weizen Doppelbock. You can also look for Trap Rock at the annual Stoudts invitational beer festival this August.

In So. Orange, Gaslight celebrates its one-year anniversary this month. The brewpub has be featuring a lot of great-sounding beer dinners. A recent Belgian Beer Dinner on June 8th featured a six-course Belgian meal, where each course was made with beer, and paired with a different Belgian beer. (B. United International, specialty importer, is co-hosting the event).

Speaking of beers, look for 1920’s Lager, Vienna Lager, Alt, Cream Ale, Belgian Dubbel and a Wit beer in June/July, according to brewer Dan Sobotis. Special guest beers will include the Brooklyn Monster and Ramstein Kristall, and look for Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout during Christmas in July.

At Long Valley brewpub, brewer Tim Yarrington has just put up a Dark Mild on hand pump, which I hear is great. Look for an American Pale Ale this month: “My tribute to Sierra Nevada,” as Yarrington describes it, and an English-style IPA. Regulars can expect to see events on the patio beergarten, which just opened last month.

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Princeton and Local Environs Ale and Lager Enthusiast Society