Draught Diversions is the catchall label for mini-rants, think-pieces, and posts that don’t just focus on one beer here at The Tap Takeover. We hope you don’t grow too weary of the alcohol alliterative names we use…
Suddenly, Five Years Later…
It is hard for me to believe I’ve been writing about beer here at the Triple T for five years! To say that a lot has happened since this blog went live is an understatement, at least in the world of beer and NJ Beer specifically. When I started the blog back in 2017, there were approximately 75 breweries in the State of New Jersey. As of this writing, there are over 130 breweries in the State. This is about the same as last year, but four officially closed in 2021: Atco Brewing, Camden; Dark City, Asbury Park; Human Village Brewing, Pitman; Raritan Bay Brewery, Keansburg. I’d only every been to Dark City and was never compelled to make a second visit. The Referend moved from NJ to PA, and a couple more have opened. There are 21 Brewpubs, with 20+ breweries/brewpubs soon to be opening, per New Jersey Craft Beer.
Five years ago, there were three breweries in close driving distance to me, one of those has since moved, now I’m less than two miles from a brewery that opened in 2021, plus a another half dozen or so are within close proximity. Because of COVID, home delivery is now an option many breweries are offering. Some of the more prominent/popular NJ breweries have expanded their offerings and distribution, like Kane, Tonewood, Cape May, and Icarus for example. Breweries previously not available in NJ have begun distribution into the State, such as Bell’s, Jack’s Abby, and 3 Floyds. In other words, right now is a good time to be a fan of independent/craft beer.
The “craft” beer landscape is flourishing, nationally and locally in New Jersey and our neighboring states of Pennsylvania and New York. On one hand, that makes it easy to find a new beer on a mostly weekly basis to review/feature and an additional 6 over the course of the month to highlight in my monthly six packs. IPAs are still the unavoidable and dominant style, sours (and those beer-in-name-only smoothie sours) are all over the place, but lagers have been continually on the rise. I’ve obviously been leaning towards Pilsners and Lagers, but I’m always seeking other styles that may be a little off the beaten path to review and feature here at the Triple T. So maybe over the next year or so, I’ll try to feature styles like Hefeweizen, Old Ale, Barleywine (I love them, but don’t see nearly enough of them on shelves), Shandy/Radler (quite popular, but largely derided by “craft” beer enthusiasts), Scotch Ale, Cream Ales, and so forth.
As in past years, I thanked the readers of the blog and folks who have supported my little hobby by spreading the word over the years via social media and simply chatting up with me (virtually or in meatspace) about beer. I’d especially like to thank Mike K. of NJ Craft Beer who I’ve run into a few times at breweries and events. Mike is always one of the first to spread the word/retweet my beer posts. Additionally, I’d also like to thank some of the other people who’ve spread the word on social media about my beer ramblings: the folks behind Breweries in PA ; John Couchoud and the the Crew of South Jersey Beer Scene; Al Gatullo of Al Gatullo’s Craft Beer Cast, my old college pal Chuck of NJ Beer and Wine; the great beer writer John Holl; the crew over at reddit/njbeer; the folks at the Beer Advocate Northeast subforum, the people who follow my beer ramblings on twitter and Instagram. Thanks to my wife who supports this little hobby of mine and my dad for introducing me to “microbrews” when I was in college like Sam Adams Cherry Wheat and Pete’s Wicked Ale as well as my friends who’ve joined me on some of my beer adventures.
Cheers to another great year!