Posts Tagged ‘ breweries ’

News, Reviews, and Opinions – What’s your role?

Sample Stash

We all have a purpose – how many times have you heard that statement? Whether it’s at our day job, in an extra curricular activity, or at home – we all try to find a reason for being involved.

Being a part of the craft beer community is no different. Since I started following people part of this movement, started reading their blogs, and ultimately started my own, I noticed a clear delineation in roles.

We have reviewers, news spreaders (local and national), brewery representatives, home brewing advocates, brew pub event promoters, blog readers, and my favorite: opinionators. (I hope that’s a real word).

Although some cross the lines at times, majority of participants stick to the role they enjoy the most. Those that don’t like to write, typically follow and read. Those that focus on the product, typically write daily reviews. Those creative enough to create, home brew and tell the world about their experiences.

We all have our calling – no single one being more important than the next.

As I’ve been deliberating the direction of my blog over the past month, I’ve tried to determine my role. After some brainstorming sessions and although it’s not set in stone, I’m not surprised about my personal craft beer role discovery.

Similar to my personality (I’m frequently known as the guy that knows a little bit about everything), I believe my role here is that of someone that dabbles in a little bit of everything.

I won’t write the best review – but I’ll do some (detailed ones for other blogs and one-liners for mine). I’ll do what I can to spread news – mostly local but worthwhile national information too. I’ll have an opinion – maybe not one that sparks month long conversations, but one that is my own.

Not all of us will have a clearly defined role (as you can see by my self discovery). But it’s interesting what you find out when you spend some time reflecting on what you can bring to help expand an extremely diverse and robust community.

What is your role and how have you taken part in the craft beer community?


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.

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