One of the three 40-barrel tanks went online around mid-August, while two more that arrived last week were to be readied for use to accompany the 10 fermenters the brewery began making its first beers with in Mercer County in July.
"We're up and running now, which is the most important (thing), brewing full schedule and packaging, getting the new tanks online," says head brewer Chris Rakow. "We just got a spent-grain pump in Thursday of last week (Aug. 15th). We'll start plumbing that in and get our spent-grain silo in action."
A bulk malt silo is also to come in September, about the time brewery will be making Belgian Freeze, its warm-you-up 8% ABV dark ale. A dark lager is in sight as the next Brewers Reserve beer, and the unfiltered golden River Horse Lager is coming back after a long hiatus forced by production limitations in Lambertville.
"People have been asking forever for it. We want to have it back. It rounds out our portfolio nicely, having a light beer all year round," Chris says. "Now that we actually have the tank space for it, we can do that."
Meanwhile, River Horse has been on a pumpkin bender of sorts since mid-July. The brewery is now 17 tanks into what will ultimately be 28 tanks of Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale (8.5% ABV). That's an almost 50 percent increase from last year, a fast track for a fall seasonal that began life as a Brewers Reserve beer at 3 tanks in 2010. (River Horse's overall production is on pace to match last year's, about 10,000 barrels, if not marginally pass it. The brewery lost some time with the move from southern Hunterdon County.)
On Monday, River Horse posted a message on its Facebook page appealing for patience regarding a tasting room, saying it is still in the works.