|Jason Chapman outside Pinelands' brewery space|
Pinelands Brewing has its buildout under way at a small business park in southern Ocean County.
Owner Jason Chapman has been working in the margins of his day job at Stockton State College to get things moving at his 3-barrel brewery in Little Egg Harbor Township.
"We're just starting construction. The main thing is we've got our floor drain in. There's a little bit of cosmetic work, a couple bits of plumbing," Jason says.
"We're looking at some time in August to get open. We've talked with the state, and they're pretty much waiting for us to get done with the buildout so they can come in and inspect."
If all goes without a hitch, Pinelands will be one of at least three new breweries joining the ranks of Garden State beer-makers this year. Iron Hill brewpub took delivery of its brewhouse for its Voorhees location – its 10th and second brewery in New Jersey – last week and expects to open in August. Rinn Duin, a planned production brewery in Toms River (also in Ocean County), installed its brewhouse in late April and projects a July launch.
Jason says officials from Little Egg Harbor Township have been supportive.
"Some towns, you say you want to open a brewery, even though it's a nano brewery … they don't know what that is. They think we're opening Anheuser-Busch," he says. "We communicated to them the scale we're doing, and they pretty much said, go ahead so long as everything is up to code."
Right now, plans call for launching with an IPA called Evergreen, and an American pale ale, Pitch Pine, a nod to the most prevalent species of tree growing in the expansive Pinelands National Preserve that envelopes a huge chunk of South Jersey.
|Floor drain plumbing|
Jason is also considering a wheat beer and either a black saison or a honey saison. Draft accounts in his hometown of Hammonton have expressed interest in Pinelands' beers, as have some in Atlantic City.
Situated at the southern tip of Ocean County, the coastal town of Little Egg Harbor is known regionally for clamming in the bay waters. It's also historically notable for a skirmish during the American Revolution in which a ragtag Colonial force under the command of Polish Count Casimir Pulaski were ambushed by the British.