Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The new brewer at Bitting

If you've been stopping by for a pint at J.J. Bitting over the past couple of months, you've been sampling the brewing efforts of James Moss, a Pacific Northwester who's taken over the mash tun and kettle from August Lightfoot.

Long a familiar face at Bitting, August made an exit from the Woodbridge brewpub in late September (the last keg of his swansong brew for Bitting kicked last week).

James, 27, followed his girlfriend from Oregon to the Northeast (she just earned a master's in teaching at Columbia) and scored the Bitting gig after spotting a job posting on ProBrewer. Before relocating to Brooklyn (he trains it down to Woodbridge), James was trying to land a gig as a cellarman with McMenamins, the multifaceted Oregon-based brewpub chain. His resume includes a stint at a winery and time at the Ram Restaurant & Brewery near Tacoma, Wash.

Like a lot of craft brewers, James was a homebrewer before he was a commercial brewer. Turning pro was a goal he started bringing into focus about five years ago.

What's in store in Woodbridge
Bitting patrons will find the familiar mix of brews that have drawn them to a barstool at the former coal and grain company building situated beside the tracks NJ Transit's trains travel. James says he may sneak one of his porter or IPA recipes into the mix, but overall he plans to ease folks toward his brewing personality and brew interpretations. (For the record, he has an affinity for porters, oatmeal stouts, double IPAs and IPAs done with a Pacific Northwest slant.)

"Experimenting is one of the things I like about brewing. There's so many options to try," he says.

James just brewed Bitting's Barley Legal barley wine with the help of Tom Paffrath, who used to tend the kettle at Basil T's (soon to officially be named Artisans) in Toms River.

Look for that big brew to go on tap in early February. The Bitting winter warmer that James turned in goes on tap this month.


No comments: