TrentonDevils

BEER

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According to an update, Trap Rock expects to be open within a day or so. Looks like it was relatively minor. Much different than this mornings headline where it said the brewery exploded and collapsed.

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Got a couple of Maine Brewing beers over the weekend.  Picked up MO and Another One.  So far had the MO and it was excellent.  I highly recommend it.

 

Also heard through the grapevine that the Costco near me got a late shipment of KBS.  Went there and they said I was too late as they did receive a late shipment, but one guy came in the day before and took 4 of the 4-packs.  That's insane and shows how their employees do not give a sh!t over there.  Every liquor store I know limits customers to 1, maybe 2 of the 4-packs but not 4.  Quite honestly I am pretty much done with the whole KBS and Founders.  They are a good brewery but they are not THAT good.  I am not a stout/porter drinker and I think their IPA's are just OK.  I think the whole KBS phenomena has hyped up their reputation a little too much.

 

Anyways in other brewery news, it looks like Flounder is soon going to go on-top at Big Head's in Hillsborough starting with their Brown Ale.  Good for them and I might try it out as I heard it was good (even though not a huge fan of brown ales).  Even though they are in the same town as me, I can never make it to their growler filling days so this is the next best thing.  Big Heads is now only their 2nd location where they are on tap with the other being Fox and Hound in Lebanon, NJ.  I believe that location has their Hill Street Honey but not 100% sure.

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Getting hard to keep up with all the microbreweries now. I try to visit my local one (Rinn Duin) frequently for tap/6 packs because all this competition can't be too healthy for the older ones.

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Got the Sam Adams 2015 Summer Variety pack this year.  I am a big summer beer person as I tend to like my beers to be less heavy and I will admit I do not mind the fruit beers at all and think some are actually pretty good.  I get the Sam Adams Summer pack every year as I think they usually have at least a pretty solid lineup, however I think this year is a little weak.  This year only has 4 different beers (I notice they cut down from 6 to 4 on their variety packs.  When did this start?) and they are Boston Lager, Summer Ale, Rebel Rider IPA and Downtime Pilsner.  Not going to comment about Boston as it is in all of them and the Summer Ale is the same as every year (I think it is solid, but not fantastic).  Rebel Rider IPA is the same as their Rebel IPA but with the lower % (4.5) they are calling it a session IPA.  I think it is good but nothing special at all and can also be found in six-packs.  The exclusive is their Downtime Pilsner which I think is the best in the pack, but again nothing out of this world.  Overall an OK pack this year but nothing great. 

 

I actually miss their Porch Rocker that is usually included but now these are being sold in 6-packs.  Even though it is not really a Radler like they claim it is (for some reason Americans mistakenly think Radlers are beer and lemonade when it is really beer and a citrus soda like 7-Up or Sprite), it is still a pretty good beer to have when it is 95 degrees out and humid as hell.

 

Love the Rebel Rouser (8.4%).  Its the green package I believe. 

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Love the Rebel Rouser (8.4%).  Its the green package I believe. 

 

Saw that as I think that is basically their Imperial IPA version of Rebel Rider.  Not big on Imperials but I will give it a shot.

 

Had Another One last night by Maine Brewing.  Very good, but I do not think I would consider it excellent.  So far out of Zoe, MO and Another One that I have sampled, MO is my favorite.  I will have to get my hands on Lunch to see how that one is and heard nothing but outstanding things about that beer.

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Nope but seems cool.  Is this a new one or has this been going on for years?  I tend to stay clear of the newer ones because usually the organizers are anything but organized and the whole thing ends up being a huge clusterfvck.

 

I usually go to the Washington Crossing Brewfest as I think it is done well and usually not overrun by people.  Too many times I hear horror stories from brewfests across the country where the organizers sold way too many tickets than they should have and things go awry to say the least.

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Nope but seems cool.  Is this a new one or has this been going on for years?  I tend to stay clear of the newer ones because usually the organizers are anything but organized and the whole thing ends up being a huge clusterfvck.

 

I usually go to the Washington Crossing Brewfest as I think it is done well and usually not overrun by people.  Too many times I hear horror stories from brewfests across the country where the organizers sold way too many tickets than they should have and things go awry to say the least.

 

This is the first time I have seen it here.  It seems like a newer thing because it is also benefiting a local fire museum.  I feel almost obligated to go, since it is 15 minutes from my house.  I do have a concern that they sold too many tickets (seems like they have been marketing this for months now) and is only 4 hours long.  The fairgrounds is huge, but it is going to be tough going to 200 places in 4 hours (haha).  I would be toast if I really attempted that. 

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Getting hard to keep up with all the microbreweries now. I try to visit my local one (Rinn Duin) frequently for tap/6 packs because all this competition can't be too healthy for the older ones.

Rinn Duin is good stuff, their St Johns red is great. I had it on tap at Mcdonoughs.

Speaking of local bars, I went to Maloney's finally. It was the first time I was ever there. Boy I was greatly disappointed. First things first, me and my girlfriend walk in and there's no seats at the bar. No big deal, its a tiny bar. So we sit at a precarious high top table that's wobbly as all hell. Whatever a seat is a seat, I'm not picky. But then the hostess comes over and says are you guys ordering food? We say no we're just here for a drink or two. She says well if you sit here, you're going to have a server and you have to order food. So I say, there's no seats at the bar where would you like us to go? At that moment, on cue 2 people get up and leave the bar. So she says to take their seats. (I would have liked to see what she said if those people didn't leave). Keep in mind also, the place is dead as hell on a Friday night, 85% of the booths and tables are empty.

Okay now we have 2 seats. Now the part that is most disappointing of all to me. I look at the menu and 80-90% of it is core items that you can get anywhere!!! Yes I understand that the tap list is very large, but none of the breweries jump off the menus at you. They're all the basics. Also the place is overpriced like crazy. Ranging from $1-$4 on most items. Bar markup on draft is usually between 300-400%. They're more along the lines of 500-600%. Not to mention they add tax on the bill after the fact. So now an $11 Fruli is $11.77? Yeah I'll pass Maloney's. The bartenders were less than courteous. I ordered one Kane, he tried charging me for a Firestone Parabola. Are you kidding? There's 12 people at the bar, drinking one beer an hour, you can't ring me up for the right product? You won't catch me dead in that place again.

Has anyone been to cloverleaf? Its like an hour away from my house but they claim to be the #1 craft bar in the northeast

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I went to Maloney's about 3 months ago and it was good.  Went with my gf and my brother and we had dinner there.  I thought the beer list was decent, but nothing mind blowing.  I was able to have Maine's Zoe and Ballast Habanero IPA on tap there and I know there aren't many places that have either, let alone both.  I had the burger and it was solid, but nothing crazy.

 

I thought it was overall good, but since its about 40-45 min driving from me not sure if it was worth the drive.

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I've been to Cloverleaf but I prefer Maloney's, and so does one of my buddies that lives much closer to Cloverleaf.  I haven't had an experience at Maloney's as bad as yours sounds though, but the service does tend to be slow unless you go there for lunch or something when it's empty.  It is expensive too, but I'm interested in hearing what bars you've been to that have better beer lists.

 

I went to Cloverleaf for the Kane tap takeover the past two years.  The service was very slow both times, which I can understand considering it wasn't a normal weekday night, but I would have figured after last year they would have staffed more people, but it was even worse this year.  The place was packed so we had to sit upstairs, and it seemed like an hour would go by between our waiter's trips up to us.  It was so bad that multiple beers we wanted kicked during almost every time we were waiting for him to come back up, whether it be to check on us or to bring us beers we already ordered.  Last year after waiting a long time to get the flights we ordered, our waitress came back with a few of the wrong beers.  I politely pointed out the error to her, and she turned to us and said to us word for word, "Just drink the sh!t."  At least that didn't happen this year so I guess it was an improvement.

 

With that said, they do have a good beer list.  I don't know about #1 in the Northeast, though.  It's about an hour for me too so I usually only go for special events like the Kane tap takeover.

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If a server told me to "just drink the sh!t" I would have immediately notified the manager.  No excuse for that. 

 

In regards to giving you the wrong beers, I find that I actually get that quite a bit when I am at a bar that is known for having gigantic tap lists.  I got that at both World of Beer and Maloney's.  Also, places that tend to have huge tap lists tend to have a hard time keeping up with the menu so very often I get the "oh we just ran out" or "the keg kicked yesterday we just haven't had time to update our menu" excuse.  I would rather go to a bar that has a solid tap list of about 20 beers rather than a place that has a tap list of 100 beers where these problems occur, and with about 80% of the list I don't care about anyways.

 

Haven't been to Cloverleaf, but based on past experiences with bars with these mega tap lists I am in no hurry to go since it is about an hour driving away from me.  If I happen to be in the area I might stop by, but certainly not going out of my way for it.  I went to Maloney's because my brother happens to live about 5 minutes away and he suggested we go there for dinner.

 

In other news supposedly Triumph Red Bank is due to open next month.  However these are based on articles from summer/fall of 2014.  Weird how there has been radio silence about the Red Bank location to begin with on Triumph's website as well as both their New Hope and Princeton location Facebook pages.  Wonder what is going on there.  They will be within a short walk to Basil T's brewpub, which I just learned recently changed their name to Birravino.  Interesting as my experience there wasn't the best and wondering if maybe I should give it another shot.

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I like Cloverleaf. Foods decent, rotating taps are nice. They have a surprisingly high number of basics, which is frustrating, and for a beer bar, the staff doesn't know that much, but if you know your sh!t and want to try some stuff, they're good.

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Been a bit since I did an update so here I go:

 

Finally got my hands on Lunch by Maine Brewing Company.  Excellent IPA and one of the best I have had.  It is still not THE BEST that I have had (IMO that is still a tie between Triumph's Bengal Gold IPA and Firestone Walker Union Jack), but excellent nonetheless.  I would say it fell a little tiny bit short of the hype, but not by much at all.  Recommend it to anyone who likes IPA's.

 

Also again speaking of Triumph, I went there again for the first time in about 2-3 months around 2 weeks ago and I think it will be my last for a while, at least the one in Princeton.  Got the 7-beer sampler (served in the usual 3-4oz glasses) and was shocked to see how much it was- $15.  Yup $15 for what amounted to a little less than 2 beers I would say.  That's crazy and my buddy got 2 pints and each beer was either $7 or $7.50.  Even with my NJBC membership the price was still a bit so I think I will either go to the one in New Hope or just not go as often as I used to.  Kinda disappointed but it is what it is.  Funny is that last time I went it was $12 for the same sampler.  When I first started to go to Triumph in 2005/06 timeframe the sampler was $9.

 

 

Also looks like I am going to Asbury Festhalle tomorrow with my family and gf.  I look forward to it and can't wait since I liked their sister/original property, the Pilsner Haus in Hoboken.

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I forgot to post this the other day.  I was reading my latest issue of Beer Connoisseur magazine when I saw an article about Enjoy Beer LLC.  Apparently the owner of Harpoon brewery started Enjoy Beer as a holding company to buy out other craft beer companies (some other craft beer websites/magazines call it "partnerships" but BC magazine said it is really them buying Abita).  They also have their sites on a few other craft beer breweries as well (can't remember which ones as I do not have the article in front of me).

 

The purpose of this is to create competition and get better distribution by getting better leverage in their dealings with distributors to compete with Big Beer.  I find it very interesting though conflicting at the same time as now craft beer companies are not becoming big beer.

 

I also have my feelings about craft beer in general.  I go into the store and there are a thousand choices now, and there are more every day.  I feel like that eventually the bubble will burst.  IDK maybe I am alone in that feeling. 

 

Edit:  here is a good article that shows what Enjoy Beer is all about.  Not sure how I like it.

 

http://www.brewbound.com/news/2015/newly-formed-craft-consortium-enjoy-beer-llc-eyes-acquisitions-ipo?utm_source=Brewbound&utm_campaign=78c094a739-mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6026cb3473-78c094a739-168626888

Edited by DevsMan84

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They aren't at the point where they can be compared to AB-InBev though.  Harpoon is in the business of making good beer, AB-InBev would like nothing more than for craft beer to come to a screeching halt, and they try to get laws passed in pursuit of that goal.  They own some craft breweries now, but if all of craft beer takes a downward turn and their craft breweries fail, they still come out as big winners if cheap swill regains market share.  Harpoon is only craft beer.

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Also I heard about this last week but figured some might not have heard. Copper mine pub is closing for good at the end of the month. Never been there but heard lots of good things in regards to their beer selection.

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Also I heard about this last week but figured some might not have heard. Copper mine pub is closing for good at the end of the month. Never been there but heard lots of good things in regards to their beer selection.

 

 

Their beer selection is great, but the bar was on the small side an the location is kind of out-the-way, I think they are closing more because of the location than anything else IMO.

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Been a while since posting here but I figured I would give updates that I know of.  My interest into beer has waned a little bit, so not a whole lot to report.

 

1) Triumph Red Bank was supposed to open in June, but it looks like that got pushed back.  Not surprised as these sort of things never open up on time.  Triumph's website does list the location now, but the link goes nowhere.  I think it will open before the end of the year, but not sure exactly when.

 

2) Looks like the big fad beer this summer is not really beer at all, but hard root beer.  The two big ones I see are Not Your Father's Root Beer and Coney Island Root Beer.  I have had both and like NYFRB better, but to me they are more of a novelty than anything.  I am already seeing a significant backlash against them on FB from beer drinkers lol.

 

3) Gary's Wine and Marketplace is expanding and even opened up a location in my town of Hillsborough where the Rite Aid used to be.  Went in there a couple weeks ago and the place looks awesome.  Now I got another decent craft beer location in town outside of Petrocks, whose selection is very good but pricey.

 

4) I was in the liquor store last on Wednesday and looks like fall beers have already creeped in.  I was already hearing of fall and pumpkin beers hitting shelves in the first and second week of August.  Way too early IMO but it is what it is.  Got myself the Sam Adams fall sampler pack which for this year includes Boston Lager, Pumpkin, Octoberfest (hate how they spell it) and Red Ale I believe is the 4th one.

 

5) Tried some Forgotten Boardwalk for the first time.  Bar I went to had their What the Butler Saw which is a witbier.  Very nice and I want to see if I can try some of their other beers.

 

6) Went to Asbury Park Festhalle.  Nice beer selection and great place.  Since it is a sister property of Pilsner Haus in Hoboken, the look and feel of the place is very similar, but I felt like I had a better experience at AP Festhalle.

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Just wanted to give this a bump, my cousin is opening up a brewery next Saturday, October 3rd in Hackettstown. I'll be honest in that my knowledge of beer and all of this stuff is next to nothing but the setup looks amazing and he has been working really hard at it.

If any of you guys check it out let me know what you think. Here are all the links...

http://manskirtbrewing.com/

https://www.facebook.com/manskirtbrew

https://instagram.com/manskirtbrew/

https://twitter.com/manskirtbrew

Edited by Satans Hockey

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That Not Your Father's Root Beer was horrid.   Couldn't finish one.  If I want root beer, I'll get a Stewart's

 

Shipyard Pumpkin is very nice.  Working on my second case.

 

Love most of the Pumpkin brews

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I wasn't much of a fan of the Rootbeer either, it had a strange aftertaste that ended my desire to finish it too.

 

Supposedly the Coney island version is the best, haven't worked up the desire to spend 15 bucks on it yet though.

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I've tried Coney Island and NYF Root Beer.  Coney Island is really sugary IMO.  The NYF Root Beer is actually decent to me.  Still I treat it as a novelty and nothing more.

 

For every pumpkin beer I have had and liked, I have had 10 that I hated.  There seems to be a strong presence of pumpkins that are imperials which I do not prefer as I do not like any imperials.  As for the rest, most are meh at best.  I actually liked Shipyard when I had it on tap but when I had a 6-pack of it last year I thought it was horrible.  The Sam Adams one is not bad and that's usually what I stick to.  The best IMO is still the one made by Triumph in Princeton and New Hope.  They are usually a little late (I guess depends on how you view it as they actually make pumpkin beer in the appropriate month of Oct instead of having them the first week of August), but worth it.

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Anything new with this thread?

I will admit I pretty much stopped giving a sh!t about craft beer.  Not that I will start drinking the big beers pisswater, but I stopped caring about craft beer industry in general and I stopped going out of my way to find a hard-to-find beer.  There is simply too much sh!t out there and they all taste the same.  For every good beer I buy, I get 5 or 6 ones where I wish I got my money back on there.  Too much overhyping (looking at you NYFRB and KBS) and too much of the whole having to know the owner of the liquor store to get the good stuff behind the counter crap.  I don't have the time nor the care to make friends with these people.  That along with craft beer coming together in a sort of union so they can get distribution rights, they are turning into big beer themselves.

Unless something major happens or something I kind of care about happens (like if Triumph in Red Bank ever opens as I am beginning to believe the pyramids were built faster than that place), I really won't check this anymore at all.

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10 hours ago, DevsMan84 said:

That along with craft beer coming together in a sort of union so they can get distribution rights, they are turning into big beer themselves.

I don't see how this in any way makes them like big beer.  The distribution laws are generally written by big beer lobbyists in a way that unfairly disadvantages smaller breweries to preserve big beer's grip on the marketplace.  Craft brewers have to join forces to eliminate the red tape.  Also, they aren't trying to stifle competition, they are trying to enhance it.  They aren't fighting for more restrictive distribution laws for their competitors, they are fighting to eliminate laws that make it difficult for themselves to reach the marketplace.  What is the moral reasoning for making it difficult for craft beers to reach stores?

Edited by devilsfan26

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