One of our favorite things to do at South Jersey Beer Scene is to revisit a new brewery a few months down the road, talk about their experiences and generally see how they are doing. Oyster Creek Brewing opened to much anticipation in May of 2018 and their reputation has continued to grow! I got to sit down with founder/head brewer/salesman (a man with many hats!) , Kris Lewis and ask the iconic 10 questions!
What was the first beer you brewed and how was it?
First beer as a home brewer was an English Stout. It was an extract from a home brew kit I got as a gift. How was it? At the time I probably thought it was good, but I can imagine what I would think about it now. At the brewery the first one was the Simcoe IPA, which is my favorite hop. It’s still on our tap list.
What is your favorite style to brew?
My favorite is our coffee stout. It is the most complex recipe and I use local coffee from How You Brewin’ on Long Beach Island.
Do you look at beer ratings?
Yes, mostly Untapped. I look at general ratings, not necessarily the opinions expressed on there.
Some of the criticisms aren’t necessarily constructive, but just indicative of a beer style someone does or doesn’t like.
How do you connect to the local area for your ingredients?
I mentioned we source the coffee for our coffee stout from How You Brewin’ coffee shop on LBI .We also source our produce from a local farm, as well as our cranberries and beach plums.
What is one tip you would give to someone to help them brew better beer?
Clean and sanitize, clean and sanitize then do it again! (Kris was actually cleaning when I visited him this evening). It’s not romantic, but the MOST important part of the whole process.
What advice would you give someone that wants to open a brewery?
Build your business plan, get your finances in order….then double the amount you anticipated!
If you could brew any beer without regards to cost what would you make?
A big, 16-17% barley wine! Unlimited grain, a 9 hour boil, that would be fun!
From opening day forward, what has surprised you the most?
The grand opening rush was great and it actually continued through the summer! It slowed a little in the fall, right after school started but we picked back up again and are looking forward to a great summer!
Other than your own beer, what is your go to drink?
Anything from Alchemist is great, I have Heady Topper and Focal Banger in my fridge now. (Like many Jersey people, Kris has got a guy!) I also love Icarus beers, always great!
Where do you see the brewery in 5 years?
I would like to increase our distribution so that we are throughout New Jersey. My short term goal is to add at least 5 new clients by the end of 2019.
What’s on the sound system when you are brewing?
Depends on the day, but mostly 80’s rock. Foo Fighters, Van Halen, Cake.
Kris, thank you for taking the time out of your busy evening to give us a few minutes. Here’s to Oyster Creek’s continued growth and success!