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."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Iron Hill first anniversary fete

Some scenes from Iron Hill-Maple Shade's first anniversary party/mug club event.

Mug club gigs at Iron Hill are great to begin with, but throw in an anniversary and you bump things up considerably.

Some special shout-outs to:

• Suzanne Woods from Sly Fox Brewing across the Delaware, and many thanks to her for the brand-spanking new advance can of SF Oktoberfest. Yes, we're getting closer to that time of year.

• Evan Fritz and family (that's future mug clubber James, 9 months old, in the pic at left). Evan coordinated the Big Brew Homebrew Day back in May that was held behind Iron Hill's building.

• Mark Haynie, New Jersey columnist for Mid-Atlantic Brewing News. Always good to run into another champion of New Jersey beer.

• Brian Pylant, who walked point on judging for the Iron Brewer contest sponsored by Iron Hill. Brian loves to talk beer and if you check our archives, say back to March 2008, you'll see Brian doing just that in the video from Triumph's real ale festival that closed out the inaugural Philly Beer Week.

• John Ahrens, of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America. John notes there's a BCCA canvention (yes, canvention) set for Sept. 8-12 in Valley Forge, Pa.

• Bob Ritchie, whose Indian name is Runs with Beer, or so his T-shirt says. Bob's a supporter of the blog, and it's always a great pleasure to meet those who take the time to check out the posts here and offer tips/ideas for posts.

• Tiffany Warrick, a server at Iron Hill who supplied the photo of the freshly done ice sculpture, beautifully cut by IH kitchen staffer Richard Glodowski. Richard carves ice as a side gig, and his work was certainly a showpiece for the day; Tiffany's a can-do table host and made a clutch save with the photo she offered.

• Iron Hill co-founders Kevin Finn and Mark Edelson, and brewers Chris LaPierre and Jeff Ramirez (all picture in photo at top), four people who make IH beer possible.