Thursday, January 20, 2011

Update: Kane Brewing moving along

Interior work progresses at Kane Brewing's site in Monmouth County.

Owner/founder Michael Kane is busy getting his 7,000-square-foot facility in Ocean Township ready for delivery of the brewhouse next month from Diversified Metal Engineering of Canada.

Sitting in a conference room adorned with blueprints and brewing-gear schematics on Wednesday, Kane took some time to provide an update on the Belgian-style and American ales brewery he's bringing to the New Jersey craft beer scene.

His site is just a bottle cap's throw from where Tom Baker built a cult following with Heavyweight Brewing, before Baker opted to pull up stakes five years ago and open Earth-Bread + Brewery brewpub in Philadelphia.

"Best-case scenario, middle of April; worst-case scenario, end of May," Kane says of his eponymous brewery's projected launch. "Delivery of the brewhouse should be middle of February, and then depending on what phase we are in building out the facility here – plumbing, electrical and steam – it will take a couple of weeks to get that installed and up and running. (We) should be in a position to start brewing the beginning of March."

For those anticipating another Jersey brewery, here's what you need to know: Kane brews will, at least initially, be draft-only in half barrels and sixtels, with self-distribution in Monmouth County and northern Ocean County, then points northward. However, with the Belgian styles, some bottle-conditioned brews packaged in 750-milliliter bottles are likely. You can also expect tours and the accompanying allowed samples.

A homebrewer turning commercial, Kane's vision of going pro began picking up some momentum late last year, after a planned site in Manasquan fell through. Undaunted by the setback, Kane pressed on and ended up signing a lease last August on the Ocean Township site tucked in an industrial park just west of Route 35.

Nearly six months later, he finds himself with plenty to do, besides an expected February installation the brewhouse, three accompanying 40-barrel fermenters, 40-barrel bright beer tank and 40-barrel hot liquor tank. There's also bringing a brewer on board, and of course, getting the green light from state and federal regulators, as well as having local officials give their blessing to the brewery, too.

On that last point, walking a trail blazed by Heavyweight offers some advantages (the Manasquan site was hampered by some misgivings on the part of locals about what goes on at breweries).

"The town was familiar with the process a little bit – what it is we'll be doing over here – so that helped out a little bit," says Kane, who counts himself among those who enjoyed Heavyweight brews like Perkuno's Hammer and Lunacy Golden Ale.

So would Kane like for Tom Baker to help christen his brewery with the first mash?

"We were down at his place about six months ago. It's a great restaurant, great beer. He's a great brewer, would love to have him come up if he's interested. He's welcome to come up here any time he wants," Kane says.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Awesome addition to ocean township! I hope you guys do tours!