Friday, February 3, 2012

Change is good

Building a Beer-Stained Letter website – an actual live dot-com – around the blog Beer-Stained Letter has been a project in the works for a while now.

And now it's here.

Briefly speaking, this blog page remains an integral part of things (see the link on the home page), and it's where items about New Jersey's craft brewing industry (Brewery News) will continue to be posted, as well as features about folks in the industry (Beer People) and events (Beer Life) will be posted.

There are some other items, too: A spotlight on new (read that as cool) beers from out of state coming into the New Jersey market (Incursions) and heading off to see the green grass, so to speak, at breweries in other states (Excursions).

Thanks for the support over the years. Onward and upward.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Meadowlands fest back for 2nd round

If math isn't your best subject, well don't worry, this is beer-drinker math, so it will be some simple division and multiplication.

Event promoter Starfish Junction stages nine beer festivals in a year and serves 37,546 gallons of beer in that time. So, how many pints would that stand on the bar?

Answer: 300,368.

Poured into shaker glasses placed side by side, it's enough pints to circle the Earth at the equator about 1,600 times.

By any count, it's a lot of beer. (See the chart for some more stats. Kegs are most likely a mix of halves, quarters and sixtels.)

And come Saturday, Starfish Junction gets a jump on tallying some figures in Secaucus, with its second edition of the International Great Beer Expo at the Meadowlands Exposition Center.

Veterans of beer festivals know the drill well: Start with lighter styles and work your way up to the hoppier brews, and remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

For fresh faces in the crowd, Joe Chierchie, sales and marketing manager for Starfish Junction, has some advice: pace yourself; there's a lot of beer, and some of it is strong.

"The alcohol content is higher, the beers are heavier, and for first-timers it can sometimes be a surprise," Joe says.

Also, don't go with the just usual suspects or familiar-sounding brands.

"Keep your options open, this is a tasting event," he says. "If you're not a stout guy keep an open mind, give it a try."