March 2002 Newsletter

MARCH 2002

DATE: Monday, March 25
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
PLACE:Triumph, 138 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
PHONE: (609) 924-7855

Our next meeting will feature River Horse Brewery (Lambertville)at
the Inne of the Hawke (also in Lambertville).

River Horse has been busy lately with brewing new beers for the grand opening of PorterHouse, the Lahaska, PA brewpub risen from the ashes of Buckingham brewpub.

The brewpub will feature River Horse’s regular line of beers alongside special beers brewed especially for the brewpub. “Basically, we’re getting to do all of the things we wanted to do in a brewpub, but without the restaurant hassles,” said brewer Matt Bryan. Perhaps, we will be fortunate enough to sample some of the newly minted brews!


Just a taste of what your friendly neighborhood homebrew club is
planning for the upcoming year.

During our last meeting at the A&B, which featured the great beers of Flying Fish (and some Barley Wine from Blue Point Brewing of Long Island), we brought up the idea of brewing a specific style of beer for meetings throughout the year.

The idea is that we would “feature” a specific style of beer,
giving background on it and showing commercial examples. Our first featured style will be Brown Ale for March.


Hey, and since we are listing some of the many events planned for the club for this coming year in this newsletter, what better time to
mention that you get all of this for a mere $24 per year. Dues came
due in January – so let me encourage all of you to send in your
dues or pay them at our next meeting.

Dues (made out to PALE ALES) can be mailed to our treasurer Al
Boccardo at:

4 Wesleyan Drive,
Hamilton Square, NJ 08690

Thanks for your support.


We are looking into providing (at a subsidized cost), club t-shirts
for members. It’s about time we got our name and logo where it
belongs – on our club members. We are looking at some past club
artwork for material, and would like to open it up to you our
creative members.

Is there a beer artist inside you? Submit your ideas to this email or
to the website for our first-ever club t-shirt. Club wear that makes
a statement about you and what you love – cool, frothy beer.


To give you a sampling of PALE ALES events planned so far for the year:

FEB 11 – MTG at Inne of the Hawke in Lambertville, NJ., featuring
River Horse.

MARCH – Featured Style: Brown Ales. Elections for PALE ALES
Michael Jackson beer dinner and tasting at the University of Penn.
Archaeology Museum.

MAY – Featured Style: European Wheat Beers (Belgian and German)
MAY 4th – Big Brew, Sticke/Alt brew

JULY – NYC Pub Crawl

SEPT – Featured Style: Bock beer

NOV – Featured Style: Strong Ales

JAN – Featured Style: Porters/Stouts
(Other events: Flavors seminar, Dogfish Head, Victory)


The US will see its first ever Sake homebrew competition on May 4th 2002 at the Righa Royal Hotel in New York City.

The competition is being run by ALE ALES member and award-winning homebrewer Bruce Hammel, who has developed a love of Sake.

Sake is a fermented rice beverage that has been made for thousands of years in the Orient. Like beer, sake is made from grain and utilizes a mold called koji, which works to ferment sake as yeast works on beer.

Contact Bruce at for more information.


April 3 – 12, 2002
23rd Annual AHA National Homebrew Competition 1st Round Entry Deadline

April 9 – 10, 2002
World Beer Cup Judging, Cleveland, OH

Apr 10 – 13, 2002
Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America in Cleveland, OH, Michael Jackson is the Keynote Speaker

April 19-21, April 26-28, 2002
23rd Annual AHA National Homebrew Competition 1st Round Judging

May 4, 2002
5th Annual Big Brew celebration of National Homebrew Day

June 20-21, 2002
23rd Annual AHA National Homebrew Competition 2nd Round Judging

June 20 – 22, 2002
2002 AHA National Homebrewers Conference in Irving, TX

October 3 – 5, 2002
Great American Beer Festival, Denver, CO

November 2, 2002
4th Annual Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day


Boulder, CO . January 3, 2002 – Beer, rock n’ roll and Michael
Jackson will unite in Cleveland to celebrate the Craft Brewers
Conference and BrewExpo America SM on April 10-13, 2002.

The 2002 Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America, presented by the Institute for Brewing Studies (IBS), will tie craft-beer flavor with Cleveland’s growing community to make this year’s event the nation’s largest, most important annual gathering for craft-brewing professionals.

“More than half of the breweries in the country are within driving
distance to Cleveland, making it accessible to brewers, restaurant
and brewery managers from around the nation,” says IBS director Paul Gatza.

The IBS is excited to have Michael Jackson as the keynote speaker for this year’s conference. “The speakers’ roster is shaping up to be the finest and most intriguing for the Craft Brewers Conference in years,” notes Gatza.

This four-day event will be in downtown Cleveland at the Renaissance Hotel, within walking distance to Jacobs Field and the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. “Cleveland is more than an intro to the Drew Carey Show,” comments Gatza. “It is a mindset of a vibrant, growing community with great breweries and urban revitalization.”

On Thursday, April 11, a welcome reception at the Great Lakes Brewing Co. will help national and international brewers, restaurant and brewery managers network in a fun environment. Briess Malting Company is sponsoring this event. Other conference sponsors are Cargill Malt Specialty Products Group, Steinecker Inc., S.S. Steiner Inc. and Great Western Malting Company.

For more information on the 2002 Craft Brewers Conference and
BrewExpo America visit

With more than 1,300 members, the IBS is America’s leading
educational association for the craft-brewing industry and publisher
of The New Brewer, a magazine dedicated to professional brewing. Founded in 1978, the Association of Brewers is a not-for-profit educational and trade organization committed to the promotion of quality beers and brewing throughout the world.

For More Information
Cindy Jones
Association of Brewers
P.O. Box 1679
Boulder, Colorado USA 80306-1679

1.888.822.6273 (U.S. only)
1.303.447.0816 ext. 144
Fax 1.303.447.2825


A new microbrewery opened its doors in NJ this past January – Cricket Hill Brewing Co. of Fairfield. The brewery’s first beer
(draft-only) is “East Coast Lager,” a Helles style beer weighing in slightly under 4% ABV. Cricket Hill takes its name from an alleged tavern/road house in nearby Boonton.

According to co-owner Rick Reed, the brewery is aiming for the middle market between American domestics (Bud, Coors, et al.) and high-end craft brews. The draft-only lager will be followed by a Pale Ale (more like an ESB) and an Irish Red, which will be bottled.
Initially, distribution is limited to Morris and Essex County –
so you may not see them on a shelf near you anytime real soon.

Brad Benson from the High Point Wheat Beer brewery (Butler) is
serving as the head brewer and brewing consultant. Reed met Brad while serving his American Brewers Guild (ABG) brewing

Perhaps a sign of the times, Reed’s 15-barrel brewery is a hodge-
podge of equipment from various breweries that have passed into the pale – a bottling line from Miami Brewing, the Criveller brewing
system from Circle V in Indianapolis, and a mill and miscellaneous
equipment from Jersey Jim’s in Hillsborough.

Why open a brewery during an economic downturn? For starters, the brewery was originally scheduled to open in the beginning of
September, said Reed, noting that his brewing permit took five months to process (instead of the typical two to three months).
More significantly, co-owners Reed and Dave Terpstra were financially committed at that point. “We started off with a lager because we figured we would have time to lager it while waiting for the paperwork,” Reed explains. “We weren’t quite planning on
it taking quite that long though,” he joked.

Reed is optimistic about the success of the brewery, but recognizes that January is a critical month: “This is when I will find out whether my cash flow will go positive.” Things are looking pretty
good so far though. Reed’s goal is to be in 25 tap accounts by
end of January, and (as of press time) he has deals for 16 locations, with eight good prospects. Additionally, despite having only been in business for a month, Reed is already getting repeat business.

How did Cricket Hill come into being? Like many of us, Reed had
always dreamed of starting his own brewery. During a Bermuda
vacation, Reed toured the newly opened Triangle brewery there and met future partner Dave Terpstra, who was interested in starting a brewery in the US. (Note: The Triangle brewery went defunct and re-opened as Bermuda Brewing in August 2000).

At the end of January, Cricket Hill will release its second brew (on
tap and in draft) – an American Ale, which they describe as
“a toned-down ESB.” Weighing in at 5% ABV, the ale uses English and German malts, Simcoe hops (bittering), and Sterling, Willamette and Cascade whole leaf for aroma and flavor. Look for an Irish-Red style ale (“Pipers Red”) to follow this one up. For more info or to schedule a tour, call 973-276-9415 or email

River Horse’s plans to build a New Hope brewpub have fizzled.
Financially, it just didn’t make sense given the current economic
clime, according to co-owner to Jack Bryan. The good news is that
they’ll be doing something in a similar vein, and much sooner! In
February, the defunct Buckingham Brewery in Lahaska, Pa will re-open as the PorterHouse brewpub, with River Horse taking care of the brewing side.

The brewpub will feature River Horse’s regular line of beers alongside special beers brewed especially for the brewpub. “Basically, we’re getting to do all of the things we wanted
to do in a brewpub, but without the restaurant hassles,” said
brewer Matt Bryan.

As of press time, the brewery had not decided on the list of beers to be brewed, he said. Hopefully, one of these will be a tasty Belgian Trippel. I had the opportunity to sample a test batch of this brew (along some of my homebrew club cronies) this past December. Lightly spiced (nutmeg, coriander), the filtered beer showed good malt character and body, weighing in at around 9ABV, and had a noticeable warming effect without the alcohol bite.

Going to the center of the state, I had a chance to sample some of
Climax’s lagers recently, and was not dissapointed. Brewer Dave
Hoffman poured a Pilsener, Octoberfest, and Doppelbock – and they were all excellent. Great malt character – especially considering that Hoffman does not decoct his brews.

I was particularly impressed with the Pils, which tasted amazingly
crisp (and dead on to style) despite it being nearly five months old.
I also tried out the commemorative American Red Ale brewed for
Roselle Park’s Centennial Ale – great hop character.

I was also happy to hear that Climax is working on expanding its
distribution to include Mercer County – so that I may soon see
growlers in my local beer store.

I know it must be wintertime because I’m drinking Winter Wheat
from High Point. This year’s 9% ABV brew, goes down like a
satisfyingly silky chocolate banana (OK maybe `go down,’ `silky,’
and `banana’ don’t belong in the same sentence – but you get the drift!). Not that I haven’t loved past versions of this (it’s one of the NJ
beers I eagerly await), but this year’s version is quite different – much less roastiness, and much fruitier, closer a traditional weizen
doppelbock like Aventinus. Pick some up if you still can!

In other news, Ramstein expands distribution into Connecticut –
specifically, Fairfield, New Haven and Litchfield counties. Ramstein
Blonde will be served at the Connecticut Real Ale Festival on Feb.
10, at the Bru Rm Bar in New Haven.

Flying Fish (Cherry Hill) is bringing in the new year with a seasonal
favorite – HopPhish IPA, back after a two-year hiatus. This draft-only brew is hopped with five different hop varieties, including Ahtanum, and the word is that this version is hoppiest yet. Cask-conditioned versions will be featured at select accounts as well.

In other news, the Fish continues to grow, and has added two 50
barrel fermenters to its system, putting annual capacity at 9,500
barrels, according to President Gene Muller.

Heavyweight (Ocean) will be attending the Real Ale fest in Chicago, and sending some beers out there as well, according to brew Tom Baker. You can pick up the brewery’s three latest brews –
Cinderbock, Old Salty Barleywine, and the new and improved Baltus in the new variety four-packs.

Along with other local beer luminaries (including Lew Bryson),
Heavyweight’s other half, Peggy Zwerver, took part in the Grey
Lodge’s (Phila.) new Lucky Cat Day tradition this past weekend –
Feb. 2nd Groundhog Day. Instead of predicting the weather, however, the cat will predict (more importantly) what seasonal beers will appear in Grey Lodge’s future. Check out the www.grey for the full wackiness.

In brewpub news, there is another changing of the guard at Harvest
Moon (New Brunswick) with Rob Macaulay coming in as the new brewer. An NJ native and Rutger’s graduate, Macaulay comes to us from Vista Brewing in Columbia, SC. Macaulay’s initial offerings are a Scotch Ale and the Siberian Express, an 9% ABV Winter Ale. In addition, the brewpub is now featuring four guest taps as well.

Triumph (Princeton) is kicking off Mardi Gras a week early with a
Cajun/Creole themed Gambrinus dinner tomorrow – Feb. 5. Tom Baker and Peggy from Heavyweight will be co-hosting and adding a couple of their beers to the mix as well. Sounds like a great combination to me, or as Emeril would say “BAM!” Call 609.924.7855 for more info.
And of course the brewpub will feature its usual Mardi Gras
celebration a week later. Seasonals include a Pilsner and the hot pepper accented Jolie Blonde in Feb., and debuting in March will be the Honeymoon Braggot, weighing in at 10% ABV. I sampled a very young version of the Braggot, and it was both delicious and dangerous. As brewer Tom Stevenson puts it (borrowing from ” Sacred and Healing Herbal Beers” author Stephen Harrod Buhner): “Drink enough of this stuff, and you’ll live forever and enjoy every minute!”

Speaking of beer dinners, Gaslight (So. Orange) will feature a
special beer dinner for Valentine’s Day (Feb 14th). For Mardi
Gras, look for special Creole/Cajun offerings on the menu and beers – possibly Blackened Voodoo on tap. Upcoming seasonals include a stout in March, a1920’s lager, the Eliminator (Honey double maibock), and a cask-conditioned Porter and Hopfest.

Trap Rock (Bernardsville) just wrapped up another of its Brewmasters’ dinners this past month, with special guest Sebbie Buhler of Rogue Ales (her Chocolate Stout rocks!). Interesting seasonals can always be found amongst Trap Rock’s nine taps – recent offerings have included a Scotch Ale, Imperial Stout, Belgian Brown, Hefeweizen (made with spelt), Colonial Porter, and Roggenbier.

Tun Tavern (Atlantic City) and Pizzeria Uno (Metuchen) are both
putting together beer dinners in Feb.or March as well. Call (609) 347- 7800 or (732) 548-7979, respectively for details. JJ Bittings
(Woodbridge) will be bringing on the Rat Pack Pilsner, an oatmeal
stout, and English IPA in Feb., with an Irish Red Lager and a Stout
in March. Long Valley will host its Wee Heavy Scotch Ale on the hand pump, a nitro English Pale Ale, a

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Princeton and Local Environs Ale and Lager Enthusiast Society