Draught Diversions: Lone Eagle Brewing Company

Draught Diversions is the catchall label for mini-rants, think-pieces, and non-review posts here at the Tap Takeover. We hope you don’t grow too weary of the alcohol alliterative names we use or the third person referencing…

Last Thursday, June 15, I spent a couple of hours at Lone Eagle Brewing in Flemington, NJ. Located in the Liberty Village Outlets, Lone Eagle has been open about a year and after starting with eight beers, they now feature a dozen taps. Their head brewer Alex Franko, formerly of Dogfish Head, joined the brewery shortly before launch and he has helped owners Todd and Bob brew some tasty beers and the brewery become a welcoming presence in the community and area.

I visited Lone Eagle a couple of times over the past year for a flight and for a couple of growler fills. During those visits, I was very pleased with what they were brewing, particularly the Oatmeal Stout which impressed my family when I brought a growler to Christmas Eve. I also liked the Cranberry Saison and as well as their Dopplebock which was a nice surprise as not too many breweries, let alone smaller breweries, are brewing Dopplebocks. I know I said that about Jughandle a couple of weeks ago, but of the small craft breweries I go to fairly regularly, I don’t recall seeing a Dopplebock on tap outside of here at Lone Eagle or at Jughandle. In addition to their rotating 12 beers on tap, Lone Eagle sometimes puts one of their beers on Nitro. In the case of my most recent visit, it was their Baltic Porter.  The nitro addition cushioned the bitterness usually associated with Baltic Porters and made for a really pleasant beer.

Tap list @ Lone Eagle on 06-15-16. A nice mix of styles highlighted by the DILLIGAF Hefeweizen, in my opinion, as well as the Award Winning West Coast IPA.

Lone Eagle is currently canning four beers, their West Coast IPA (which won best IPA in April 2017’s Atlantic City Beer Fest), their Turkey Trot Porter (named in honor of the 20+ year old Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Flemington), their American Pale Ale, and their Craison, a saison with cranberries. More on the Turkey Trot Porter in a bit.

The beer that impressed me the most; however, was their Hefeweizen, which also goes by the name of Dillagaf Hefeweizen so named for one of the regular customers. I’ve been wanting to try this beer for a while since it was one of the “launch beers” and finally did on Thursday. Other times I visited, they didn’t have any of the beer tap ready as the previous visits were during cooler months.

As I’ve said in the past, wheat based beers – especially Hefeweizens – are at the top of my list of favorite styles and this one did not disappoint. In fact, I was surprised with how great it tasted. I would compare Lone Eagle’s Hefeweizing very favorably with some of the better German Hefeweizens. I would even say Lone Eagle’s was better than some of the German Hefeweizens I’ve had. With how well Hefeweizens pair with warm weather, I’d love to see this beer as the brewery’s next canned release for convenience in a poolside cooler, for easy transport to summer BBQs, or just to stock up and have a can always on the ready.

Just what a Hefeweizen should look like

With regard to the facility itself, Lone Eagle has a nice first floor bar and seating area, with an even larger seating area on a second floor. They rent it out and have a second tap upstairs, too. For my most recent visit, I was going for the monthly Brews and Board Games meeting, this was the group’s third such meeting and my first. I know a couple of people in the group, one a former coworker who I recently discovered is a craft beer geek like me, and another friend I knew from the online Science Fiction Community/twitterverse.

Exterior of Lone Eagle @ 44 Stangl Rd in Flemington, NJ. The photo doesn’t do justice the building footprint and spacious interior

One of the games was actually beer based, Brewcrafters Travel Card Game, and is slightly reminiscent of the game Munchkin. The point of the game is to get 21 points by brewing beer based on the cards you draw. I enjoyed it so much I’m going to have to get this game for myself . There were a lot of games, a lot of people engaged in those games and it seemed like everyone was having a great time. Considering most were enjoying some delicious beer, this should be no surprise. Suffice it to say, I’m looking forward to the next gathering of the Brews and Board Games group on July 20.

One of the great things about craft beer and these smaller breweries is the sense of community they inspire or at which they are are often the center. Demented in Middlesex has a great taproom and will often have food trucks in the parking lot. Lone Eagle has this sense of community at its heart, too. The brewery was founded by two friends and home brewers from neighboring Raritan Township. Lone Eagle hold regular events that bring people in the community together with local restaurants or food trucks selling food, local musicians and bands playing music for patrons to enjoy, or folks looking to play some interesting games while sharing some beer.

That sense of community was strong even before the brewery had a name. In November 2015 Owners Todd Becker and Bob King, asked people to submit names for the brewery. After some back and forth to ensure a winning name wasn’t already taken by an existing brewery, Lone Eagle became the name in honor of Charles Lindbergh as it was the nickname he received after successfully completing a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. Lindbergh spent a great deal of time in Flemington during the Trial of the Century, which at its center was the kidnapping and murder of Lindbergh’s son.  Flemington is also where an annual Thanksgiving 5K race is held, the 2017 version of the Turkey Trot will be the 25th Annual race. My wife and I have run in it for the past 7 or 8 years. The race is the name Lone Eagle uses for their tasty porter, Turkey Trot Porter. I said earlier I’d come back to that beer and so I did.

Lone Eagle is coming up on their one year anniversary so Todd and Bob are having a two-day celebration. I’m hoping I can make it to one of those days, but I know for sure I’ll be returning to the Brews and Board Games meet up and stopping in for a flight or growler fill in the future. (And hopefully for some canned Hefeweizen!)

Beer Review: Two Roads Brewing Honeyspot IPA

Name:Honeyspot IPA
Brewing Company: Two Roads Brewing Company
Location: Stratford, CT
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.0% / IBU: 55

From the beer’s description on Two Roads’ Web site:

The Two Roads version of this traditional beer style takes a road less traveled. It’s unfiltered and uses wheat as the dominant malt backbone. The result is a slightly cloudy, pale IPA with a softer mouthfeel that accentuates the citrusy Pacific Northwest hop character.

IPA (India Pale Ale) is the most popular style in craft beer to the point people who aren’t beer drinkers sometimes think they are one and the same. There are quite a few breweries (at least here in NJ and many outside of NJ, I’m sure) that seem to brew -only- IPAs. That said, IPA is one of my least favorite styles, I usually won’t go out of my way for one and will usually avoid them if other styles are available. The hoppiness just doesn’t work for me nor does the grapefruit taste the hops evoke as I find grapefruits vile.

Sure I’ve had quite a few IPAs if you go by my untapped IPA badge count (of about 50 different IPAs over the past few years), but like I said, IPAs are unavoidable. I’ll drink a few IPAs voluntarily, like Founders All Day IPA, Demented’s Dementia or a couple of the popular IPAs with a fruit infusion, but that’s about it. I do enjoy Black IPAs, but that’s a beer of a different kettle, so to speak.

Then I tried Two Roads’ Honeyspot IPA; I was very impressed.

I thought I might like this one for two reasons.

  1. I haven’t had a beer from Two Roads I’ve disliked. Most of their beers, for my palate, are at worst very good while others are great.
  2. Honeyspot Road uses Wheat as the malt. As I have pointed out previously, I love me a wheat-based beer.

The beer pours a bright yellow from the 12oz bottle and of the maybe because of wheat base, it looks almost like a Witbier. The hop hits the nose, but not in an overpowering way and it continues through drinking the beer. But the unfiltered wheat is a perfect balance against the bitterness of the hops, it softens the character of the hop flower. The IBU on this is low to the middle of the road at 55 IBU. Put it this way, I’ve had IPAs with lower IBU that left more of a bitter, hop aftertaste. Maybe it is the wheat base that cuts the bitterness or makes it more palatable.

I kept thinking how balanced this beer is and how easily I could throw back a few of these over a warm afternoon or a long Sunday. Most IPAs have an ABV over 6, the Session IPAs are lower than 5%, like All Day IPA which is 4.7%. Honeyspot is exactly 6% so it isn’t quite a Session beer, but it won’t knock you out like a lot of other IPAs will,  many of which are 7% and above.

Honeyspot IPA is a delicious beer and one that seems to be perfectly geared for beer drinkers like me who don’t typically gravitate to IPAs while also please IPA drinkers.

Recommended, link to Untappd 4.00-star rating.

Draught Diversions: Bacon and Beer Classic Philadelphia

Draught Diversions is the catchall label for mini-rants, think-pieces, and non-review posts here at the Tap Takeover. We hope you don’t grow too weary of the alcohol alliterative names we use…

With the growing popularity of Craft Beer by drinkers and the proliferation of smaller/micro/craft breweries across the country, beer festivals seem to happen every weekend. At least throughout the New Jersey/Pennsylvania/New York area, I think it averages out to one beer festival per weekend through October. (While some weekends don’t have any beer festivals, there are multiple weekends where multiple festivals are held).

This past weekend, I (along with my wife, brother-in-law, and his girlfriend) attended the Bacon and Beer Classic in Philadelphia. This was held at the end of Philly Beer week (June 1 to 11). The B and B Classic is nationwide festival held in various cities, one is being held at Citifield in New York, Soldier Field in Chicago last October,  and Safeco Field in Seattle a few months ago, among others. I’ve attended quite a few beer festivals (The Garden State Brew Festival for the past five years, a couple of others in Philadelphia), but this was the first that was more than beer. In the end, that uniqueness compared to the other festivals I attended was what set this one apart. I also really like the taster “glass” we were given, it looks like a red Solo Cup but is made of I’m guessing ceramic.

The festival was held at Schmidt’s Commons, sit of the old Schmidt Brewery. Urban Village Brewing Company, a brewpub that had opened it’s doors a week prior to the festival, is conveniently located at the commons. Dan Goldman, founder of the brewery, was pouring beer: Beach Day Belgian Blonde, which set the bar for the festival and a fantastic Oatmeal Stout. Dan also happened to be on Al Gatullo’s Craft Beer cast a couple of weeks ago.

Next up was the Iron Hart Brewing tent and boy was I surprised with Industrial Lager, the lager they were pouring. I can’t recall tasting a lager with such a pleasant malt/caramel profile. It still maintained the characteristics of the lager, but the higher malt was a nice balance. Also in that immediate area of the Commons was Shiner, pouring their Homespun Cream Ale which was very pedestrian. Root Down was pouring a style not many brewers are making – an Altbier they call 3 Legged Rabbit, which was a nice surprise. Their Pale Wheat, Slag was on the hoppy end for Pale Wheats.

Harpoon was one of the non-Pennsylvania breweries in attendance and they were pouring their UFO Witbier and Camp Wannamango, their Pale Wheat Ale with Mango. I’d had UFO plenty of times previously so passed on it to save room for other beers, but I did go for the Camp Wannamango only once before, so I wanted to give a try on draft. What a wonderful summer beer, the mango is a perfect addition for flavor and sweetness, but not too much sweetness. I need to stock my cooler with this over the summer.

Next to them was venerable PA brewery Weyerbacher, pouring the blonde Mellow Monks (which I’ve had before and enjoyed) and Line Street Pilsner which is a nice crisp pilsner well-suited to summer. Next to them was Green Flash Brewing, pouring an IPA (I passed) and Passion Fruit Kicker, a wheat ale with Passion Fruit. Sweet and tart, the beer borders on sour, but seems well-suited to warm weather.

I made my way to another non-PA brewery after that, Peak Organic Brewing Company from Maine. They were pouring two beers, Summer Session Ale and Fresh Cut. Summer Session Ale is similar to Founders’ All Day IPA but the wheat base cuts the bite of the hops, which is quite welcome. Fresh Cut is the brewery’s flagship beer, a wonderful Pilsner that I wish was available in NJ. It is everything a Pilsner should be for my beer drinking sensibilities, but with slightly less hop bitterness

Out in the center of the commons, Twin Lakes poured an IPA (I passed) and Caesar Rodney Golden Ale a slightly hopped Blonde. One of my favorite breweries, also a non-PA brewery, Great Lakes Brewing was pouring two beers, their Commodore Perry IPA and Turntable Pils, a tasty Pilsner.

Guinness was there pouring some of their staples, including a new Irish Wheat, which  was a surprisingly tasty Witbier. I say surprising because their American Blonde is not very drinkable. The only NJ brewery at the festival was Forgotten Boardwalk, I had another try of their Funnel Cake a tasty, but almost too sweet cream ale. Lagunitas, from Californa, was pouring their Pils which is a passable Pilser, but like many of their beers, the hop profile is strong and doesn’t quite sync up with my taste buds.

There’s usually at least one cidery at most of these beer festivals and this was no different – Jack’s Hard Cider  was pouring an Apple Hard Cider and Peach Cider. I can’t recall ever seeing Peach cider, but this was really tasty. The Peach was a nice sweet addition to the apple base.

I closed out my beer tastings with two from venerable Philadelphia brewery Saint Benjamin’s Brewing Company. I’ve had their Wit or Witout in the past, but during that session, they were pouring Franklin’s Abbey Dubbel, a Belgian Dubbel and quite good and Inca a cream ale. I think I’ll need to visit this brew pub on a future visit to Philadelphia.

One food guy was grilling up sliders which were great. Hormel, one of the main sponsors, was giving out what seemed to be all varieties of their bacon (about 6 or 8 in total) and some delicious pork belly. Some other bacon samplings included bacon wrapped hush puppies, bacon/fish tasters, fried bacon mac and cheese, and bacon topped waffles.

While I didn’t have quite as many different beers at this festival as I have at other festivals (over 35 at this past year’s Garden State Brewfest), the quality was very good across the 18 I did have. Also, plenty of bacon samples and bacon infused/dishes. I’d definitely give this one another try, maybe even in New York next year as the event is held in many locations.

Beer Review: Bell’s Brewery Oberon Ale

Name: Oberon Ale
Brewing Company: Bell’s Brewery
Location: Galesburg, MI
Style: Pale Wheat Ale
ABV: 5.8%

Glass Logo: Tor.com

From the beer’s description on Bell’s Brewery’s Web site:

Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with our signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer. Made with only 4 ingredients, and without the use of any spices or fruit, Oberon is the color and scent of sunny afternoon.

 

There are Summer Beers and there are beers best suited to summer or associated with Summer. Bell’s Oberon Ale is one of the latter and one of the iconic craft beers in the industry. Oberon is the medieval Faerie King and is Consort of Queen Titania in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream which is (I’m assuming) where the fine folks of Bell’s Brewery drew the name for this light, delicious beer.

Some of my friends on untappd check this in throughout the summer months and I’ve been trying to get myself a bottle/can/pour of the beer for quite a while. Unfortunately for the New Jersey Craft Beer community, Bell’s isn’t yet distributed in New Jersey. Fortunately for me, a co-worker/friend who lives in Pennsylvania, where Bell’s is distributed, did a bottle-share with me and gave me two bottles.

The first thing that stands out to me is the color of the beer. Where the summer beers I’m accustomed to drinking pour a hazy yellow, Oberon pours more of an orange-yellow, a very inviting beer on looks alone but there’s not too much different in the aroma compared to other pale wheat ales like Sam’s Summer.

What is most striking in the flavor profile of the beer is the kick of spice towards the end of the beer. Not quite clove like a Hefeweizen, not quite the characteristic finish other Pale Wheat Ales, but something of its own almost-citrusy design. The bright color and bold spice set this one apart from most other summer beers.  I can now see why this is such a landmark beer in the craft beer community. While not flashy like a high ABV bourbon barrel aged stout, or super hoppy like a New England IPA, Oberon Ale is a straight-forward, thirst-quenching beer that is very welcoming in color, balanced in taste, and low-enough in ABV that a couple of these won’t get you too silly.

My only complaint about this beer is one I will re-iterate: Bell’s doesn’t distribute into NJ. Over the past year or two, we’ve seen some of the larger craft breweries enter the NJ market like New Belgium, so hopefully Bell’s is on the way to the Garden State.

Recommended, link to Untappd 4-star rating.

(The book in the background is Staked by Kevin Hearne, the eighth book in his Iron Druid Chronicles series, which features a 2,000-year old Druid named Atticus who comes into conflict with all sorts of supernatural creatures. As fate would have it, my coworker gave me the bottles of Oberon while I was reading this book. The series features an Irish Wolfhound named Oberon as Atticuss’s best friend and companion. Obviously if I’ve made it to book 8 in the series I enjoy the books a great deal, so check out the first one, Hounded if you so choose.)

Draught Diversions: Jughandle Brewing Company

Draught Diversions is the catchall label for mini-rants, think-pieces, and basically non-review posts here at the Tap Takeover. We hope you don’t grow too weary of the alcohol alliterative names we use…

This is the first of what will be several posts featuring a single brewery I’ve visited. There are currently 73 production breweries in NJ and with state’s small size from a geographical perspective, it quite easy to find a brewery either intentionally (by visiting the great and indispensable NJ Craft Beer website) or by accident. In my case, there are 4 or 5 micro/nanobreweries/brewpubs within about 15 miles of my house as of this writing. (More are on the way in some phase of start-up.)

Which brings me to Jughandle Brewing in Tinton Falls, NJ, soon to be celebrating their first year of brewing and selling beer. They have a great location, just off of the Garden State Parkway (Exit 102) and barely a mile from the Jersey Shore Outlets, which makes it very convenient to stop there after a day of shopping at the outlets or on the way home from the beach. In my case, my wife and I decided to enjoy the lovely weather and try to get some things at the outlets. We stopped in the brewery on our way home. After all, we had to pass it the brewery on our way to the Garden State Parkway after we left the outlets.

The brewery is located in a strip mall, which might seem somewhat odd initially. At least to folks not from NJ and unfamiliar with the peculiar laws surrounding breweries and microbreweries in particular. There are specific laws that preclude breweries from selling food. On the other hand, breweries in NJ like Jughandle and others (for example Ship Bottom in Beach Haven, Twin Elephant in Chatham, and Wet Ticket in Rahway) allow patrons to bring food inside the brewery. There’s a pizzeria and I think a Mexican take out place in the same strip mall as Jughandle.

What about the beer? What impressed me the most about the beer was the variety of styles on tap, with quality across the board for the four beers I sampled. There are too many breweries, I can think of a couple in NJ, that seem to only brew IPAs or focus on one primary style…or when you visit one of the smaller breweries and of the 12 taps, 9 are variations of one style. Not so with Jughandle, in addition to the styles I had, they were also pouring a Scotch Ale, a Brown Ale, a Irish-style Stout as well as a couple of IPAs

A cleverly designed flight paddle

I had four tasters, which is how many these fine folks include in their flight. I love the flight paddle they use for delivering their flight of tasters. I started off with Berliner Weisse with Raspberry – a very refreshing beer perfect for summer. Second was the Belgian Dubbel, a style I don’t see very often from smaller breweries, also quite good. Third was another style, steeped in tradition, but sort of drowned out by IPAs and other popular styles: Dunkelweizen. Jughandle’s Dunkelweizen really matched well against the style profile. Last was the classic German Hefeweizen and a very good rendition of it from the fine folks at Jughandle.  I’d likely fill my growler with their Berliner Weisse or Hefeweizen were I to visit them again.

I’d highly recommend stopping in if your travels take you near their location. If you are in NJ and enjoy quality beer, making Jughandle a part of your trip would be worth it.

As I mentioned at the top of my post, Jughandle is celebrating the first year on June 15 with a Pig Roast. Were I a little bit closer, I’d probably attend.

Ein Prosit!

Beer Review: Westbrook Brewing Key Lime Gose

Name: Key Lime Pie Gose
Brewing Company: Westbrook Brewing Company
Location: Mt Pleasant, SC
Style: Gose
ABV: 4%

From the beer’s description on Westbrook Brewing Company’s Web site:

Our classic Gose infused with the delicious flavors of key lime pie.

Westbrook makes very well regarded beers and if you like the sour Gose style, then you are probably aware of their Key Lime Pie Gose. They make an outstanding Gose, but adding the Key Lime Pie notes brings the beer to an even higher level.

Gose is an older style of beer that has been growing in popularity over the last few years since it was “rediscovered.” The most striking characteristic of a Gose (pronounced GO-ZUH) is the tartness/sourness, and many breweries will add a fruit to either enhance or balance the zing. The grain used in Gose is wheat, but the other ingredients that help give it the character are coriander and salt. Into that mixture, Westbrook added Key Lime to enhance the tartness, but to also sweeten the base.

The beer pours a yellow that is slightly hazy/cloudy, but also bright yellow from the 12oz can. The aroma does give off hints of Lime, not a go-to flavor for me, but a fruit flavor I do enjoy. The lime hits initially, but the salinity is a pleasant undercurrent, too. The first can I had I was sitting in my yard on a warm late afternoon/evening while my dog lounged under a tree and barked at people walking across the street. Seems a great way to enjoy this one as the fruit flavors are really nice on a warm day. The second one I had was also a warm evening and I enjoyed it is much as I enjoyed the first can.

This beer has great character and I understand why it such a sought after variation on Westbrook’s popular Gose. I  visited the liquor store where I initially purchased the beer about two weeks later and no 4-packs of the beer remain.  From my understanding, this beer doesn’t stay on shelves very long.

It isn’t as sour or tart as many sour beers, so it would be worth trying almost as an “entry-level” beer if you want to get an idea of what a really well crafted Gose can taste like. Westbrook’s standard Gose is also excellent, so check that out, too.

I haven’t had very many Gose beers (only about a dozen or so unique Gose beers compared to the 200+ unique stouts) because stouts are more popular and there are more variations on the stout style.  That having been said, I am growing to like the style a great deal, and this is one of the best I’ve had.

Westbrook distributes this sour, tasty beer on draught in 4-packs of 12oz cans.

Recommended, link to Untappd 4.25-star rating.

Draught Diversions: Beer Podcasts

Draught Diversions is the catchall label for mini-rants, think-pieces, and basically non-review posts here at the Tap Takeover. We hope you don’t grow too weary of the alcohol alliterative names we use…

Podcasts. They are ubiquitous. Since dropping SiriusXM Radio a few years ago, much of the time in my car is passed (along with a couple of hours at work) with either audio books or podcasts playing as my soundtrack. I’ve even appeared on a few podcasts and have considered starting a beer-related podcast with a good friend.

Be that as it may, the variety of podcasts in my listening queue ranges from a radio show that drops their daily show into iTunes, several geeky/science fiction and fantasy podcasts, and the subject of today’s Draught Diversion – Beer Podcasts. There are many, many beer podcasts available through the various providers like iTunes, but three have made their way into my constant rotation. After I go over them here, please let me know in the comments any beer-related podcasts you think I should be trying.

These podcasts will have some New Jersey/Northeast Leanings…

Steal This Beer
http://www.stealthisbeer.com/ | iTunes

Few beer people and brewers in NJ are as well-known or as respected as Augie Carton, owner of Carton Brewing. His beers smash all expectations of what beer can be and are extremely sought-after across the country. Augie is the chief imbiber on the podcast and he is joined on most episodes by Brian Casse of the I Drink Good Beer blog, Justin Kennedy and beer-writer extraordinaire John Holl where they most often record at Barcade in Jersey City, NJ.

In 100+ episodes over the past couple of years with about one new episode per week, the crew have had a range of guests on the show including David Walker of Firestone Walker brewery, Jason Perkins of Allagash Brewing, and Jeremy Lees of NJ’s Flounder Brewing, among others. With the hosts living in NJ/Northeast, there’s a natural focus on breweries and beer people in the region, but those guests account for maybe about half of the episodes.

There is always lively discussion about various beer topics ranging from new breweries, the intricacies of beer styles, mini-rants about untapped, or whatever craft brewer AB InBev recently purchased. Most importantly, the heart of every show is the beer in the black glass. Why a black glass? So no characteristics of the beer can give clues as to what the beer is. Guests bring on a beer and try to stump our fine hosts. Or rather, the hosts tend to stump themselves when trying to guess what beer is in the black glass, like when they thought a stout was a pilsner.

All told, a fun way to pass an hour of listening time and a great way to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of beer with a few folks who are just hanging and shooting the shit.

After Two Beers (All About Beer Magazine)
http://allaboutbeer.com/podcast/ | iTunes

The episodes here are less frequent, but the focus is slightly different. John Holl hosts this one with the podcast functioning more as a one-on-one interview than a roundtable that Steal This Beer is. This podcast launched in 2016 and new episodes drop about once per month.

Because John has been writing about beer for so long and published a few books, he’s had the opportunity to speak to a wide range of people over the past year, including Phil Markowski of Two Roads Brewing in CT, Laura Bell of Bells’ Brewery in MI, and Rebecca Newman of Summit Brewing in MN among others.

The one-on-one element of this podcast allows a bit more of a spotlight to shine on the guests John has on the podcast.

Al Gatullo’s Craft Beer Cast
http://am970theanswer.com/content/all/al-gattullo-craft-beer | iTunes

Al is a local NJ guy and this is the most local of the three podcasts I’ve mentioned. Al’s Craft Beer Cast is also the beer podcast I most recently “discovered.” Al is a producer on Joe Piscopo’s radio show on AM970 the answer and on Saturday nights, Al broadcasts his beer show where he’s been talking beer since early 2016. Luckily for those of us who either don’t get reception of the radio station or aren’t otherwise able to listen on Saturday Nights, the radio show is available on Sundays in iTunes.

Many of Al’s guests have been local NJ brewers like the folks behind Jughandle Brewing in Tinton Falls, NJ and Departed Soles in Jersey City, NJ. Al also had non-NJ guests like Jim Koch of Samuel Adams/Boston Beer, Marcus Englet of Weihenstephaner, Germany and Greg Koch of Stone Brewing. Al does a great job with these interviews, and will often take his show on the road to NJ locations like Paragon Tap & Table in Clark, NJ which has a great beer selection. I’ve had dinner a few times with my folks who live in the next town over/my hometown.

Similar to how Augie and crew of Steal this Beer do their black glass thing, Al does a Suds and Duds segment where he talks about recent beers he had and enjoyed, or didn’t enjoy.

All three of these shows give a slightly different perspective, but what binds them all together is the love of good beer and sharing that passion for the pint with others.

If you haven’t listened to any of these, go to iTunes or their respective websites and give a listen.

Ein Prosit!