Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bolero Snort rye beer forthcoming

July looks to be a pivotal month for Bolero Snort Brewing.

The Bergen County beer company expects to have a second fermenter installed at its contracted brewer, High Point Brewing, within days, a move that will put a third Bolero Snort beer on the market.

The beer, There's No Rye-ing in Basebull (yes, it's a take on Tom Hanks' line in 'A League of Their Own') will be a 4.2% ABV quaffable pilsner-like rye beer, available in bottle and draft and available in late summer.

Bolero Snort co-owner Andrew Maiorana expects the forthcoming brew to play to a wider audience of beer drinkers, enticing to, say, Bud Light buyers, but still tasty enough to satisfy craft beer fans.

"This is going to be our take on a lighter lager, but still flavorful, and it's going to be a rye beer," Andrew says. "We were always hoping we would be able to put the rye beer out during the summertime, and it just so happens that it's working itself out, because we're going to get this second fermenter."

The second 30-barrel tank is due to arrive for installation at High Point by next Monday, if not before. The rye beer will likely be the brew that christens that fermenter.

"We hope to be selling it late August. We have the approval on name, we have the approval on the label, the keg collars ... everything is good to go," Andrew says. "We just have to get the fermenter."

Andrew and co-owner Bob Olson launched Bolero Snort, based in Ridgefield Park, around the beginning of 2013, striking a contract-brewing agreement with High Point (known for the Ramstein brand) and putting a 30-barrel fermenter in the Butler (Morris County) brewery. That tank enabled Bolero to enter the Garden State's craft beer market in March, first with draft amber and dark largers, Ragin' Bull and Blackhorn.

Bolero's draft business was followed soon afterward with bottled versions of the two brews. But the company was still left with only a pair of brews in the market, while Andrew and Bob's advance marketing efforts in 2011 and 2012 gave beer drinkers in North Jersey (Bolero's primary distribution area) reason to expect a wider footprint from Bolero. (You'll notice by the printing on their case boxes that a porter is part of their plans.)

The answer to that constraint has been to dress up those two launch beers, like the maple-pecan version of Ragin' Bull that Bolero offered for a cask festival at Uno Chicago Grill and Brewery in Metuchen late last month. Such treatments, in effect, have been a way for Bolero to have different brews in the market and hold beer drinkers' interest, despite the capacity limits of a single fermenter.

"Right now, we can't produce a third with the single fermenter. One of the two (labels) would suffer," Andrew says. "There are accounts that take just Ragin' Bull; there are accounts that just take Blackhorn, and you'd be surprise by how many accounts take just Blackhorn – a lot, actually."

Thus, the new tank is the source of plenty of anticipation for Bolero Snort, a crucial step toward growing the brand and distribution.

"We're pumped. We're really excited," Andrew says, during a stop at High Point last Saturday to drop off case boxes and some empty sixtels. "This third beer is going to put us into another level, and increase our recognition in the state. With that, we'll also increase our distribution throughout the state. We're going to spread a little more south, a little bit more west. We're going to try to keep working the boundaries.

"We've been opening up accounts here and there, a bit more out of our immediate distribution area," Andrew says. "We get requests from people, even as far as Cape May, who say they have liquor stores, or ask 'Where can I find your beer?' Unfortunately, we can't accommodate those people right now."

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