Monday, July 12, 2010

East Coast Brewing, Part 3

By now, the folks at East Coast Brewing had hoped their contract-brewed pre-Prohibition lager would be on store shelves.

But John Merklin and Brian Ciriaco have found the industry regulators to be a little fussy.

So the launch of their Beach Haus brand pilsner has been pushed to next month. You could hear the frustration in John's voice this afternoon as he spoke from the company headquarters in Point Pleasant. Beach Haus' launch was supposed to happen in June.

Federal regulators, he says, raised some flags about the corporate name (the feds wanted it clearer that East Coast will be contract brewing) and squawked about some fine print and other minor details regarding the label for the pilsner, the prototypes of which – made on a 15-gallon hobby system – tasted reminiscent of a Vienna lager, certainly deeper in character and heartier than your typical pils. (For the curious, the beer will be brewed with Mount Hood and Horizon hops – 42 IBUs – and weigh in at 5.5% ABV.)

So the upshot is this: John and Brian say they've addressed regulators' concerns and have a July 26th brew date set with Genesee Cream Ale-maker High Falls Brewing in Rochester, N.Y., with whom the two Jersey shore guys (they live in Ocean County) struck a contract-brew deal. (In a world not foiled by regulators, that brew date would probably be the top news here.)

If all goes to plan, John says, Beach Haus pils will launch around mid-August.

In the meantime, he and Brian have been developing some ales to eventually roll out under the Beach Haus banner.

And as for their pils, well, the two will tell you that August is still certainly beach weather.

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