Friday, April 2, 2010

It won't be long now ...

Matt Steinberg is oh so close to drinking a beer – then brewing some.

As of today, Matt was forecasting the inaugural brew for New Jersey Beer Company to hit the mash tun at the end of this weekend or the start of next week, with folks being able to drink the first beer brewed in Hudson County in over a decade by the fourth week of April. (The last brewer in Hudson County was craft brewer Hoboken Brewing, with the Mile Square brand.)

In the meantime, he says, New Jersey Beer Company is making a mad dash toward the installation finish line at his location along Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen. "Actually tomorrow will be a pretty insane day as we try to finish everything off," he said via email Friday.

After that, he'll have that beer to take the edge off the long bumpy road that is starting a craft brewing enterprise, relax for a while, then get going on the very first batch of Hudson Pale Ale, one of three brews that will anchor NJ Beer in the marketplace.

On the heels of that will be more brewing (Garden State Stout and 1787 Abbey Single) and greeting the public at brewery tours. But the latter is down the road a little bit (keep an eye on his Web site, Facebook and Twitter). "As soon as the fermenters are filled, we'll focus on the aesthetics of the place, get the tasting room together," Matt says.

If you subscribe to the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild newsletter and saw that NJ Beer, the guild's newest member, was brewing, well, Matt confesses to doing a little bit of marketing ahead of production in the monthly missive. Nothing wrong with that. At all. Because, like The Beatles sang, it won't be long. Yeah.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And we think NJ beer regs are unreasonable ...

Check this out. Things could be worse than the arcane, ham-handed beer regulations found in New Jersey.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Uno's cask event

A quick look back at Pizzeria Uno's cask ale event from Saturday ...

If you went, then you know it was a treasure trove of hops: Sixpoint's Bengali IPA, Weyerbacher's Hops Infusion, River Horse's Hop Hazard and Hop-a-lot-amus Double IPA.

If you wanted to go big, there was Uno's Scotch Ale and Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot Barleywine. Rounding out the bill was Uno's Gust N Gale Porter (made really velvety by the cask conditioning), Sixpoint Righteous Rye (this Brooklyn brew was worth seconds), and a nut brown ale from Climax that poured from a hand pump quite bright beneath a creamy head.

The flight of brews wasn't as bountiful as some of the past presentations (this was the fifth Uno cask ale event by our count). Assembling the lineup of ales through distributors and breweries was a little like hearding cats, with some brewers reluctant to fill anything but metal casks (not plastic). And those weren't always readily available.

So, there's a point of appreciation to be made off that circumstance: Uno brewer Mike Sella (that's Mike in the white shorts in the photo) still put together a respectable collection of cask-conditioned ales, and cask ale is a genuine treat.

Shout-outs: John the hired hand at High Point Brewing; friend of the blog and fellow writer John Holl; PubScout Kurt Epps; and special thanks to Mid-Atlantic Brewing News columnist Mark Haynie, who organized the trip up from South Jersey to Metuchen.