Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Heavyweight reunion

Diehard fans of Heavyweight Brewing, the now-closed brewery famous for its artisanal beers, gathered for a reunion of sorts on Sunday, sampling practically every vintage that brewer Tom Baker made at his digs in Monmouth County.

Sure, the beer was past what you would reason to be a freshness date. After all, Heavyweight ceased to be in 2006, and Tom crossed the Delaware to open Earth Bread+Brewery brewpub in Philadelphia in 2008.

But despite the years, quite a bit of the beer held up, especially the Old Salty barleywines.

Most of the brews were supplied by Mark Haynie (pictured above pouring), who back in the day lent a hand to Heavyweight, helping Tom brew, bottle, pour at festivals and generally keep things going at the brewery in Ocean Township.

So did others. That's the kind of place – and beer – Heavyweight was.

And contributing from their long-held collections were Heavyweight faithfuls Steve Lander (the brew Ste-ve is named for him), Doug Duschl (Doug's Colonial Ale was based on his recipe) and John Companick.

If you were there, you saw more than beer and the remains of a now-gone brewery. You witnessed what comes from craft brewing – a kinship that keeps going long after the beer.

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