That approval basically boils down to the certificate of occupancy for the 2,400 square feet of space the couple took on at the grounds of Millville's airport.
The property itself is owned and operated by the Delaware River & Bay Authority. Glasstown put the finishing touches on the lease with the authority last week. (Announced as a brewery in development last spring, Glasstown is the DRBA's second brewery tenant. Cape May Brewing leases space at the DRBA-owned Cape May airport in Lower Township.)
"We're extremely excited and relieved to have finally made it to this point where we are ready to brew," Paul tells Beer-Stained Letter. "We spent so much time building and constructing, and getting things, prepping things, ordering product ...
"That whole culmination of events has come together with that ABC inspection and approval. It's such a relief to finally get that," Paul says. "Now, it's the new pressure of actually brewing to make a quality product that everybody can taste and enjoy."
A soft opening is planned for around Dec. 13 or a week after that, with a grand opening targeted for early January. (The dates are still sort of in flux, as the couple continue to get organized and build up a reserve of beers.)
Paul and Jenifer hope to commence brewing on Wednesday, barring any late hitches with town hall. They just took delivery of 2 1/2 tons of grain. However, getting their hands on some of the hops they had wanted to use, namely Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo, has proved difficult through the major suppliers. The tide of new craft breweries coming on line across the country has tightened supplies.
Paul says he's been checking reseller markets for availability, but it's possible the brewery will have to make hops substitutions for some beers.
Glasstown's beer lineup will include an American pale ale, a stout, India pale ale and a hefe-weizen, plus some seasonals.
"I am going to do an initial batch of our pumpkin beer, even though we're kind of pass that, then roll that into our winter spiced ale," Paul says.
Paul and Jenifer also hope to brew a house beer for the nearby New Jersey Motorsports Park race track. Glasstown may also brew a beer featuring Chinook hops as a nod to the work that Boeing aircaft company does on the U.S. Army's Chinook helicopters at Millville airport. The airport has a long association with the military: During World War II, it was a training facility for Army pilots.
Glasstown Brewing, which takes its name from Millville's long history as a home to glass manufacturing, has a Sabco BrewMagic rig for brewing, with a complement of 2-barrel fermenters and other equipment set up in just over half of their building unit space. The remaining 1,000 square feet is dedicated to a tasting room, which will have six to eight beers on tap.
The tasting room, with tours and growler and pint sales to the public, is the core of the brewery's business model. That's a circumstance made possible by tweaks the Legislature made last year to New Jersey's craft brewery regulations.
Still, Paul and Jenifer hope their tiny brewery will land some draft accounts by inviting bar owners and their staffs in for exclusive tours and tastings. The idea is to not only pick up bar accounts, but give the bars a locally made beer they can showcase and talk about with patrons.
"We'll take them (bar owners) through the whole place," Paul says, "give them a nice private tour, show them everything, get them to taste all the beers, have them choose the beers they want to put on tap."
Glasstown is at least the fifth craft brewery to be licensed by New Jersey regulators this year. A number of other brewery projects are on the drawing boards across the state.