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Oyster Creek Brewing Company of Waretown Edges Closer to Opening!

The impressive stable of Ocean County breweries will soon be joined by Oyster Creek Brewing Company, Waretown’s first! I had the opportunity to sit and meet with founder and head brewer, Kris Lewis, tour the facility and talk about the progress.

The brewery is minutes from Oyster Creek Generating Station, the oldest operating nuclear plant in the US (which recently announced it will be closing later this year) and the tributary of Barnegat Bay which it is named for. Kris wanted to keep a local feel, so rather than ignore the proximity to the plant, he incorporated it into the name, logo, and design of his brewhouse. The table tops are embedded with a map of the Tri-State area, with markers of all the generating stations and locations. He also has several booths from the now closed local restaurant the Forked River House, again, keeping that local connection.

That sense of community that we see with many of our breweries is important to Kris, as he was born, raised in still lives in Southern Ocean County. His love of brewing started over 20 years ago when he bought a homebrew kit for his dad. It was an extract kit, “Your basic ale”, and soon, like many home brewers, he was hooked! The passion grew quickly, followed by the need to upgrade his system, develop more complicated recipes and brew larger batches.

Kris refined his skills and recipes and for many years his brews have been enjoyed by friends and families who all encouraged him to open his own brewery. Buoyed by the favorable change in NJ laws and the recent surge and success of local breweries, Kris decided to take the plunge and after much planning secured his present location about a year ago.

Maybe more than any other industry, the brewing community is very supportive, nurturing group and the experience Kris had was no different. “We were at the Manahopkin Brew Festival, and even though we weren’t able to produce beer yet, everyone was very supportive. Jason from Icarus Brewing stopped by and we had a great conversation about his experiences, the pitfalls, and frustrations in waiting for inspections and concern over the finances. But we also spoke about the excitement of building the brewhouse and the sense of accomplishment once everything comes together. It was a very encouraging conversation and the success they are having at Icarus now shows it can be done. Torie at Backward Flag has been great also. We are so close to their location, I didn’t want it to seem like I was encroaching on their territory, so I introduced myself to her, but she was nothing but supportive and full of advice. We even heard from Megan Myers from Human Village Brewing Company all the way down in Pitman, offering congratulations and best wishes!”

It takes a village to convert a computer repair shop to a brewery so Kris, his wife Colleen, contractors, family, friends have been working diligently. The work has paid off and with a beautiful concrete bar as a focal point, the dream that is Oyster Creek Brewery is taking shape. “We have a few more inspections to go through and then hopefully we can start brewing.”

Kris anticipates 6-8 taps running for the 1.5 barrel brewhouse including 4-5 staples and some seasonal beers and possibly some experimental batches. “Our Irish Ale and Habanero Double IPA are 2 of our standards, so we hope to have them year round. Opening…possibly by St Patrick’s Day or maybe a little longer. Again, it all depends on how the inspections go.”

In honor of Kris’ hope to be open by St Patrick’s Day, we leave you with this Irish toast:

“May you always have love in your hearts, and beer in your belly!”
Cheers!

Breweries News

Welcome To The South Jersey Beer Scene Podcast!

 

Our first episode is up today on iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Stitcher and we are really excited about it.  We are going to bring you all the best in South Jersey Beer including interviews, live event podcasts, news, and everything beer in South Jersey.

On this episode, Rob Towey, Tom Renzulli, Vic Sbailo, Amy Dimond, John Couchoud talk about what we saw in 2017, what we expect in 2018, and why you should not miss AC Beerfest.  Remember, this is a work in progress and we would like your input.  Drop us a line and let us know who or what you would like us to talk about and we will do our best to make it happen.

We have a great guest list for upcoming episodes including Jon Henderson of Good Time Tricycle Productions and AC Beerfest, Rob Callaghan of Tuckahoe Brewing Company, Jason Campbell from Slack Tide Brewing Company, and many more.

Thanks for all of your support, give it a download and let us know what you think!


 

Breweries News

Neck of The Woods Brewing Has Found Its Home!

Congrats to all of the guys at Neck of The Woods Brewing on finding a home for the brewery!

From The Press Release:

 

It has been a long wait and at times it seemed that our dream of bringing our brewery to a reality was in jeopardy. At last we now have a location to call home. In conjunction with the Total Turf Experience, brewery partners Frank Price, Paul McIntyre, Dave Surdam and Bruce Lowden are excited to announce that we will locate our new brewery in their newly expanded facility at 614 Lambs Road, Pitman, NJ (Mantua Township).

Neck Of The Woods Brewing will offer unique beers that appeal to a broad group of craft beer drinkers and will use local ingredients when available. There will be several beers that will allow customers to easily transition to craft beer. We are installing a new state-of-the-art 10 barrel brewhouse and fermenters/brite tanks that will be temperature controlled.  Our equipment will allow our brewers to control every aspect of the process while producing consistent high quality beer from batch to batch.

We expect construction of our 4,300 ft² brewery to begin in January and be completed by June – July 2018.

Total Turf has operated a 72,000 ft² full service sports complex and is in the process of completing their 2nd building adding an additional 58,000 ft². In addition to offering all types of youth/adult sports, a fitness center and on-site sports medicine, Total Turf is also home to the American soccer league’s Philadelphia Fury and back-to-back champions of arena football, the Philadelphia Soul. Total Turf’s in-house restaurant The 614 Grille will expand its menu offerings onsite.

Again we are very excited to begin construction in our new home and becoming a part of The Total Turf Experience family.

Stay connected to our website, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter for progress of the brewery and specials we will be offering. We are very thankful for everyone who likes and follows us on social media. Please be sure to visit and follow us if you haven’t already.
Regards,

  The Neck Of The Woods Team

News What's On Tap Radio

Talking Craft Spirits On What’s On Tap Radio with Revivalist Spirits! Listen to the episode here!

This week’s What’s On Tap Radio Show was a little different.  We didn’t drink any beer.  That’s right, we didn’t drink any beer but did have a great hour with Don and Scott Avellino from The Revivalist Spirits, a small batch distillery located in Chester, Pa.  Don and Scott had a tough job, showing dedicated beer drinkers Gary Monterosso and myself that Gin is much more than that dusty bottle of liquor that seemingly was in the back of your parent’s liquor cabinet for your entire life.  Long story short, they succeeded.

Don and Scott started the distillery, Brandywine Branch Distillers, about a year and a half ago with the idea that they could do something different with one of the oldest types of spirits the world has known, gin. As opposed to the London Dry Gins that we all know, Revivalist has developed what they call “Expressions” that are far from the London Dry style that we are familiar with.  These Expressions are 4 distinct small batch craft gin recipes that are distilled with a season of the year in mind.  This is not your father’s gin.

We tried each one of the Expressions and were absolutely blown away by them. First up was Equinox which has flavors reminiscent of a Spring day with notes of mint and citrus.  Next up was Summertide, a beautifully balanced gin with a fragrant floral character of Rose and Jasmine, but still has that Juniper undertone and a really interesting finish with a hint of mint.  Harvest is the autumn version and was my personal favorite.  I am usually not a fan of specialty fall beer as I feel that fall flavors interfere with the malt and hop characteristics of a beer if not done absolutely perfect.  The Harvest Expression perfectly blends the fall flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove along with the touch of citrus and juniper in a way that you can taste all of the nuances of this complex spirit, allowing you to enjoy the entire flavor profile, one ingredient did not overpower any other.  We next sampled Solstice, and the first thing that I noticed was that this particular gin expression was not clear in color, it was somewhat orange/red.  The guys told us that this was due to it being aged in barrels that once housed red wine.  This was another fantastic offering, you could taste the character that the red wine barrel added along with hints of anise and ginger.  This is quite the winter warmer!  We also able to sample Dragon Dance, their Jalapeno infused botanical Gin that would be the perfect booze for a Bloody Mary.

Revivalist also has 2 types of Barrel-Aged American Bourbon choices which are also terrific.  Custom Cask and Brandywine Branch are both aged in American White Oak barrels that are charred to their specifications.  Both are distilled with the same philosophy as their Expressions, well thought out and distinct.

When Gary first told me that we would be talking gin and bourbon this week I felt a little out of my element.  But after sitting with Don and Scott and trying their Expressions,  I have come to the conclusion that we are looking for the same characteristics in a fine spirit as you would look for when tasting a beer.  Appearance, nose/aroma, mouthfeel, taste, and how it finishes is important in any libation, and these Gin Expressions really changed my mind on what a gin could be.  Thanks to Don and Scott for opening my eyes to craft gin and showing us how craft distillers can impart different flavor profiles to gin just as craft brewers do with beer.

You can listen to the show below, or archived on SNJ Today!

 

Follow Revivalist Spirits on Social Media

Facebook  @revivalistgins

Instagram @therevivalistgins

Twitter  @graintobottle

On the web at www.therevivalistspirits.com

 

Breweries News

New Live What’s On Tap Radio Show Today from 1-2 pm followed by “What’s On Tap…Last Call” on Facebook Live!

Today at 1 pm What’s On Tap is live on 99.9 FM, 1240 am, and SNJ Today talking beer with hosts Gary Monterosso and Tara Nurin.  Gary and Tara are nationally known beer personalities and bring a unique perspective to the national and local beer scene.  The show is chock full of great nationally known guests as well as your favorite local brewers.  What’s On Tap is one of the small few of terrestrial radio shows dedicated to beer and we are lucky enough to have it in our backyard.

Here are a few ways to listen:

Listen Live on 99.9 FM or 1240 AM via radio

SNJ Today by following the link HERE

Download the SNJ Today app via iTunes or The Google Play Store

iTunes Link

Android App

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will also be making a guest appearance on today’s show.  Let us know in the comments if there is anything you would like to see me discuss on the show!  Cheers!