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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


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 or call (609) 849-9933.


Cape May Brewing Company Opens Beverage Distributorship, Cape Beverage, Launching in Early 2019

Cape May Brewing Company Opens Distributorship:  Cape Beverage


Cape May, NJ — Cape May Brewing Company is excited to announce a new venture helmed by co-founders Ryan Krill, Chris Henke, and Robert Krill. In the beginning of 2019, the three will be launching a new beverage distributorship called Cape Beverage.

“We’ve been active in this industry for over seven years,” says Ryan Krill, “self-distributing throughout most of New Jersey. So, we’ve decided to craft an alternative route, seeking to bring a wider variety of craft beer to New Jersey’s beer drinkers.”

Alongside all of the Cape May Brewing Company brands their fans have come to know and love throughout the years, Cape Beverage will carry the offerings of other breweries, with a long-term goal of having a full line of well-respected, carefully-curated breweries, cideries, meaderies, and wineries in their portfolio.

The genesis of this distributorship has come from the popularity of CMBC’s well-loved cranberry shandy, The Bog. For many years, this offering has only been available on draft; however, the demand for this brew has necessitated that the company begin canning The Bog.

“We wanted to get The Bog out to our fans,” says Henke, “but, with the amount of fresh fruit, unfermented sugars, and the small amount of live yeast in the beer, in order to assure that the yeast does not ferment the sugars left in the beer, The Bog needs to be pasteurized. We don’t have the means to do so at our facility, so we’ve decided to contract-brew The Bog through FX Matt.”

Founded in 1888, FX Matt of Utica, NY, along with its premier label, Saranac, has been at the forefront of the craft beer movement. In addition, FX Matt brews a large amount of Brooklyn Lager, as well as several other breweries.

In keeping with the three-tier system, brewing beer out-of-state requires a distributor to bring the beer back to New Jersey.

“One thing of which we’ve been particularly proud at CMBC is the strength of our self-distribution arm,” says Krill. “So, not only does opening a separate distributorship play into many of the things we already do well, doing so also opens a wide range of possibilities, including distributing a number of other breweries.”

The intent of Krill, Henke, and Krill is to approach distributing from a new perspective. Instead of collecting as many brands as possible, Cape Beverage’s portfolio will be carefully curated, selecting only brands which complement and extend the marketability of the group’s existing brands.

“We’re particularly excited to partner with Nicaragua Craft Beer Co. of San Juan del Sur, down in the land of lakes and volcanoes, Nicaragua,” says Krill. “We’ll be carrying their Panga Drops, a Keller Pilsner, making it available in their 8-ounce cans for the first time in New Jersey.”

Originally founded by longtime friends and craft beer lovers, Brendan DeBlois and Matt Greenberg, their mission to bring craft beer to the people and visitors to Nicaragua was fulfilled by opening a brewpub in the country’s most famous beach town and surf haven, San Juan del Sur, in 2013.

“Cape Beverage is well-poised to reach and speak to the people of New Jersey,” says Greenberg. “The team is communicative, organized, and we look forward to a long lasting partnership that will help deliver our surf-inspired brand to their dynamic coastal market.”

Cape Beverage will be distributing throughout Cape May Brewing Company’s current distribution footprint — primarily the 18 southernmost counties of New Jersey — with expectations to expand throughout the other four counties in the beginning of the year.

For more information about Cape Beverage, see their website at



What Does the Change of ABC Leadership Mean for NJ Breweries? How Did We Get Here?

David Rible has stepped down as ABC Director to “pursue other opportunities” and will be replaced by James B. Graziano on November 26th, 2018.  Graziano is a founding partner of Graziano, Piasecki & Whitelaw in Green Brook, where he specializes in civil litigation involving personal injury and employment claims. He also serves as a municipal court judge in Metuchen Borough and formerly served as the attorney for the Metuchen Parking Authority.

Rible had been under public scrutiny after the release of the Special Ruling on Limited License Breweries on September 21st that caused a ground swell of support for local breweries and associated businesses. This ruling, which would have made big changes to the way breweries could operate, has since been suspended pending “further review”.  The Independent Craft Brewers of NJ, a cooperative partnership formed by a group of New Jersey Brewers in the late Summer of 2018, collected a petition with over 30,000 signatures from state residents in the days following the ruling which, in addition to several state and local politicians voicing their opposition, no doubt was a factor in the suspension of the ruling.

Sean Galie, owner of Lower Forge Brewery who is also a member of the Independent Craft Brewers of NJ and the New Jersey Brewing Association told us, “I think that Director Rible was sincere when he said he thought the Special Ruling would be a good path forward for us, but he had a view of the industry that was already obsolete – and of course that led to the petition and public outcry.  Hopefully, a refresh in leadership will also bring updated views on the craft brewers and how we’ve grown and defined our market to compete with out-of-state and big multinational brands.”

The reaction among State Legislators was pretty immediate as well with Assembly Bill A-4594 sponsored by Assemblymen Joe Howarth (R) and Wayne Deangelo (D) which was introduced on October 17th, and Senate Bill S-3154 sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal introduced last week.  This is a complex issue as the ABC Director had full authority to make the Special Ruling, but the reaction from State Legislators has made it seem as if the new rules will be legislated.

The legislation will be a welcome sight to add clarity to the 2012 amendment to NJ Law 33:1-10 that the breweries are currently bound to.  There have been several different interpretations of the 2012 amendment about what can actually occur at a brewery such as, “What is a tour?” ” Can we have food trucks?”  “Are we allowed to have entertainment and, if so, what kind?”  The 2012 amendment was definitely a benchmark ruling when enacted and was a result of collaboration between both the state and the brewing industry.   One of the major parts of the ruling allowed breweries to sell beer in their tasting rooms which was huge as, up until the ruling,  they were giving it away for free when patrons toured their facilities.  In part, because of this extra revenue, breweries were able to hire more employees, expand distribution, and grow their business as the craft beer boom started to take hold here in New Jersey.

Fast forward to 2018 and the craft industry in New Jersey is growing at an exponential rate.  Cities are actually recruiting breweries to open in their municipalities, we have even seen them welcomed in what were formerly “dry” towns such as Pitman and Haddonfield.  These towns want to take advantage of not just the business that the breweries bring, but also other businesses that thrive when a brewery opens in their town.  Restaurants, food truck vendors, local musicians and artists, and many other unique businesses benefit from a brewery opening as it gives them another venue to interact with consumers.  Many restaurants have formed symbiotic relationships with the breweries offering food created with the local beer and, if they have a liquor license, having the local beer on tap.  Most breweries are open limited hours and cannot offer food,  so this relationship has been a win for many bars and restaurants that have embraced craft beer by offering local craft beer for patrons looking for something to eat or to get fresh local craft beer when the brewery is not open.  This all sounds great, right?

The contrarian view is that some breweries are operating their business as “sports bars” and it is not what the spirit of the 2012 ruling was about.  The opposition views include several practices that they feel should not be allowed in a limited license brewery such as music (live or recorded), entertainment such as Quizzo, or having a food truck on or even near the licensed premises. The guidance offered to the breweries is a “best practices” document the Brewer’s Association negotiated in 2012 and followed on a voluntary basis by breweries to police themeselves so that he ABC did not have to step in if they felt that breweries were getting out of control.

We could also certainly debate who is behind these views.  We know that big beer is clearly losing market share to craft beer, their pockets are deep, and they have a large lobby.  We also know that there are some bars and restaurants that feel breweries are overextending themselves in the way the run their tasting rooms, especially since they have paid a ridiculous amount of money to have a liquor license which is another huge issue here in New Jersey.  Without a doubt, there are also towns that have made it hard for breweries in response to owners of bars and restaurants exerting pressure on the mayor’s office.

Director Rible’s intention with the special ruling was to bring clarity to the 2012 law, but clearly the ruling was very harmful to the brewery side of things putting a stop to just about everything that they are doing in their taprooms (see the article HERE for the complete ruling).  One other factor that makes this even murkier is that the states 100+ breweries are in different stages of development.  The bigger breweries such as Cape May Brewing, Flying Fish, and Carton were not as affected as the smaller breweries just starting up who are using their taproom to bring in revenue to be able to grow to the size of the aforementioned breweries.  Director Rible met with several breweries and spoke with many stakeholders and implemented the short-lived ruling.

We reached out to Alexis Degan, the Executive Director of The New Jersey Brewer’s Association, an independent trade group whose goal is to support industry-wide growth and beer appreciation throughout New Jersey for comment and she told us, “I want to wish Director Rible the best in his future endeavors. I did not have the opportunity to work with him directly, but I give him a lot of credit for bringing stakeholders to the table to discuss the issues facing breweries in our state. I look forward to continuing that conversation with James Graziano as he takes the mantle.”

We have also spoken to many people in the business since this latest announcement and there is a growing sense of optimism that the rules that govern limited license craft breweries in the state will legislated in a way that is fair to all the concerned parties it will affect.  Sources from both sides of the issue have told us that they know that neither will get everything they want, but they are sure that there is a happy medium that will satisfy a majority of  the businesses involved in this debate.

Clearly there is not an easy answer here.  Our best guess is that the issue will eventually be legislated and both sides are going to have to make some concessions without slowing the growth of what is one of the fastest rising businesses in the state.  We also would hope that some dispensation would be made to the many small businesses that have arisen as a result of the success of local breweries.  One of the biggest pieces of collateral damage from the Special Ruling was that many of these small businesses would not be able to continue to run without pivoting to a whole new business plan.  These small businesses are great for the community, allowing people to supplement their incomes and offer events that are unique and offer something different to the community.

This is a very complex issue that has no easy answer.  People on both sides of the issue have invested large amounts of money and sweat equity in building their businesses and we don’t want to see any of them hurt.  But the simple fact is that there will likely be concessions by both sides .  All we can do as consumers is to patronize these businesses and show your support by reaching out to your local legislators and making your voice heard.

We will continue to cover the story as it develops…



BREAKING: ABC Director Rible Leaves Post, Judge James Graziano Nominated to Lead Division!

Attorney General Grewal Announces New Leadership at the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Middlesex County Attorney, Municipal Judge James Graziano to Lead Division


Trenton – New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that Governor Murphy will nominate attorney James B. Graziano to serve as the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”), the state agency with oversight over of the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages throughout the state.

Graziano is a founding partner of Graziano, Piasecki & Whitelaw in Green Brook, where he specializes in civil litigation involving personal injury and employment claims. He also serves as a municipal court judge in Metuchen Borough and formerly served as the attorney for the Metuchen Parking Authority.

“James is a seasoned civil litigator and experienced municipal judge whose legal background makes him an excellent candidate to lead the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control,” said Attorney General Grewal. “The ABC interacts extensively with businesses and municipalities across New Jersey in regulating and enforcing the state’s liquor laws, and James’ practice of law both on and off the bench make him uniquely qualified to carry out those duties.”

After graduating with honors from Rutgers University, Cook College, with a B.S. in Environmental Studies, Graziano attended Rutgers University School of Law in Camden, where he served as Notes and Comments Editor of the Rutgers Camden Law Journal.
After earning his law degree, Graziano clerked for the Honorable John C. Demos, A.J.S.C. in Middlesex County before beginning his legal practice as an associate with the firm of Psak & Parker in Middlesex.

Graziano lives with his wife in Middlesex County, where he has served his community as a volunteer firefighter and emergency management coordinator.

As ABC Director, Graziano will oversee compliance among the more than 9,000 licensees who manufacture, distribute, sell, and serve alcoholic beverages in the state. He will also oversee the investigations of violations of the ABC law, which are conducted by the ABC’s Investigations Bureau.

“It is an honor to be appointed to lead the Division. Alcohol regulation has important public safety and economic implications,” said Graziano. “I look forward to working with the Attorney General, the members of the Division and industry representatives to advance the legislative objectives of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.”

Graziano will begin serving as Acting Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control on November 26. Governor Murphy will formally nominate Graziano to the position, which is subject to the advice and consent of the State Senate.

He will succeed David P. Rible, who has served as the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control since July 2017. He is leaving the Department of Law and Public Safety to pursue new opportunities.

“I want to thank Director Rible for his leadership and public service. As Director, as an assemblyman, and as a police officer, Dave has dedicated his career to faithfully serving the people of this State, and to that end, we owe him our thanks.” said Attorney General Grewal.

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Link To Press Release