Breweries News

Cape May Brewing Releasing Cape May Lager

 

Cape May Brewing Company Proudly Releases Cape May Lager

Cape May, NJ — Cape May Brewing Company is thrilled to announce the newest addition to their award-winning lineup of beers: Cape May Lager, a clean, crisp, and easy-drinking Pale Lager.

“Beer brings people together,” says CEO and co-founder Ryan Krill. “That’s why we’ve spent more time and energy developing this particular brew than anything else in our portfolio, to ensure that we’ve brewed the most approachable beer in our lineup, something that’s meant to bring every beer drinker together and leave no one behind.”

In developing Cape May Lager, the idea was to build a beer that would appeal to both the entrenched craft enthusiast as well as the uninitiated beer drinker, more accustomed to readily-available macro lagers.

“We wanted it to have the depth of flavor craved by craft beer aficionados while maintaining an everyman approach that the uninitiated would be excited to try,” explains Innovation Director Brian Hink. “If we played it too safe, we’d lose out on the craft beer drinker, but if we went too aggressive with the flavor, we might be able to grab the average beer drinker out of an initial intrigue, but the likelihood of it becoming their next go-to simply wouldn’t happen.”

Cape May Brewing Company has been developing this beer for over a year, with elements of the recipe stretching back to things they’d learned from an earlier brew, June of 2016’s Mooncusser Pilsner, and continued through CMBC’s R.A.D. Series — Research And Development — an experimental series to test new offerings. In that series, the brewers were given a bit more latitude to tweak, change, and modify the recipe for what would eventually become Cape May Lager.

“The R.A.D. process also came in handy in getting feedback from our fans and seeing what they preferred,” says Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm. “This was very helpful. There was one iteration where we thought it was fantastic, but a lot of our fans who enjoy Pale Lagers thought it was too hoppy. So, getting some feedback and direction certainly helped.”

Pale Lagers are notoriously delicate to brew: minor changes in the recipe could have far-reaching effects on the final beer.

“In such a simple beer,” says Valm, “anything even slightly off really stands out. They take a lot of time and each batch has to be handled very carefully. For Cape May Lager, we wanted there to be a slight hoppiness but nothing overpowering.”

Cape May Lager went through multiple iterations in the R.A.D. process. R.A.D. #001 was essentially a less hoppy Mooncusser Pilsner, yet the hops aroma from the whirlpool addition was still a little too aggressive for the final brew. R.A.D. #005 in February of last year completely removed the hops from the whirlpool, which resulted in a beer that was universally agreed to be too bland and lackluster. By R.A.D. #007, released in the early summer of 2017, Cape May focused on on layering the hop flavor and aroma throughout the boil.

“It was universally agreed to be the beer that we would eventually call Cape May Lager,” Hink says, “and I happily drank plenty of pints of it for the few weeks it was available in July.”

The standard ingredients for a pale lager include pale pilsner malts, a Bohemian yeast, and noble Saaz hops.

“But it’s what you do with them that make the difference,” says Valm.

Cape May Lager adds a touch of Melanoiden malt — less than 5% of the total malt bill — for color and a bit of “zing.” The result is a clean, crisp, approachable brew that shows off each ingredient, giving each its moment to shine without overpowering the others, perfect for ball games, barbecues, and winding down after a long day at work.

“In the end, I think we got a great beer with a fantastic light malt flavor and just the right level of the Noble hop aroma from the Saaz,” says Valm.

Cape May Lager releases for distribution in New Jersey by Cape May Brewing Company’s distribution arm, Cape Beverage, on Thursday, February 21, in their Tasting Room at 1288 Hornet Road in the Cape May Airport the following day, and in Pennsylvania on Monday, March 4th. Find it at better bars and liquor stores throughout the area.

For more information on Cape May Brewing Company — including for tastings and tours — call (609) 849-9933 or see their website at capemaybrewery.com.

10 Questions With...

10 Questions With…Kris Lewis of Oyster Creek Brewing!

One of our favorite things to do at South Jersey Beer Scene is to revisit a new brewery a few months down the road, talk about their experiences and generally see how they are doing. Oyster Creek Brewing opened to much anticipation in May of 2018 and their reputation has continued to grow! I got to sit down with founder/head brewer/salesman (a man with many hats!) , Kris Lewis and ask the iconic 10 questions!

What was the first beer you brewed and how was it?

First beer as a home brewer was an English Stout. It was an extract from a home brew kit I got as a gift. How was it? At the time I probably thought it was good, but I can imagine what I would think about it now. At the brewery the first one was the Simcoe IPA, which is my favorite hop. It’s still on our tap list.

What is your favorite style to brew?

My favorite is our coffee stout. It is the most complex recipe and I use local coffee from How You Brewin’ on Long Beach Island.

Do you look at beer ratings?

Yes, mostly Untapped. I look at general ratings, not necessarily the opinions expressed on there.
Some of the criticisms aren’t necessarily constructive, but just indicative of a beer style someone does or doesn’t like.

How do you connect to the local area for your ingredients?

I mentioned we source the coffee for our coffee stout from How You Brewin’ coffee shop on LBI .We also source our produce from a local farm, as well as our cranberries and beach plums.

What is one tip you would give to someone to help them brew better beer?

Clean and sanitize, clean and sanitize then do it again! (Kris was actually cleaning when I visited him this evening). It’s not romantic, but the MOST important part of the whole process.

What advice would you give someone that wants to open a brewery?

Build your business plan, get your finances in order….then double the amount you anticipated!

If you could brew any beer without regards to cost what would you make?

A big, 16-17% barley wine! Unlimited grain, a 9 hour boil, that would be fun!

From opening day forward, what has surprised you the most?

The grand opening rush was great and it actually continued through the summer! It slowed a little in the fall, right after school started but we picked back up again and are looking forward to a great summer!

Other than your own beer, what is your go to drink?

Anything from Alchemist is great, I have Heady Topper and Focal Banger in my fridge now. (Like many Jersey people, Kris has got a guy!) I also love Icarus beers, always great!

Where do you see the brewery in 5 years?

I would like to increase our distribution so that we are throughout New Jersey. My short term goal is to add at least 5 new clients by the end of 2019.

BONUS QUESTION

What’s on the sound system when you are brewing?

Depends on the day, but mostly 80’s rock. Foo Fighters, Van Halen, Cake.

Kris, thank you for taking the time out of your busy evening to give us a few minutes. Here’s to Oyster Creek’s continued growth and success!

Podcast

South Jersey Beer Scene Podcast Episode 28: Axe & Arrow Brewing

Axe and Arrow Brewing will soon be open in Glassboro and we got the chance to tour the new brewhouse and talk beer with Josh, Greg, and Krystle, the team that will be bringing great beer to Rowan Boulevard very soon! Listen right here or download on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your favorite podcasts!

News

Dogfish Announces The First-Ever Collaboration With Brouwerij Rodenbach In It’s Legendary History

SOMETHING’S BREWING BETWEEN BROUWERIJ RODENBACH

AND DOGFISH HEAD CRAFT BREWERY

A Beer 200 Years in the Making – RODENBACH’s First-Ever Collaboration in its Legendary History

Two of the Most Respected Sour Beer Pioneers Join Forces

 

West Flanders, BELGIUM and Milton, DELAWARE – January 30, 2019 – Brouwerij RODENBACH of Belgium, arguably the most awarded brewery globally, the leading brewer of oak-aged mixed-fermentation ale dating back to 1821 and an inspirational source for sour beer producers around the world, today announced an intent to brew a collaboration beer with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, the iconic US craft brewery and producer of the fastest growing beer in the fastest growing craft beer style in America, SeaQuench Ale, a session sour.*

Today’s news marks the first time RODENBACH has agreed to a collaboration brew in its nearly 200-year history, and a monumental step forward in bringing a unique sour beer to consumers who are seeking a refreshing alternative to what’s currently available on the market today.  Known and loved throughout Belgium for its deliciously refreshing qualities and an exceptional choice for pairing with a variety of foods, sour beer has become one of the fastest-growing segments in beer and is responsible for introducing new generations of consumers into the beer industry.

“This is an historic moment for our brewery,” said Rudi Ghequire, Master Brewer of RODENBACH Brewery.  “Not only is the time right for this partnership as sour beer has become more popular than ever before (thanks in large part to Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale), but we found an incredible partner and kindred spirit in Sam Calagione and the Dogfish Head brewing team.   Though centuries and an ocean apart, our breweries share many similar values and principles.  From our independent and family-owned brewery to the spirit of collaboration among the people at our respective organizations, our shared appreciation and respect for quality ingredients, and how the coast influences both of our beers.  We couldn’t have found a more perfect partner in our first collaboration voyage, and we’re excited for the journey ahead.”

“I have been a huge fan of Rodenbach beers since the early 2000’s when legendary beer writer, Michael Jackson, turned me on to them at the Brickskeller in DC.  RODENBACH are the global pioneers in sour and wild beers production.  Dogfish Head is proud to have the number one selling sour beer in America.  So we have a lot to learn and explore together — and getting to know Rudi, David and the Rodenbach team has been rewarding and fun.  I am confident we are going to make a beautiful, unique beer together,” said Sam Calagione.

Traditional Meets Modern

The idea of a partnership first came about following a panel discussion of leading sour beer experts at the Craft Brewer’s Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in March, 2018.  Rudi Ghequire was joined by several sour beer brewmasters including Bill Marchi, head of Wooden…It Be Nice!, Dogfish Head’s wild beer and barrel aged program, to discuss the nuances of traditional sour beers and the modern expressions showcased by Dogfish Head and others.

“We’ve always had a deep appreciation for Dogfish Head and the beers they craft, and what they’ve been able to do with SeaQuench Ale is nothing short of spectacular,” said David van Wees, President of Swinkels Family Brewers Imports, the North American importer for RODENBACH.   “The conversations continued from there, and as we got to know one another we realized how similar our passions were about sour beer and its potential in the marketplace.  We noticed striking similarities between our breweries – family-owned, independent and a deep expertise in brewing which got us talking and thinking that now is the right time for RODENBACH to take this step, and Dogfish Head was the perfect partner for us.”

Before the end of 2018, Rudi Ghequire and Kristof Ampe, Chief Marketing Officer of RODENBACH, visited the Dogfish Head facilities in Milton, DE to explore further and solidify plans.  Impressed by Dogfish Head’s expertise, commitment to quality, abundant creativity and an infectious passion for beer that exudes throughout their entire organization, it didn’t take long to finalize a plan for bringing a new beer to market.

“We spoke a lot about how RODENBACH’s traditional methods of brewing and blending, dating back centuries would heavily influence the direction of the beer, and that began the foundation for our collaborative brainstorming,” added Van Wees.   “It was amazing to watch these two icons work so closely together and see the magic happen as wheels started spinning about what a final product could look like.”

“We intend to take our time and get it right for a beer of this magnitude, and in order do that we have to go to where it all began – to Roeselare, Belgium,” added Calagione.  “The brainstorming will continue overseas, as Rudi and I explore the region together, explore the area’s culinary influence and experience the legendary brewery and cooperage which undoubtedly will serve as a huge inspiration behind the beer we create.”

While still in its early stages, the beer is planned to be brewed and blended in the United States in 2019 and available for an early 2020 launch for American consumers to enjoy.  Following this, the duo will explore a release of the beer in Belgium, where RODENBACH is widely sold.

“We see great opportunity for the years ahead,” added both Ghequire and Calagione.  “While we’re taking things one step at a time, we have great hope and expectations that this will be the beginning of a long-term relationship between our breweries for several years to come.

 

Breweries

12 Beers We Liked in 2018

We like to drink beer.  It is what we do.

We cover tons of South Jersey Beer stuff and we get to try a bunch of beer so we decided to talk about some of our faves from 2018.  When I was building this site I made a decision that we would not be rating beer on this site, and we still are not doing that.  What this list represents if some of our favorites that we tasted in 2018 and are listed in no particular order.  So please, before you troll us, understand that we drank a ton of great South Jersey beer last year but we wanted to recognize a few here that stood out for us.  So here is the list and some notes from Vic, Tom, and myself about each one!

Pinelands Brewing Company Evan John Porter

Vic:  An oldie but a goodie, this was one of the first beers served at the Little Egg Harbor brewery and it remains consistently delicious .  Dark beer with creamy head, the bitterness of the malt is offset by the whole vanilla beans pods they use.  Smooth, easy drinking porter! 

Icarus Brewing Kalashnikoffee

Vic:  A beautiful dark, rich Russian Imperial Stout is a coffee variant of the extremely popular Kalishnikov series.  This 14.5% ABV strikes such a nice balance of flavors that it is not boozy at all.  Coffee and pecan hit you up front, and it has a delicious creamy mouthfeel.  Icarus calls it “Breakfast in a Can” and we aren’t going to argue! 

Spellbound Brewing Brut IPA

Vic: My first Brut and it was sublime!  The skies opened, angels sang…it was magical!  Champagne like in appearance and carbonation, Spellbound dry hops it with  Nelson Sauvin  which gives it a fruity, grapelike quality.  They also use Hallertau hops,popular in many German style beers.  Nice dry finish, not much bitterness. Excellent job and unique twist on this relatively new style! 

7 Mile Brewery Barrel-Aged Trippel 7

Tom:  What happens when you put a Trippel Belgian in a Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrel for about 120 days? You wind up with one of my favorite beers 2018. That’s exactly what 7 Mile Owner Pete Beyda was hoping for with his Barrel-Aged Trippel 7. Unlike a lot of barrel-aged beers, Trippel 7 does not have a strong boozy aroma or taste, but more caramel and raisin sweetness. Make no mistake, it still packs a punch at 12.5% ABV. Pete affectionately calls it a “finishing beer”, because once you start drinking it you’re finished doing anything for the rest of the day!

Atco Brewing Mr. McOat Pants

Tom:  The guys at Atco rolled out this juicy NEDIPA at The Glassboro Beer Festival, and it was love at first sip. This was their first crack at the NEDIPA haze craze, and I told them they could write the recipe in pen. Although it is smooth and delicious it’s a big boy beer coming in at 8.5%. In the hazy NE style craze this beer stood out for me in 2018

Slack Tide Brewing Company Avalon Amber

Tom:  Although 2018 wasn’t the first time this beer was brewed it has always been one of my favorites. My opinion was confirmed when it took home the Bronze Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in September. It’s also special to me because it was the batch I helped brew when I did my “A Day With The Brewer” article which actually turned into 2 days I had so much fun. It’s great to know I had a small part in brewing an award winning beer.

Tonewood DDH Fuego

Tom:  Tonewood has earned a reputation for making great beers, and this one is no different. They got this one in under the wire by releasing it on December 31st. They took their already great Fuego, and Double Dry Hopped it with an incredible 10lbs per barrel of Galaxy, Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops to make this Hop Head dream brew. These guys are always pushing for the next best thing, so it comes as no surprise this beer made the list.

Tuckahoe Brewing Company Arc of Visibility

John:  2018 was a big year for Tuckahoe and they released a few beers that I really enjoyed, but Arc of Visibility was at the top of my list.  First of all, this can features impressive artwork by local artist Mike Bell who has done many of the great pieces of artwork that Tuckahoe is using for their packaging.  But we know that the beer is why we are here.  This 6.5% ABV IPA brewed with a unique mix of Vic Secret, Hallertau Blanc, And Mosaic Hops and comes in at only 22 IBU’s to make this one of the smoothest drinking IPA’s I tasted this year

Ludlam Island Brewery Thunder Jacket

John: The first thing I think of when I think of Thunder Jacket is a picture of Brewer Joe, then Assistant Brewer Brad, and Owner Billy dressed in Cow suits (See Pic HERE)  and sitting on lawn furniture in a promo pic for the beer.  Let’s just say it lived up to its hype.  This Dessert Beer, an Imperial Milk Stout, made with Cocoa Powder, Chocolate Malt, Roasted Barley, and Lactose then finished with Madagascar Vanilla Beans, is full of big flavor and proved to everyone that you could make a delicious beer float!  Perfectly pairs with desserts, but also great to drink all by itself

Eight & Sand Beer Company Bad Hombre

John:  This 2017 Great American Beer Festival Silver Medalist in the Chili Beer Category continues to amaze me with its balance and how its flavor profile changes as it warms up.  To top that off, Burke threw a bunch in Tequila Barrels this year and, once again, it was terrific.  The way Brewer Burke balances the Cinnamon, Peppers, Vanilla, and Coffee keeps me coming back for more

Kelly Green Brewing Company Pecher American Wild Ale

John:  Kelly Green has been one of the leaders in Saison development in South Jersey and this ale fermented and aged in oak barrels then fermented again on whole peaches was funky, sour, and delicious.  The peach flavor was subtle, not overpowering the beer, adding to the complexity of the ale. Looking forward to the 2019 incarnation

Glasstown Brewing Company The Big Breakfast

John:  When I first started visiting local breweries this was immediately one that made me see just how good local craft can be.  This Maple Coffee Porter is always a welcome sight when found on tap, and now you can find it in cans.  Perfectly balanced, with hints of maple syrup, coffee, and roasted malt, it will always be one of the beers that started me on this craft beer journey.