Microbreweries produce small batches of beer for sale to wholesalers and retailers both inside and outside New Jersey. That means you can purchase New Jersey craft brewed beer from the shelves of liquor stores and in pubs around the country. Thanks to a 2012 law change, microbreweries are now allowed to sell up to 1/2 keg (or approximately 6 cases) of beer for consumption off premise. Also, as part of a brewery tour, consumers are allowed to purchase beer for consumption on premise. Breweries are not allowed to operate a restaurant or sell food. This is an opportunity for people to enhance their educational tour experience with an on-site tasting. Because we value our relationships with our restaurant and tavern partners, the law was purposely designed to not allow breweries to operate like a bar or restaurant.
Brewpubs are restaurants that produce small batches of craft brewed on site and may sell their own beer by the glass for consumption on premise. They may also sell their beer for carry out in bottles, jugs known as "growlers" and in kegs. The new law allows brewpubs for the first time to sell their beer off the premises to licensed retailers throughout the state through a New Jersey beer wholesaler.
Congratulations to all the new and returning Board Members
Village Idiot Brewing Company, located on High Street in Mt. Holly, will mark its one-year anniversary in December. The event is guaranteed to be celebrated with a bang as it coincides with the Battle of Ironworks Hill that took place right outside the brewery's front door during the Revolutionary War. Redcoats and "regulars" from the revolutionary army will recreate the epic battle on December 13 beginning at 3 PM. For more info, go to ironworkshill.org.
On the beer front, the Village Idiot 1.5-barrel brewery and tasting room launched its newest cold-weather offering, Notafingah -- a 7.5% ABV chestnut-colored winter warmer. It is available from the tasting room in half pints, pints and growlers to go. Speaking of growlers, Village Idiot Brewing Company is also one of just a handful of places around the country to offer craft beer enthusiasts a Crowler® for beer to go. The crowler® is an innovative twist on a traditional glass growler. Beer is poured into the 32 oz., single-use can and sealed fresh on a throw-back canning machine that you have to see to believe. The method purges oxygen from the brew and blocks light, allowing the beer to stay fresh far longer than its glass counterpart.
Finally, the brewery will have its first limited bottle release with its Festivus Miracle Beer. This dark, sour, wonderfully complex hybrid old bruin-style ale began its journey 7 months ago. Its evolution was closely monitored and nurtured with the addition of cocoa nibs, oak chips, cocoa, honey from raspberry bushes and sweet, dark cherries. Pairs perfectly with airing of grievances, feats of strength, aluminum poles and bagels from H&H. All proceeds benefit the Human Fund -- Money for People. Best wishes from the guys for happy holidays and a wonderful new year!
December will bring in the first Belgian Tripel from Cricket Hill Brewing Company. The Small Batch - Belgian Tripel is a golden ale with an aroma of banana and clove with citrus and fruity spice undertones. It has a light medium body that finishes dry. The ABV 8.7% gives hints of alcohol while 31 IBUs would keep the Abbey Monks happy!
In very limited quantities at the brewery only, Cricket Hill will be pouring their Holiday Red Rye! This special brew with flavors of tropical fruit, a grapefruit finish and a hint of rye boasts an ABV of 7.4% with 66IBUs!
Now out is the second winter seasonal from Flying Fish Brewing Company: Exit 1, an export style stout brewed with local oysters. The creamy flavor of English chocolate and roasted malts harmonizes with minerals from Delaware Bay Eastpoint oysters added to the brew kettle (and then gobbled up by the brewers 15 minutes later). Irish ale yeast adds a bit of fruitiness and a dry crispness. This rich stout is perfect for cool weather--and especially delicious when paired with a few Jersey oysters on the half shell.
Uno Pizzeria and Grill in Metuchen we will be holding one of their ever-beloved cask festivals right after Christmas on Saturday, December 27. They will be featuring cask-conditioned ales from all over New Jersey as well as many of their own. They will have live entertainment from 3-5 and will be doing giveaways all day!
New releases from Unos include Scotch Ale. Their 90-Schilling style Scotch Ale will ring in at 7.9% abv this year and is brewed with a big base malt and a plethora of specialty and smoked malts. It was a huge hit last year and will be sure to please this year. They also will be releasing a Winter Warmer that will be great for the cold winter months after the Holidays. This beer is a slightly-spiced (cinnamon, ginger, orange peel) amber-brown ale and should be a crowd-pleaser as well.
Krogh's Restaurant & Brew Pub, 23 White Deer Plaza in Sparta features two Seasonals on tap for December. First, there will be an Abbey Ale and then a Christmas Ale will be on tap for the holidays! Their December Cask-Conditioned Ales will be an Irish Boilermaker and an Oaked IPA. When January rolls around, a Vanilla Porter will be on tap followed by an ESB. January's Casks will be an Abbey Ale and a Coffee Stout. Please call ahead at 973-729-8428 or check their website at kroghs.com for specific availability.
Spellbound Brewing Company will launch their O.R.C. (oatmeal raisin cookie ale) the weekend of December 12. 300 lbs of raisins and 250 vanilla beans go into our 40bbl batch.
Spellbound just brewed a 20 bbl batch of pale ale. This beer should clock in at 5.2% with classic american pale ale hops used in the boil and dry hop. They also have their porter aged on palo santo wood in large enough quantities for growler fills at the tasting room. Spellbound will have cans of the porter (6.9%abv) available in January.
The tasting room is open Thursday 5-9, Friday 5-9 and Saturday 12-8.
Ramstein Winter Wheat Doppelbock from High Point Brewing Company is on tap and in bottles until end of December.
High Point has a full line of brewery collectibles and gift certificates available as holiday presents for craft beer aficionados. Check their Facebook page or call for hours during Christmas and New Years.
Gilded Lily will be part of the tasting flight in the Carton Brewing tasting room and to take home as 32oz growler fills. White truffles are a very volatile aromatic and as it ages, the beauty will fade to a simple earthiness. As cool as that beer may be, we suspect you will enjoy it most celebrating New Years Day, Valentine's Day, or any randomly chosen date in-between. This beer is sexiest at 50°C in a snifter glass. It will be $20 for the 32 oz growler fill. There will be a limit of 2 fills per person.