October 2002 Newsletter

October 2002

The Sweet Tase of Victory in October!
DATE: Monday, Oct. 7th
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
PLACE:Inn of the Hawke, 74 So. Union Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530
PHONE: (609) 397-6993 or (609)397-9559

Our October meeting will feature brewer Bill Covaleski of Victory – brewer extraordinaire of German, English and Belgian brews. Victory’s won the gold for a cask version of its ever popular Hop Devil in the American section of the prestigious British Beer Festival. Bill will features samples of the Festbier and Moonglow Weizenbock, with perhaps a few others as. Of course, this will also be a great opportunity to chat with one of the premier breweries/brewers in the US. Please join us in just a little less than two weeks at the Inn of the Hawke in Lambertville.

[NOTE: We had originally planned to have this meeting in the renovated Isaac Newton’s pub, but they are opening later than originally planned. We are definitely keeping Issac Newton’s in our sights for future events as well.]

From Rt. 29, make the turn into Lambertville (Swan St. I believe. If you stay straight on this road you go across the bridge into New Hope). Then make the first left – which is So. Union St. In a few short blocks, you will see of the Hawk is on the left hand side of the street – nearly at the end of it.

Contributed by Joe Bair

Our styles meeting last somewhat balmy Sept. 9th started with the announcement for the club’s return to non-AHA/BJCP sponsored competition for this year. We are hoping the Susan Paterson Center will be open in Dec. for this event. Start brewing now since entries will be due the first week in Dec.

Our September meeting had a festive backyard get together feel – and what better location for a beer talk that the hop garden behind Princeton Homebrew. About 15-20 people came (with chairs), and Laurie Harmon supplied Popcorn.

The talk on Stouts started with its history in Porters in England and Ireland. The mixing of beers (Three Threads) and the new type of maltings were combined to produce a new beer style.

PALE ALES Co-Vice-President Andrew Kontz then offered Guiness Pub Draught and Extra Stout. The Extra Stout was remarkably different with a more acidic taste and stronger alcohol. We also tasted Sierra Nevada, Samuel Smiths, Smuttynose, Rogue, and Imperial Stout. By that point, I forgot what came after – but they were all great examples of Stouts and gave participants a incredible learning experience.

Andrew was both entertaining and relaxing in the 90F late summer evening. Homebrew Stout Recipes (extract and all-grain) were handed out and discussed. A good time was had by all and it worked out so good perhaps we could do it again at my store or at someone else’s house in the future.



After a couple years’ hiatus, SHE’s BAAACK! The Hangtown Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts (H.A.Z.E.) proudly announces the return of this popular competition! Your CLUB is receiving this bulletin now so you will have time to announce this notice in one of your upcoming club meetings.

Get your female members to brew that award winning entry AND to
encourage other women to brew (maybe plan an all women’s team brew). Please pass this information on to any/all women brewers’ that you know – make an announcement at your next club meeting, help make this the best Queen of Beer to date!

The date for judging has been set for October 26th, 2002. Entries will be accepted October 1st-19th. The competition is BJCP sanctioned. All categories open.

For complete competition information and Rules & Regulations see the H.A.Z.E. website which is located at: WWW.HAZEclub.org or email at: QOB_2002@h…

Or snail mail: 2739 Ponderosa Road – Shingle Springs, CA 95682


Each entry shall consist of: three (3) bottles free of commercial labels, raised marks of lettering, or other identifying markings that are not part of the official entry label. A 12 oz brown bottle is preferable. Clear or green bottles may be disqualified from an award. Please attach with a rubber band (no tape or glue) a properly completed Official Bottle I.D. form, which has been filled out completely. Once the bottles have been assigned a control number, the entry sheet becomes the identifying document connecting the beer with the brewer. Special attention should be given to the category and style placements so that your brew will be judged according to the proper style. Brew entries are limited to one (1) per style, three (3) per category. Fillout an Queen of Beer Entry Form and list / itemize each of the entries that are to be entered into the QOB Competition.

Queen of Beer Entry Form
Official Bottle I.D. form


Cost for entering the competition is $7.00 for the 1st entry and each additional entry is $5.00. QOB T-Shirts are also available for purchase at a cost of $19.00 each. Please fillout a QOB T-Shirt Order Form. Entry fees and T-Shirt fees maybe included in a single check if the QOB T-Shirt Order Form is included with the competition entries (NOTE: Disregard mailing address on QOB T-Shirt Order Form when included with competition entries.). Please make payment in U.S. funds to: H. A. Z. E. Please denote “Queen of Beer” in the memo section.

You have to love the variety of NJ’s seasonal brews – where else can you find commercially-made, bottle-conditioned examples of a Belgian Farmhouse, Belgian Grand Cru, Biere de Garde, Sticke, and a Weizen Doppelbock within the space of a few months? Might I add that these are beers that you rarely see made commercially in the US? Flying Fish’s (Cherry Hill) newest work, an Octoberfest style beer entitled “OktoberFish,” has been sold out before it has even been kegged! According to President Gene Muller, the brewery produced about 80 barrels of this German-style dark lager, made with all German malt and hops, and the Fish’s commercial accounts pre-ordered all of it. Look for it this year in good beer bars near you, and you can definitely expect to see it in bottles next year, according to

And November marks the release of the Fish’s winter seasonal – the Grand Cru, bolder bigger brother of the Farmhouse Ale. One of my favorites from the Fish, this strong golden ale, with a spicy hop character, weighs in at close to 7% ABV. It will be available bottle conditioned and on tap.

Heavyweight (Ocean Township) received the silver award (second place) for the “American Tasting” segment of the prestigious Great British Beer festival. The winning entry was a treacle-primed cask version of Perkuno’s Hammer. Brewer Tom Baker debuted this at the Book and Cook tasting in Philadelphia earlier this year, and I personally thought it was one of the best he’s ever made.

At a recent open house tasting, Baker poured some of Heavyweight’s latest brews – and some old friends as well. Biere de Art had already shown improvement after a month or so of conditioning – smooth and spicy, with some nice “farm” flavors starting to form.

The Stickenjab, a Sticke (German for “secret”) style beer, has an assertive, but balanced hoppiness, and weighs in a little over 6% ABV. And despite the fact that it’s a half percent or so lighter in alcohol than last year’s version, it actually tastes more full-bodied and malty. Baker describes this version as the “best yet” and attributes the maltiness to the use of a lager yeast this round. Stickenjab will be in bottles by September.

Of course, Old Salty will be making its annual appearance in late October this year. Each vintage of this barleywine will have a different label and the year marked on it, and will somehow include last year’s label in the artwork, said Baker. This year’s 2002 vintage will have a Dorian Gray theme (see if you can spot last year’s label in it also).

A new beer cable TV show, which promises: “All beer, all the time,” should be on the air in parts of NJ soon. Beer Television is set to air in mid-October in test markets Baltimore/Annapolis, Chicago and Atlantic City. Episodes of Beer Television will be videotaped from Annapolis, Maryland mainly, and will also be available via Internet webcast, accessible from www.BeerTelevision.com, according to Dennis Buettner, Executive Producer.

“Beer Television is all about camaraderie and the love of beer,” according to Buettner. Main show segments include “All About Beer News,” “Whatz-On-Tap,” “Beer Careers,” “Chicago Bill” Report, “Beer Travel & Tour,” “Beer Sports,” “Stop and Think” (about responsible drinking), and the Beer Hall of Fame.

My fellow NJ beerwriter and friend, Gary Monterosso will be hosting the show’s Whatz-On-Tap segment, which will run the gamut of various beer-related topics from book reviews, to beer tastings, to brewpub visits. Gary began taping during the last week of August, and at least part of his spot was shot at Atlantic City’s Tun Tavern, I understand. Although Gary jokingly describes himself as “the face made exclusively for radio,” I’m looking forward to watching it. An all-beer channel sounds all good to me!

Up North in Butler, High Point is releasing its Ramstein Winter Wheat Doppelbock in bottles and draft beginning Nov. 1. As with every year, this will be a limited release. Contact your retailers/distributors for availability. You can still get the draft- only Octoberfest in growlers or sixtels from the brewery until Oct. 31, or while supplies last. In other news, the brewery has a new distributor in NJ – L.A. Piccirillo.

In Lambertville, River Horse is holding its annual Octoberfest celebration the weekend of Oct 12th-13th. Admission is free, with food and beer for sale, and proceeds donated to the Twin Rivertown project, a local charity.

Basil T’s (Red Bank) celebrated its 500th batch, which current brewmaster Gretchen Schmidhausler cooked up with old brewmaster Robert Hettmanspanger. A special party was held on Sept. 18th to celebrate the release of the brewpub’s first lager, which Schmidhausler describes as a hybrid style – “sort of an Bocktoberfest.” Weighing in around 7% ABV, it is a hoppy, malty German lager. Upcoming seasonals will likely include a Spiced Apple Wheat, Pumpkin Ale and Rye beer.

In other news, the brewpub’s mug club, which is NJ’s largest, is at the 700 mark. The brewpub only plans to go to 1000, due to space limitations, according to Schmidhausler. The club is $15 annually to join. Members get discounted mugs during happy hour and on special occasions, and receive a special picture card and id, and are notified about special promotions.

J.J. Bittings (Woodbridge) has a new brewer in August Lightfoot. Lightfoot comes to NJ from Olde Hickory Brewery in Hickory, North Carolina. Lightfoot was working as an assistant brewer for Climax Brewing, also helping put together its new brewhouse, until the head brewer spot at J.J. Bittings opened up this past July. After spending the weekend with Lightfoot at ASN’s Beer Camp this, I think J.J. Bittings has found a great replacement for Brad both in spirit and brewing skill/philosophy.

The pub will be tapping the brewpub’s GABF winner Bad Boy Octoberfest in Sept. “We made 20 barrels, so hopefully it will last until November,” said Lightfoot. Look for the Cappa Cappa Crusher, a coffee milk porter, on tap as well. Both these beers, and the Raspberry Wheat will be going the GABF this year, he said. Also coming on in the next few months will be a California Common beer fermented with Bavarian Lager yeast and a spiced ale (Woodbridge Winter Warmer).

Several weeks of work later, Climax’s new 15-barrel brewhouse is
fully up and running in Roselle Park, says brewer Dave Hoffman.
Hoffman plans to start doing lagers in January, probably a Pilsner
first, and then a Maibock.

Climax will be doing an abbreviated, ale version of its popular
Octoberfest this year, available by the end of September. For the
holidays, Hoffman is possibly toying with the idea of an Imperial
Stout. In other news, Climax has hired one news sales person and
plans to hire someone else to draft sales, he said.

Pizzeria Uno (Metuchen) will be holding its second annual Octoberfest- style beer dinner on Monday, Oct. 14. Admission is $40 pre-paid, $45 at the door. Look for a strong 90 shilling Scotch Ale in November also.

Triumph (Princeton) will be celebrating Octoberfest the entire month. The brewpub will be decked out for the occasion, and feature German- influenced food specials all month long. The festivities will climax with a Gambrinus Beer Dinner on Oct. 29th (Tuesday), featuring German- style guest brewers High Point. The five-course dinner will pair each course with a different beer, and tickets are $65 (all-inclusive) – sounds like a winner to me. Call the restaurant at 609-924-7855 for details. The festivities will continue with the brewpub’s Halloween Party a few days later.

On tap in the coming months will be the Octoberfest, Coffee and Cream Stout, Snakebite, (cider/ale hybrid), Pumpkin Ale, and an authentic Berliner Weisse (served with raspberry or woodruff syrups). Brewer Tom Stevenson says work is continuing on the New Hope property and the brewery equipment is being fabricated – it will be a Newlands brewery setup, similar to the Princeton pub.

Tim Schafer’s Cuisine (Morristown) recently held a fabulous Fall
Harvest beer dinner with Ale Street News. In a similar vein,
the “Brew Chef” Shafer is hosting a series of “Beer Enhanced” fall
dinner parties at his restaurant, which combine cooking classes and a dinner. The series is running Monday nights through October and November. Check out the website www.brewchef.com, or call the restaurant at 973.538.3330 for details.

Old Bay (New Brunswick) will hold its annual Octoberfest celebration on Oct. 13th, from 1-5 pm. The $15 admission gets you your first beer, a mug and the buffet. Old Bay now has its own beer club as well. Members receive beer discounts, and are invited to special brewer talks. Call the bar for details at 732-246-3111.

Trap Rock (Berkeley Heights) just wrapped up a beer dinner with
Sierra Nevada this past Sept. 10th and is planning another at the end of October, according to brewer Charlie Schroeder. Call 908-665-1755 for details. Current taps include Octoberfest, California Common style, and Alpine Weiss; and upcoming beers will include an Oatmeal Stout and Belgian Golden Ale.

Long Valley will hold its Octoberfest dinner on Oct. 20th. Call 908-
876-1122 for details. In terms of brews, look for the Octoberfest
style ale, and GABF-winning Best Bitter on the hand pump. The brewpub is submitting its Best Bitter and Irish Style Stout in the GABF, according to brewer Tim Yarrington.

Gaslight Brewing (West Orange) has its Octoberfest beer dinner slated for the end of September and has several more planned for the coming months. There will be a Belgian beer dinner in early November, and of course the brewpub’s annual Victorian Holiday Dinner held the week before Christmas, which features Dickenesque English foods and beers to compliment. (The Christmas dinner tends to sell out early, so be warned!) Call the brewpub for more details at 973-762-7077.

In terms of beers, look for a California Common style beer, an 80
Shilling Scottish Ale, a Harvest Ale, and of course the Octoberfest.
And don’t forget cask nights every Thursday at the pub.

Andy’s Corner Tavern (Bogota) was busy this past month with several of its infamous Promo Nights, including guests and beers from Otter Creek and Rogue, and its annual Octoberfest party. Check out www.andyscorner.com for more upcoming events and promos.

Although figures for July and August were not as high as expected,
sales are still climbing at NJ’s newest micro, Cricket Hill (Fairfield), according to brewer Rick Reed. In other news, Cricket Hill is now available in Union County. They will be the guest beer at the Morris County Big Brother and Sister fundraiser in Parsippany at the Parsippany Sheraton.

A quick recap of the upcoming events for PALE ALES for the remainder of the year:

NOV – Style Meeting: Bock beer

DEC – Holiday Meeting and Club Homebrew Competition

Leave a Reply

Princeton and Local Environs Ale and Lager Enthusiast Society