Jersey Beer Explosion
A change in New Jersey beer regs is
paying immediate dividends. Under the
old rules, breweries could not sell beer
for consumption on their own premises.
That meant no tasting rooms, which are
a significant source of revenue for
breweries.The law was changed last
year, hallowing breweries to sell pints to
those who tour their facilities. As a
result, small brewers are opening what
amount to quasi-brewpubs that sell only
house beer (no food).Those direct
sales provide just enough revenue to
give small startups a running start in
their efforts to establish themselves.
The result has been stunning: Less
than a year after the new law's
enactment, at least 15 new breweries
will open throughout NJ by next
summer. Most will be located in the
southern part of the state.
Left Hand Brewing altered the beer-drinking landscape two years ago when it announced during
the Great American Beer Festival that it had come up with a way to inject nitrogen into its bottled
Milk Stout so that it pours smooth and creamy, like a draft beer.
Milk Stout Nitro quickly became the Longmont company's best-selling beer brand.
Hopingto duplicate that success the brewery announced that it will begin selling two
more nitrogenated beers: Sawtooth, a version of its flagship ESB, and Wake Up Dead,
a Russian Imperial Stout.And that's when they got into a dispute with a Canadian brewer
who had trademarked the word "Nitro," as it relates to beer, in 2004.
Although Left Hand didn't patent its process, it did try to trademark the word "Milk Stout Nitro"
at the same time that it released the beer in 2011. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office denied the application, saying the term "Nitro" had been protected more than a
decade earlier by a man named Eli Gershkovitch, who owns Vancouver, Canada's
Steamworks Brewery. Left Hand decided to challenge Gershkovitch's claim to the word,
saying that he had never used the mark. As a court date was set the two companies settled
the dispute. No word on the terms but most believe Left hand initiated a monetary exchange.
The Nitro beers are designed to be poured hard -- which releases the nitrogen -- meaning that
drinkers should turn the bottle upside down when they pour it into a glass. Rather than
overflowing, however, the beer comes out smoothly and slowly, with a thick, billowy
head and bubbles that cascade up from the bottom.
Guinness also makes a nitrogenated beer, but it uses a device known as a "widget" to
create that effect in the bottle. Left Hand, which spent three years and hundreds of
thousands of dollars on its technology, is the first U.S. craft brewer to make a
bottled beer on nitro -- and so far, it is still the only brewery to do it.
the crossroads of the beer world
Push Button Brewing
Why can't we brew beer at home
as easily as we can make a loaf of
bread with a bread-maker, or a shot
of espresso with an automatic espresso
\machine? Now it's possible - if you have around
$1500 to spend on the new PicoBrew Zymatic. All
you do is put ingredients into a container called
the "step filter", select the recipe to brew using a
"rotary encoder" on the front panel (web-side
software that imports recipes of any beer)
fill a 5G keg with water and attach the hoses to
the keg posts. Then add your grain and hops per
the recipe into the appropriate places and you're
all ready to brew! In about 3 1/2 hours your keg
will contain beer wort (unfermented beer). Next
chill the keg to room temperature add yeast, seal
the keg with an air-lock keg lid and wait.
Your beer will ferment in the keg. In 5 days to 1
weekyou will have tasty beer. Actually, for all of
that $1,500 isn't a bad price at all!