Browsing Category

Beer Biz Profiles

Beer Biz Profiles Breweries

From Pastime to Passion: A Journey to Craft Beer through Feminism

From Pastime to Passion: A Journey to Craft Beer through Feminism

Working in the New Jersey craft beer scene has been a wild (almost) two years.  If you came to me in 2012 and told me that I would be regularly drinking craft beer, occasionally brewing it, and talking about beer all the time, I would tell you to sit down and have another drink.

My foray into craft beer began at the 2012 Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival with my then-boyfriend, now-husband.  We had just started dating and I only went because it gave me the chance to be ‘the cool girl who drinks beer’.  Up until a few years ago, I believed the societal notion that beer was for guys and women only pretended to like beer to look cool (Go ahead – gasp and clutch your pearls.  I will save my Come to Jesus-I mean Feminism moment for another time.)

I was intimidated.  The only beer I had ever consumed at this point was some classically collegiate light beer and Yuengling Lager when the party hosts wanted to appear ‘cultured’.  Thankfully, my partner was aware of my palate (wine, please!) and introduced me to mead.  I think I spent the majority of the session between two meaderies (or in line for the bathroom) and felt like I was starting to fit in.  Over the course of the next four years, my partner made it his personal mission to find beer that I liked, and to my shock, I liked beer!  I grew comfortable looking at a beer list and learning which styles I preferred, and it became exciting to visit all the local breweries that were popping up like weeds.

This brings us to 2016.  Ever the stereotypical millennial with overwhelming student loan debt, I made the decision to get a second job.  With ten years of bartending experience under my belt and my newfound appreciation of craft beer, I felt confident in applying to a new, under-construction brewery.

Enter Chris Burke and Chris Mazzone of Eight & Sand Beer Co. – two friends who decided to open a brewery in Woodbury, New Jersey that focuses on styles that are traditionally European, with an American flair.

Eight & Sand is a 10-barrel brewhouse dedicated to its community.  Located on Evergreen Avenue, you are close enough to hear the train that runs through the city several times a day.  In the late 1800’s, trains were the main source of transportation.  Almost everywhere a train stopped, a community would grow around it.  This was the case for Woodbury, where three rail lines merged in the center of town, making it one of the oldest train hubs in New Jersey.  The name Eight & Sand is an old train term that means “quick and safe travels.”  Notch-8 is the fastest speed on certain trains and sand was thrown on tracks to prevent slippage.

I had no idea that starting a side hustle would turn into a passion, but Eight & Sand has been like a family to me, from my bosses to every person that comes in the Tasting Room.  Sure, I get to finish my full-time job and go right into a second one.  Many nights, I am responding to emails, scheduling staff, and thinking about social media, but who needs a day off when you get to do what you love every day?

It was Chris Burke that told me about the Pink Boots Society and encouraged me to join.  Founded in 2007 by brewmaster Teri Fahrendorf, Pink Boots Society is a non-profit organization created to assist, inspire, and encourage women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education. To this end, Pink Boots Society provides scholarship opportunities, job resources, and industry information to its more than 1,500 members.

This year, I coordinated the second E&S Women’s Brew Day and our first for International Women’s Brew Day.  Nevertheless She Brewsisted is a hoppy Kettle Sour brewed with Buddha hand fruit to compliment the citrus and herbal notes of the Pink Boots YCH hop blend.  When collaborating with our head brewer to create the style, I knew that even though the female staff and I would be brewing the beer, I did not want to brew a “girly” beer designed to only be marketed to and consumed by women.  This is the same consideration we had when collaborating on We Can Brew It, our Lemon Wheat Ale.

Within the craft beer industry, pandering to female consumers and using sexualized images of women’s bodies to market products is not hard to find, but it is getting better (a lot in part due to the Brewers Association Advertising and Marketing Code).  From a server standpoint, I have had more sexist comments from those new to craft beer than those who have been around for a while.  The majority of my customers trust and respect my knowledge, knowing that my favorite part of my job is introducing people to new styles and tastes.

It is not hard to tell a craft beer newbie from someone more experienced.  I love asking people what they typically drink and finding a match in one of the 20 beers we have on tap at Eight & Sand.  Most recently, a new female customer told me cognac and coke is her usual drink of choice.  I will admit that this stumped me for a second, but our bourbon barrel-aged Belgian Tripel and Biere de Mars (respectively, Steel & Snow and Broken Nose) were winners that she enjoyed.  I can only hope that I inspired her appreciation for craft beer, as my partner did with me six years ago.

Even though New Jersey now has over 100 breweries (47 of which are in South Jersey), it is still on the list of states with the fewest breweries per capita.  This tells me that there is still more room to grow.  With this growth comes the opportunity for more women to learn and develop a passion for craft beer – whether that is drinking, selling, or brewing it.

Never forget – hop flowers are female!  Cheers.

Beer Biz Profiles Podcast

The South Jersey Beer Scene Podcast: One On One with Maureen Fitzpatrick, author of A Guide to New Jersey Craft Breweries: South Jersey Edition

On this episode, I go One On One with Author Maureen Fitzpatrick, taped live at Death Of The Fox Brewing Company in Clarksboro, NJ. We talk about the release of the 2nd edition of her book, helping organize a beer festival, and much more.

The book has a complete list of all the breweries in South Jersey including ones slated to open later this year.  We find it to be a great resource for beer lovers and highly recommend it!

Death of The Fox Brewing Company is the only Brewery in New Jersey that has a fully operational Coffeehouse in addition to a fantastic brewery.  This unique brewery features great beers and all of the coffee drinks that you would expect from a top-notch coffeehouse.  Chuck Garrity and his staff have put together a great sanctuary for beer and coffee lovers alike with their fantastic tasting room.  Thanks so much to Chuck and his staff for their hospitality!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Buy the book on Amazon!

 

 

Beer Biz Profiles Events

Talking Beer With Guy Corrado of Eastern Homebrew, Sponsor of the SJ Beer, Food, And Music Festival Homebrew Competiton!

I recently sat down Guy Corrado, owner of Eastern Homebrew located on Tilton Road in Northfield, to talk about the Homebrew Supply business, and his upcoming 2nd annual Homebrew Competition at the South Jersey Craft Beer, Food, and Music Festival being held at ACCC on Saturday, June 2nd. Guy opened his doors in July of 2015 and has been supplying a great many of the homebrewers in the South Jersey area ever since. Guy worked in corporate sales for 33 years and would homebrew as a hobby.  He found homebrewing to be very therapeutic and learned his craft over many years. He also worked part-time for Shawn Grigus at Tap It Homebrew Supply in Egg Harbor City. When Shawn closed to open up Tomfoolery Brewing with Gayle D’Abate in Hammonton, Guy saw a need in the area and put his plan into place to open Eastern Homebrew.

Guy initially started making wine after a visit to his sister out west and she introduced him to the hobby. He found that the homemade wine didn’t give him an allergic reaction like commercial wine did. When he decided to expand into brewing beer he dove right into brewing a Triple Belgium from an extract kit, and another brewer was born. From the beginning, Guy didn’t have a favorite style, he likes to brew them all. He really enjoys the seasonal brews, as do most of us. I think seasonal brews give us all something to look forward to all year long. When I visited, Guy had just finished brewing a Kölsch which should be ready right when the weather gets warm. He also enjoys brewing German Alt’s, Anchor Steams, and California Commons which are a 100%  American Lager. These are not your normal choices for home brewers, but Guy loves a challenge. He does most of his brewing in The Grainfather which is a nice self-contained system that he sells at the store. I tried a few samples that he brewed in it, and I must say it does a really nice job. Guy is kind of The Godfather of The Grainfather.

As I was sitting in the shop, I noticed he had a beaker of yeast swirling away being conditioned for an Apricot Sour Berliner Weiss. With a background in chemistry, I quickly realized Guy has a wealth of knowledge and really cares about helping people make better beer. “You don’t get into the homebrew supply business to make a lot of money,” Guy told me, “You do it for the joy of it all.”  Like most breweries, it has taken him about 2 years to break even and to start making a living. Most of his business is repeat customers, but he does see some new faces come through the door which is nice to see the craft is still expanding.

Guy has tons of stories of helping brewers reach their dream. One day, not long after Guy opened, There were a couple of guys who stopped in and said they wanted to learn how to brew with the goal being to fulfill their dream of opening up a brewery. Guy started to show them some extract kits, and they said, “No no! We want to do all grain, and we want the best equipment you have”. Guy questioned, “are you sure?” They replied “You don’t understand. We run into burning buildings when people are running out!” Those two gentlemen were Kurt & Karl Hughes who are now the owners of Bucket Brigade Brewery in Cape May Court House, N.J. Another pair of Guy’s steady customers are Jason Filoon and Tim Smith who are in the process of opening up Devil’s Alibi Brewing.  Jason and Tim have been creating quite a buzz in the Homebrew competition circuit the past few years. We wish them the best of luck making their dream come true so more people can enjoy their beer. I’m sure they may have an entry or two in Guy’s Homebrew competition which is taking place on June 2nd! I’m sure there many stories like this, and we thank Guy for being a great steward of this craft.  I truly enjoyed my visit with Guy at Eastern Homebrew, and can’t wait to see him at The South Jersey Craft Beer, Food, And Music Festival being sponsored by The Joe & Rachel Show on Cat Country 107.3.  Make sure you stop by and see us at our booth at the event!  We will be selling some of our  T-Shirts and will have a few special surprises for you!  Hope to see you there!

And, As Always, Enjoy Your Pour!

For more information on Eastern Homebrew, visit them on the web at www.easternhomebrew.com

Visit Eastern Homebrew on Facebook @easternhomebrew

 

 

For Tickets and Information on the Joe & Rachel Cat Country 107.3 SJ Beer, Food, and Music Festival follow the link HERE

Beer Biz Profiles Breweries Events

Slack Tide Brewing Company Year Two Celebration Saturday, 1/20!

I sat down with Jason & Tadhg Campbell of Slack Tide Brewing to talk about their upcoming 2nd Anniversary event happening on Saturday, January 20th. What started out with zero employees (other than themselves) has grown to 2 full-time employees and 2 volunteers with hopes to add 2 more employees by late spring of this year.  When Slack Tide opened they were brewing on a 20-gallon Tippy Dump system from More Beer and for the first 5 months. They quickly transitioned to a 3BBL system in April of 2016. Both of those systems were able to get them through until October of 2017 when they commissioned into service their current 10 BBL system.  “It’s been a nice progression of systems”,  Tadhg explained. The 20-gallon Tippy Dump was like an advanced homebrew system. The 3BBL had some nice features but also gave you some homebrew aspects. The 10 BBL system is a fully automated system, but the progression of systems really helped with the learning curve. The people at American Beer Equipment, who they purchased the 10 BBL system from, were extremely helpful and sent guys down to stay as long as was needed until they were comfortable with the system. (One funny side note, they recently sold their 20-gallon Tippy Dump and it was actually being picked up the day of this interview). I asked them what were their best and worst decisions they’ve made, and with a chuckle, Tadhg said, “opening a brewery” for both answers. After a good laugh, Jason told us “by far opening the brewery was the best decision”, and Tadhg added “trying to stick to a wide array of styles on their board.” Tadhg continued “we try to make something for everyone who comes through the door”.   The brothers both agree that there haven’t been that many setbacks over the two years with the exception of being a little delayed on the packaging aspect of the brewery, specifically with canning and bottling. “It was not by choice, it was more out of necessity due to the cost of equipment, and putting the main effort into making a great product” Jason explained.  “Also, we wanted to make it through the first year or so to see if it would match what we thought was going to happen”.

 

I hear from people all over how they love the nautical name of the brewery and the beers. During today’s interview, I found out the Slack Tide name was in a little jeopardy. While in the early stages of opening, they received a call from 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg who wanted to name a beer of theirs “Slack Tide”. Once the Campbell’s informed 3 Daughters they were definitely opening the brewery, they backed off the name and wished them luck. The beer names themselves come from a board in the back that employees put their ideas on. The guys really do put some thought into matching the right name to a beer. Example: Treble Hook. Treble means 3 and Treble Hook is their triple Belgium.  “There are some names we love, and the public doesn’t, and some that we aren’t so hot on, but the public loves” we were told. In the end, it is the beer that really matters. And speaking of beer, what are the styles and names of the 2 new 2nd anniversary beers for Saturday? The first one will be a Triple IPA called “Overnighter” named after tuna trips the guys like to take (also if you have too many you may want to stay overnight). The second one is a Berliner Weisse Kettle Sour with hints of pineapple and cranberry called “Haywire Twist”. I had the honor to sample this unique beer and think it will be a huge hit. Looking ahead I asked what their hopes for the 3 year anniversary are. Almost in unison, they said for people to be able to come in and purchase 6 packs. Also, adding some more taps is something Tadhg would like to see. I have no doubt that this will be achieved. The Campbell brothers and the entire staff at Slack Tide continue to grow and impress with every new beer they put out. Tadhg also added, “we have a true sense of co-opetition, and craft beer spirit”. Yeah, I had to look it up too, but co-opetition means collaboration between business competitors, in the hope of mutually beneficial results which, in the end, is good for everyone!

ENJOY YOUR POUR!

Beer Biz Profiles News

We Did The Jersey Beer Guys (and a Girl) Podcast! Episode Out Today!

A few weeks ago I got to sit down with Rob, Amy, Eric, and Ian to record an episode of the Jersey Beer Guys and A Girl Podcast to talk South Jersey Beer.  First of all, if you are a fan of South Jersey beer you need to start listening to this podcast.  Rob does a great job hosting the podcast, Eric and Ian are there to add their insights, and then there is Amy.  Amy is the wild card, the  1o.5% Unfiltered IPA of the group who asks the questions that we all wish we could and adds a great amount of hilarity to the show.  Amy is learning about Craft Beer on the show and is the perfect foil to Rob, who is a very knowledgeable beer guy.  I really enjoyed my time with them and cannot wait to get back to sit with them again.

 

To listen to podcast follow the link HERE or click the picture below!

You can reach the Jersey Beer Guys at jerseybeerguys@gmail.com

Follow Jersey Beer Guys on Facebook @jerseybeer.guys

Follow Jersey Beer Guys on Instagram  jerseybeerguys