A sort of postcard-like look for the entrance to High Point Brewing.
The 7% ABV, draft-only beer goes on tap at the Butler brewery’s tasting room on Saturday.
It’s a limited-run beer; only a single 30-barrel tank was brewed of what High Point owner Greg Zaccardi describes as “a juicy, supercharged blonde bock.”
The beer has its roots in Ramstein Double Platinum Blonde, High Point’s ramped-up 7% hefeweizen. Some production constraints forced some brew-day changes, and the summer bock was born. It’s now brewed from an almost entirely pilsner and vienna malt bill, with a dash of wheat.
The beer quickly found favor among the brewery’s followers.
“I think it’s a delicious representation of the style, with our own little spin on it,” Greg tells Beer-Stained Letter. “When we did it the first time, we didn’t know what to expect … The great advantage of having a (tasting room) bar is people come in and tell you right away. They may flatter you with words, but he truth is really shown in their purchase habits.”
“We did 991 bottles … 991 bottles hand-filled, hand-labeled, hand-numbered, hand-waxed. It was a very long weekend of work, but we got it done,” says co-founder Bob Olson, discussing the 7.7% ABV limited-edition anniversary porter that becomes available this week.
January’s deep-freeze has allowed High Point Brewing to do a second run of eisbock. Round 2 uses the brewery’s 7% ABV Double Platinum Blonde hefeweizen as the beer handed over to the frigid elements for icing up.
A smoother trip this time for the folks who put on this year's beer festivals at the armory in Morristown. Their fest early in the year was troubled by long lines to get into the venue and for the restrooms. It made for some unhappy people, and it didn't reflect well on the promoters. However, the return engagement, The Big Brew Beer Festival, staged this past Saturday (Sept. 28) ran smoothly. If you saw some long lines, it was probably for food, and those lines moved rather fast. New Jersey breweries there included Beach Haus, Bolero Snort, Cricket Hill, Flying Fish, High Point, River Horse and Tuckahoe. These images (taken by Beer-Stained Letter) are from the events early session. Click above to launch the gallery.
Fresh on the hooves (OK, bad pun) of the late-summer release of a 4.2% ABV rye beer, the Bergen County beer company is tapping one of its award-winning homebrew recipes to give Bolero Snort a fall seasonal market presence. Gingerbull Cookie, a 5.5% ABV spiced brown, is due out when the weather gets cooler and the air turns crisp.
Some sights from High Point Brewing's annual Ramstein Oktoberfest release. Folks at the 17-year-old brewery say the turnout Saturday (Sept 14) was probably the largest in the many years that High Point has been showcasing its fall märzen with a brewery-tour event. High Point has been brewing the fest beer (it's still made via a decoction mash) for 14 years, building a substantial following for the beer in that time. High Point's märzen is the beer that nudged the brewery to add lagers to its founding lineup of wheat beers. Traditional German brews still form the foundation of High Point's beers. But next to the hefeweizen, dunkelweizen, wheat doppelbock, these days you'll find some brews that play to hop-heads' palates and Belgian beer enthusiasts showing up in the lineup from time to time.
High Point Brewing debuts the 2013 rendition of its popular Oktoberfest beer on Saturday, Sept. 14, with its traditional oak barrel tapping at the brewery.
But for the first time in the märzen's 14-year history, craft beer drinkers in South Jersey could see the fall brew on bar taps and growler stations: High Point's distribution now hits just north of Cherry Hill on the west side of the state, and just north of Atlantic City on the east.
Craft beer tends to pivot off what the next big thing is – bright shiny objects, if you will. Double IPA, black IPA, Belgian IPA, ryePA, imperial this or that … They've all been on the hit parade as styles evolve, if not outright collide sometimes to form hybrids to grab craft fans' attention.
It's an ongoing thing, which is why you may have heard some people in your beer circles declare they're over the hop bombs, over IPAs. "I'm into sours," they say.
Sours may be the next stampede, never mind that they've been part of the beer mosaic on the store shelves for a long time (how could they not be with Belgian brews being so popular?). If they are indeed next in the spotlight, then it's a logical choice. They run the gamut of pleasantly tart to oh-my-god funky. And for acceptance, they demand a little effort on your part.
To run through the list of Garden State craft brewers who have made sours is to name-check probably half the breweries in the state.
Every Monday enjoy half price wings* and $1 off all craft beers**, along with $3 featured craft drafts at the Washington Township location of The Village Pub. *Dine in only, to-go orders not included. **Some