March 2001 Newsletter

MARCH 2001


Who says that the NCAA has a lock on March madness? Here at PALE ALES we are featuring not one, but TWO meetings in March.

March 8th will kick off things with Dave Logsdon from Wyeast, and beer celebrity Sebbie Buhler (no relation to Ferris) will present the beers of Rogue on March 26th at Isaac Newton’s.

A special thanks to Joe Bair of Princeton Homebrew for setting up these two meetings. Details follow below. Also, you can get directions to these two establishments and other of the clubs haunts from

[BTW – this newsletter is being sent to you electronically from shaky Seattle, one of the beer capitols of the Northwest.]


Al Boccardo, past officer of PALE ALES and frequent contributor, asked me to post this request. It sounds like a great cause and I encourage you to support it. If we could all donate a little beer, it could work out to a nice contribution.

A sister of a little girl in my daughter Anna’s girl scout troop recently was diagnosed with a rare disease that required a lung transplant. Not only did she have a rare blood type, the lungs she would need had to come from another child. To make a ( very ) long story short, she miraculously received the transplant and now is recovering although the threat from rejection is still weighs heavily on her family’s mind.

The other challenge they have is financial. The machine she needs to be hooked to up will cost $400 per month. It’s not certain how much of this her family’s insurance will cover. To help out, her friends and family are having an auction to raise cash for her ongoing treatment. How can we help? No, I am not asking for your money or even your time. I’m just asking for a couple bottles of your homebrew. I volunteered a twelve pack of my homebrew ( a traditional bock) to be auctioned off . If each of you could donate two or three bottles of homebrew, I would donate a whole case and have the donation be from PALE ALES.

If this is doable for you, please bring the beer to the next meeting on March 8th. Also, if possible, please include a description of the brew you are donating. The auction will be on March 17th, but I need to get them the beer to the people organizing the fundraiser by March 10th.

Thanks a lot,

DATE: Thursday, March 8th
TIME: 8 pm
PLACE: Triumph, 138 Nassau Street, Princeton
(609) 924-7855

*Note that this meeting is on a Thursday, instead of Monday.

Dave Logsdon, the owner of Wyeast Laboratories, will be our featured speaker at the March 8th meeting, which will be held at Triumph. Wyeast Laboratories was one of the first liquid beer, mead, cider, sake, and wine yeast manufacturers for homebrewers and brewpubs, and offers the largest selection of liquid yeast cultures for home brewers today.

A homebrewer’s relationship with yeast is often a love-hate one at best. Yeast is the catalyst that can truly be said to create beer, but yet many of us know very little about it. This is a great opportunity to ask an expert all those tough questions about yeast and expand your understanding.

Also, as Joe Bair pointed out, this meeting marks the long awaited final part of the ingredient series started over two years ago, which featured Gerald Lemmons presenting on hops, Elizabethtown Water presenting on water, and William Crisp presenting on malt. We will also hold officer elections at this meeting as well.

And of course, you can enjoy a pint or two at Triumph prior to the meeting, since brewer Tom Stevenson always has something interesting brewing. Upcoming brews include a first-time ever Cherry Stout, and the tasty Trippel. The Gruit on hand pump will probably be gone, but who knows?

As always, homebrewers are encouraged to bring their brews for discrete sampling. Please note Al Boccardo, past officer of PALE ALES has requested folks to bring a bottle or two of homebrew to donate to a special cause – see the Special Request near the top of this newsletter.


PALE ALES Sebbie Buhler, Northeast representative for that gem of Oregon craft breweries – Rogue, will present the beers of Rogue on March 26 at Isaac Newtons in Newtown, Pa. See for directions on how to get there.

Sebbie has become somewhat of a beer celebrity since the last time she spoke for PALE ALES, about a year ago at Isaac Newton’s. I am referring of course to Rogue’s newest product – Rogue Chocolate Stout, which features a picture of Sebbie on the packaging.

Sebbie brought just about every Rogue product to the last meeting she hosted (from Artesian Lager, to Mogul Imperial Stout, to Old Crustacean Barley Wine). She is a great personality and speaker and we look forward to getting together with her and the beers of Rogue again.

The questions remain though. Will Sebbie’s newfound fame have changed her? Will she need to go in the back entrance at Isaac Newton’s to avoid the Paparazzi? Will she bring her own personal assistant beer pourer? Come to Isaac Newton’s on the 26th to answer all these burning questions – and of course sample from Rogue’s best, and the stellar tap selection at Isaac Newton’s as well.


Our Jan. meeting featured the beers of Harvest Moon (New Brunswick) ala brewer Barry Holsten. Barry treated us to an Imperial Stout made with a Lager yeast, an enjoyable treat – roasty and chocolately, and full-bodied without the typical fruitiness, an IPA, and others.

Barry’s fruity Belgian Golden Ale was fresh from the fermenter, and full of Belgian flavor. The brewpub will be doing a co-brew with Flying Fish later on in the month, according to Flying Fish President Gene Muller. The planned brew, tentatively titled “MoonFish,” will be a dark lager with a rich maltiness and classic hop presence, and should debut sometime in March.

To round off the evening, at least a half-dozen members of WHALES (the Woodbridge Hombrew club) were in attendance as well. Thanks for the informative brewery tour Barry, we hope to visit again soon.

Afterward, many club members staggered (er… walked) over to Old Bay restaurant, which features a fine selection of American craft beers. We sampled the cask Lunacy (Heavyweight), Ramstein Winter Wheat, and many others. Thanks again for hosting Barry!


PALE ALES is also having elections for new officers at the March 8th meeting at Triumph. If you are interested in being a member or running for office, please be there.

Steve Rowley (who recently became a tenured professor) is stepping down this year as president, and Jay Ottinger, Member-at-Large, is throwing his hat in the ring for this spot – which also means that their will be an open Member-at-Large spot.

Members-at-Large are involved in activities such as helping find speakers for the monthly meetings, planning club activities and trips (such as the Papazian meeting last year), competitions, etc. Members serving in these positions are also involved first hand in all decision-making and planning meetings for future club activities.

In addition, it looks like we have many incumbents who are planning to run again – Laurie and Andrew Koontz (VPs), Steve Ashton (Treasurer), Kevin Trayner (Newsletter Editor/Secretary), Dave Albert (Program Director), and Joe Scarlatta (Member-at-Large).

Remember, any member can run for office, and just because someone is running for a particular spot does not mean that you can’t run for it also. Getting new blood into the leadership can be beneficial for us all. We have had some excellent events in the past year, in particular the Charlie Papazian meeting, and I hope this tradition will continue. We are looking at holding the Hoppiest Show on Earth again this year, in addition to the BYHB, not to mention our featured speakers, so there is a great deal of room for contribution.


May 5th (National Homebrew Day) will mark the fourth annual Big Brew day. Thousands of brewers participate in this event annually. Check for more information

This year there are three recipes to choose from, a Classic American Pilsner provided by Jeff Renner (for more information on this style see the Sept/Oct 2000 issue of Zymurgy or email Jeff Renner at, a Cream Ale provided by Scott Abene (AKA Skotrat), and an American Brown Ale provided by Paul Gatza. All recipes are for 5 gallons.

Of course, in the PALE ALES tradition we will likely brew in the tune of a more obscure style. The past two years we have brewed a Sticke beer ( like a German IPA) and California Red, which both turned out to be excellent Beers. Keep your brewing pots tuned as we try to choose a beer to brew!.


-Contributed by Kurt Epps-

There is a first time for everything. For the worldwide Pizzeria Uno restaurant chain, that first time happened three years ago when the company decided that one–and only one–of its burgeoning number of restaurants would also be a brewpub.

That decision was a boon to central New Jersey beer lovers, because it meant that in a major chain with franchises as far-flung as the Middle East, the only one making its own beer would be right here in Metuchen, NJ on Route 1 South, nestled between Bennigan¹s and Steak and Ale. The problem is you¹d never know it by the amount of press the parent company gives to the only brewpub in the family. Fortunately, the local management is trying to change that. In its own bold “first,” Manager Tom Corrigan and Head Brewer Mike Sella teamed up with the New Jersey Association of Beerwriters to sponsor Uno’s first ever beer dinner. Sella was also savvy enough to enlist the aid of Tom Baker of Heavyweight Brewing, one of New Jersey’s finest microbreweries. That Baker is getting increasing–and well-deserved–national attention for the bold styles of beers he brews doesn’t hurt the equation either.

Some of the state’s best beerwriters turned out for this debut, too. Kevin Trayner (ASN) and Jim Carlucci ( and Tapline) wended their respective ways from points south to witness the birth of this baby.

Corrigan and Sella saw it in those terms, too, calling the dinner “baby steps” with the hope of learning enough to graduate to bigger and better things somewhere down the road.

And there were lessons to be learned. Among them was the importance of pre-event promotion, as the turnout was lighter than expected. But that said, those who did attend were totally satisfied with the affair.

Take the four guys at my table.
Only kidding.

Mike Pender, Bruce Swedge and brothers Dave and Tom Brunejko were down-to-earth, regular guys who had never been to a beer dinner before. To a man, they were greatly impressed, promising to carry the word forth for the next event.

This dinner was prefaced by a happy hour which included cheese and cracker trays and complimentary pitchers of Sella’s very drinkable ESB and a surprisingly good house beer called 32 Inning Ale, which he described as a “pseudo-pilsener.”

The first course was a superb Uno Appetizer called Tuscany Bread, and it could have been a full meal for most kids and small adults. It was paired with Baker’s outstanding flagship brew Lunacy, a Belgian style ale that impressed Mike Pender so much, he declared, “Air should smell like this!” (At Heavyweight Brewing, Mike, it does.)

Big Tom Burnejko was fascinated with the pairings of food with beer and how each complemented the other. He liked the fresh Caesar salad that was joined with Uno’s bestseller, Ike’s IPA, a bold, hoppy brew that won this reviewer over three years ago.

The salad was followed by a Vidalia Onion Soup au Gratin which Corrigan allowed had started out bitter when prepared earlier in the day. By serving time, however, it was voted the sweetest onion soup anyone could remember.The sweetness was balanced perfectly by Uno’s Station House Red Ale, a brew which Sella has beefed up considerably.

The main course was a savory and tender Sirloin Steak which was marinated in a combination of Uno’s Gust OEn’ Gale Porter and Old GrandDad Bourbon. GrandDad would have been proud of his contribution, but no prouder than Tom Baker, whose famous Perkuno’s Hammer Baltic Porter accompanied the dish.
Like that of Baker and faithful wife Peg Zwerver, it was a perfect marriage (though they opted for a pasta dish!). The Hammer, made with two unusual ingredients (Lager yeast and Lew Bryson), brought out the subtle porter flavors in the meat, while the steak flavors augmented the Munich and Chocolate malts in the brew.
Speaking of chocolate, Corrigan and Sella delivered not one, but two separate dessert dishes, both designed to have you looking for clothes in the “Big-Butted Man” section of your favorite clothing store. First out was an Oreo Cheesecake that could only be described as sinful. It was paired with Sella¹s own Oatmeal Stout, a smooth, chewy, satisfying stout that is not on Uno¹s regular beer list, but should be.

If the first dessert was sinful, the second, a Cappuccino Cake, had to be called downright immoral. The revelers went straight–and happily–to hell when Baker’s newest offering, Old Salty Barleywine, came out to accompany the cake. Old Salty, produced in conjunction with ASN cartoonist Bill Coleman and bearing his artwork on the label, is an excellent example of the style. It is, to be sure, a “sippin’ beer” and one to be treated with respect at 9.2% ABV. But “sippin” was about all we could do at that point anyway, given the array of food and beers that preceded the finale.
Which, we discovered, wasn’t really the finale.

Sella made a special trip to the tanks to extract samples of his newest effort, a Dunkel Weiss. Scheduled for release the week after the dinner, this nicely balanced beer, though not as dunkel-looking as it might have been, will make a nice bridge between winter and spring brews at Uno’s.

A neat collection of prizes, which included copies Michael Jackson’s Pocket Guide to Beer and growlers of Uno’s beers, sent the revelers home happy and eager to make reservations for the next dinner, tentatively set for June.

Given the success of this baby step for Corrigan, Sella and Pizzeria Uno, it won¹t be long before they’re running with the big dogs.

Maybe then the company’s top brass will sit up and take notice?

©Kurt E. Epps 2001 All rights reserved


Some new beers are brewing down in South Jersey. Heavyweight has brewed the second batch of its Two Druid’s Gruit ale, originally developed by Baker and ASN’s own Tony Forder. For this batch, Baker has tweaked the recipe to accent the malt and used his “house” yeast (a Belgian variety). It will be packaged in 12 oz. bottles and released by the end or February, he said.

Heavyweight’s newest and biggest brew – Old Salty Barleywine (9.2% ABV), co-crafted by ASN’s cartoonist Bill Coleman, is now on the shelves of select retailers. Old Salty displayed a smooth, clean malt character, with a somewhat sweet palate – typical of the English style. Heavyweight will be vintage-dating this brew, according to Brewer Tom Baker – definitely one to buy and lay down.

Perkuno’s Hammer, Heavyweight’s prodigious Porter, was featured at the Feb 11th ASN-sponsored Imperial Stout Tasting at the Russian Tea Room as one of the reception beers.
Check the web site at for more info on distributors and other events.

Get yourself a bottle of Flying Fish’s limited release Grand Cru Reserve, presented in 22 oz. wax-sealed bottles. With a wonderful malt and hop balance and distinctive Belgian yeast profile, this is definitely one of the best crafted beers to come out of the brewery.

Blue Collar Brewing (Vineland) has released four of their beers in 12-oz. bottles, including the Hopalong Pale Ale, Irish Style Red Ale, Coal Porter and Scotch Style Ale, according to co-founder Steve Heck. The brewery will continue to use its distinctive one-quart cobalt blue bottles for seasonals and specialty beers, he said.
In other news, the brewery will be brewing its popular Oktoberfest Lager (their most successful beer of the year) year-round as BCB Lager, which will eventually be available in bottles also.
For more info on BCB, check out their website at, or email them at

Going north to Climax (Roselle Park), Dave Hoffman has just released his draft-only Doppelbock, weighing in at 7.8 % ABV. Look for it at select bars, including Old Bay, Antone’s (Cranford) and Andy’s Corner. Hoffman will also be bringing along some for the annual University of Pennsylvania Museum Beer Tasting on March 31st.

Climax’s notable Porter is again available on draft and in growlers, for the first time in over a year. In other news, Climax will also be sending two beers to the Chicago Real Ale festival, where the brewery has medalled in previous years.

In Butler, High Point’s limited production seasonal heavyweight, the Winter Wheat, has sold very well, according to President Greg Zacardi. “It’s one of our best batches ever,” he said. After sampling some at Old Bay recently – I can’t argue with his assessment. Rich, fruity and chocolately, with raisin notes in the finish, this beer is almost Belgian in its complexity – Prosit! Visit for a list of distributors and other info.

Trap Rock (Berkeley Heights) held its fifth beer dinner, spotlighting its own beers and those of River Horse. This dinner was the fifth in Trap Rock’s Beers of the Round Table series, which spotlights NJ breweries alongside the brewpub’s beers. At this point, Trap Rock has co-hosted a dinner with almost every brewery in the Garden State, except for Blue Collar – and a dinner is in the works with them, according to brewer (and dinner organizer) Scott Sutera.
Despite the fact that this latest dinner sold out in little more than a day, I was lucky enough to get an invite. Many of the guests were repeat attendees, and I certainly learned why as the evening progressed in the restaurant’s cozy, upstairs room.
For starters, it is an excellent value for $45, which includes four courses (and an additional mystery course), seven beers, and tip/tax. Sutera takes great care to match the beer and cuisine, and the beer pairings as well. For example, the American hops in RH’s Hop Hazard contrasted nicely with the brewpub’s English-style IPA, just as the brewpub’s Harvest Rye Ale complimented the malty RH Special Ale.

Food offerings included chilled beef tartare with fennel, horseradish, Granny Smith apple salad; roasted Muscovy Duck breast with Butternut squash risotto; and a fabulous Pork Chop wrapped in Prosciutto. Although all of the entrées were skillfully presented and prepared, I must admit a certain fondness for the Caramel Pot de Crème paired with Trap Rock’s roasty, chocolately stout.

Given the popularity of these dinners (almost all of them have sold out), Sutera is looking to do them on a monthly basis, rather than quarterly.

On a sad note, I recently heard that Scott is leaving Trap Rock to pursue a Graphic Arts career. We all wish him well, and I hope the new brewer will carry on Scott’s tradition of excellence in food and beer.

Gaslight (So. Orange) continues its tradition of beer dinners with a Wild Game & Beer Dinner on March 7th, with five to eight different meats. On April 4th, the brewpub will host a Vintage Beer Dinner, featuring beers from the B. United portfolio, including J.W. Lees Harvest Ale and Thomas Hardy. The brewpub will feature a traditional St. Patrick’s Day items (and beer of course) on March 17th. On tap, the brewpub just put on a Dunkelweizen, Pilsner, and Porter, and tapped a Scotch Ale in Feb.

Upcoming beers at the award-winning Long Valley brewpub include an 8% ABV Wee Heavy on the hand pump (a personal favorite), followed by an Oatmeal Stout.
St. Patty’s day is always one of the brewpub’s biggest celebrations – with the Stone Barn Irish Stout.

Going south to Toms River, myself and several fellow beerwriters enjoyed several pints at Basil T’s, including a fruity, chocolatey Raspberry Porter and full-bodied Irish Stout.

In other food and beer news, beer chef Tim Schafer will host a Gourmet Beer Dinner co-sponsored by Ale Street News at Tim Schafer’s Cuisine (Morristown) on March 7. For more information, call (973) 538-3330.


Some new breweries from familiar faces are looming on the horizon of the Big Apple. Heartland Brewing has begun construction of a new chop house and brewpub to open in June or July, according to head brewer Jim Migliorini. With locations in midtown and Union Square, this will be Heartland’s third brewpub in NYC.

The new brewpub will be located near 43rd St. and Broadway (formerly home to a Brazilian restaurant) and will feature Heartland’s core five beers and a mix of seasonals, according to Migliorini. The 15-barrel DME brewing system for the restaurant was purchased from Back Bay restaurant and with some enhancements, the system will have an annual capacity of 30,000 barrels, he said. Upcoming beers at Heartland include a Barley Wine, Black Lager, Spring Bock and Honey Porter.

After years of being brewed by contract, Old World Brewing of Staten Island will finally have a brewery to call its own, according to owner Sal Pennacchia. Old World Brewing produces the New York Harbor Ale brand of beers, which were formerly brewed by the defunct Hoboken Brewing.

Look for some great, limited production beers from Brooklyn Brewery in the coming months with its Brewmaster’s Reserve program, which kicked off this past Jan. with a Weissbock. The program will feature a new draft-only offering every few months, according to Garrett Oliver, head brewer. Oliver plans to follow up the Weissbock with a Saison in May.

With an original gravity of 1.074, Brooklyner Weissbock is made with German yeast, hops, and malt (including 50% wheat malt). The Weissbock was spotlighted at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant (Newark, Delaware) for their Brewers’ Reserve Night.
In other news, Brooklyn will be adding its Blanche de Brooklyn to its regular lineup of beers, according to Oliver, although as of press time he was not sure whether it will be bottled. Blanche de Brooklyn beat out the world classic Hoegarden for a gold medal in the White Beer category of the 2000 World Beer Cup.


The Sixth Annual York County Microbrew Fest, York, PA will be held on March 31 (Saturday). Word of mouth has it that this is one of the best festivals in the area – good food, tasting glass and music.

Sessions run from Noon-4pm & 6-10 pm, with proceeds benefiting area charities. The event will be held at the County Fairgrounds, York, PA, and admission is $20. For more info, call 717-792-9266.


The U of Penn Museum of Archaeology annual tasting is coming up on March 31st. Great food, beautiful surroundings, stellar beers, and a tutored tasting by Michael Jackson make this an event to go to.

Tickets are 40 bucks, and have a tendency to sell out. Myself and a few friends are going to the last tasting (5 pm or so). This event is part of the Book and Cook festival, which highlights great cuisine and beer. See website for a complete list of events.


I received the following email regarding a proposed Mead Making Usenet group. Basically, this would enable mead brewers to post and discuss mead-related topics. Sounds like an OK idea to me.

I thought your homebrew club might be interested in learning about a proposal for a new Usenet newsgroup for mead makers. If any of your members make mead and have access to Usenet, information about this proposed newsgroup is available at

This will come to a vote soon. We would really appreciate your help in spreading the word.


Chris Hadden

Christopher Hadden
Proponent – rec.crafts.meadmaking



The Niagara Association of Homebrewers is proud to be hosting the March 2001 AHA Club Only Competition. “The Best of the Irish” will take place on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th!

Entries will be accepted February 26, 2001 – March 9, 2001.
Details and entry forms are available at
For more information E-mail:


The 5th Annual Western New York Homebrew Competition, “Suds Survivor” is right around the corner. The Three Buffalo area Homebrew clubs, the Niagara Association of Homebrewers, the Sultan’s of Swig and the Alers dare you to survive our “island”. The judging takes place at the Flying Bison Brewing Company, a brewery owned and operated by homebrewers. AHA medals and prizes are awarded. Top prize this year is a English Beer Engine. Can you survive? PROVE it!!!

Judging will take place on May 19th, 2001 with entries due by Saturday May 5th, BIG BREW DAY! If you are going to be in the area join us for the annual Brewer’s Night Out immediately following the competition and held at the Pearl Street Grill and Bar!
Judges are needed!
Check out for more information and entry forms. For more information please E–mail


The Mayfaire is one of the oldest and most respected competitions in the nation. Recently, the Falcons graduated a new class of judges adding to the large group of experienced judges and award winning brewers available both in the Falcons and
Southern California.

In addition to the prizes listed below you’ll be eligible for the Sierra Nevada California Homebrewer of the Year Award (California resident brewers only) and you’ll receive critical evaluations from our BJCP qualified judges.

Entry Deadline: Entries, forms, and fees are due between March 1 –
March 20, 2001. Change for this year: Recipes will be optional, not required

Entry Fee: $6.00 per entry, check or money order only, payable to the Maltose Falcons

Entry Format : 3 – 10-16 oz. brown or green bottles, clean of labels and distingushing marks (Barleywines and Meads are accepted in 7oz and

Walk-in (Shop Closed on Weds.) or send prepaid to:

The Maltose Falcons
c/o The Home Wine, Beer and Cheese Making Shop
22836 Ventura Blvd. #2
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

Awards Ceremony: At the Maltose Falcons Mayfaire Festival, Saturday,
April 21, 2001

Best of Show: “The Bird”, a statuette of the Maltose Falcon “Hashell

First, Second, and Third Place ribbons may be awarded in each beer
style Class, Subject to the decisions of the judges. All judges
decisions are final.

Also of special note to any cider makers, we’ve separated ciders from meads and sake. We hope this change allows our cider entries a more fair evaluation.

Check their website for more information :

For further information, or entry forms, contact John Aitchison,
Competition Organizer
Phone : 818-886-3568

For Judging information, contact Tom Wolf
Phone : 661-296-0872

For Stewarding information, contact Diana Utech
Phone : 310-398-2558

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Princeton and Local Environs Ale and Lager Enthusiast Society