New and Exciting Breweries in the Garden State
Peter Culos, Craft Beer Editor, Jersey Bites explains what makes New Jersey’s craft beer scene unique and talks about some of the new and exciting breweries here in the Garden State.
"Welcome back to Life & Living. If you're crafting up a new brew here in New Jersey, Peter Culos knows about it. He's the Craft Beer Editor at Jersey Bites. Welcome to the program. Oh thanks. Great to be here. We love having you. We love beer. Anyone who watches this show knows we love the beer segments. [laughter] Okay. But you love beer too, don't you? I do. Is that what got you into this business? Writing about, talking about, visiting breweries? Well, I got into craft beer... I have to thank my ex-wife for this. She was from England, so I used to go to England a lot, and of course, you have to... when you go, you have to experience the pub, you know, culture. And of course, if you go to a pub, you gotta have a beer, and that's how I kind of learned that beer was something more than American light lager, and could actually have flavor. So, and then I was living in Redbank at the time, we had a local brew pub, called Basil T's, which has now changed names, but I got to know the owners, and the brewer, and then you know, then it was off. So people hear the term "craft beer" and there might be a certain perception about what that means. What is craft beer? What do people, maybe, wrongly assume about it? Yeah, that's a good... that is a good question. Craft beer... a lot of people assume is kind of a style or something. You know, they think, "Oh that's that bitter beer," or, "That's that real heavy stuff." Real happy, right? Yeah. And people don't always even know what that means. But those are just styles. You know, craft beer encompasses a lot of different styles of beer. It can be... it can be a very light, you know, crisp Pilsner style beer, which is something that you might be used to if you like American lagers. And it can be a heavy, double barrel, aged stout, that, you know, tastes like motor oil. So craft beer is really more of a.. you know, I know the Brewers Association has guidelines about who owns the brewery? How much is owned by another entity? And you can get into all of that. But it's really just... it's an artisanal, handcrafted, flavorful beer. So here in New Jersey, we do have a craft beer scene. And there are some up-and-coming breweries. Talk about what is going on here in New Jersey, and what's making this craft brew seen here exciting? Over the last five years or so, we've seen the number just skyrocket. I mean, there's probably about 83 breweries in the state..."