After adding a new black lager to its lineup this year, East Coast Beer Company now plans to double the labels under its Beach Haus brand in 2012.
That means a total of four Beach Haus brews in the regional craft beer market for the Point Pleasant-based company, which contracts with Genesee Brewing of Rochester, N.Y., for its flagship Beach Haus Classic Pilsner and the schwarzbier cold-weather brew, Winter Rental.
The company's first entry in the key seasonal beer market, Winter Rental was released in October, a little over a year after East Coast celebrated its one-year anniversary as part of the Garden State craft beer scene.
Sometime next year, East Coast founder John Merklin says, a pale ale and an as-yet-undecided style will join the year-round pilsner and the schwarzbier.
A number of styles are being pilot-brewed to come up with that fourth beer, an approach John says is intended to make the decision-making process as organic as possible. It's a matter of finding the right fit with the existing Beach Haus labels, plus keeping with the company's business model of making brews that are, by turns, accessible to novice palates and interesting and challenging for the more adventurous craft beer drinkers.
Meanwhile, John says, Winter Rental has done well in the marketplace, outpacing expectations. And, as part of the Beach Haus brand, it has even given a some lift to its sibling, Classic Pilsner, as the summer turned to fall and beer tastes and preferences resolve to darker, more robust brews.
About the video
At the Somers Point Beer Festival in October, interviewer Tara Nurin, of the women's group Beer for Babes, talks to East Coast Beer's John Merklin about the milestones the company has observed over the brand's first year in the Garden State craft brew market.