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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!

News Spirits

Dogfish Head Distilling Co. Expands Distribution of Spirits To New Jersey

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Dogfish Head Distilling Co. Expands Distribution to New Jersey

Off-Centered Spirits Headed to the Garden State

Milton, Del., February 22, 2019 –Dogfish Head Distilling Co. is delighted to announce that their collection of 100% scratch-made spirits are headed to the great state of New Jersey.  The Delaware craft brewer and distiller partnered with Hunterdon Distributing, who also distributes their beer, to bring Dogfish Head’s full portfolio of goodness throughout the Garden State.   Dogfish Head’s spirit lineup will include:  Sonic Archeology, Compelling Gin, Barrel Honey Rum, Analog Vodka and Roasted Peanut Vodka. 

“After years of bringing our off-centered ales to the state, we are thrilled to introduce our spirits to our Dogfish Head fans and to new folks who enjoy a delicious cocktail,” said Sam Calagione, founder and CEO of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery & Dogfish Head Distilling Co.  “When we set out to distribute our off-centered ales in New Jersey, it was the first time our beers were available outside our home state of Delaware.  To honor that milestone, I built a canoe and rowed a six-pack across the Delaware Bay.  For our first case of spirits,  I think I might need to recreate that moment and jump on my SUP board,” joked Calagione.

Since 2002 when Dogfish Head started one of the first craft distilleries in America, they have experimented with small batch vodkas, gins and rums, honing recipes, and building a loyal cadre of spirit drinkers among restaurant guests and visitors to Coastal Delaware.  At the heart of the distilling operation are two 500-gallon copper stripping stills and a 250-gallon copper vodka column, sourced from fourth-generation custom fabricator Vendome Copper & Brass Works in Louisville, KY. With consumers looking for the same goodness out of their craft spirits that led them to explore craft beer, Dogfish Head Distilling Co. offers a high-quality, distilled spirit and an honest and authentic approach wrapped in an interesting story.

Dogfish Head Distilling produces everything 100% from scratch, using only real ingredients starting in their rawest form; never adding flavorings or bringing in bulk spirits for re-distillation.  “With a distillery located in the middle of our production brewery, we get to tap into all the same world-class ingredients, equipment and processes that we use in brewing,” said James Montero, general manager at Dogfish Head Distilling Co.  “Using the same beer philosophy in our distillation approach, we have developed a diverse portfolio of craft spirits each offering something unique for spirits and beer drinkers alike.”

Dogfish Head Distilling Co. spirits include:  

  • Sonic Archeology – A Prohibition whiskey cocktail inspired by the blending of sounds & spirits during the roaring 20’s. We do the cocktail mixology for you by blending our scratch-made Whiskey, Rum and Apple Brandy with honey, lemon and pomegranate juice.   Simply pour over ice and enjoy! 
  • Compelling Gin – A bright and citrusy gin inspired by the culinary mix found in our original brewpub kitchen.  Using Dogfish Vodka as the base, we re-distill with a mix including orange, lemon and lime peels, cinnamon, juniper, cardamom and peppercorn.  
  • Barrel Honey Rum – Incredibly smooth and complex, this rum is aged in new American Oak and is more like a Bourbon than any ordinary rum.  This beloved rum was one of the first craft spirits created by Sam Calagione back in 2002.  
  • Analog Vodka – Unexpectedly luscious and smooth, Analog captures the core of Dogfish Head offering more complexity beyond your typical vodka with a touch of viscous sweetness and caramelized sugar. 
  • Roasted Peanut Vodka – This robust and roasty vodka uses real ingredients, no extracts or flavorings here, just a hand crafted vodka bursting with goodness from roasted peanuts and lightly sweetened with local honey.

This portfolio of flavorful goodness will be available throughout the state and brings their total spirits market distribution to five states including Delaware, Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.  The full portfolio of Dogfish Head spirits are available for purchase at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, DE and Cheasepeake & Maine and Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth, DE.  For more information about Dogfish Head Distilling Co. visit www.dogfish.com, Facebook @DogfishSpirits and Instagram @DogfishSpirits

 

Dogfish Head:

Dogfish Head has proudly been focused on brewing beers with culinary ingredients outside the Reinheitsgebot since the day it opened as the smallest American craft brewery 22 years ago. Dogfish Head has grown into a top-20 craft brewery and has won numerous awards throughout the years including Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 Brewery of the Year and the James Beard Foundation Award for 2017 Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional.    It is a 250+ coworker company based in Delaware with Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, an off-centered brewpub and distillery, Chesapeake & Maine, a geographically enamored seafood restaurant, Dogfish Inn, a beer-themed inn on the harbor and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, a production brewery and distillery featuring The Tasting Room & Kitchen.  Dogfish Head supports the Independent Craft Brewing Seal, the definitive icon for American craft breweries to identify themselves to be independently-owned and carries the torch of transparency, brewing innovation and the freedom of choice originally forged by brewing community pioneers. Dogfish Head currently sells beer in 44 states and Washington D.C. For more information, visit www.dogfish.com, Facebook: @dogfishheadbeer, Twitter: @dogfishbeer, and Instagram: dogfishhead.  

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.

News

Dogfish Announces The First-Ever Collaboration With Brouwerij Rodenbach In It’s Legendary History

SOMETHING’S BREWING BETWEEN BROUWERIJ RODENBACH

AND DOGFISH HEAD CRAFT BREWERY

A Beer 200 Years in the Making – RODENBACH’s First-Ever Collaboration in its Legendary History

Two of the Most Respected Sour Beer Pioneers Join Forces

 

West Flanders, BELGIUM and Milton, DELAWARE – January 30, 2019 – Brouwerij RODENBACH of Belgium, arguably the most awarded brewery globally, the leading brewer of oak-aged mixed-fermentation ale dating back to 1821 and an inspirational source for sour beer producers around the world, today announced an intent to brew a collaboration beer with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, the iconic US craft brewery and producer of the fastest growing beer in the fastest growing craft beer style in America, SeaQuench Ale, a session sour.*

Today’s news marks the first time RODENBACH has agreed to a collaboration brew in its nearly 200-year history, and a monumental step forward in bringing a unique sour beer to consumers who are seeking a refreshing alternative to what’s currently available on the market today.  Known and loved throughout Belgium for its deliciously refreshing qualities and an exceptional choice for pairing with a variety of foods, sour beer has become one of the fastest-growing segments in beer and is responsible for introducing new generations of consumers into the beer industry.

“This is an historic moment for our brewery,” said Rudi Ghequire, Master Brewer of RODENBACH Brewery.  “Not only is the time right for this partnership as sour beer has become more popular than ever before (thanks in large part to Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale), but we found an incredible partner and kindred spirit in Sam Calagione and the Dogfish Head brewing team.   Though centuries and an ocean apart, our breweries share many similar values and principles.  From our independent and family-owned brewery to the spirit of collaboration among the people at our respective organizations, our shared appreciation and respect for quality ingredients, and how the coast influences both of our beers.  We couldn’t have found a more perfect partner in our first collaboration voyage, and we’re excited for the journey ahead.”

“I have been a huge fan of Rodenbach beers since the early 2000’s when legendary beer writer, Michael Jackson, turned me on to them at the Brickskeller in DC.  RODENBACH are the global pioneers in sour and wild beers production.  Dogfish Head is proud to have the number one selling sour beer in America.  So we have a lot to learn and explore together — and getting to know Rudi, David and the Rodenbach team has been rewarding and fun.  I am confident we are going to make a beautiful, unique beer together,” said Sam Calagione.

Traditional Meets Modern

The idea of a partnership first came about following a panel discussion of leading sour beer experts at the Craft Brewer’s Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in March, 2018.  Rudi Ghequire was joined by several sour beer brewmasters including Bill Marchi, head of Wooden…It Be Nice!, Dogfish Head’s wild beer and barrel aged program, to discuss the nuances of traditional sour beers and the modern expressions showcased by Dogfish Head and others.

“We’ve always had a deep appreciation for Dogfish Head and the beers they craft, and what they’ve been able to do with SeaQuench Ale is nothing short of spectacular,” said David van Wees, President of Swinkels Family Brewers Imports, the North American importer for RODENBACH.   “The conversations continued from there, and as we got to know one another we realized how similar our passions were about sour beer and its potential in the marketplace.  We noticed striking similarities between our breweries – family-owned, independent and a deep expertise in brewing which got us talking and thinking that now is the right time for RODENBACH to take this step, and Dogfish Head was the perfect partner for us.”

Before the end of 2018, Rudi Ghequire and Kristof Ampe, Chief Marketing Officer of RODENBACH, visited the Dogfish Head facilities in Milton, DE to explore further and solidify plans.  Impressed by Dogfish Head’s expertise, commitment to quality, abundant creativity and an infectious passion for beer that exudes throughout their entire organization, it didn’t take long to finalize a plan for bringing a new beer to market.

“We spoke a lot about how RODENBACH’s traditional methods of brewing and blending, dating back centuries would heavily influence the direction of the beer, and that began the foundation for our collaborative brainstorming,” added Van Wees.   “It was amazing to watch these two icons work so closely together and see the magic happen as wheels started spinning about what a final product could look like.”

“We intend to take our time and get it right for a beer of this magnitude, and in order do that we have to go to where it all began – to Roeselare, Belgium,” added Calagione.  “The brainstorming will continue overseas, as Rudi and I explore the region together, explore the area’s culinary influence and experience the legendary brewery and cooperage which undoubtedly will serve as a huge inspiration behind the beer we create.”

While still in its early stages, the beer is planned to be brewed and blended in the United States in 2019 and available for an early 2020 launch for American consumers to enjoy.  Following this, the duo will explore a release of the beer in Belgium, where RODENBACH is widely sold.

“We see great opportunity for the years ahead,” added both Ghequire and Calagione.  “While we’re taking things one step at a time, we have great hope and expectations that this will be the beginning of a long-term relationship between our breweries for several years to come.

 

Beer 101 Breweries News

A Look Back at South Jersey’s Biggest Beer Stories of 2018

2018 was a very interesting year for South Jersey Breweries.  We once again saw a rise in the number of breweries that are operating and expansions of many of the breweries that are making beer here in South Jersey.  This was also the year that the business made front page news with all of the changes that were made, then rescinded, by former ABC Commissioner Rible.  Here is our list of the top 5 news stories of 2018.

1.  The ABC Changes, Then Reverts Back To Current Brewery Rules “Pending Further Review”

We had been hearing rumblings for years about the impending brewery rule changes and was not quite sure when they were going to happen and, when they did, what actually was going to be changed.  Well, on September 21st we found out, and the changes were sweeping (You can read our article about it HERE).  Public outcry was incredible, with most people backing their local breweries in fear that they would not be able to operate in the way that would allow them to continue to be profitable.  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.

2.  Governor Murphy Nominates James B. Graziano as new ABC Director effective November 26, 2018

In another stunning turn of events in the continuing saga of the ABC, David Rible “stepped down to pursue other opportunities ” and a new ABC Director was named.  James B. Graziano assumed the role on 11/26/18 and we have not had any changes to the brewery rules that are currently being followed.  We expect more news on this in the very near future.

3.  More New Breweries!

  • 13th Child Brewing, Williamstown
  • Bonesaw Brewing Company, Glassboro
  • Cross Keys Brewing Company, Williamstown
  • Gusto Brewing Company, North Cape May
  • Heavy Reel Brewing Company, Seaside Heights
  • Hidden Sands Brewing Company, Egg Harbor Twp.
  • Oyster Creek Brewing Company, Waretown
  • Mudhen Brewing Company, Wildwood
  • Westville Brewery, Westville

We already have had an opening this year (Coho, Cape May Court House) and several in various stages of development so this trend should continue.  By our count, 53 of the states 99 breweries (excludes brewpubs) are located in the Southern Half of the State.  This is a tremendous turn of events over the last 3 years where South Jersey trailed the northern part of the state in the number of operating breweries.

4.  The Increased Availability of Local Beer in Cans, Bottles, and On Tap in the Region

We have seen a tremendous increase in the amount of locally brewed fresh beer in cans and bottles available not only at the breweries, but in local liquor stores and bottle shops.  Several breweries entered the self-distribution of cans and bottles this year and we have also seen the expansion of the OG canning and bottling breweries with more releases and greater availability of their brand.  It is rare to go into any liquor store and not be able to find at least a few types of local craft beer available for takeout.  It is also become very rare to go to a bar or restaurant and not have a few selections of locally brewed beer on tap.  In the past, it was hard for local breweries to get a tap handle if the bar/restaurant already had a few local selections on.  It is still a challenge, but the popularity of local beer has made it a little bit easier.  Bars and Restaurants are actively marketing local brands and we have even seen many that have added lines to accommodate them without taking one of their big beer selections from the tap.

5.  Continued dominance of IPA’s and the Introduction of a New Style, Brut IPA

Once again IPA’s ruled the roost this year.  The dominance of this style is so strong that we don’t see when it will end. Whether it is DDH, Single Hop, DIPA, Lactose IPA, Milkshake IPA, etc, it is still #1 in the sales category, and the most sought after by Craft Beer drinkers.

The Brut IPA craze hit us in late Summer and just about every brewery made a version of it.  This new style was “invented” in San Francisco, at Social Kitchen & Brewery.  Brewmaster Kim Sturdavant had been using amyloglucosidase on his triple IPA to help tamp down the sugars found in that beer.  He decided to use the enzyme on a traditional IPA and the result was a 0° Plato, bone-dry, super-aromatic, slightly hazy but still bright, IPA. He immediately knew he had something new and different and was going to call it “Champagne IPA”, but settled on “Brut IPA” after talking to one of his wine friends.  The brewing industry went crazy and South Jersey was no exception.  Some brewers feel that this is a game-changer as it will be a beer that will appeal to people that have an affinity to Champagne or Extra Dry Wines.

Honorable Mentions

  • Festivals were everywhere again last year, although we did see a decline in attendance to some of them.  We think the trend of festivals will continue again this year, but they have become so common that we may see the attendance fall off at some of the smaller, newer events.
  • The sheer amount of brands of beer available in New Jersey has exploded.  We saw many sought-after brands hit New Jersey this year including Bell’s, Omnipollo, Prairie Artisan Ales, Hoof-Hearted, Evil Twin, Mikkeller, Alesong, and The Ale Apothecary to name a few.

Of course, this is just one man’s opinion.  Let us know what you think!