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Shooting for Six in Six

In January of 2013, brew master Brian Hink entered our tasting room, and his first thought was: “Holy shit, how do you guys have 12 beers on tap?”

In Jersey, a double-digit offering at a craft brewery is considered “insane.”

You’re more likely to see three or so regulars on a tasting room menu, with a seasonal selection rotated in for good measure.

And yet, 12 ain’t nothing compared to now.

making beer
photo credit: Frank Weiss, Courtesy Exit Zero Magazine

Brian has helped expand our selection, so that there are at least 20 beers available at any given time. Excuse us while we brag about our baby — we’ve got the largest on-tap variety of any tasting room in the state, and we’re only looking to grow.

Enter our upcoming production schedule: Six new beers in six weeks (released every Thursday beginning 2/19). Add to this the tasty concoctions put out every hump day for “One Off Wednesdays,” and you’re looking at 12 new beers in half as many weeks.

“Variety is the spice of life,” says our guy Chris. But he’s not referring to the less-than-authentic type of variety some other breweries pass off as choice. In those cases, the same yeast strain might be used to create beers that are merely tweaked to be different from each other via extra hops, blended fruit, or aging. “Whereas, we’re not afraid to buy the right ingredients,” says Chris. “For our recent Biscuits and Honey ESB, for instance, we used four different yeast strains and four different grains to get the style just right.”

CMBC's Master Brewer Brian HInk
CMBC’s Master Brewer Brian Hink

And those upcoming six beers? They’ll be just as distinct, ranging from a light-bodied Citra Pale Ale (2/19) to the cidery Apple Bomb (2/26), to a clean and malty lager called Bringing Sexy Bock (3/5), to a Toasted Coconut IPA (3/12), to the beautifully bitter Take Five Session IPA which Brian’s been dreaming up for a over a year (3/19), to the dry and complex Cape May Saison (3/26).

All of this brewing isn’t merely about pleasing customers, although that’s a nice bonus. What can we say? We’ve got a passion. Hell, Brian spends his Saturdays making beer at home. “And I find myself spending my commute, which is 45 minutes each way, brainstorming new ideas,” he says.

Watch this space for his next lightbulb moment. And be extra careful if you see him on the road. He’s clearly a distracted driver.