ISSUE #56, MILLENNIUM EDITION
It’s summertime, brewers. And what does that mean? Cool beer
(no Celis though 🙁 ), outdoor beer events, and a lull in PALE
ALES events (at least in June).
In July (coincidentally American Beer Month), we will be holding
the club’s first ever NYC pub crawl on July 14th, and another
group brewing event on July 4th, this time hosted by VP’s Andy
Koontz and Laurie Harmon.
BEER RALLY IN PHILA TO KICK OFF AMERICAN BEER
There will be a beer rally and accompanying pub crawl on June 29
and 30. Paul Gatza, Director of the AHA (who has visited PALE
ALES on several occasions), dropped me a note to say that he will
be there. He encourages any of our members to drop down to
Philly for that Friday afternoon rally, 3 p.m. Rittenhouse Square.
The text of the note follows:
Hey PALE ALES. I hope all is well in west central Jersey. We are
doing an American Beer Month rally at 3 pm on Friday June 29 in
Rittenhouse Square In Philadelphia followed by a pub crawl. I
encourage all homebrewers who can make it to attend for the fun
and festivities. For more info, visit
http://www.americanbeermonth.com. See you then.
Director-American Homebrewers Association
STARS, STRIPES – AND HOPS ON JULY 4th
Andy and Laurie, club VP’s, will be hosting a brew session and
BBQ on Fourth of July at their house in Princeton. The brew will
be an American Pale Ale, in the style of a Northwestern Pale Ale
like Sierra Nevada. The hops will be Magnums, and participants
are encouraged to BYOF (Bring Your Own Fermenter).
The brew will go all day, and Andy and Laurie will need to know
soon how many people will be brewing with us, so Joe can bring over enough ingredients, and we know how many kettles to set up. If you plan to attend please notify Andy or Laurie at email@example.com.
JULY 13th WEEKEND IS HOT FOR BEER – LET’S KICK IT UP A NOTCH!
Not one, not two, but three big beer events this weekend!!!
FRIDAY – The weekend kicks off on Friday night (the 13th) with
Friday the Firkenteenth at the Grey Lodge in Phila. What is Friday
the Firkenteenth? How do a dozen casks or more of kick-ass fresh
beer strike you? Real beer offerings from Yards, Heavyweight,
Victory, Flying Fish, and many, many others. Check
www.greylodge.com for more info. One of the best events Phila.
has to offer – which many PALE ALES club members can attest
to. This event is only held on Fridays the 13th.
Oh, and did I mention that they will have Heavyweight’s latest
beer – an Alt style beer, which myself and fellow beerwriters in
NJAB (New Jersey Association of Beerwriters) co-brewed with
Tom Baker. I sampled some of the test batch last week, and it was
pretty good, so we are all pretty excited about it.
SATURDAY (Bastille Day) – PALE ALES will hold its first ever
NYC pub crawl on Saturday, the 14th. Meet at the Princeton train
station at noon to kick off the festivities. The current roster
(still in the works) of pubs includes – Mugs, Juniors, Blind Tiger, dba, Ginger Man’s, Belgo, Burp Castle. Sure to be a PALE ALES
classic! Interested parties should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
for the pub crawl to give us an idea of what numbers to plan for.
SUNDAY – The Garden State Craft Brewer’s Guild kicks off its
fifth annual Garden State Craft Brewer’s festival, the only all-NJ
beer event in the country.
The festival, which is typically held at historic Waterloo Village in
Stanhope, will instead be held at the Sovereign Bank arena in
All of the guild’s 16 members have committed to the festival,
according to guild president Tom Stevenson (also Triumph’s Head
Brewer). The lineup will include Basil T’s, Blue Collar, Flying
Fish, Gaslight, Harvest Moon, Heavyweight, High Point, JJ
Bitting, Krogh’s, Long Valley, Pizzeria Uno, River Horse, The
Ship Inn, Trap Rock, Triumph, and Tun Tavern. July IS American
Beer month – so do your part to support local, fresh craft beer.
The event will be held from 1-5 pm. Tickets are actually cheaper
this year – $16 in advance or $18 at the door, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. For more info on the festival, call 609-924- 7855 or check out the guild’s website at www.njbeer.org. The guild expects the event to sell out and will cap attendance at 2500. The Sovereign Bank arena at Mercer County is located in the heart of Trenton within minutes of Riverfront Stadium, home to the Trenton Thunder. Additionally, the arena is a quick 15-minute
walk or a minute’s drive from the Trenton train station.
In fact, the Craft Brewer’s guild is looking for volunteers to work
the festival. Mainly, you check ID’s and help with other
administrative stuff. I have done it in the past myself, as has my
wife. In past years, volunteers have gotten a free sample glass
(typically, you only work 2-3 hours total, so yes you have time to
sample), free lunch, and a free t-shirt. It’s fun and you get to meet
a lot of fellow beer lovers. If you are interested in volunteering,
contact Tom Stevenson at email@example.com or call Triumph
at (609) 924-7855.
STATE COLLEGE MICROBREWERS & IMPORTERS
The Penn State Microbrew Expo, featuring over 150 craft beers,
will be held on July 28nd Camping is available @ Penn Roosevelt
park nearby, or you can get a room onsite for 89 & 99/night. One
unique component of this festival is that it will feature seminars on
beer styles, tasting, off flavors, and other topics; hosted by
Michael Jackson, Bill Covaleski (Victory), Bryan Pearson (Church Brew Works), and master judge Scott Bickham.
The expo is held at the Penn Stater Conference Center
Hotel in State College, PA. Tickets are $30. Check
out www.scbrewexpo.com for more info, or call 814-
CLUB GEARING UP FOR HOPPIEST SHOW ON EARTH 2001
PALE ALES will be holding its annual AHA homebrew
competition on Sat. Dec. 1st at River Horse brewing in
Lambertville. So far the competition has been registered with the
AHA and River Horse has agreed to host it again this year.
Contact competition organizers Judi Cox
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or David Albert (email@example.com)
for additional details, or if you are interested in volunteering to
work the festival. It’s a lot of fun, educational, and of course,
FOLLOWUP ON LAST MAY’S BIG BREW
This month our club submitted its accounting of the Big Brew to
the AHA Some stats from the club’s last Big Brew, according to Joe Bair of Princeton Homebrew:
— Site: Little Mexico, Site Number 158, out back
of Princeton Homebrew, by the frankenstein hut
in the hop garden.
— Total Participants – 35
— Partial List of Participants, Jay Ottinger,
Steve Rowley, Kent Bhrem, Larry Choles, Dave
Alberts, Al Boccardo, Joe Bair, Dan Noon, Clay
Spence, Ray Ashley, Chuck DiSanto, Dave
Steckle, Rick Taft..
— Two new PALE ALES members joined
— 50 gallons of beer brewed, and 4 batches
The participants brewed a maibock, with the choice of yeast being
lfet up to the individual. Brewing was done in Joe’s 61’VW side-
loader, using Larry Kennedy’s 48 gal. brewpot. Most importantly,
as Joe notes: “It tastes very good!”
FRESH BEER NEWS IN THE GARDEN STATE
Garden State beer lovers should reserve July 15, as the Garden
State brewer’s guild will hold its fifth annual Garden State Craft
Brewer’s festival at the Sovereign Bank arena in Trenton, the only
all-NJ beer event in the country. See the story earlier on from more
Going along the Delaware, River Horse (Lambertville) is finalizing
plans to open a brewpub in Pa., which would make it the first NJ
brewery to also own a brewpub.
The brewery is currently looking at four locations in Bucks,
Montgomery and Chester counties, according to brewery co-
owner, Jim Bryan “Plans are very firm. We will be deciding
within the next month or so,” he said. Two of the sites are in Bucks
county, with one nearby New Hope. The New Hope environs
would make an ideal choice for several reasons – high tourist
traffic, proximity to the brewery, and the nearest competitor
(Buckingham Brewery in Lahaska) just closed recently.
Although River Horse has been planning this for a number of
years, the shakeout in the beer industry in the past couple of years
gave the owners pause to think, said Bryan. Today, Bryan feels
that the RH brand is strong enough and industry more stable to
support the brewpub, which should open in May next year.
Why not open this brewpub in NJ, you ask? RH would love to, but
state law prohibits breweries from owning a brewery and retail
establishment such as a brewpub or restaurant within the state.
The brewpub will seat 250, with possible outside seating, and will
have small brewpub system, which will be supplemented by the
brewery’s existing capacity, according to Bryan.
In a similar vein, River Horse will be opening a “pub room” inside
the Sovereign Bank sports arena in Trenton, which should be in
operation for the fall. The 600-700 sq. ft. pub room will feature
five River Horse products on tap, said Bryan.
Going south, Michael Jackson in a recent visit had good things to
say about Blue Collar’s “meat & potato brews,” calling the
Hopalong Pale Ale “a real beer drinker’s beer.” Taking a hint,
BCB will be entering that beer and its Blonde Ale (golden/blonde)
in the GABF this year.
Look for a new draft-only “dark” ale from the brewery at end of
summer. Also, BCB is expanding its distribution south for the
summer, focusing on shore restaurants and retail establishments.
Keeping with its recent trend, Heavyweight will be brewing yet
another collaborative brew – this time with the New Jersey
Association of Beer Writers (NJAB), whose members include Kurt
Epps, Lew Bryson, Mark Haynie, Gary Monterosso Jim Carlucci
and yours truly.
The details of the brew are being worked out even as I write this,
and there are some interesting ideas being thrown around. This one will definitely be hoppy, and of course, since this is a Heavyweight beer, it’ll be big baby! The beer will likely be draft-only, brewed in mid-June, and released in mid-July, according to brewer Tom Baker.
Speaking of collaboration, Heavyweight has also done a second
batch of its Old Salty Barleywine, with beer geek and writer Bill
Coleman. This looks to be Heavyweight’s biggest, with the final
ABV estimated at 11-12 % ABV, according to Baker, adding that
it will be released in early December. In other news, the brewery
will be packaging all of its beers in four-packs, and hopes to do
some sampler packs as well.
Check out High Point’s draft-only Maibock if you can. I had a
chance to sample it at Old Bay – great malt character and body,
with a spiciness from the wheat. (Old Bay featured its 11th annual
Maifest this past May 20th, with some great domestic and import
High Point (Butler) won a Gold Medal for Best of Show at the
TAP NY Matthew Vassar Cup 2001 for its Blonde Weiss beer,
beating out 84 other beers. And in other news, the brewery has
installed two 30-barrel fermenters to increase production, as it
reached maximum capacity this Jan, according to President Greg
Flying Fish (Cherry Hill) has a new brewer at the helm. Head
brewer of four years, Rick Atkin, has decided to retire early,
according to president Gene Muller. Chris Rafferty, who came on
as assistant brewer in September, will be manning the helm.
Rafferty was head brewer at John Harvard in Wayne, where he
won a GABF gold medal for his beer. Thanks for the outstanding
beers Rick, and good luck.
In other news, Flying Fish will be featured in two of North
America’s best festivals in June – Mondial de la Biere in Montreal,
Quebec, Canada, and the Oregon Brewers festival in Portland,
Oregon. (ASN is running a bus trip to the Quebec festival. Call
800-351-2537 for more info).
Going north, Triumph (Princeton) is doing another of its famous
Gambrinus beer dinners on June 12 with guest beers from Barry
Holsten of Harvest Moon, former assistant brewer at Triumph.
Speaking of which, in a recent visit to Harvest Moon, I had a
chance to sample the malty, slightly fruity MoonFish lager – a
collaborative brew between Flying Fish and Harvest Moon. I also
tasted a wonderfully drinkable, hoppy “American-style” (my
words) Bitter there – a great session beer.
Speaking of beer dinners, Pizzeria Uno brewpub (Metuchen) has
set up their next beer dinner for June 25. Tickets are $40 in
advance, and $75 for couples. Gaslight (So. Orange) also has a
beer dinner in the works for the end of July. Contact the brewpub
at (973) 762-7077 for more info.
JJ Bittings (Metuchen) is in the process of putting together a
FallFest beer event, co-sponsored by NJAB. Although details are
still being sketched out, the event is slated for October, and will
feature other NJ fall beers as well, with proceeds going to charity.
Contact Kurt Epps at 732-826-8007 or firstname.lastname@example.org
for more info.
Look for the award-winning Knock Out Bock – Mai Bock and the
Rat Pac Pilsner in June, and a Heffe Weizen in July at JJ’s.
I had an opportunity to try the beers of Trap Rock’s new brewer,
Rob Mullin, at yet another sold-out Trap Rock beer dinner. Rob is
no stranger to brewing, having worked at Old Dominion, and most
recently Commonwealth Brewing in NYC, where he won a gold
medal for his Lambic beer.
The guest beers were provided by Victory, old friends of Mullin.
As usual the food was wonderfully prepared and complimented the
selection of 10 beers – well worth the $45 price.
Mullins’ amber, malty Maibock stood up quite well to Victory’s
pale Helles Bock (to quote my wife Lisa – “Yum!”). In addition to
bringing his own beer recipes in, Rob has done his own
interpretations of some of the existing beers. The most radical (and
tasty) of these is the Ghost Pony, which has gone from being a
light golden ale to a full-fledged hoppy/malty Helles lager,
reminding me somewhat of Victory’s Prima Pils. The Hathor Red
(or shall I say Rauch?) Ale has a more noticeable smoky quality,
which reminds one of a malty Rauch beer.
An interesting side note – one of the folks at my table
apparently purchased the brewing system from the defunct Cedar Creek brewpub – for homebrewing! And I thought I was a beer geek!