South Jersey Brewery to Open Doors by End of 2011

Ocean View, NJ based Tuckahoe Getting Close to Starting Operations

Tuckahoe Brewing Company Logo

The singular thing that I absolutely love about talking to brewers is their overarching sense of enthusiasm. Having gotten a chance to bend the ears of many brewers, it doesn’t surprise me how incredibly proud they are of their craft.

My conversation with Matt McDevitt from Tuckahoe Brewing Company did not deviate from this concept. Matt, who has been home brewing for well over ten years, expanded his hobby by partnering up with Tim Hanna in 2006.

The two frequently thought about starting a brewery when they retired, but quickly determined that old age would easily impede their plans. Afterall, post retirement it’s much easier to drink beer than to brew it.

Driven by the thought of sharing their craft with the New Jersey masses, Matt and Tim teamed up with two other partners and began exploring the idea of starting a brewery.

In January of 2011, Tuckahoe Brewing Company was born in the town of Ocean View located in southern New Jersey. (Read more about the rich history of the town on Tuckahoe’s website).

Equipment Pic 2Although still in the licensee phase, Matt and his partners are destined for success and expect to be up and brewing by the end of 2011. Confirmed by Matt, the brewery is expecting the delivery of their recently ordered equipment in September:

“We recently ordered a three barrel brewing system from Psycho Brew LLC out of Michigan. They were able to find a manufacturer of eight barrel capacity fermenters for us. We ordered two which will enable us to make double batches, turning our three barrel system into six barrel system.”

To support this quantity of beer and size of fermenter, Tuckahoe also ordered a two HP chiller from Pro Refrigeration out of Washington.

Matt noted that Tuckahoe’s flagship is slated to be an American Pale Ale with a summer Belgian Witte and fall / winter Porter in 2012. (Read more about their beers here).

Besides initial production, Tuckahoe’s immediate plans are to expand their brand by building a new website (an update is scheduled for September, click here to see their current website) and, after licensing, increasing knowledge by providing samples to local bars and restaurants. They even anticipate on attending local beer festivals to spread the word.

When asked about the differentiator between Tuckahoe and other local breweries, Matt’s response was driven by the appreciation of Tuckahoe’s local New Jersey community. Already in discussion with several local area farmers, the group’s plans are to utilize NJ grown grain and hops to create a product brewed from completely local ingredients. The concept of giving back to the local community is something that resonated throughout my entire conversation with Matt.

Having full time careers as teachers and architects, I asked Matt if the group found it difficult to devote their time to starting the business.

“Anything that is worth it in the end is going to be challenging time wise”, Matt responded then added “Financially it certainly is easier, and the summers help too.”

Their commitment is evident as Matt noted any free time is instantly devoted to brewery business matters.

Tuckahoe Brewing Company is a testament that even small businesses in New Jersey can quickly get off the ground given dedication, a sense of community, a strong product and successful partnerships. Be on the lookout for Tuckahoe in the early part of 2012.

This article was also featured on newjerseycraftbeer.com, click here to link to the site!

Stone Does It Right in Jersey City and Across the World

An Iron Monkey “Meet the Brewer” Stone Event Recap

Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA and Cherry Chocolate Stout
Of all the reasons that bring me back to the Iron Monkey (@TheIronMonkey) for their weekly Meet the Brewer event, none are more important to me than people and product. “But aren’t these simple fundamentals within the craft beer community?” you might ask.

And I would instantly be inclined to agree, but these events continue to surprise me week after week and I always end up leaving the bar with a smile, a story, and a new friend.

Dennis Flynn and Z

Dennis Flynn and Z

Last Thursday, the Iron Monkey hosted Escondido’s own Stone Brewery (@StoneBrewingCo). The maker of the famous Arrogant Bastard Ale is certainly one of the most eccentric breweries ran by one of the most eccentric guys, Greg Koch (@StoneGreg).

I imagine that Jersey City, NJ is probably a little too far away for the California based CEO to visit on a random Thursday. But fortunately for me, I did get a chance to chat with the Tri-State Stone representative, Dennis Flynn (@StoneTriState).

I imagine all Stone employees are exactly like Dennis. He was fun, smart, enthusiastic, and certainly loved his company’s product.

Dennis helped Stone quickly take over the Monkey’s taps and the patrons were treated to several of Stone’s delightful ales including Cali Belgique, Sublimely Self Righteous, Ruination, regular and oaked Arrogant Bastard, Smoked Porter, and both the regular and BELGO Anise Russian Imperial Stouts.

Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA and Cherry Chocolate Stout

Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA and Cherry Chocolate Stout

But in typical eccentric fashion, Stone wasn’t done with the surprises. With the help of Brant (Iron Monkey’s beer manager), Dennis poured out some rarities that are very difficult to come across on the East Coast. I started off sampling Stone’s Cherry Chocolate Stout which could be described as melted dark chocolate cherry ice cream. A very sweet and creative brew, it is best enjoyed slowly and thoughtfully.

Next up – wait – do my eyes deceive me? What? Is that the Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA? “Oh, it sure is” responded Dennis. Just coming off a week where the online community was buzzing about Stone’s anniversary, it was extremely exciting to try this tremendously allusive ale. It did not disappoint – it was a strong and hoppy IPA that drank like a stout which any crafthead can appreciate.

Coming off those two amazing crafts, it was difficult to fathom a better selection. But alas, I was once again not disappointed by Stone. What in my opinion was the champion of the night, I was presented with the Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA. The beer was great – a medium bodied IPA with hints of green tea that was very easy to enjoy.

But it’s important to remember that the craft beer community is frequently about more than just the product. Please don’t misunderstand, it is because of this delicious liquid that we are all connected, however, stories attached to some brews are at times riveting and, like in this case, heartfelt.

Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA

Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA

A collaboration by three breweries from across the globe (Baird, Ishii, and Stone), all proceeds from the sale of this ale will go straight to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help support the victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Partners in the creation of the craft noted:

“We hope that Japan and its people will bounce back from the tsunami tragedy stronger than ever!” exclaims Ishii. “A collaboration beer like this is a great way to demonstrate to Japan that they’re not alone,” Baird asserts. “They have friends, supporters, and empathizers all around the world.”

Read more about the Stone’s efforts and the Japanese Green Tea IPA on Stone’s website here.

Before bidding adieu to the rooftop, I grabbed Dennis’ card and snapped a quick picture before traversing down the infamous three flights of stairs at the Iron Monkey. In typical fashion, I left the bar with a smile on my face, a story in my mind and a new friend in my pocket.

Stop by this Thursday, September 1st, when the Iron Monkey hosts Rogue!

This article was also featured on newjerseycraftbeer.com, click here to link to the site!

Bomb(er) Shelter: An Ode to My Favorite Bottle

About Bomb(er) Shelter
Within the craft beer industry, consumers have an array of delivery devices available at their disposal.

Pint glasses, cans, long necks and growlers line the shelves and refrigerators of your favorite bar and a six-pack is synonymous with the phrase “pick up some beer”.

But in my opinion, there is no better way to explore craft beer than grabbing a cold bomber and pouring yourself a delicious glass just the way you like it.

Frequently taken for granted within our industry, this is an ode to my favorite craft beer collecting and dispensing method: the 22oz bomber (for the sake of disambiguation, I am using the term bomber to represent both 22 oz. and 750ml bottles). This mini-feature will highlight various bombers that I have had the pleasure of experiencing.

My First Bomber Experience
My first bomber purchase was driven directly by a sample of what has quickly become the number one craft on my list: the Double Jack IPA by Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, CA.

Double Jack IPADuring a night out at my favorite local watering hole, The Iron Monkey (@TheIronMonkey) the rooftop bar was dispensing this delicious Double IPA from their draft and serving it in snifters. Wanting to experience all that is Double Jack at home, the next day I hurried to my local craft beer shop, Jersey City Buy Rite (@JCBuyRiteWines), to find this amazing concoction.

To my naive surprise – there were no Double Jack six-packs. But there were plenty of bombers! I picked up the bottle, held it in my hand, and reveled at it’s remarkable simplicity. I purchase three bottles, ran home, and searched for an old whiskey snifter I had somewhere in the back of the cupboard.

And, as you can imagine, the rest history! Now there doesn’t go a trip to the store without a purchase of at least one bomber. In addition to being a great dispensing method, it is also a fantastic way to collect and display your beer collection. Cheers!

Z Marks the Spot: bomb(er) shelter highlight
Double Jack IPA

Double Jack IPA - Bomber

Craft Information
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 9.5%
One-Liner: “The bitterness of a Pale Ale with the strength of a fruity Double IPA.”
Best Consumed: “On a cool fall night surrounded by friends you’re willing to share this with.”

Brewery Information
Firestone Walker
Location: Paso Robles, CA
Twitter: @FirestoneWalker
Website: www.firestonebeer.com

A Craft Beer Event Recap, Sierra Nevada Event at the Iron Monkey

An Iron Monkey “Meet the Brewer” Sierra Nevada Event Recap

On a typical evening the typical patron would ascend Iron Monkey’s (@TheIronMonkey) typical three stair climb to the rooftop deck and emerge to a sun setting Manhattan panoramic view. August 19th, however, was different.

As I climbed the stairs to attend Iron Monkey’s Thursday night “Meet the Brewer” event to sample a delicious selection of Sierra Nevada (@SierraNevada) craft beers, I knew something was “in the air”.

When I got to the rooftop, I knew what that something was: a nimbus cloud that could only be described as the harbinger of rain. And rain it did. But the good news is that a little precipitation will not stop devoted fools from drinking. And drink we did.

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Once at the rooftop, I could quickly see that Sierra did a tap takeover of the small six tap bar upstairs. Although Iron Monkey’s vast craft selection was available to rooftop patrons via the ascending / descending courier (busboy), it was obvious by the worn out taps what the dedicated Sierra craftheads were drinking.

I had a chance to discuss the evening’s event with Brian (Peerless Beverages & good friend of the website) and Chip (Sierra Nevada) whom both are involved with distribution and promotion of Sierra Nevada. Separately and together, these kind hearted craft beer fanatics echoed the collective rooftop group’s voice about the success of Iron Monkey’s Meet the Brewer evenings.

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It’s great to see more and more bars in the NJ area begin to not only dedicate taps to craft beer from around the country but to also coordinate and sponsor events dedicated to our industry.

To those willing to explore both the physical and mental characteristics of this establishment, don’t be too surprised if you stumble upon a rare event, like the two highly sought after bottles of Firestone Walker (@FirestoneWalker) Parabola capping off our night.

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At this link you will find a short write up for each of the beers that were available during the latest Meet the Brewer event (click on this link to view a description). If something tickles your fancy, won’t you jot it down on your Moleskin and visit your local craft beer store? I bet there’ll be plenty of people secretly thanking you.

Hope to see you at the Iron Monkey next week for Meet the Brewer: Stone!

This article was also posted on NJCB. Click here to link to the site!