September 2002 Newsletter

September 2002

DATE: Monday, Sept. 9th
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
PLACE:Princeton Homebrew, 148 Witherspoon St., Princeton, NJ 08542
PHONE: (609) 252-1800

Our next meeting on Sept. 9th will continue our styles meetings
series – with Stouts. VP Andy Koontz and Prez Steve Rowley will
discuss this English style that rose to popularity with the advent of
Guinness Stout.

And of course, American and English commercial examples of this style will be provided to sample. You are encouraged to bring any
homebrewed examples of this style as well.

Come and learn about this wonderfully drinkable style of beer. (It’s
not just for St. Patrick’s day you know!)


We are getting back to the roots of homebrewing this December with a club-only homebrew competition. The club had a great response when we ran this type of event five years ago, and we hope to generate the same kind of interest this time around.

The competition will be held on Monday, Dec. 9th as part of our
annual holiday party this year, and prizes will be awarded to the
winners. Everyone that comes will be asked to judge – both brewers
and non-brewers are welcome.

Style guidelines will be greatly simplified (as in the club’s “Bring
Yer Homebrew” competitions). You will need to tell us:
— What kind of beer is it
— Is is hoppy or malty
— What is the alcohol content of this beer

Start brewing now – whatever beer you like. More details to follow!

On a related note, we will be taking a hiatus from our AHA homebrew competition this year for various reasons – low number of entries last year, associated costs, lack of volunteers, etc. We have every intention of running the Hoppiest Show on Earth next year, and if you are interested in taking part in it, let us know now.


It’s been over a month since the pub’s second annual pub crawl this
past July, and I realized that I hadn’t written anything up on it. A
quick recap…

We started off at the Waterfront Alehouse in Manhattan (they have
another location) sampling Southampton Publick House’s Sticke, the new draft Chimay, and Hair of the Dog’s Adambier, to name a few. (My first trip to Blind Tiger – and I’ll definitely be back.)

Next, we made our way to Mugs, where we met (and drank) with Bill
Coleman of. Bill had told me that Mug’s has one of the best bottled
Belgian beer selections around and certainly proved it to me in the
hours that followed! (I’m told I scribbled notes during this session,
but I haven’t quite been able to locate them yet – I do remember the
wonderful Boone Lambic that we finished up with though.)

My recollections are a bit hazy after dba’s – one of the best beer
bars in the city, BTW. Several of us left at this point, while the
rest of our intrepid group went on to dinner at a nearby German
restaurant Zum Schneider. And then on to the last stop – Blind Tiger
in the Village.

A great lineup, and we’ll keep practicing our “crawl” until we get it
right. Thanks to organizers Steve Rowley and Andy Koontz for doing such a great job.


Some great health news about beer is appearing in the mainstream media.

Tell your wine-drinking buddies – beer is better for you:


A little over 1000 NJ beer lovers sampled the Garden State’s beer
wares at the sixth annual Garden State Craft Brewer’s Festival this
past June. Beer and shade provided the only relief on a typical hot
summer day at Waterloo Village in Stanhope.

Cricket Hill of Fairfield, NJ’s latest brewery, debuted its two
flagship beers – a Pale Ale and what they are promoting as a light
Helles beer. The Pale Ale was pretty standard fare, perhaps a wee
light in the body. The lager was my favorite, but I wouldn’t describe
it as light. Actually, it had a solid body and great hop aroma and
bitterness – kind of like a toned down Victory Prima Pils.

Heavyweight debuted its latest – a French Biere de Garde,
entitled “Biere d’Art” for the original art that the 750 ml bottles
will feature. Spicy and sharp with a solid body, this one was a bit
young but drinkable with great promise for laying down.

Just to mention a few of the beers that piqued my palate – Weizenbock from Tun Tavern, Gaslight’s Wit, Pizzeria Uno’s IPA, Triumph’s great Rye Beer and Braggot – not a bad beer in the bunch, really.

“I can’t bear to see the lights out,” said one of the Ship Inn’s many
patrons in the aftermath of a fire that blazed through the upstairs
of the brewpub this past June 11. Milford residents and Ship patrons showed their support for NJ’s first brewpub whether verbally or by showing up when the restaurant reopened for business, according to owner Ann Hall.

Five fire companies showed up, extinguishing the flames within
minutes, and luckily, no one was harmed, said Hall. Temperatures
reached 2000 deg. C, melting pictures to the wall in some cases, she said. Damage from the fire and water was estimated at $150,000, and the Ship Inn was up and running three days later. Although no beer was lost, brewing was set back two weeks while renovations were under way, and the brewpub had to restart its yeast culture – as refrigeration was lost during the fire, said Hall.

Investigators said that the fire likely started due to spontaneous
combustion in the dryer, according to Hall. Apparently, interaction
between fabric (particularly bras), heat and laundry chemicals can
cause such a fire, the investigator said.

(In an odd coincidence, Newtown’s great beer bar, Isaac Newton’s was the site of a two-alarm fire two days later. See for update info ). In beer news, the brewpub will be serving its Summer Stout seasonal all year round in place of Guinness, Hall said.

Going up north, some new faces are popping up on the NJ brewing
horizon. Rob Mullins, head brewer of Trap Rock, has sadly left the
Garden State for a spot at Grand Tetons brewing in Victor, Idaho.
Despite only having been at Trap Rock a little over a year, Mullins
certainly made his mark – winning the brewpub its only GABF medal, and brewing Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday brew. Many of us will be sorry to see Rob and his adventurous and unique beer styles leave us, and wish him the best of luck.

Charlie Schroeder, assistant brewer from Victory Brewing, will be
filling in Mullin’s rather large shoes. No stranger to NJ beer,
Schroeder has apprenticed at Trap Rock, and worked at both Flying Fish, and High Point as well.

Schroeder is looking forward to the flexibility of the brewpub set
up, getting to know the customers, and especially Trap Rock’s
penchant for combining beer and food. In terms of upcoming beers,
Schroeder will continue to brew the Hathor Red, Helles, IPA, and the Hefe-dinkel (a Hefeweizen with Spelt grain instead of wheat), adding his own beers to the mix gradually. And it’s probably no surprise that Schroeder favors German lagers and Belgian style beers – having come from Victory.

The brewing setup (in particular the cooling system) will need a
little tweaking to gear it more toward making lagers, he said. Look
for a whole flower hop Saaz Pilsner and a German-style Dark Lager in the coming months. Lastly, Schroeder looks forward to continuing the brewpub’s tradition of beer dinners, and is in the process of planning one with either Sierra Nevada or Anchor Steam.

Triumph opened up its new upstairs dining room space with a clambake- themed Gambrinus beer dinner this past July 30 with guest brewer Rick Reed of Cricket Hill.
In other news, work is going forward on the New Hope project with an opening planned by the end of the year, according to brewer Tom Stevenson.

In New Brunswick, Barry Holsten is back and brewing at Harvest Moon. Look for a Cherry Fever Stout (ala Charlie Papazian) and Vanilla Pale Ale on cask, with a Blueberry Ale and Wit Beer for summer.

New beers from Gaslight (So. Orange) will include an ESB,
Schwartzbier, Pilsner, Steam Beer and Octoberfest. And of course, you can expect the odd beer dinner from the Gaslight in the coming
months. Andy’s Corner bar (Bogota) had its usual plethora of beer
promo nights this past few months, including breweries Weyerbacher, Heavyweight, and Pilsner-Urquell. Check for more info on events.

Going south, some new beers from Flying Fish and Heavyweight. Flying Fish (Cherry Hill) will be releasing a new draft-only seasonal called Octoberfish, a German-style dark lager in Sept. Made with all German malt and hops, with an estimated 5.5 ABV, this will be the Fish’s first lager, according to owner Gene Muller.

Actually, given the brewery’s odd rash of technical problems this
past month, it’s amazing that they were able to brew at all. At some
point in mid-July, the brewery’s chiller went down, followed by the
boiler. Add to that to the fact that a manway (essentially a manhole
cover) needed for a new fermenter had been inexplicably seized by
customs. (“Maybe they thought it was an Al-Qaida satellite, who
knows,” Muller quipped.) As of press time, all but the boiler had
been fixed, during one of their busiest times of the year.

Heavyweight debuted its Biere de Garde on draft at the NJ fest, made with French pale malt, Hallertau hops, German lager, and a little black pepper in the boil. Only 130 cases (750ml bottles) have been produced of this brew, according to Baker, so get ’em while you can.

Next up, Baker just finished a batch of StickeNJAB, an Alt/Sticke-
style bier, co-brewed with the New Jersey Association of Beerwriters (NJAB). This year’s version, available in mid-August, will be hoppier and weigh in around 6% ABV, according to Baker. The bottled version will feature the well-chiseled likeness of a certain NJAB writer and pub scout, courtesy of beer cartoonist Bill Coleman. The beer will be bottled in the next few weeks.

Basil T’s (Red Bank) will be celebrating its 500th batch around the
beginning of September, according to brewer Gretchen Schmidhausler, who is keeping the identity of the batch a secret. In other news, Schmidhausler’s assistant at the Tom’s River location, Chuck Perle, will be taking over full time as the brewer there. With a name like Perle, we can only imagine he must be destined to make hoppy lagers!

High Point (Butler) will be releasing its draft-only Octoberfest on
Sept. 1st. Made with all German malts and hops, this lager will weigh in around 6.5 ABV. Recent lager releases have included the Revelation Helles, a light-bodied drinking Helles (at 3.9 ABV) and the soft, malty Munich Amber.

Speaking of Octoberfest, River Horse will be holding it’s 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.

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

SEPT – Style Meeting: Stouts

NOV – Style Meeting: Bock beer

DEC – Holiday Meeting – Club Homebrew Competition

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Princeton and Local Environs Ale and Lager Enthusiast Society