Bar Tending & Beerspectives
by Matt Martinkovic
Brewsearch & Development -
Nik's Wunderbar - Whitehouse Station NJ
I have one goal here at Nik's Wunderbar  and that is to bring in the very best craft
beer possible. We're part of an impressive movement that is sweeping the country.  The
craft brewing industry has continued a strong pace of growth in the first half of 2015,
according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association (BA). American craft
beer production volume increased 16 percent during the first half of the year.  From
anuary through the end of June 2015, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were
sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.  And
we here at Nik's Wunderbar have done our part in this revolution!

As of June 30, 2015, 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 699
breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were 1,755
breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 115,469 full-time
and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing
significantly to the U.S. economy!

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One way to enjoy some of the great draught beer we have here is to take it home in a
growler. While growlers are certainly not new to the scene, they are becoming increasingly
popular. From traditional glass growlers and handmade ceramics to the latest stainless steel
technologies, there is one thing they all have in common. No matter what beer you choose to
fill your growler with, you are guaranteed to have poor quality beer if you don’t clean your
growler properly.  Here are some tips on cleaning:
•Cleaning detergents should not be fat or oil-based.
•Proper detergent ratios should be used to ensure thorough cleaning
as well as avoid residual chemicals.
•Growlers should be cleaned, sanitized, rinsed and allowed
to air dry immediately after emptying.
•After cleaning, growlers should be stored with the lid unsealed.

Since a growler in a sense is a pressurized container here are a couple of safety tips:
•To avoid shattered glass or an explosion, don’t allow the growler to warm (like in a hot
car) or freeze. These actions increase pressure especially if the growler is
over-filled.  That's why when we fill one here we always leave 5% headspace.
•Glass growlers that are chipped or have cracked glass will reduce the pressure
strength of the vessel increasing the chance of a total blowout.  That's why we inspect
your growler before filling.  When in doubt just get a new one.  It's well worth it.

And for best taste please remember that dark brown glass growlers (or opaque materials
such as stainless steel or ceramic)  will protect your beer best from “skunking”
caused by light; clear glass will not protect beer from light.


Hope to see you soon at Nik's Wunderbar.

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Cheers,

Matt
And don't forget my friends at the  Northside Lounge,
100 Brooks Boulevard, Manville, NJ 08835     908-722-7712
Matt Martinkovic is not only a recognized beer authority but a well known ecological writer whose
work has appeared in the The American Midland Naturalist (University of Notre Dame) among other
industry publications.  He also has been an agricultural consultant on, of course, the growing of hops.
Growth of Craft Beer / Care of Growlers
To all my readers and friends, please stop in and say hello to me at my new home, the great
Nik's Wunderbar,    It's an exclusive Bavarian beer hall and beer garden focusing on
German dishes and German brews. The staff wears traditional Bavarian dress too!  When you come in
be sure to sign up for my free newsletter.  And tell them you saw it here on BeerNexus!
454 Route 22 West Whitehouse Station, NJ 08888
For Matt's latest Wunderbar Newsletter click HERE