Reporting on NJ Breweries Since 2007
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ScottMikeJohn-SpellboundSpellbound Brewing in Mount Holly got its state brewer's license last week and didn't waste any time before brewing a pilot batch of imperial stout and a 20-barrel batch of a flagship IPA.

The IPA, brewed Sunday (Sept. 21), christened Spellbound's Premier Stainless brewhouse. A soft opening to coincide with Mount Holly's annual Witches Ball on Oct. 11 is planned (keep an eye on the brewery’s website and Facebook page for details); there's also a small-batch barleywine, aged in a Dad’s Hat Rye whiskey barrel, in the works for the brewery's 150-strong founders club membership.

“We had 150 people who saw the passion we had – a lot of them we don’t even know … people as far as Arizona,” John Companick, who co-founded Spellbound with business partners Mike Oliver and Scott Reading, tells Beer-Stained Letter. “We’re going to have barrels; we’re going to do all kinds of crazy stuff, our passion is going to be into that.”

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The pace of new brewery launches remains steady in the Garden State, and Spellbound actually gets eclipsed for the title of being the newest by Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing, which moved into Flying Fish Brewing's original home in Cherry Hill a year after Flying Fish relocated to Somerdale. (Forgotten Boardwalk folks didn’t respond to an email for comment.)

Forgotten Boardwalk announced on Friday it got the green light from the state and released a video that trumpets an Oct. 11 grand opening.

Spellbound's license came through the day before, making its host town, Mount Holly, a two-craft brewery town and an interesting case study into the economic power of craft brewing.

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Forgotten-Boardwalk-Brewhouse
Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing has released an image of their completed 30-barrel brewhouse.

In an email to people who signed up with the brewery’s member-benefits group, called the “Refuge Society Club,” Forgotten Boardwalk also indicated the brewhouse equipment has been tested and the only thing standing in the way of making beer – so far an IPA and Belgian wit have been announced – is a licensing inspection by state regulators. The brewery indicated it did not have a date for inspection.

Forgotten Boardwalk's email provided no other details. 

Among New Jersey growing number of start-up breweries, Forgotten Boardwalk is probably best known for taking over the Cherry Hill business park space where Flying Fish, now New Jersey's largest craft brewery, began making beer in 1996. Flying Fish moved 10 miles south to much larger space in Somerdale two years ago. 

 

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Forgotten BoardwalkDavid Bronstein, a brewer for Sly Fox who got his start in craft beer on Flying Fish’s bottling line, has been named head brewer for startup Forgotten Boardwalk in Cherry Hill.

Owner Jamie Queli announced the hiring on Wednesday. 

“David started his young career in 2005 as a bottling line worker in our space, which was formerly occupied by Flying Fish,” Jamie says. “He now gets to return to the space with a completely new vision, new equipment and new identity with the highest title.”

David is expected to start the third week of April. He spent more than seven years at Sly Fox Brewing in Pennsylvania, the last four years as lead brewer. He was part of the brewing team that won five Great American Beer Festival medals, including two gold and two silver. At Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing, he and a yet-to-be-hired assistant will work on a 30-barrel brewhouse. 

“I am excited for the freedom to experiment and make some great beers that showcase the passion and curiosity that were sparked during my first batch of homebrew,” David says.

Last summer Forgotten Boardwalk leased the Olney Avenue business park unit in Cherry Hill where Flying Fish Brewing launched in 1996 and operated until moving to Somerdale in 2012.

FB-KeyForgotten Boardwalk is still in its buildout phase; brewery equipment is due toward the end of the month. The grain silo, gycol unit and coldbox are in. Wednesday’s announcement of a brewer projected a May opening for the brewery.

 

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FB JQ Jan2014
A glimpse inside start-up Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing’s takeover of the Cherry Hill building that was Flying Fish’s founding location.

Last week, concrete pads for Forgotten Boardwalk’s brewhouse and fermenters were poured, while work on the brewery tasting room buzzed away on the other side of a wall.

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Forgotten BoardwalkForgotten Boardwalk Brewing introduces its company logo and offers a slice of long-lost lore from the boards.

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A year after Flying Fish Brewing left its founding Cherry Hill location, another brewery tenant has signed up for the place.

Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing finalized its lease in early July for the 13,500-square-foot business park unit on Olney Avenue in Cherry Hill. The company will take over the premises on Sept. 1.

Founder Jamie Queli says Forgotten Boardwalk will produce about five ales for distribution, brewing on a 30-barrel Criveller system. The company plans to use a 1- to 2-barrel pilot system to produce another 50 to 60 beers – think experimental brews – for cycling through the taps of a planned 2,500-square-foot tasting room to be tricked out in a turn-of-the-20th-century-boardwalk theme. The beers themselves (for instance, their names) will share in the throwback boardwalk theme.

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