Rinn Duin, Chip says, is a week away from asking Toms River officials to sign off on the building. Once that's done, state regulators can come to inspect and issue a production brewery license. Rinn Duin has had the green light from federal regulators since July. (Located on Route 37, about 4 miles west of the Garden State Parkway, Rinn Duin also will become Toms River's second brewery – Artisan's brewpub, on Hooper Avenue 6 miles away, opened in the late '90s, orginally as a second location for Basil T's.)
Right now, some finishing touches on the 25-barrel brewhouse are being done, and control some panels are being programmed. The 50-barrel fermenters and bright tank have been set. Their piping connections to the chiller system are being checked, as are some other details with the tanks.
"We're doing all of the testing now, doing all the pressure testing, checking for leaks and getting ready to make beer," Chip says. "So we're close; we're real close at this point."
A blond, a brown, Irish red and smoked Scottish ales will be the leadoff beers, but Rinn Duin is putting together as stout recipe and has piloted a specialty brew, what it calls an English wheat ale.
The English wheat, Chip says, at first gave him pause. But he was won over by the taste of the test batch.
"I was really hesitant about it at first. I tried it out of the kettle, I thought 'I don't know …' but as it fermented, as it aged a little bit and once it was carbonated, it was incredible," Chip says.
Now he's intrigued by Jason's idea of a stout brewed with chocolate rye.
"He's had other beers with chocolate rye; you come up, apparently, with more of the chocolate flavor out of it as opposed to the rye spiciness," Chip says.