The past seven days have been groovy. Allow us to explain:
1. Cool meeting
Our president Ryan Krill, who also happens to be president of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, was in DC last Thursday (in a snazzy baby blue suit) for the 78th Annual Walk to Washington, one of the state’s oldest political traditions. It works thusly: Jersey’s movers and shakers (lawmakers, business owners, town leaders) take a four-hour train ride to the nation’s capital, where they discuss the state’s economic future with our Congressional delegation. The name of the event comes from all of the walking that happens on the train itself, when said movers and shakers start meeting, mingling and sharing ideas.
Of course, it was too cold to walk anywhere once everyone arrived in DC, Ryan says, but at the annual Beer and Wine reception hosted by the Kaufman Zita Group later in the evening, the mingling and idea-sharing continued (this time over drinks, courtesy of the guild).
We’ll say this much — craft beer has many friends on The Hill, and not just because our senators like drinking it (boy, do they like drinking it) but because they see the importance of advocating for the entrepreneurs who make it. Forget what you’ve learned from House of Cards; politicians aren’t all bad.
Case in point: the Small BREW Act currently before the House, which would reduce taxes on a small brewery’s first 60,000 barrels. This would go a long way toward job creation, so keep your fingers crossed that the competing Fair BEER Act, which would extend aforementioned tax breaks to macro breweries, doesn’t split the vote.
These are the politics we can get behind.
2. Cool hops:
We’ve spoken before about America-grown Citra, and its current reign as king of hops. But hops are a lot like movie stars – they’re only “it” for so long, before some sexy new thing comes along. Jennifer Lawrence replaced Julia Roberts as America’s sweetheart. Idris Elba might oust Daniel Craig as James Bond. And Nelson Sauvin is now buzzier than citra.
Nelson is a New Zealand hop, so it comes from the land of glacier hiking, bungee jumping and Lord of the Rings. A place that, because of its remote location, experiences virtually no hop diseases.
Nelson’s flavors are “crazy exotic,” according to Brew Master Brian, meaning you can expect to taste grapefruit, lychee and bittersweet gooseberry.
The plant’s flavors are “crazy exotic,” according to Brew Master Brian, meaning you can expect to taste grapefruit, lychee and bittersweet gooseberry. Named after the Sauvignon grape, the aroma it lends to a brew resembles that of your favorite white wine, except better.
Only problem is, hops are a very seasonal crop. So, while home brewers have no trouble getting whatever kind they want in small doses, commercial brewers need to place their orders far in advance. Often years.
But CMB is not into waiting, and we’re not easily deterred. We put a call — okay, several — into our hop contractors, and they were able to secure us an 11-pound box of Nelson. No, it’s not much (we typically use a minimum of five to 10 pounds per batch of beer), but it’s enough to experiment with, so we’re thrilled. We’ll let you know what we come up with, and when our super limited release will be available. Watch this space.
3. Cool press:
Our Jersey Fresh Honey Porter was featured in this article from craftbeer.com about spring seasonals, along with only six other breweries from the northeast. Boom.