Monday, April 5, 2010

April's good for Jersey beer growth

Looks like the second of two brewery launches in the Garden State will happen this month.

The folks at Port 44 Brew Pub in Newark say their opening is "so close we can taste it." That's from owner John Feeley, who took a few moments today to field a phone call about the brewpub's status.

The pub's interior is finished, and Port 44 has its federal license to brew beer, as well as its license from New Jersey regulators to sell beer. All that's left is a state license to brew and a bar license from the city of Newark. (In New Jersey, municipalities control the licensing to sell beer, wine and liquor for on-premise consumption.)

What's happening right now is some T-crossing and I-dotting – in other words, overcoming some lingering red tape – that could see Port 44 pouring beer at its Commerce Street site at least by mid-month, if not sooner. The first brews to flow won't be house beers, but rather craft brews from around the region, since the flight of Port 44-made brews won't be ready just yet.

Cricket Hill, in nearby Fairfield, has been a big supporter of Newark's second brewing enterprise (mega brewer Budweiser is the other) in eons – and first craft brewer, so you can expect CH to help inaugurate Port 44's taps. Look for Port 44 to to have its house-made ales on tap toward the end of April.

Port 44's jump into the world of better beer comes on the heels of New Jersey Beer Company launching as a production brewery in nearby North Bergen, making the two companies the second and third craft brewer enterprises to join New Jersey's beer scene in less than a year.

Iron Hill became the first new brewery in New Jersey to open in a decade when it began pouring its pub-brewed ales and lagers in Maple Shade in July of last year.

1 comment:

John and Lisa Howard-Fusco said...

More beer is better than less beer, I always say. - John