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New Tun Tavern Brewmaster Brad Judge Crafting Great Beer in Atlantic City!

Last week, Tom, Vic, and I had the chance to meet with Brad Judge, the new Head Brewer at the Tun Tavern Restaurant & Brewery in Atlantic City, at the Whitecap Barrel-Aged Stout Release Event.  This collaboration between Tun and Atlantic City’s Little Water Distillery really impressed! We also had a chance to try some of the new beers that Brad had made and were just as impressed. we tried at one of New Jersey’s oldest Brew Pubs.  If you have not beenTun in a minute, you should come back now.

Brad and the team from Little Water Distillery!

The Tun Tavern was established in Atlantic City in 1998 as one of the first operating Brew Pubs in the state and gave many people their first taste of handcrafted craft beer.  Located across from the Atlantic City Convention Center, the Tun quickly became one of the hottest spots in AC, especially among conventioneers and locals who had started to hear about this “craft beer” thing.  Tun has always had a really good food menu and the beer they made was unlike most people had ever had before.  I can remember my first trip there right after opening, trying my first actual craft beer that was actually made right in the place I was eating.  This set the hook for me, it was an exciting new world of beer.  The beer that was made at the Tun Tavern was different, more flavorful, heavier, and had flavors that I had not ever had.

As time went by, people stopped looking at the Tun Tavern as a brewery, which was .  Not that they weren’t brewing beer, but sometimes the OG’s get overlooked by all of the shiny new breweries that were opening all over the area. They had continued to brew their staple of beers but, in the times we live in, you need to change it up.  Fast forward to now.  Tun Tavern is all in on the beer.  And Brad is the guy who is getting them there.

Brad began his brewing career a long way from Atlantic City on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua in the town of Popoyo.  Brad and his girlfriend (now wife) moved to Nicaragua 7 years ago to Surf and operate a Bed and Breakfast.  Brad and his expat buddies would often sit down and drink one of the local beers and talk about how it would be nice to have something different.  The solution was that Brad, who grew up in Voorhees and was an avid home brewer, was going to bring back the ingredients to make beer the next time that he went to the US.  He started brewing 5 Gal batches of IPA’s and they were a hit.  The next logical step was to build a brewery, right?  Brad and his partner Chris Harrison built a 3 barrel brewery and became quite popular amongst the bars, restaurants, and tourists in the area.  It was unlike anything else that was brewed there, very similar to the Tun Tavern’s roots.  Fast forward to today, and Brad, his wife, and kids are back here in the US and he was able to step in to the Tun Tavern’s role as the previous brewmaster was leaving for another opportunity.  Sometimes timing is everything.

In speaking with Brad, you can hear his eagerness to bring new flavors and styles to the Tun’s rotation of beers.  Brad loves IPA’s and we got to try his South Pacific Hop IPA, a 6.5% Hazy IPA that is brewed with Galaxy and Motueka hops.  Hopped in the kettle, then dry hopped after, this beer was really done well. We also got a preview of his Lager (this will be dry hopped as well) and a Pale Ale. Both were home runs and brings something to Tun’s taps for Craft Beer aficionados as well as casual beer drinkers visiting the tavern.

In addition to the great beer, Tun Tavern is offering great food, a full bar, and a really great VIP Program.  This VIP program is free for anyone that is local (within 75 miles of AC) and offers great discounts every day of the week.  More info on the program can be found on their www.tuntavern.com.

Thanks to Brad, Diane, K, and the rest of the staff for their hospitality!  Their enthusiasm for the restaurant is amazing and we loved just hanging out, hearing Brad’s story, and enjoying some great beers!

So run, don’t walk, to see the new beers that Brad is making and revisit one of the places that help blaze the craft beer trail here in South Jersey.  We think you will come back.

 

 

Breweries News

Dogfish Head & The Grateful Dead Reunite for 2019 American Beauty

The Love’s Not Fadin’ Away! Dogfish Head & the Grateful Dead Reunite for 2019 American Beauty

Off-centered brewery announces beer collaboration and releases annual beer calendar

Milton, Del., December 4, 2018 – Dogfish Head is truckin’ into 2019 as it reunites with the iconic Grateful Dead band to bring back a much-anticipated collaboration beer, American Beauty. This synergetic union brings fans a pale ale that shares a name with the popular 1970 Grateful Dead album, American Beauty, featuring hits like “Friend of the Devil,” ”Sugar Magnolia,” and “Truckin.’” A band with an immensely loyal, multi-generational fan base, the Grateful Dead are widely known for blending music genres like psychedelia, blues, folk, country, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz to create their incredibly unique rock sound.

Available in 6pk/12oz bottles and clocking in at 6.5% ABV to commemorate the year the Grateful Dead was formed (1965), American Beauty is brewed with granola and succulent wildflower honey which adds toasty, sweet notes to this hoppy ale. When Dogfish Head first collaborated with the band in 2013, they jointly reached out to their fan base with a call out for ingredient suggestions to incorporate into the recipe of the beer. Loyal dead heads and off-centered ale enthusiasts submitted more than 1500 ingredient suggestions, and after careful thought (and chuckles at some of the entries,) it was granola for the win. The beer was an instant favorite and Dogfish Head is bringing it back for a limited time in December 2018, and will be available through 2019.

“After more than 50 years of performing in front of fans all over the world, folks remain fiercely loyal to the Grateful Dead due to the organically imaginative, creative and accessible culture they nurture across all artistic platforms,” said Sam Calagione, CEO and founder of Dogfish Head. “We, at Dogfish, are inspired by their music, along with their unprecedented ability to bridge long-lasting, meaningful connections with fans for decades on end. We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Dead for a second iteration of American Beauty and hope fans of free-spirited music and independent beer will join in welcoming back this classic pale ale.” In addition to the beer release, Dogfish Head will be working with the official Grateful Dead archivist, David Lemieux, who curates and produces a series of rare and highly sought-after live Grateful Dead shows, known as “Dave’s Picks.” Dogfish Head will partner with Lemieux on a number of projects, including an immersive storytelling experience at their Rehoboth and Milton properties in early February. Good tunes and great beer are deeply rooted in the DNA of Dogfish Head as the brewery has composed several musically inspired beers with notable artists like The Flaming Lips, Miles Davis, Deltron 3030, Pearl Jam and Guided by Voices.

Dogfish Head is also excited to share their 2019 beer calendar. Off-centered ale fans can count on finding their favorite year round Dogfish beers on shelves and taps, including 60 Minute IPA, 90 Minute Imperial IPA,SeaQuench Ale, Flesh & Blood IPA, Namaste White, Liquid Truth Serum IPA (now available in 12oz/6pk and 16oz/4pk cans,) Lupu-Luau IPA, Palo Santo Marron, Burton Baton, Midas Touch and Wood-Aged Bitches Brew.

SuperEIGHT, a vibrant red sessionable Super Gose, will debut this year in 6pk/12oz cans.  This unique beer is made with eight heroic superfoods including prickly pear, mango, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, elderberry and kiwi juices, with a touch of toasted quinoa and an ample addition of red Hawaiian sea salt. With delicious flavors of berries and watermelon, this ale has a slightly tart and pleasantly refreshing finish.

A longtime champion of all things collaborative and artful, Dogfish Head is celebrating its 2019 Off-Centered Art Series, for which they have partnered with highly acclaimed artist, Michael Hacker, to create custom pieces of art for beers that brings their unique stories to life through visuals. Art Series beers include The Perfect Disguise – an American double dry-hopped IPA disguised as a Kölsch, Dragons & YumYums – a lip smackingly tropical pale ale, Punkin Ale – a full bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, and 75 Minute IPA – a continually hopped IPA brewed with maple syrup from Calagione’s family farm in Western Massachusetts.

With a boatload of exciting new releases, Dogfish is also proud to bring back favorites like Raison D’Extra – a Belgian-style brown made with an obscene amount of malt, brown sugar and raisins, World Wide Stout – a dark, rich, roasty and complex ale, and 120 Minute IPAthe Holy Grail for hopheads. The Off-Center Your Summer pack, a sessionable variety pack loaded with cans, and IPAs for the Holidays, a delicious India Pale Ale gift pack, will both make their return in 2019. To find and enjoy Dogfish Head craft beer or to view a full 2019 calendar please visit dogfish.com.

 

10 Questions With... Breweries

10 Questions With Bonsaw Brewing Company’s Brewmaster A.J. Stoll!

We finally made it to Bonesaw Brewing Company in Glassboro, N.J. to do our “10 Questions with the Brewer” Brewmaster AJ Stoll. If you are like us, you have been following construction of this Brewery over the last year or so. Bonesaw was one of the first breweries in our area to be built from the ground up and we were curious about what it would look like, and more importantly how good the beer would be. From the moment you pull into the parking lot, to entering into the massive taproom, to the first sip of beer, one word comes to mind:  Craftsmanship. What Dr. Rich DeVerniero, and brother-in laws David & Allen Doe, and Brewmaster AJ Stoll have created is a total sensory overload. From the custom light fixtures crafted by Dr. Rich himself to the impressive live edge bar, and wood work done by Randy P. Goodman of Random 8 Woodworks. All 4 owners were heavily involved with every single phase of construction. Bonesaw Brewing consists of a 17 BBL (20HL) brewhouse with 10-50 BBL (60HL) fermenters and 2-50 BBL (60HL) Brite tanks. He also has a few freshly filled barrels that I can’t wait to try.

Brewmaster AJ Stoll took the long way to get to N.J… He is originally from Orange County, California, where his brewing journey started at Seven Bridges Organic Homebrew Supply in Santa Cruz. AJ got the bug early, and the supply store gave him a way to stay in touch with it (Plus the discounts didn’t hurt either). While at Seven Bridges he actually worked with Tim Clifford and Jason Hansen who went on to open Santé Adairius Rustic Ales in 2012, and are really making some great beers. After college, AJ got an assistant brewer job with Seabright Brewery. After a short stint there, he moved on to his first Head Brewer job at Ukiah Brewing Co. From there he moved to Figueroa Mountain Brewing where his Imperial IPA Lizard’s Mouth was nominated for best new beer in 2014. Along with dozens of awards he helped Figueroa grow from 1,200 BBL to 20,000 BBL per year in production. 

Later on in 2014 AJ got the opportunity to go to Kerry, Ireland where he helped start-up Killarney Brewing Company which has become well-respected in the beer world. Although AJ joked that it only rains twice for 6 months at a time he was taken by the beauty, and the 40 shades of green. Something else that was surprising to him was that most of the 10,000 BBL they produced sold in just a 10 mile radius which confirms that the Irish love their beer. 

The time at Killarney lasted about a year, and it was time for AJ to come back to the states. In 2015 he found himself at Funky Buddha in Florida where he helped get their Brewhouse in order before it was sold to Constellation Brands. Then like the song say’s, I’m going back to Cali. When he got back to California he started working as a consultant with the plan to work with as many different breweries of all sizes to absorb as much experience as he could. He helped start new breweries, and helped tweak existing ones until he got the call to be the Brewmaster at Bonesaw.

1. What was the first beer you brewed, and how was it? 

It was an all grain Belgium double kit which I brewed twice before I wrote my own recipe for a Maple Buckwheat Brown Ale, and my love for brewing spiraled out of control from there. The first batch didn’t come out exactly like I hoped, but all the next ones came out good, and drinkable.

2. What is your favorite style to brew, and why?

I’m a chameleon when it comes to that. I like to brew darker beers because it makes the whole brewery smell good. Being from California I do love to brew IPA’s, but if I had to pick a favorite it would have to be Lagers. They are the hardest, and most transparent. If something goes wrong everyone knows it. I also like Pilsners for the same reason.

3. Do you look at ratings on Untapped, Beer Advocate, or Rate Beer, and does it influence your recipes?

I do look at them from time to time just as a quality control check to see if there’s a problem. I’m really not looking to see if someone liked the beer, but more if they went into one of our accounts and got a beer that tasted funny. It does not affect my recipes at all. We have 16 beers on tap right now with all different styles, so if you can’t find something it may be you just don’t like beer.

4. How do you stay connected to the local area in relation to sourcing ingredients?

That’s one of my favorite things to do everywhere I’ve been is to use local ingredients. We use local honey for some of our beers as well as malts from Rabbit Hill Farms which has been a nice recurring theme to this question. Our peaches, and pumpkins are all local, and our coffee is roasted right in Pitman. It’s not just the freshness, and quality, but supporting local businesses that support us.

5. What is one tip you would give home brewers to make better beer?

Don’t be afraid to dump a batch and start over if you’re not happy with it. With all the books and internet it’s much easier to get it right the first time than it was 20 years ago.

6. What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to open a brewery?

Don’t assume that because you are a home brewer that you’re a brewer. I’m not saying you can’t make the leap to a 3 BBL system, but it would be a good idea to bring someone in who has big system experience. Try to get some professional schooling or an internship with a bigger brewery. Make sure it’s your passion.

7. If there was a beer you could brew with no regards to cost, production, or sales, what would it be?

I would probably brew a Triple IPA with some of the more expensive, and hard to get hops like Galaxy etc. I would also love to try an Ice Bock (Eisbock) which is where you freeze and remove a percentage of the water to increase the alcohol content, and turn it into a Triple Bock. I can’t legally do it in New Jersey because it’s distillation, but it would be pretty cool to do. A Stone Beer would be interesting to try also. It’s when you super heat rocks and put them in the kettle to get it to boil.

8. Looking back to opening day forward, what was the one thing that happened that surprised you?

How many people showed up to drink beer, and support us. We obviously wanted to be successful, and built this place for the consumer, but the response was very humbling. We only had 2 beers for the first 2 weeks, but the place was packed, and we were extremely grateful for it.

9. Other than your beer, what is your go to after a long day at the brewery?

I still love Yuengling. It was hard to get in California and Florida so it was a treat when I could get it.

10. Where do you see the brewery in a year? In 5 years?

We are planning on growth of course. Our taproom is our most important thing right now, but we want to expand out with our accounts to more of New Jersey and Philadelphia. We also have plans for a second building in the back lot where we can not only make more beer, but more interesting beer. We just filled our first set of barrels which is something we want to continue to do more of. In 5 years we would love to build another Bonesaw probably in South Carolina somewhere. Rich, Dave, Allen, and I really enjoyed building this one, and our fingerprints are on almost everything in here. We are not the kind of guys to stand around with clipboards, and would love to do this again.

Bonus: What’s the best beer you ever had?

I have a couple ones. I would have to say a Rodenbach Grand Cru for sure. I had a 10 year vertical of Bigfoot Barleywine from Sierra Nevada that was really good. It’s also an experience that makes a beer the best one. If I really had to pick one it would be the Augustiner Helles’ Lager I had sitting in the Augustiner Beer Hall in Munich.

Bonus 2: What do you listen to when you’re brewing?

I have to have music playing when I’m brewing. I’m all over the place when it comes to music. The other day I listened to The Killers all day. Some days I listen to older country music, or I’ll get on a Peter Gabriel or Genesis kick. You can never go wrong with 80’s heavy metal either.

I would like to thank AJ, Rich, Dave, and Allen for being such gracious hosts, and taking time out of their day to sit down with me. One other thing I noticed was that the entire staff was extremely friendly and knowledgeable which was the cherry on top of the whole experience. Do yourself a favor and stop by if you’re in the area. They also have nitro cold brew coffee on tap as well as homemade sodas for you non beer people.

                        As Always

                     Enjoy Your Pour!

Breweries News

Cape May Brewing Company Releases Boughs of Barley Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout!

For Immediate Release

Cape May Brewing Company Releases a Cognac and Scotch Whisky Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Boughs of Barley 2018

Cape May, NJ — To ring in the Christmas season, Cape May Brewing Company is pleased to announce 2018’s iteration of their holiday brew, Boughs of Barley. An Imperial stout barrel-aged in Scotch whisky and second-use Cognac barrels, this limited-edition brew is available now at their Brewtique at 1288 Hornet Road in the Cape May Airport and at selected retailers throughout New Jersey and the Philadelphia area.

“Boughs of Barley has always been a fun and experimental route for us,” says Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm, “playing around with rarer styles of giant, spirit barrel-aged beers, and it’s always taken us in new directions.”

Their first iteration of Boughs of Barley was in 2016 with a bourbon barrel-aged, bottle-conditioned barleywine. Last year, CMBC released a Belgian dark ale aged in Cognac and Bourbon barrels. This year, the brewery has aged an Imperial stout for a year in second-use Cognac barrels and eighteen months in Scotch whisky barrels.

“I love variants,” says Head Brewer Brian Hink, “and with big, barrel-aged beers, that’s a really fun playground to be in, but when we first started talking about doing Boughs of Barley I didn’t want to just do the standard vanilla, coconut, coffee, etc. variants, but instead let the barrel act as an ingredient and be the variant itself.”

2017’s version of Boughs of Barley was the first run in the Cognac barrels, which CMBC refilled for this year’s release.

“When we first did Boughs of Barley in 2016,” Hink says, “we wanted to let the barrels be the built-in variant, with the loose idea that the new barrel this year becomes the second-use next year when a new spirit type is brought in.”

The Scotch whisky variant spent eighteen months in heavily-peated barrels from a distillery on the island of Islay, in the Scotch Inner Hebrides, picking up a great deal of smokiness as well as a good bit of oakiness from the barrels. When married with the rich chocolate overtones of the stout and the roasty flavors of the dark malts, the Scotch variant comes through with a great deal of complexity.

“It’s definitely peaty — or smokey — and that is the dominant characteristic out of the gate,” Hink says. “The underlying stout body and character are present and are big enough to withstand the barrage from the barrel’s character. The resulting beer is very intense.”

On the other hand, as this was the second time the barrels had been used for aging, the Cognac variant is a little more subtle and reserved, allowing more of the beer’s character to shine through with a bit of molasses and cocoa character from 2017’s Belgian Ale.

“You get a subtle sweetness,” Hink says, “which I think comes from the Cognac barrel, and that cuts through the roasty stout undertone just enough to paint a deeper portrait.”

The Cognac barrels impart more dark fruits and vanilla tones, with an underlying sweetness from the Cognac.

“Matching Cognac and a stout just makes so much sense to me,” Valm says. “Maybe because I’ve done it: sat by a roaring fire with a nice Cognac and some dark European chocolate to nibble on. They complement each other so well.”

The brewers at Cape May are pleased with both variants.

“I love how different they are from each other,” Hink says, “that the barrel character is so strong that you can tell instantly that these are basically two different beers.”

While Valm is partial to the Scotch variant, he’s loving the Cognac version, as well.

“Smoke in a beer can be a divisive issue,” he says, “and some just chock it up to being like a campfire or like bacon, but the smoke character in the Scotch variant is so much more. There’s this complex, earthy tone to it from the peat soil, and the way it comes together with the oakiness and the roasted malts is amazing. And the Cognac variant is so inviting, I think it will be loved by more of our fans (even if the ones preferring the Scotch variant are more passionate in their zeal).”

For more information on Cape May Brewing Company, including tours and tastings, see www.capemaybrewery.com or call (609) 849-9933.

Breweries Events

Spend Thanksgiving Eve With the Gang At Eight & Sand Beer Company in Woodbury!

Eight & Sand Beer Co. to Host Thanksgiving Eve Party
with New Limited Edition Beer on Tap 

Eight & Sand will host a Thanksgiving Eve party on Wednesday, November 21st
from 5pm – 10pm featuring new beers from the beertender brewing competition
and the return of our GABF award-winning Bad Hombre.

– FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –

WOODBURY, NJ (November 16, 2018) – On Wednesday, November 21st, Eight & Sand Beer Co. gives thanks to fans, friends and family by hosting a Thanksgiving Eve celebration at the Woodbury, NJ tasting room from 5pm until 10pm.

The party will feature 3 brand new brews on tap that were created by brewers Chris, Jim and Dave in conjunction with Eight & Sand’s beertenders.  Each of the three recipes can be sampled by event attendees who will select the winning brew in conjunction with a panel of judges.  The three beer recipes include a Grilled Pineapple Hefeweizen, Peaches & Cream Milkshake IPA and a Peat-Smoked Scotch Ale.

“All of our beertenders love beer just as much as our brewers love making it, so we thought this competition would give them a chance to get even more involved in the brewing process and share their ideas for some really unique beer styles.”, says owner Chris Mazzone.  “We’re letting our whole team get in on the creative side of things and letting our fans decide which beer they like best.” 

In addition to the 3 new beers on tap, a very limited quantity of the GABF Silver Medal winning Bad Hombre ale makes its return to the tasting room for the night.  The Potato Pototo food truck will also be nearby on Deptford Ave. throughout the evening.

“We’ve had fans of our beer thank us for making it and we’re happy to bring back an old favorite and three new styles as our way of thanking them for supporting us for over two years.”, says Mazzone.  “We look forward to seeing some familiar faces and hopefully many new ones at our Thanksgiving Eve party on Wednesday.”

More information on this event can be found at www.eightandsandbeer.com.

About Eight & Sand Beer Co.

Eight & Sand Beer Co. is a 10bbl brewery and tasting room located in Woodbury, NJ fully devoted to quality craft beer that is traditionally European with an American flair.  Growlers, cans, and 22oz bottles are available for take-out; draft and cans are available at accounts across South Jersey.