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Tom Spends A Day With Brewer Tadhg Campbell of Slack Tide Brewing Company

We have been sitting on this article for quite some time.  Not because it wasn’t done well, we just wanted to hold onto it until Slack Tide Brewing Company was ready to release their first run of cans.  While we were awaiting the boys to let us know, something very cool happened, they went out and one a Bronze Medal at The Great American Beer Festival for Avalon Amber Ale!  So as this article goes to press their cans of Angry Osprey, Bell Buoy, and Tipsy Dipsy are available in 12 oz 6 packs at the brewery and select locations around South Jersey.  Without further adieu, here is Tom’s article born of sweat and hard work while yours truly sat in air conditioning!

John Couchoud, Editor-In-Chief

A Day With The Brewer

I recently spent a couple days with Tadhg Campbell of Slack Tide Brewing Company  to experience what a brew day consists of. The first day started with cleaning and sanitizing the equipment that will be used for the day. On day one Tadhg and assistant brewer Shawn Karge were going to be brewing a BBL batch one of mine and my wife’s favorite, Avalon Amber Ale. Apparently we are not the only ones who think that.3   This beer just took home the Bronze in the American-Style Amber/Red category for the Avalon at the Great American Beer Festival. Tadhg mentioned to me that it’s not a popular style, but I don’t understand why. It has beautiful color, and a nice toasty, malty flavor. For this batch we milled 110 lbs of base grain, and another 90lbs of specialty malt grains. While the grains did their thing in the Mash Tun we started cleaning kegs, and getting things set up to transfer Sand Spike Session IPA from the fermenter to the Brite tank. While the Sand Spike transfer was taking place I was able to clean 12 half kegs and 19 sixtels in their Keg Commander cleaner. We will be filling those the next day with Sand Spike, their Session IPA. My first day was only about 3 hours, but it was a great warm-up for what was to come on day 2.

Day 2 started out at a balmy 86 degrees in the brew house at 6am. That day Tadhg and assistant brewer Chuck Wieland were going to be brewing a double 10 BBL batch of Bell Buoy,  their award wining Belgian Blonde .  The grain bill for each batch will be a little over 700 lbs. While the first batch of Bell Buoy was in the Mash Tun we started kegging the delicious Sand Spike out of the Brite Tank which yielded 12 half kegs, and 19 sixtels which I had cleaned yesterday. By 8:30 we had the first 10 BBL batch of Bell Buoy in the Brew Kettle and all of the Sand Spike in kegs.  It is balmy in the brew house, currently in the low 90’s, thankfully the cloud cover is saving us. As I thought about the process of brewing, the one word that keeps popping into my head is “multitasking”. As Forrest Gump said “There’s always something to do and somewhere to go”. It’s 9 am, and we start to sanitize the 20 BBL fermenter that housed Sand Spike the day before, and will be the new home for the double batch of Bell Buoy for a couple of weeks. At around 10 am we add the hop bill to the first batch of Bell Buoy and start to pull out the spent grains from the Mash Tun which will be picked up by a local farmer to feed his livestock. I also took some of the spent grain and made a batch of chocolate chip cookies with them that turned out really good (Editor’s Note:  They were good!). The sun is out, and it’s about 100 degrees inside the metal building which houses the brewing operation.  so much for me and my big mouth talking about the cloud cover. As we finished removing the first batch of spent grain, Tadhg started pumping the Bell Buoy through the heat exchanger, and into the freshly sanitized 20 BBL fermenter.

As always there is something to sanitize, and prep for the next stage. It’s like a grain, hops, water, and sanitizing symphony that is kind of special to be a part of. It’s now 11:25 am and is about 110 degrees in the brew house, Chuck is moving to the taproom, and we are joined by sales representative Jordi Nicolau to finish up the day in the brew house. We are now ready to move the second batch from the Mash Tun to the Brew Kettle, and we are still sanitizing the Brite Tank to get it ready for the next batch of liquid gold to go in it. Time check is now 12:45 pm, and I just pulled out the second batch of grain from the Mash which comes in at about 1800 lbs when saturated, and the second batch is boiling. Although Tadhg’s day is far from over I’m ready to taste test some of the Sand Spike we kegged, and grab a few crowlers for the 4th. I can’t thank Tadhg, and his brother Jason, and everyone at Slack Tide that I worked with over the 2 days. It was an awesome experience, and it was hot, and hard work, but if you love what you do you never work a day in your life. I can’t wait to do this at another brewery, and have another great experience.

And, as always, Enjoy Your Pour!

                                       

Breweries News

Breaking News! Slack Tide Brewing Company and Village Idiot Brewing Co. Win GABF Medals!

Breaking!

Slack Tide Brewing Company of Clermont and Village Idiot Brewing Company of Mt. Holly both are bringing home hardware from the 2018 Great American Beer Festival!

The only 2 medals for NJ were brought home by 2 South Jersey Breweries!

Slack Tide Brewing Company won a Bronze in the American-Style Amber/Red Ale for Avalon Amber

Village Idiot Brewing Company won a Silver in the Belgian-Style Tripel

Congratulations to both of these breweries on this awesome achievement!

 

For a Complete list of winners vist the Great American Beer Festival Winners Page 

Beer Biz Profiles Breweries

Juggling Middle Management and Den Motherhood: The Life of a Tasting Room Supervisor With Kristen Wilson!

Juggling Middle Management and Den Motherhood:

The Life of a Tasting Room Supervisor

Before craft beer, my experience in the beverage industry was as front-of-house staff in various bars and restaurants throughout South Jersey.  The money was fast and there was little commitment; I tell everyone that if you can work in one bar, you can work in them all.  Being a ‘people person’ is a transferable skill that crosses all industries.  But what happens when you’re a people person, type-a, and painstakingly meticulous?  You end up in middle management!

Back in 2016, Eight & Sand Beer Co. posted to Facebook that they were hiring and my husband tagged me in the comments.  I studied the website and some craft beer blogs and nervously awaited my interview.  The tasting room was still under construction at this point, but I was assured that it was coming along quickly.  Despite swearing that I bombed my interview, I received a start date for training and I was pumped!  Our soft and grand openings came and went and the team was coming together.

As many places as I had worked prior, I had never opened a brand new establishment.  Getting to be part of a business as it grows has been really special.

I knew when I took the job that while both of my bosses had a wealth of knowledge and talent in their respective fields, they did not have bar/restaurant management experience.  I was so eager to learn and be a part of the process that I began offering to help, providing suggestions, and volunteering to take on more responsibility.  It was a few months later that myself and another server were officially promoted as Tasting Room Supervisors.  The role includes fairly standard supportive duties – opening and closing the tasting room, handling cash, and training staff, but it has been an ever-evolving position as we navigate the first years of business.

Fast forward to today.

Because we have a small staff and most of us have other jobs, all of our roles blend together.  Admittedly, this can be confusing, which is where my secondary, unofficial job title comes in: Den Mother.

Most of my week consists of communicating with everyone on some level.  This could be email, text, group chat, or Google Hangout.  It is usually all of the above, simultaneously, about different things.  I have a working knowledge of everyone’s position and act as a mediator across all levels, keeping track and collaborating with everyone.  I am responsible for scheduling our tasting room staff of about ten people, myself included.  That is ten different personal schedules and preferences, in addition to corresponding with the team for any reservations, on and off-site events we have planned – or that pop up last minute.  I often have reminders set to remind other people about things.

I am the gatekeeper of information.  The management team holds a weekly conference call to catch everyone up on the business.  It is then up to me to filter and disseminate information to staff, formally or informally.  This information-sharing goes both ways, as my staff confides in me things that need to be communicated to our bosses.  Part of this means advocating for staff on their needs.  If one of my staff members is frustrated or upset, it becomes my job to bring it to the rest of the team to figure out how to fix it.

Another layer of my role involves knowing non-work related things about my staff.  I know who is planning to have children, who definitely *does not* want to have children, I know who is getting engaged, and I know who needs tile work done in their bathroom.  If you were thinking that this sounds like normal friendship, I would say that you are absolutely right.  I can proudly say that I have formed friendships with everyone I work with on some level.  From my owners’ goal of having a successful business to my staff wanting to get more involved in craft beer, being a Den Mother means supporting everyone as they achieve their goals, whatever they may be and as much as they let me.

Some days are harder than others to carry the extra emotional labor that goes along with my role.  And while emotional labor is often an expectation of women in the workforce, this was not the case for me.  I nagged, badgered, and annoyed my way into this role because, 1) it is who I am as a person; and 2) because I believe in the value of being this person to an employer.  Any person with a high level of organization and empathy can help make a business successful.

I love craft beer.  I love the people in the industry and the people who enjoy it.  I never imagined that I could be considered “a voice for women in craft beer” – I am so new to this and I am not an expert!  Opening my own brewery or even home-brewing in my garage is not in my future, but what I will do is keep tasting new beer, talking to people about it, and supporting others in their journey in the industry – because that is what a Den Mother would do.

Breweries Events

Backward Flag Brewing Celebrating Their 3rd Anniversary 9/15/18!

BACKWARD FLAG CELEBRATING THEIR 3RD ANNIVERSARY THIS WEEKEND! 

Backward Flag Brewing Company in Forked River celebrates their 3rd anniversary this week with good beer, food, music and special guests. 

The Celtic Knot, a favorite at local breweries, will be on hand with their delicious fish and chips and will be joined by ElemeN7ts by NitroGirl who will be creating frozen confections and ice cream with different flavors of BFBC beer. The soundtrack for the day will be provided by Ty Mares Music.     

 However, as we have seen, the foundation and mission of Backward Flag has always gone deeper than just the brew, so there will be no new releases for the festivities. 

“We want this anniversary to be less about the beer and more about the people”, said owner Torie Fisher.   The people are the organizations, non-profits and charities who collaborated with Backward Flag over the past year. Each month BFBC employees choose a charity and a portion of the proceeds go to the organization. The anniversary party is an opportunity to honor, recognize and present the proceeds to the organizations. 

Some of the beneficiaries are the Forked River Volunteer Fire Department and the NJ State Elks Army of Hope, which was created to assist families who have a member called to active duty with the National Guard or military reserves. The Captain Buscio Foundation, named for Captain Dominick Buscio of the Jersey City Fire Department,  and  created by his widow after he died of a heart attack at the too young age of 39.  It provides complimentary pulmonary and cardio examinations through Deborah to fire fighters and first responders is another beneficiary.    

The DV Farm, operated by vets and created to help combat veteran homelessness will also be recognized at the event.  DV Farm is a service of Dysfunctional Veterans one of the largest online vet communities. 

Arms 2 Artisans, a non-profit created by Backward Flag earlier this year will be represented by one of the first graduates, Lizz Devenny, who will  be speaking about her experiences. 

As part of the festivities this week BF also did a collaboration brew with Backpacks for Life, who provide backpacks filled with toiletries and other every day essentials to vets and families who cannot provide these for themselves.  The brown ale will be called Rugged Road, so be on the lookout for it at the brewery and in cans. 

We invite you to check out the links listed below to find out more about these great organizations. The party is this Saturday, 9/15, 12-9 PM and it promises to be a great day, so don’t miss it! 

For more information on the charities that Backward Flag supports, click the links below!

Backpacks For Life

The DV Farm

Dysfunctional Veterans

Arms 2 Artisans

The Captain Buscio Foundation

 

 

 

 

Breweries News

Dogfish Head Launches A Cork-Finished Wild Beer Program!

Wouldn’t It Be Wild If Dogfish Head Launched A Cork-Finished Wild Beer Program?  Oh Wait, They Just Did With “Wooden…It Be Nice!”

Brewery producing America’s fastest selling sour beer, SeaQuench Ale, begins a wild beer program and hosts limited bottle release

 Milton, Del., September 12, 2018 – On an endless exploration of goodness, Dogfish Head is proud to be a craft brewery producing and celebrating sour and wild ales for over two decades and is excited to announce the launch of its brand new, funky wild beer program, “Wooden…It Be Nice!”  With three wild ales primed for a 2018 Milton-only release, and more releases to come in future years, the brewers at Dogfish have already hand-bottled over two-thousand cork and caged 375ml bottles, each one hand painted with a special stripe signifying its uniquely crafted touch.

“About fifteen years ago, we first started experimenting with sours, beginning with Festina Lente – a peach wild ale that won us a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup in 2006 – then went on to produce SeaQuench Ale which is currently the top selling sour in America,” said Sam Calagione, CEO and founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.  “Now, we’re amplifying our wild beer program with Wooden…It Be Nice!, as it’s another step forward in our journey and evolution of goodness incorporating everything from herbs and spices, to local fruits, and of course, bringing it all together in wood.” Dogfish Head is the number one producer of the fastest growing beer in the fastest growing craft beer style in America – SeaQuench Ale, a session sour.*

So what makes a beer wild? It’s different from traditional brewing in that it’s fermented with wild yeast variations, like Brettanomyces and often times with bacteria like Lactobacillus or Pediococcus.  The yeast and bacteria are carefully introduced to the wood-aged beer, which can develop a wide array of flavors, including degrees of sourness, funkiness  and fruitiness.  Due to the untamable nature of the yeast, the beer can sit in barrels for months or even years till brewers deem it ready for consumption.  This  process can sometimes delay the release of the beer, but when it’s finally ready, it’s truly remarkable.  Isn’t that wild?

The “Wooden…It Be Nice!” program opens with the release of KnottyBits, a wild ale (8.2% ABV) aged on sweet and sour cherries and rhubarb, available beginning September 29 at 11 a.m.  KnottyBits was wood-aged for a year with Brettanomyces and then racked onto several hundred pounds of sweet and sour cherries and locally sourced rhubarb from Fifer Orchards at a rate of more than 2 lbs. of fresh fruit per gallon.  KnottyBits is bottle conditioned for an elevated carbonation resembling a ruby red colored sparkling wine of sorts.  Priced at $10/375ml bottle, approximately 2000 bottles will be available for purchase at the Milton Brewery.

Look for Wet Hop American Summer in early November – a Farmhouse Ale (7.75% ABV),  this beer was aged in freshly emptied Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces for over a year, before being racked onto freshly harvested and hand-selected whole leaf Citra hops, still wet from the fields.  The resulting beer has a great citrus aroma from the hops which is a perfect complement to the funky and rustic nature of the Farmhouse Ale base.  Wet Hop American Summer is priced at $10/375ml bottle, approximately 1500 bottles will be available for purchase at the Milton Brewery.

In mid-December, the brewery will release Eastern Seaboard, a wild ale (8% ABV) brewed with blackberries and beach plums.  After spending almost a year and a half aging in wine barrels, the liquid was met with several hundred pounds of blackberry and Eastern Shore beach plums, handpicked and selected by the brewers.  The jamminess of the blackberry and tartness of the plums perfectly pair with one another in this deceptively dry beer.  Eastern Seaboard is bottle conditioned to achieve champagne-like carbonation and is violet in color. Priced at $10/375ml bottle, approximately 2000 bottles will be available for purchase at the Milton Brewery.

For more information about upcoming “Wooden It Be Nice!” bottle release dates, visitdogfish.com and Dogfish Head social accounts: Facebook: @dogfishheadbeer, Twitter: @dogfishbeer, and Instagram: dogfishhead.

Dogfish Head:

Dogfish Head has proudly been focused on brewing beers with culinary ingredients outside the Reinheitsgebot since the day it opened as the smallest American craft brewery 23 years ago. Dogfish Head has grown into a top-20 craft brewery and has won numerous awards throughout the years including Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 Brewery of the Year and the James Beard Foundation Award for 2017 Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional. It is a 350+ coworker company based in Delaware with Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, an off-centered brewpub and distillery, Chesapeake & Maine, a geographically enamored seafood restaurant, Dogfish Inn, a beer-themed inn on the harbor and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, a production brewery and distillery featuring a tasting room and food truck.  Dogfish Head supports the Independent Craft Brewing Seal, the definitive icon for American craft breweries to identify themselves to be independently-owned and carries the torch of transparency, brewing innovation and the freedom of choice originally forged by brewing community pioneers. Dogfish Head currently sells beer in 43 states and Washington D.C. and will expand into additional states in 2018. For more information, visit www.dogfish.com, Facebook: @dogfishheadbeer, Twitter: @dogfishbeer, and Instagram: dogfishhead.