March 1999 Newsletter

MARCH, 1999


DATE: Sunday, March. 28nd
TIME: 4-7 p.m.
PLACE: Suydam’s Farm
PHONE: (732) 846-7139


Due to my laptop (and thusly ALL my files) disappearing last week, I will be unable to send out a print version of the newsletter this week. So, if any of you can pass the word along to the e-mail challenged (esp. about the competition), it would be appreciated.


(BTW, I will be at the 3:30 pm tasting at the University of Pennslyvania beer tasting this Sat. if anyone is going).

CLUB COMPETITION COMMENCES THIS WEEKEND!!! It’s here!!! That’s right folks March 28th (Sunday) marks the first round of the club’s “Bring Yer Own Homebrew” (BYHB) competition.

Ryck Suydam will give a talk on hops (which he grows) and tour of the farm first, followed by the competition. NJ State Legislator Connie Meyers will also talk on the NJ Farmers Brewery and Winery bill, which would enable farms to sell wine and beer produced on the premises.

Rhizomes (hop roots) will be available for purchase for people wanting to grow their own hops! Everyone is welcome to attend the talk. The competition is slated to run from 4-7 PM rain or shine. The weather forecast is great and this should be a great event as we are expecting a pretty big turnout.


1) BASICS – Each brewer can only bring one of his/her beers in a 36 oz. container of their choosing. The brewer must be present, no mailing in the beer. (Cups will be provided.)

2) BEER DESCRIPTION – If you will be bringing a beer and haven’t done so already, please e-mail Joe Bair ASAP (schd@p…) and include; the OG or (how many pounds of fermentables), whether it is hoppy or malty, and if you added anything that would cover up (i.e., if you used any fruit, spices, or strange yeasts) the fresh taste of the barley and hops. Sorry, but no meads, ciders, or wines will be evaluated.

3) EVALUATIONS – The brewer will be able to pour their own beer and vote. All others present will also be allowed to vote. It does not matter what style (if any) the beer is. They will be evaluated on how they compare to the other beers (fresh taste, no off-flavors from fermentation or sanitation problems) Simple evaluation sheets will be handed out (everyone, please bring writing tools and clipboards!). Evaluators will write what they remember about the beers and when they have sampled all the beer – each evaluator will privately decide which ones will advance.

4) ADVANCING IN THE COMPETITION – There will be four quarterly competitions and a final. You can only have one beer in the finals. If your beer is selected to advance, you must become a member of PALE ALES or forfeit your chance to be in the finals. (To become a member, please bring a check made out to PALE ALES for the amount of $24 to the competition.)

If you don’t advance, you can try again in the next quarterly competition. As an administrative point of note, all present and past officers of PALE ALES have final authority in settling any dispute, ties or determining if a beer is infected and thus disqualified.

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


1) Go North on Rt. 27 toward Franklin township.
2) You will pass Finnegan’s Lane (right), and then Cortelyous Lane (left).
3) The next light will be Cozzen’s Lane (on the right).
4) Right BEFORE Cozzen’s lane, you will see a WAWA on the right.
5) On the LEFT, directly across from the WAWA are two stone pillars. This is the entrance to Ryck’s farm.
6) Enter, and follow the crowd!!!


Due to some internal difficulties beyond our control, some of the prizes for the HSOE 98 competition this past December have not been distributed yet. Furthermore, we are not sure which winners have received their prizes yet. As soon as the club officers found out about this, every effort has been made to resolve this problem and distribute prizes to those who have contacted us – and that’s about all we can do at this point.

So to help PALE ALES distribute the remaining prizes, we ask that all prize winners notify us to let us know if you HAVE or HAVE NOT
received your prize yet. Please email your response to PALEALES@A… or contact Joe Bair at (609) 252-1800. Pass the word along, and thanks for your help. We are trying to resolve this matter as speedily as possible.


J.J. Bittings (Woodbridge) will host an AHA-sanctioned homebrew competition on April 11, 3 p.m., and sponsored by the Woodbridge
Homebrewers Ale and Lager Enthusiasts Society (WHALES).

Prizes will be awarded for each category, and the winning entry will be brewed by the brewpub (if feasible). Entries can be dropped off at the brewpub from March 23rd to April 2nd. Check out for more information or call 732-636-0622.


As many of you know, Vice President Dave Corbishley will be leaving us in April to take a new position in Houston. Good luck Dave!

In a club first, Andrew Koontz and Laurie Harmon were jointly elected to the office of vice president at our Feb. meeting. Will Andy and Laurie start a trend here? What will be next – President Al and Tipper Gore, or (shudder) Presidents Dan and Marilyn Quayle? Either way I am sure Andy and Laurie will contribute a great deal to the club and we all look forward to having them on!


The April 26th meeting will be a rockin, triple-header! First up, will be Bill Covaleski, Head Brewer at Victory. Victory makes some of the best beers on the East Coast (in my opinion), including an excellent IPA, Barleywine and Imperial Stout, and Pilsner. “Laffin” Lew Bryson, fellow ASN writer and beer author (check out his book on the breweries of PA) is up next. Dave Stuart of Coopers Malt will be on next to talk about Coopers’ products. All this at Issac Newtons in Newtown at 7 PM!


(info compiled from an email sent out by Brian Rezac of the AHA)

Last year’s Big Brew 98 event on May 1st was so popular, that it looks like the AHA will be doing it again. Last year homebrewers all over the US joined together that day and brewed the “Big 10/20” barley wine recipe. Many of us gathered at Joe’s store to share some homebrews and brew barley wine – it was a great time!

It looks like the recipe for Big Brew ’99 will be a Milk Stout this year. The recipe for the “Collaborator Milk Stout” is:

All Grain Version
Ingredients for 5 U.S. gallons
6 lbs. Pale Malt
1 lb. Wheat Malt
1.5 lb. Caramel Malt (60L)
1 lb. CaraPils Malt
5 oz. Black Patent
12 oz. Roasted Barley
12 oz. Flaked Oats
1 lb. Flaked Barley
1 lb. Lactose (added to Kettle)
¾ oz. Centennial, 10.1% alpha (75 min)
½ oz. Willamette, 5.1% alpha (5 min)
Wyeast #1742 Swedish Porter Yeast
Original Gravity 1.061 (15.2 oP)
Final Gravity 1.032 (8.0 oP)

Extract/Partial Mash Version
Ingredients for 5 U.S. gallons
5 lbs. Pale Malt Extract
1 lb. Wheat Dry Malt Extract (55%)
1.5 lb. Caramel Malt (60L)
1 lb. CaraPils Malt
5 oz. Black Patent
12 oz. Roasted Barley
12 oz. Flaked Oats
1 lb. Flaked Barley
1 lb. Lactose (added to Kettle)
1 oz. Centennial, 10.1% alpha (75 min)
½ oz. Willamette, 5.1% alpha (5 min)
Wyeast #1742 Swedish Porter Yeast
Original Gravity 1.061 (15.2 oP)
Final Gravity 1.032 (8.0 oP)

A technological enhancement for Big Brew ’99, is that sites will be registering on-line on the AOB’s webpage. Check for more information. More details to follow as plans materialize for our local celebration.


The Malted Appreciation Society of Brooklyn held its annual Best of Brooklyn Homebrew competition this past February at the Brooklyn

PALE ALES members Steve Ashton, Michael Ultee, and yours truly were judges at the competition. Steve judged Belgians and American Wheat beers. Mike had the pleasure of judging the experimental category – lemon balm, sage, and rosemary anyone? I had the pleasure of tasting barley wines, imperial stouts, and scotch ales. (Thank goodness they broke up the 40 or so entries between a couple groups.)

The competition was enjoyable and ran smoothly – no mean task with over 300 entries. And Brooklyn is a nice brewery for those of you who’ve never visited. As I finished judging early, I took it upon myself to discover the excellent tap selection at Mugs Ale House a few blocks away! A place well worth checking out if you’re in the area. With 20 plus pints at $3-$4 (hey, that’s real good for NYC!), food was good and cheap (sandwiches for $3-$6). I met some real friendly folks at the competition as well. (Thanks for the authentic Brooklyn kielbasa Chris and Lorna!)

Afterwards, the club sponsored a beer dinner with Charlie Papazian at Mugs. I didn’t get much of a chance to speak with Charlie as the judging had already started and he was quickly ushered away to a table shortly after entering. Unfortunately, I had not purchased tickets for the dinner event, which sold out several weeks before the competition, so again I missed my brush with fame!

Check out to see the winners list.

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


It looks like NJ has lost its second brewery this year with Red Bank Brewing closing its doors. (Hoboken closed earlier this year). Red Bank had carved out a unique niche as the only NJ brewery producing German style lagers – including Blonde and Dark Lagers, a Blonde Doppelbock, a Hefeweizen, and a Light Lager.

On Feb. 14, Clark posted the brewery’s equipment for sale on at www., including a complete decoction brewhouse, horizontal lagering tanks, fermenters, etc. According to industry sources, the bottling system was sold to Mountain Valley brewing (makers of Ruffian), although Mountain Valley would neither confirm nor deny this.

The question of what caused Red Bank’s demise remains unanswered for now – as I was unable to reach owner Tom Clark as of press time. The brewery’s phone is disconnected and messages left at a contact number listed for sale of the brewery equipment were not returned.


River Horse Brewing is gearing up for the big event in Lambertville – the Shad Festival on April 24-25th. The brewery will feature a pig roast and beer garten – over 10, 00 people toured the brewery during last year’s festivites, and the brewery went through three 500-lb. pigs! To add to the celebration, April marks the third anniversary of the brewery as well.

River Horse has added a fourth contract brew to its portfolio as well – Hudson Valley Ale (Hudson Valley, NY). Described as an American Pale Ale, the first six pack of this brew should be released as of press time.


After being open for several months now, Oar Brewing(Millville), now officially has their own beer on tap. This American style Pale Ale is named Old Oarhouse Ale and is being brewed by Flying Fish.

Incidentally, Flying Fish will be releasing its tasty Belgian Farmhouse seasonal on May 1st. This tart, quenching ale in the Farmhouse/Saison tradition is brewed using a sour mash process and will be available on tap only. The brewery’s cask-conditioned ESB was recently spotlighted at a Smithsonian-sponsored class in Washington, D.C. on traditional English beers. Ray Daniels, beer author and founder of the Real Ale festival, spoke at the sold-out event.


High Point Brewing (Butler) will be celebrating the release of its draft-only Kristall with a party at Andy’s Corner Tavern on April 7th, 8 p.m. Ten bucks buys your first pint and a gold-rimmed, Weiss beer glass with brewery logo. A similar event will be held at Casey O’ Toole’s on April 16th, 4-7 p.m.

Given the beer’s hoppiness and use of a Lager yeast, this beer is much closer in style to a full-bodied Pilsener (6% ABV) than a traditional Kristall (a filtered Hefeweizen), according to President Greg Zacardi.

In a marketing move, which shows you how far beer education has yet to go, High Point is changing the name of the Dark Wheat to Ramstein Classic. The reasoning being that many people associate “dark” with a beer such as Guinness stout. Lastly, beer surfers can check out High Point’s new website at


On Sept. 27-28, B.I. will sponsor a dinner and tasting with Michael Jackson. For more info, check or call


Up north in Sparta, Krogh’s has brought all but one of its six beers on line. And by all accounts, the beers have been a big hit! “We’ve been doing a phenomenal business since the beers came online,” according to Entertainment Manager Rachel McCullough.

Indeed, I found the bar packed on a recent visit. Although I was there only briefly, I found the beers to be quite drinkable – my faves being the crisp Golden Ale and malty Celebration Ale. The brewpub will celebrate its grand opening on Memorial Day weekend. Look for the full story next issue.


Ever experimental, Long Valley’s Tim Yarrington of has brewed a Guinness-style stout for St. Patrick’s day. To reproduce the famous Guinness “tang,” Yarrington soured some of the stout, pasteurized it, and added it back to the batch. “If I can even get it close, I’ll call it a success,” he said. The stout was not on tap yet when I visited the brewpub, but I did have an excellent cask ESB (bursting with hops), and a delicious Wee Heavy.


In So. Orange, Gaslight Brewery will host a cask-ale dinner with specialty importer B. United International on April 20th. Look for some more interesting beers from Gaslight in the coming months, including a Doppelbock, Black Lager and Belgian Trippel.


Going south to Princeton, Triumph featured a Gambrinus dinner last month, pairing their excellent food with their own beers and some from guest host Tom Hettmansperger of Basil T’s (Red Bank).

The brewpub has been making some good Lagers – a Honey Maibock, Vienna and Helles being recent examples. And for you adventurous beer geeks, look for a buckwheat beer in the spring! Nearby, Jersey Jim’s (Hillsborough) is brewing a Dunkelweizen and Doppelbock (for the fall).


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Princeton and Local Environs Ale and Lager Enthusiast Society