Friday, May 22, 2009

In the Shade

They’re working like bees in a hive over at Iron Hill Brewery’s Maple Shade location (124 East Kings Highway).

The brewing equipment – fermenters, serving tanks, kettle and mash tun – arrived for installation on Tuesday. That’s brewer Chris Lapierre pictured below by the tanks on a flatbed, and the top illustration is a rendering of what’s envisioned as the bar area.

There’s lots of work going on at the site, and co-owner Mark Edelson says the July opening is still the game plan.

A homecoming
We’ve said this before, but we’ll repeat it … If you enjoy fresh beer and like having choices, then extend some credit to Mark and his partners, Kevin Davies and Kevin Finn, for wanting to do business in their home state. (FYI: Chris is a Jersey guy, too).

Iron Hill first went on the map in Delaware, then found more success in Pennsylvania. Maple Shade will be Iron Hill’s eighth location, and New Jersey’s first new brewery in 10 years.

But getting here has been no small feat; Jersey just isn’t a business-friendly state, and a lot of so-called “home-rule” control is put in the hands of municipalities (i.e. the building inspector, the plumbing inspector, the electrical inspector … and sometimes these guys don’t talk to each other, or worse, even like one another). Then there’s the staggeringly expensive license to be a bar; that also comes from the host town. Bottom line: Lots of flaming hoops to jump through to become a business that will put money in local, state and federal pockets.

So when July rolls around, by all means, support the new local brewery.

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