Breweries Events

Bucket Brigade Brewery Releases Grand Opening Schedule

Bucket Brigade Brewery has announced the schedule of events for their official opening that is capped by the Grand Opening Celebration at the tasting room on Saturday, November 25th.  I have had the chance to taste a few of their beers and I was impressed!  They are going to have 8 beers on tap for the opening and I have had a chance to taste half of them and they were all great!  Stop by and sample a few to cap off the beginning of the holiday season!

Breweries Events

Ludlam Island Brewery Releasing Thunder Jacket Imperial Milk Stout on Wednesday at The Tasting Room!

This Wednesday at the tasting room in Ocean View,  Ludlam Island Brewery will be releasing 22 oz bomber bottles of Thunder Jacket, an Imperial Milk Stout brewed with cocoa powder, vanilla beans, and lactose.  Inspired by the old school Malt Shop favorite the black and white milkshake, this decadent drink sounds like a solid choice for Thanksgiving!  There will also be limited edition glasses and shirts available in the tasting room.  Bottles will only set you back $15 and there is a 2 bottle per person limit, brewery opens at noon, be there or be square!

Beer Biz Profiles

Armageddon Brewing Announces Kickstarter Campaign After Helping Change NJ Laws on Cider and Mead Production and Distribution

Armageddon Brewing has announced a Kickstarter Campaign after working for several years to successfully help change and write new laws regarding cider and mead production in New Jersey.  We are publishing their press release in full to tell their story and will have an interview with them on the site in the near future  If you have the means and would like to support them in their quest to open a production facility please follow any of the links below the press release for more information.

From The Press Release

Armageddon Brewing is the culmination of a shared dream of four sons of New Jersey with a passion for hard apple cider and mead. Just like so many, these four close friends are huge craft beer advocates, that love the huge variety of microbrews now available from coast to coast. Unfortunately, a few years back, founding member, Christian was diagnosed with Celiac disease, meaning that beer was out of the picture for him, since it’s basically gluten juice. It was this sudden change that lead Christian to search out gluten-free alternatives to beer – mainly, cider and mead. To his disappointment, what he found on the market was pretty lackluster. Most of the big-name ciders on store shelves were overly sweetened, flavored with artificial apple flavoring, while many being sold as mead were actually just low-alcohol white wine with honey added. Out of frustration, he turned to three close friends – Kyle, Matt, and Gill. As all four were avid homebrewers they resolved to solve this problem the only way they knew how. They started making their own ciders and meads, and nothing has been the same since!

What they learned after making many batches of cider, is that the apple is incredibly versatile, and hard apple cider does not need to be characterized as an offensively sweet beer alternative. The ciders that they began making ranged from incredibly dry, traditional French style ciders to sweet and juicy ciders, reminiscent to taking a bite from an apple right off the tree. And the meads were just as diverse; some were flavored and barrel aged to make the honey character extremely subtle, while others were bold and complex with the full flavor of the honey and added fruits and spices shining through.

Thankfully, after seeking a second and ultimately third opinion, it turned out Christian’s diagnosis was incorrect, and he has since been able to return to drinking beer and homebrewing. But all the guys came out of his experience with a greater understanding of hard ciders and mead, and a newfound drive and passion to create their home-made recipes on a larger scale.  The dream now is to share these incredible libations with as many as possible, starting with a taproom attached to their cidery and ultimately growing into a full production facility capable of far-reaching distribution. There’s was only one obstacle standing in their way…

Being the proud New Jersey sons that they are, they were set on opening in their beloved Garden State, but making hard cider and mead was illegal. Ok, maybe not technically illegal, but the stipulations and requirements needed in order to produce it were outlandish. Requirements like owning at least 3 acres of land to grow ingredients on. Ingredients that needed to make up at least 51% of what went into the hard cider. And there were no laws on the books for mead, making it effectively illegal to produce.
Well, they weren’t about to just give up, so they changed the law. It was a long process and at times seemed like an impossible task. But throughout several years of meeting with legislatures, drafting the bill, making concessions, and with the unwavering support of their local community as well as their local government, and some new friends in the alcohol industry. On May 11th of 2017, their bill was signed into law, making the production and distribution of hard cider and mead in New Jersey legal! Now all that’s left to do is open up shop and start making what they think is soon to be some of the best hard cider and mead on the market.

You’re probably familiar with hard cider. It’s a fermented beverage, like beer, that uses apples instead of grains. But you may be wondering what mead is. Mead is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world, dating back to over 8000 years ago. In its simplest form, mead is a mixture of honey and water that is left to ferment. While the idea of honey water may make you think of an overly sweet drink, mead has all the complexities of wine, meaning it can range the gambit from mouth puckering dry to lip-smacking sweet and juicy.

What makes their hard ciders and meads different is that they strive for perfection – quality over quantity. So much so that the guys have an experimental pilot orchard where they grow a variety of cider apples to see which grow best in certain conditions and which juices go best with each other. With quality being paramount in this endeavor they employ completely organic and holistic farming techniques and methods to ensure the purest, best-tasting fruit and juice possible; No nasty chemical pesticides, just natural techniques used to suppress pests and invasive plants while encouraging the apple trees to produce the best fruit they can.

When it comes to their standard line up of ciders, they only use the best ingredients available and try to use as much organic locally sourced produce and honey as possible. But aside from what goes into the fermenter, what comes out is just as important. They’re making a variety of ciders and meads to please any and every palate. From incredibly tart and dry, to extremely approachable and drinkable. Armageddon Brewing is making the best beverages they can to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Armageddon is currently in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to open their facility. Your contributions will help them get the equipment essential to making their hard ciders and meads on a large scale. Things like a glycol chiller to serve their libations at the perfect temperatures, and a canning line to help distribute their ciders. Your help is also needed to make their taproom great. The more pledges they can bring in, the more they can dedicate to making the taproom a comfortable and inviting environment for everyone. Armageddon Brewing is currently working with a property owner and architect in Somerdale, New Jersey to finalize their space, but pledges to their Kickstarter are essential.

Visit Armageddon Brewing on the Web at www.armageddon-brewing.com

Follow Armageddon Brewing on Facebook @Armageddonbrewing

Click the Picture Below for Armageddon’s Kickstarter!

 

News

What’s On Tap TV Show Goes on Hiatus, New Radio Show Announced

SNJ TV’s “What’s On Tap” Television show will go on hiatus following the  November 9th episode.  Citing high distribution costs, host Gary Monterosso also announced on Facebook that the show will be moving to radio on Cruisin’ 92.1 WVLT in Vineland in the near future:

What’s On Tap” viewers: After this Thursday’s episode, we will be going on hiatus. In the meantime, we will be moving to Cruisin’ 92.1 WVLT in Vineland, NJ. Listen for us Sundays from 5-6p beginning very shortly. We will announce the date of our premiere episode soon.

Gary also announced that SNJ TV will be producing a documentary called “Still Crazy After All These Beers”, which will showcase the history of the show and relive some of it’s best moments.

On a personal note, I was lucky enough to be a guest on the show and watched it religiously.  Gary along, with co-host Tara Nurin, do a great job showcasing the burgeoning beer scene here in South Jersey and the show will surely be missed. I learned a ton about beer from watching the show and the friendship that I have cultivated with Gary and Tara after appearing on the show is something that I value highly. Gary and Tara were responsible for giving our site it’s first major exposure and have continued to support us as we cover South Jersey’s Beer Scene.  Anytime I have reached out to either Gary or Tara they have always been more than accommodating in helping me with the site.  Whether it is Journalism Ethics or just to chat about beer they have never failed to help guide me when asked.  For this, I will forever be grateful!

As for the new show, I can also announce that Gary has asked me to take a more active role in the new show.  I am really excited to be a part of the new show and cannot wait to get started!

Keep an eye out here for updates on the launch date of the new radio show!

 

Uncategorized

Wine Tasting for Beer People with Rick Lieti of Day Sipper Tours

Wine Tasting for Beer People

By Rick Leiti of Day Sipper Tours

What’s up beer people! First off, how freakin’ good is the brew being pushed out in this here “garden part” of the Garden State? Unreal stuff! My excitement level for what’s been going down from a beer production standpoint is pretty sky high. I, like you, love me some high-quality local brew.

But for me, that’s more of a side pleasure. My work background is wine related. For the last five years, I’ve been everything from a cellar rat, salesman, tasting room guy, and all around wine advocate for various wineries in South Jersey. I’ve recently spun all that off with my new venture, Day Sipper Tours….a wine/brew/spirits tour company out of a retro 70’s style VW Bus in Cape May County focused on getting people to all these awesome places in a laidback, educationally fun way. With an Advanced Cert from the WSET and an all around passion for tasting quality vino from around the globe, lemme tell you the winemakers down here aren’t messing around either!

Photo Courtesy of Day Sipper Wine Tours

But if you’re just into the brews, you may be thinking, “Meh. Wine is pretentious. Wine is for snobs. Wine is an uppity, expensive-ass beverage that just doesn’t go down like my beer.” All valid points, yes….if you’re living in the past. The reality is we are now drinking more wine in the US today than we have ever consumed in the previous years combined. And that’s mainly because wine is not what its made out to be. Wine is nothing but grape juice turned into alcohol. That’s it! All the fancy smells, aromas, tannins, acids and bouquets can all be summed up to any single individual’s preferences. Wine is taste, true. But wine is subjective!

If you’re like me and you’re amped up on the uptick in quality, local beer making that’s not only felt here in South Jersey but on a larger national scale, you’re probably not crushing Miller Lites by the case each week. You’re interested in the Imperial Stout the dudes down the street are making. You’re interested in the new release Sour that your favorite brewery just bottled. You’re interested in taste!

And that’s where you can relate to wine, especially on the local level. I’m not talking Pinot Grigio for $6.99 a bottle from Northern Italy. I’m talking hand harvested, locally grown grapes, planted outside your very own backyards and suited to the long, warm growing seasons, cool winds and sandy soils that are a staple of South Jersey. This wine, not unlike that locally crafted brewski has much more to offer on the palate. It has nuance, personality and a certain character that translates to a bit of pride knowing it’s cultivated from your home turf.

Photo Courtesy Day sipper Wine Tours

Speaking of palate, what ultimately makes a glass of wine different from a glass of beer? Easy. Beer is made with grain, yeast, and maybe some other things blended in (i.e. fruits, spices, etc.) so depending on the style of beer and how it’s made, you’re obviously going to be tasting differing flavors of the aforementioned products. Same with wine. You’re ultimately tasting what wine is made of….grapes. Now those tastes change given the year, the varietal, how they’re made (ie. on/off skins), and how they’re aged (ie. in barrel, not in barrel), but the end game is the same. You appreciate wine, just like you appreciate beer, for its nuances in flavor on the nose, on the palate, and on the finish. If you’re into flavor and if you want to be adventurous, don’t look past the local wine! Chances are you’ll find something that will eyebrow raise and maybe even set you off into a new realm of flavoring.

If you’re interested in getting down and learning more about wine, especially on the local level, hit me up! I’d love to chat and if you’re into a serious good time and are in Cape May County, I can take you around in my retrofitted, awesome, but terribly slow VW bus. Obviously, brewery stops are included!

Visit Day Sipper on the Web at www.daysipper.com

Follow Day Sipper on Facebook @daysipperwinetours

Follow Day Sipper on Instagram daysipperwinetours

For more info on tours, email Rick at rick@daysipper.com