Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Charlie Papazian and the Jersey brew tour

John Holl at newjerseynewsroom.com has a word on the dean of homebrewing's swing through his native New Jersey late last month, and how one of the big names of the craft beer movement was thinking Jersey and drinking Jersey.

Here's a tidbit we picked up on our own: Long Valley brewpub was closed for renovations at the time. But when Watchung's own Charlie Papazian asks if he can drink from your taps, you pour man, you pour.

Brewmaster Joe Saia, who happened to be at the pub brewing that day, says they summoned some Chinese takeout to go with their pints (Charlie had the German Valley Amber; his wife had a cask-conditioned ale).

Week before last, Joe tried, via his assistant at the brewpub, to get us a picture of Charlie's time at Long Valley. Alas, it never arrived. Thanks anyway, Joe.

Nonetheless, welcome home, Professor Surfeit, and don't be a stranger.

And oh, don't you think it's about time the American Homebrewers Association picked the Garden State as the site for a National Homebrewers Conference?

We do.


Tom E said...

I was pretty shocked when I saw that Charlie P. was doing a tour of NJ breweries when I first caught wind of his examiner articles (linked to from my blog). Glad to see him giving some good press to NJ breweries.

As for your comment about the NHC coming to Jersey, I hate to rain on anybody's parade, but the chances of that happening are zero to sub-zero. The NHC needs to be near a craft brewing hotbed, and that just doesn't exist in NJ. They can get into Philly if they want to. And even if they wanted to use a hotel in Hudson County that easily accessed NYC, Jersey City or Hoboken are just way too barren a craft beer landscape for the NHC. Unfortunately, as you're well aware, the Garden State is far behind the curve.

Jeff Linkous said...

Alas, Tom you speak the painful truth: 'tis wishful thinking about NHC.

All that hotel space in Atlantic City that holds potential for use.
But then there are the idiot rules of the state that say homebrew is supposed to be consumed where it was made. And our profile as a beer garden is in a sorry state.

Somehow, though, when such wishes get articulated, you like to think that seeds of change can be sown. But indeed, it's that tough row to hoe, and the ground is quite hard at the moment.

In the meantime, Philly is a good alternative, and hopefully one day soon it will get the nod.

Tom E said...

On the post-conference survey that they sent out there was a list of cities with a "how likely would you be to attend if held here" question. Philly was definitely on there, as was Baltimore/DC. That's all I can recall from the northeast. It's been a while since they held it anywhere remotely driveable from NJ. I'd love to go in 2010, but I ain't makin' it to Minneapolis.

Jeff Linkous said...

Went to Baltimore in 1995, Planet Beer was the theme, Jim Koch was a speaker at a noon lunch gathering; Fells Point bars were night spots (so was the Wharf Rat) and some beer venture folks were seeding the crowd with bottles of Jack Daniels Amber Lager at one place ...

Hit Cleveland in '97, Charlie led a primer on evaluating/judging beer and Michael Jackson was an evening speaker. Rock Bottom brewpub was over at the Flats, and the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame was revisiting the Summer of Love at the lakefront, with the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper uniforms on exhibit.