Beer-Stained Letter - Beer-Stained Letter - Displaying items by tag: Spellbound Brewing Tue, 18 Jun 2019 08:45:42 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Spellbound Brewing making public debut at Mount Holly's Witches Ball

Two brewery openings on Saturday to highlight.

You’ll find beers by Spellbound Brewing in the beer tent at Mount Holly’s annual Witches Ball  outdoor costume party in Mill Race Village.

It’s a soft opening for Spellbound, a public debut by Mount Holly’s second craft brewery to open in less than a year. (Spellbound’s just under a mile away from Village Idiot Brewing. Look for Village Idiot to also be at the Witches Ball; Flying Fish will also be pouring there.) The brewery is also among sponsors of 5k charity race the next day.

Co-owner John Companick explains further in the video.

Elsewhere, Forgotten Boardwalk opens to the general public. The Cherry Hill brewery has been teasing its beers to a members-only club over the past couple of weeks. FB opens at noon.


]]> (Jeff Linkous) Home Page Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:23:31 +0000
Mount Holly, a two-brewery town, and a place to watch the craft beer effect

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.

Here's why: When state lawmakers were persuaded to update the craft brewing regulations, to make them more business friendly, part of the argument was that craft beer creates entrepreneurs and draws consumers; its popularity and widening audience make that a good bet.

Two years after the rule updates, there's been the steady tide of brewery launches, with the past 12 months being the busiest ever for licensing. A lot of the new breweries are small, but they still fulfill expectations, essentially becoming local attractions with their tours and tastings.

SpellboundCansIn short, it’s been good for host towns.

Ten months before Spellbound's licensing, Village Idiot Brewing was making that point as Mount Holly's first craft beer maker.

The tiny brewery has helped goose the flagging retail district along the downtown’s main drag. When it opens to the public, Spellbound will undoubtedly turbocharge things: two breweries with tours and tastings located just a mile apart (Spellbound is just off the downtown).

That's sure to make Mount Holly an enticing stop for beer enthusiasts. It also stands to make Mount Holly a reference for mayors and councils looking to attract business and industry to their towns.

An exciting time
The potential for beer tourism looks rather promising statewide. But in particular, there's a run of breweries and brewpubs, from Milford down to Millville, plus others in Pennsylvania, just over the bridges, that would make a beer tourist's day. That’s pretty much mirrored on the east side of the state, from Middletown/Atlantic Highlands down to Cape May.

"I think a trail, where you can go through and hit different spots in one day ... now that you're seeing more pop up, that gives you the opportunity to do that," John says.

Within 30 minutes of Spellbound there will be five breweries.

"We have Third State opening in Burlington City, hopefully soon. Then right across the bridge, you have Neshaminy Creek (Croydon) and Broken Goblet (Bristol). Twenty years ago, you could hit a couple and that's it ... now it's a lot different," John says. "It's actually going to be difficult to figure out what your path is going to be. In the next couple of years, (breweries are) going to be dotted all over the state.”

Brewers still have to do their part: offer beer drinkers variety and innovation. Craft beer drinkers are always in the hunt for new flavors, something that encourages brewers to be fearless and experiment, continue to push the boundaries of styles.

"Our biggest worry right now is making sure we have quality liquid ... the newest generation drinking beer is all about trying new things," John says.

Kane Brewing’s third anniversary party drew what was probably the Ocean Township brewery’s largest tasting room crowd yet. The event featured special anniversary 750’s, and Deep Rooted, the imperial pale ale (not imperial IPA) brewed entirely with fresh Jersey-grown hops.

]]> (Jeff Linkous) News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 23:45:53 +0000
A look at Spellbound's tasting room


A quick update from startup brewery Spellbound in Mount Holly ...

The brewery's equipment has been in for a while and now awaits power. Electricians will be on site for a couple of weeks, and an order of cans for packaging has been placed, says co-founder John Companick.

The tasting room is in the finishing-up stage, and John says he and co-founders Mike Oliver and Scott Reading are now looking at opening some time in September, a little later than originally forecast, but delays are not uncommon with any construction project.

Getting oriented in the 10-tap tasting room: The far door on the right is the entrance; the dark door on the left, just off the bar, leads to the brewery area. Windows that look out on the brewhouse are behind the bar. (Photo courtesty of Spellbound Brewing)

]]> (Jeff Linkous) News Sat, 02 Aug 2014 14:13:19 +0000
Canner, Spellbound's last piece of equipment, arrives


After a parade of stainless steel-laden trucks to Spellbound Brewing’s loading dock, the next delivery truck to pull up will most likely be loaded with malt and hops, yet another signal of “beer soon” from the Mount Holly craft brewery.

On Wednesday, a canning line was offloaded at Spellbound, the last of the equipment that co-owners John Companick, Mike Oliver and Scott Reading acquired to outfit their production brewery.

“All the equipment we need is in the building,” John tells Beer-Stained Letter.  “It’s nice seeing it here, knowing that we don’t have to wait for another (equipment) truck to back up. The next truck that backs up is going to have our ingredients.”

On Wednesday evening, the Cask ACS line, capable of putting up 30 cans a minute, sat freshly uncrated, waiting to be tucked into its spot in the brewery floor plan. 

Spellbound-BrewhouseThe canner and depalletizer arrived a couple weeks after Spellbound’s 20-barrel brewhouse was forklifted piece by piece off a flatbed trailer; in weeks prior, it was the brewery’s fermenters.

There’s still some crucial work ahead, i.e. electrical work and completing the coldboxes. But the finish line is very close, John says, and a summer opening with eight to 10 taps in the tasting room is within reach.

“Right now, we’re just working on finishing up the electrical, getting the permits; same thing with the plumbing,” John says. “Then we're down to getting our certificate of occupancy, getting our OK from the state after inspection, and then we’re ready to go.”

When that happens, Spellbound will become the second Mount Holly craft brewery to open its doors. Village Idiot Brewing opened late last year just three miles away along High Street, the main thoroughfare through the town, the county seat of Burlington County.


]]> (Jeff Linkous) News Thu, 05 Jun 2014 18:49:01 +0000
Video: Spellbound takes delivery of brewhouse Spellbound Brewing enters a homestretch with its buildout. The Mount Holly brewery on Thursday took delivery of its 20-barrel brewhouse and some other equipment. Owners John Companick, Mike Oliver (that’s Mike operating the forklift in the video) and Scott Reading have been forecasting a late June-early July launch. Thursday’s equipment arrival helps keep that objective in sight. ]]> (Jeff Linkous) News Fri, 16 May 2014 12:14:11 +0000 Tanks arrive at Mount Holly startup Spellbound Brewing

Spellbound-Tanks 2Some key pieces of the puzzle begin falling into place at Spellbound Brewing.

The 40-barrel fermenter and brite tanks arrived Monday at the Mount Holly brewery, where they were promptly set upright on the freshly finished floors of the brewing area.

Spellbound also took delivery of its chiller on Monday.

More equipment is on the way, namely the 20-barrel brewhouse; that’s due in a week. The company is still on track for brewing to begin around June-July, says John Companick, who co-founded Spellbound with Mike Oliver and Scott Reading.

Spellbound-Tanks 3


]]> (Jeff Linkous) News Tue, 29 Apr 2014 06:01:59 +0000
Spellbound Brewing looks to overcome winter delays with busy April

It’s April, and the new month finds startup Spellbound Brewing with a green light from federal regulators, plus a super-busy calendar for a brewery buildout delayed by a rough, snowy winter.

SB-Temp-SignageSome key floor work has been done since Spellbound took the keys to its space at 10 Lippincott Lane in Mount Holly last fall. The mill and tasting rooms have been framed out, walls erected and doors hung. The arrival of the brewing equipment is hot on the radar, and the coldbox, its panels now stacked in the far end of the building, is in need of assembling.

“We were hoping to have the general contractor out of here end of January. Here we are end of March, and we’re still not done. The weather really hurt us,” Spellbound co-owner John Companick says. “Just trying to get the place built out, trying to get people in here and getting all the work done, the snow probably delayed us at least a month, month and a half.”

On a cold, damp last Saturday of March, John and business partner Scott Reading offered Beer-Stained Letter a walk-through of their building, starting and ending at what will be the brewery’s 10-tap tasting room. Now, with winter done, the two say, the forecast is shaping up for a mid-summer opening.

SB-Mill-Room“If we can be brewing beer by the end of June, we’re in good shape,” Scott says. “If we open to the public come end of July that would be perfect.”

When it does open, Spellbound will become Mount Holly’s second brewery and Burlington County’s third. Across town, Village Idiot Brewing on High Street was licensed around the end of last year. The Iron Hill brewpub chain opened its Maple Shade location five years ago.

Last week, John, Scott and Mike Oliver, the third Spellbound partner, were notified by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) that their brewer’s notice had been approved. The notice is a tax document that officially recognizes the business as a brewery.

Having the TTB blessing makes it possible for the trio to fast-track some things, namely, they can now submit their beer can labeling – ones now being designed for a porter and IPA – for the obligatory federal approval.

Meanwhile, five fermenters and a brite tank from Escondido, California, equipment supplier Premier Stainless Systems are due to arrive in mid-April. The brewhouse, also from Premier, is due a week after that.

“Same thing with our glycol chiller, same thing with our boiler,” John says. “And while we’re doing all that, we’re also doing all the floors in the tasting room, doing the floors in the brewhouse … also building out the bar. So, we’ve got a lot of things going on at once.”

The 1,000-square-foot tasting room, which will feature a 24-foot bar, looks out into a brewery space six times its size. There, 70 feet of trench drain have been installed and now await the brewing equipment. (Spellbound is getting a 20-barrel brewhouse, three 40-barrel fermenters, a pair of 10-barrel fermenters for one-off and tasting room brews, and a 40-barrel brite tank.)

“We’ll have firkins in tasting room, one or two all of the time in the tasting room, where we can play around and add different types of ingredients,” John says. “That’s where we get our coffee, coconut, vanilla imperial stouts, stuff like that.”

Also on order is a canning line from Cask, of Alberta, Canada. Cask is probably best known as the company that equipped Oskar Blues with its canning line 10 years ago, making the Colorado brewer the frontrunner for craft beer in cans.

Spellbound embraced canning in its business model long ago. Cans have an edge over bottles when it comes to enviro-friendly things like recycling. Their ever-increasing popularity among craft beer enthusiasts is driving sales, too. Take a beer that’s in both bottles and cans, John says, and the canned version will outsell its bottled counterpart over and over.

“We don’t know if that’s what the market will continue to bear, because more people are moving to cans,” he says. “But we know that from our standpoint, we’re going to do the porter and the IPA in cans out of the gate.”



]]> (Jeff Linkous) News Wed, 02 Apr 2014 16:33:33 +0000
A peek inside Spellbound Brewing's site

Spellbound Interior
quick update about Spellbound Brewing ...

Now that the trio of John Companick, Scott Reading and Mike Oliver (that's them in the photo) have the keys to a business park suite at 10 Lippincott Lane in Mount Holly, attention turns toward acquiring the brewing equipment that will ultimately make Spellbound's lineup of ales. 

The 20-barrel brewhouse and related tanks will come from Premier Stainless, and the trio are about ready to push the button on placing the order.

Meanwhile, there's the matter of getting into shape the interior and grounds of the site they officially leased in late September. (The place was once a textile mill.)

Figure on a winter's worth of cleanup and renovation in Spellbound's immediate future.

Target date for opening? They're projecting mid-spring-ish.

If you're tracking Spellbound be flexible, though. There's generally an obstacle or two that needs to be cleared, and that can slow things. 

The Spellbound folks hope all the research they've sunk into their planning will help keep the project moving along steadily, minimize the hiccups. 

(See past Spellbound coverage.) 

]]> (Jeff Linkous) News Mon, 04 Nov 2013 15:33:03 +0000
Spellbound gathering momentum

Spellbound LogoNearly everything was, as John Companick explains it, going in the wrong direction.

A warehouse fire in Washington State and bad weather in Europe were making big waves in the hops market, driving prices up. Steel prices also spiked.

The prospects weren't good for the brewery John hoped to open and make the jump from homebrewer to pro brewer.

The year was 2008.

Several of New Jersey's craft breweries then were marking a dozen years in business. But Jersey Brewing Company, which John incorporated that year, wasn't going to be the newcomer to join those beer-makers in the state's brewing industry.

"We never got off the ground," he says. "It wasn't the right time. That's actually when the hop shortage hit ... Stainless (steel) was through the roof. There was just a million things that went wrong."

Fast-forward to the present.

John, now with partners Scott Reading and Mike Oliver – and a new name for the business – incorporated Spellbound Brewing, capitalizing on some of the wisdom that patience and the intervening years offered.

There was another advantage, too.

Last year, around the time John and Scott were brewing a commercial-size batch of an oatmeal cookie beer as winners of Iron Hill Maple Shade's annual homebrewer contest, the rules governing New Jersey's craft brewing industry changed. Thanks to the Legislature, the rules were modernized in the fall of 2012 to provide some key business freedoms that would aid existing breweries and help start-up breweries.

"With three partners, it has made all the difference in the world, not only from a cash flow standpoint, but just the fact that we've learned a lot," John says. (John and Scott are from Burlington County; Mike is from Mercer County.)

So far, talks on leasing a building, in an as-yet undisclosed location, look promising. The trio also have secured financing for Spellbound and their plans for making craft beers in draft and in 12-ounce cans. Those cans, by the way, are just one of the myriad details the three have analyzed, discussed and debated with an eye toward a winter 2014 launch.

"We want to have our own canning line," John says. "(With) mobile canning, you're going to pay more money per can; the label is going to be a wrap. It's not quite the same as having your own cans."

As is a common practice among craft brewers these days, Spellbound's tasting room will feature one-offs and pull some duty as an R&D lab for beers in the pipeline. (As far as brewery design goes, the plans is to have Spellbound's tasting room to look out into the brewhouse space.)

"We want to do a lot of one-off, experimental type of beers, a lot of seasonals. That's what we want to get out there for the beer geeks," John says. "We're going to have all these crazy beers that are out there that we keep doing test batches on.

"This way, we can get appreciation from both sides. We want to keep promoting the whole craft beer movement and get people on board, understanding beer, loving good beer."

Spellbound has on its drawing board a 20-barrel brewhouse, with accompanying 40-barrel fermenters, supplemented by some 10-barrel tanks for those experimental scratch beers.

Core beers planned for launch include an IPA, a porter, plus a hefeweizen to be added after Spellbound finds its legs. A double IPA will be the brewery's first seasonal.

"We incorporated Aug. 23rd of last year. Since then we've just been going gangbusters," John says.

]]> (Jeff Linkous) News Fri, 23 Aug 2013 04:21:25 +0000