Reporting on NJ Breweries Since 2007
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Barrels-Tasting-Room
A big win for Kane Brewing's barrel-aging program, and a return to the winners circle for the Garden State's largest craft brewer, Flying Fish.

Barrels-Inner-WallKane, probably best known for its popular IPAs Head High and Overhead, won a gold medal for its Night to End All Dawns barrel-aged imperial stout at the 33rd Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Flying Fish, a 2009 gold medal winner with its Exit 4 American Tripel, the inaugural beer in the Somerdale brewery's Exit Series, won a gold this time for its Hopfish IPA and complemented that win with a silver medal for its assertively hopped red ale, Redfish.

The Iron Hill brewpub chain kept its 18-year streak of medal wins alive, this time thanks to its Media, Pennsylvania, and Newark, Delaware, locations, taking silvers for a rye brew and a Belgian tripel, and bronze for a Burton IPA. Iron Hill has 10 brewery-restaurants spread among Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Winners of the Brewers Association's annual competition were announced Saturday. Just over 5,500 beers commercially brewed beers from 1,309 breweries across the country were judged this year.

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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.”

Welcome to Brew Jersey
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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Oast House Hop Farm has its biggest harvest yet of the Columbus, Chinook, Cascade and Nugget cones.

Beau Byrtus, one of Oast House’s founders, gives a rundown in the video.

What you should take away from Oast House is not so much that it’s a working hop farm.

No, there’s a bigger take away: Oast House, with its annual harvest gathering of friends, is building on New Jersey’s craft beer culture.

You can easily imagine the harvests becoming, over time, like a small fair, with homebrewing demonstrations, a beer tent, and vendors selling Jersey fall produce and pies.

Or at least that’s the potential. Town hall and the state may think otherwise (this is where you should start looking at Oast House as a working farm, given some of the privileges the state allows for farms).

Two breweries are using Oast’s Jersey hops this year, and it’s a safe bet there will be loads of beer drinkers looking to see what Kane and Triumph Brewing did with fresh-from-the-farm cones.

It’s not just hops that Oast House is growing; it’s the Garden State’s craft beer culture, too.

Picking-Hops

 

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Kane-Hops
Teaming up with the Oast House for a third year, Kane Brewing will make a wet-hop brew using Nugget and Cascade cones from the Burlington County hop farm.

The Jersey-grown-hops IPA is on the Ocean Township brewery's production schedule for Tuesday (Aug. 26) for a 20-barrel batch. About 145 pounds of hops were dropped off at the brewery on Monday.

"We're curious. We've never done a 20-barrel all wet-hop (brew)," owner Michael Kane tells Beer-Stained Letter. "When I was a homebrewer, I used to do 10-gallon all wet-hop."

Kane Hops2The beer is expected to finish out around 7.5% ABV. Oast House, located in Wrightstown, is expected to deliver another load of hops in about a week that will be used for dry-hopping.

This summer was the farm’s third growing season. In addition to Cascade and Nugget, Oast House has also grown Chinook, Columbus and Centennial cultivars.

In the two years prior, Kane Brewing has been limited to using Oast House's harvests for dry-hopping, and on a smaller scale. A much larger yield this year has afforded the opportunity to use the hops in the kettle, for bittering, flavor and aroma.

"This year they really ramped up. It's the third year, so the plants are coming in better," Michael says.

 

Published in News
Monday, 23 September 2013 05:15

A glimpse at Kane 2nd anniversary

Kane_2nd_Anniversary

Images from the well-attended second anniversary observance at Kane Brewing, the marquee event from the Saturday, Sept. 21, tour/tasting day at the production brewery in Ocean Township (Monmouth County). Click the image at left to launch the gallery.

 

Published in News
Thursday, 19 September 2013 04:13

2nd anniversary & sours at Kane

Kane Sours 1

Kane Brewing salutes its second anniversary as a brewery on Saturday, Sept. 21, with a dozen and half beers on the tasting room tap lineup, welcoming the next business year with brews hoppy and bold.

Besides marking a milestone, the event also offers a snapshot of the Monmouth County brewery's exploration of sour beers. The day's tap list includes three sours, Apiary Brett, Sour Blonde and Sea Change, reflecting the folks at Kane's tastes for not only well-hopped American IPAs, rich dark ales, but some of the more intriguing Belgian styles as well.

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Friday, 23 August 2013 21:48

Hoppy 4.6% ale a Ripple effect at Kane

Hops Event at Kane
From Kane Brewing comes a new draft offering that speaks to the Monmouth County beer-maker's hops-forward identity while saying "session beer."

Well-dosed with Nelson Sauvin hops, Ripple debuts in the Ocean Township brewery's tasting room on Saturday, Aug. 24. (There's also a tap takeover on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at Tavern on the Lake in Hightstown.)

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Monday, 05 August 2013 14:35

When your love affair with beer sours

MagritteCraft 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.

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