Thursday, July 29, 2010

NJ Beer in bottles

New Jersey Beer Company is extending its reach, 12 ounces at a time.

Since mid-July, the North Bergen brewery, New Jersey's newest production brewery and the first since Cricket Hill opened in 2002, has been bottling the beers it launched with during the spring.

Those brews would be Hudson Pale Ale, Garden State Stout and 1787 Abbey Single.

Founder Matt Steinberg says the new bottler from Applied Bottling (in British Columbia) is small, cranking out about 15 cases an hour, which means such packaging operations get done frequently to build inventory supply.

And extend, of course, New Jersey Beer Company's market reach.

"The biggest thing that bottles open up is the off-premise markets, but we won't see evidence of that for a few more weeks," Matt says. "It also enables retailers to take a chance on our beers more easily because it doesn't involve taking another beer off tap to put ours on."

Like a lot of brewers, Matt's preference is for draft beer. But marketing trumps that, and thus, six packs. "You absolutely must have it to sell the quantities of beer that we'd like to sell," Matt says. "However, I'd certainly rather package, sell, and drink draft beer."

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