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Breweries News

Women’s Collaboration Brew Day with Kristen Wilson And 20 Of Her Closest Friends!

March 8th is International Women’s Day and many breweries have been busy planning brew days that celebrate not just the women who work in the industry, but women’s achievement throughout history.

The theme for IWD 2019 is #BalanceforBetter and this theme is meant to be carried throughout the entire year.  For anyone who knows me outside of craft beer, you will be familiar with my other life of activism, social justice, and gender equity.  I completely own the fact that I am the feminist killjoy in my social circles!  As I read up on this campaign, I was struck by the use of the word “balance”.  We can all use a little more balance in our lives, right?  Whether it’s balancing our work/home life, the scales of Lady Justice, or the malt bill on a tricky new recipe, BALANCE is something we should all strive for.  And as for balancing gender representation in the craft beer industry, women are here!  Women have always been here and even more are just discovering their palate.  The Pink Boots Society has had a major hand in this representation and sisterhood, as well as local women-focused craft beer enthusiast groups like Girls Pint Out, Barley’s Angels, and Beer for Babes.

Alexis Degan

Now about the beer!  March is Women’s History Month and I had the pleasure of meeting with Director Alexis Degan of the New Jersey Brewers Association.  We shared a few beers and talked about her new adventure in the craft beer world and about the NJBA Facebook posts highlighting women in beer throughout the month.  Learning some of the history of women in beer was her inspiration, which bore the idea for the NJBA Women’s Collaboration Brew Day that happened on March 6th.

This Blood Orange IPA with Lavender was brewed with ingredients contributed by Forgotten Boardwalk, Czig Meister, Eight & Sand, and Krogh’s Restaurant and Brewpub.  Additionally, women from Twin Elephant, Carton, Tuckahoe, Human Village, Bonesaw, Vinyl, Third State, Hidden Sands, and Eclipse came together for multiple shifts to make this happen.

It definitely does not take 17-20 people (simultaneously) to brew two barrels of beer!  And for anyone who’s brewed or been around brewing knows, there is a lot of waiting during each step of the way.  This gave us all the wonderful opportunity to get to know each other.  For a group of women who all work various positions in the same industry, getting this many of us together in one spot was a major achievement – especially on short notice.

“What was most gratifying,” Alexis said, “was watching the relationships form between the attendees who hadn’t gotten the chance to meet each other before.”  I can personally attest to this!  As someone who doesn’t get out of the tasting room very much, I loved the chance to get to know other women in the industry.

We aren’t even halfway through March, but the reception to the NJBA’s posts is telling.  Alexis pointed out, “Others who may be looking to get into the industry are able to see themselves in the women we’re highlighting and know there’s a network of their peers out there.  Women can be found in every aspect of the brewing community across New Jersey, from running the tasting room, taking care of the books, sales, or merchandising.  Women make New Jersey beer happen!”

If you’re wondering where to find this awesome beer, it will be available at the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival!  Can’t wait to see you all there!  Cheers!

Editor’s Note:  Many Thanks To Alexis Degan for providing the great photo’s for the piece!  Cheers!

Breweries

Battle River Brewing Under Construction in Toms River!

Some big news coming out of Ocean County’s largest town, as Battle River Brewing (formerly known as Hops on Main) received delivery of  their brewing equipment in. The 7 barrel brewery will be the 3rd in Toms River, joining Rinn Duin and Artisan’s Restaurant and Brew Pub.  Battle River will be located in the downtown area and the location and configuration of the 100+ year old building required some creative problem solving skills for the delivery.

 

100 year old buildings don’t  have industrial size garage doors or forklift ready loading docks, so they actually had to remove the plate glass front of the former restaurant and bring everything in from the busy Main St. business area.   Once all the equipment was inside the challenge was to move much of the equipment to the lower level where the main brew house will be located. (You can see Head Brewer, Ian Barlet manning the crane in one of the pictures attached.

Still a lot of work to be done, but co-owner, Ray Carney, is hoping for a May-June opening.. Information about the brewery on social media can still be found under Hops on Main.

Stay tuned for further updates on their progress!

Editor’s Note:  We had Owner Gary  Morrison and Head Brewer Ian Barlet on our latest podcast taped live at Breaker’s Kitchen and Tap in Waretown!  Listen to it here!

Breweries Road Trip

Exploring and Taste Touring South Jersey with Joe Moore

Cape May Zoo & Craft Beer Too

 

Cape May County Park & Zoo

The Cape May County Park and Zoo complex, located within Cape May Court House in Cape May County, is one of South Jersey’s hidden treasures.  Established in 1978, the zoo began as a county park and recreation area for natives of Cape May County.  It would later go on to house indigenous species of animals found throughout South Jersey and North America.  Finally, in 1989 the Cape May Zoo received official zoo accreditation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (also known as the AZA).  

Today, the zoo is recognized as one of the top 25 zoos in the nation from a survey conducted by TripAdvisor in 2015.  The Cape May Zoo has a free admission policy but accepts and encourages donations in any amount upon entry.  With convenient free parking a short walk from the zoo’s entrance, this donation is a bargain for the wild experiences one is about to encounter within the zoo itself.  

As you exit the vehicle and walk through the dense paths made up of the scenic nature trails of Cape May County Park, the beach takes a backseat to wooded forests and also the high flying ziplines of the recently constructed Tree to Tree Adventure Park.  As you pass through the front gate, throw your donation in the donation bucket (or just politely hand that donation to the person volunteering their time at the front gate) and proceed within.  Some of the most notable attractions and exhibits within the zoo are the, now famous, Himalayan snow leopards, an intelligent pair of river otters and the entirely unique boardwalk safari.  The boardwalk safari allows guests to take a stroll on a classic South Jersey styled boardwalk to encounter wildlife that dominate both the North American and African plains.

If I were to recommend one exhibit at the Cape May Zoo, it would be the World of Birds enclosure house located just inside the entrance of the zoo.  Some of the more interesting and exotic animals reside within this exhibit, such as the American flamingo and a colony of Roseate spoonbills suspended above the house’s guest walkway.  The Cape May County Park & Zoo is open year-round with summer and winter hours that can be found on the zoo’s website (www.cmczoo.com).

Slack Tide Brewing Company

Slack Tide Avalon Amber

Founded in 2015 by two brothers and located just outside of Cape May Court House in Clermont, New Jersey, is Slack Tide Brewing Company.  The brewery’s tasting room alone is enough to get any beer enthusiast through the door to try Slack Tide’s beer but be warned, seating is first come first served.  

The beer selection itself is uniquely South Jersey in the naming and style.  The Angry Osprey, their flagship IPA, is an essential addition to any tasting flight or great as a pint on its’ own.  Tipsy Dipsy speaks for itself as a stand-alone Double IPA.  Fun twists on a classic stout and ample pale ale brew can be sampled in Monkey Face and 5 Fathoms flagship beers respectively.  Check out their tasting room in person or on the website (www.slacktidebrewingco.com) for new releases and seasonal brews.

The ‘crowler’ operation the brothers have going on at Slack Tide Brewing Company is at a different level with the option of 16-ounce pounder  four packs or 32-ounce crowlers poured and canned to go.  For those unaware, a ‘Crowler’ is just a giant can that is filled with either Angry Osprey, 5 Fathoms, Tipsy Dipsy, or many of the other brews on tap and then canned before your very eyes on the canning machine positioned just behind the tasting room’s bar.  Recently, Slack Tide has begun distributing cans throughout South Jersey.  Talk about canning around!

Country Club Tavern    

   

If sitting down with a pint and eating a hearty meal in a beer pouring establishment is more up your alley after conquering one of the county’s top 25 zoos, then Country Club Tavern located just off Route 9 in Cape May Court House will meet those very needs.

Only a few minutes’ drive from Cape May Zoo, the Country Club Tavern offers a wide range of local and not so local craft brews.  Slack Tide happens to have Angry Osprey on tap in this establishment, should their tasting room elude you.  Cape May IPA from also close by Cape May Brewery has a tap here as well.  The brewers of South Jersey are well represented at the Country Club Tavern.  Local breweries include: Glasstown Brewing, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Ludlam Island Brewery and 7 Mile Brewery all have rotating taps all year round with different selections from each one. 

 As for eating, I can personally recommend the burgers as I devoured a Hickory Burger when visiting this establishment. With a large and diverse menu, the Country Club Tavern can cater to anyone’s post adventure cravings.

Breweries Events

Glasstown Brewing Company Beer Dinner at Cape May-Lewes Ferry on 3/1/19!

The Sunset Lounge at the Cape May Terminal of the Ferry is the setting for a great Dinner featuring Chef George Galati’s 5 Course Meal paired with Glasstown’s terrific beer.  We have attended these events and they are really fun!  The room overlooks the Delaware Bay and the view is spectacular.  Tickets to this event are $66 and are available at Eventbrite.

Here is the menu for the event:

Breweries News

Cape May Brewing Releasing Cape May Lager

 

Cape May Brewing Company Proudly Releases Cape May Lager

Cape May, NJ — Cape May Brewing Company is thrilled to announce the newest addition to their award-winning lineup of beers: Cape May Lager, a clean, crisp, and easy-drinking Pale Lager.

“Beer brings people together,” says CEO and co-founder Ryan Krill. “That’s why we’ve spent more time and energy developing this particular brew than anything else in our portfolio, to ensure that we’ve brewed the most approachable beer in our lineup, something that’s meant to bring every beer drinker together and leave no one behind.”

In developing Cape May Lager, the idea was to build a beer that would appeal to both the entrenched craft enthusiast as well as the uninitiated beer drinker, more accustomed to readily-available macro lagers.

“We wanted it to have the depth of flavor craved by craft beer aficionados while maintaining an everyman approach that the uninitiated would be excited to try,” explains Innovation Director Brian Hink. “If we played it too safe, we’d lose out on the craft beer drinker, but if we went too aggressive with the flavor, we might be able to grab the average beer drinker out of an initial intrigue, but the likelihood of it becoming their next go-to simply wouldn’t happen.”

Cape May Brewing Company has been developing this beer for over a year, with elements of the recipe stretching back to things they’d learned from an earlier brew, June of 2016’s Mooncusser Pilsner, and continued through CMBC’s R.A.D. Series — Research And Development — an experimental series to test new offerings. In that series, the brewers were given a bit more latitude to tweak, change, and modify the recipe for what would eventually become Cape May Lager.

“The R.A.D. process also came in handy in getting feedback from our fans and seeing what they preferred,” says Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm. “This was very helpful. There was one iteration where we thought it was fantastic, but a lot of our fans who enjoy Pale Lagers thought it was too hoppy. So, getting some feedback and direction certainly helped.”

Pale Lagers are notoriously delicate to brew: minor changes in the recipe could have far-reaching effects on the final beer.

“In such a simple beer,” says Valm, “anything even slightly off really stands out. They take a lot of time and each batch has to be handled very carefully. For Cape May Lager, we wanted there to be a slight hoppiness but nothing overpowering.”

Cape May Lager went through multiple iterations in the R.A.D. process. R.A.D. #001 was essentially a less hoppy Mooncusser Pilsner, yet the hops aroma from the whirlpool addition was still a little too aggressive for the final brew. R.A.D. #005 in February of last year completely removed the hops from the whirlpool, which resulted in a beer that was universally agreed to be too bland and lackluster. By R.A.D. #007, released in the early summer of 2017, Cape May focused on on layering the hop flavor and aroma throughout the boil.

“It was universally agreed to be the beer that we would eventually call Cape May Lager,” Hink says, “and I happily drank plenty of pints of it for the few weeks it was available in July.”

The standard ingredients for a pale lager include pale pilsner malts, a Bohemian yeast, and noble Saaz hops.

“But it’s what you do with them that make the difference,” says Valm.

Cape May Lager adds a touch of Melanoiden malt — less than 5% of the total malt bill — for color and a bit of “zing.” The result is a clean, crisp, approachable brew that shows off each ingredient, giving each its moment to shine without overpowering the others, perfect for ball games, barbecues, and winding down after a long day at work.

“In the end, I think we got a great beer with a fantastic light malt flavor and just the right level of the Noble hop aroma from the Saaz,” says Valm.

Cape May Lager releases for distribution in New Jersey by Cape May Brewing Company’s distribution arm, Cape Beverage, on Thursday, February 21, in their Tasting Room at 1288 Hornet Road in the Cape May Airport the following day, and in Pennsylvania on Monday, March 4th. Find it at better bars and liquor stores throughout the area.

For more information on Cape May Brewing Company — including for tastings and tours — call (609) 849-9933 or see their website at capemaybrewery.com.