John reporting for duty on a hot and muggy day here in the deep jungles of Ocean County.
Other than a brief sentence of two, we haven’t really talked much yet about one of our food passions: beer. Ever since I had a Samuel Adams Double Bock way back in college (college and beer…what a novel concept) in 1991, I realized that beer could be enjoyed and not just used as a way to get stupid.
Not that I ever really got stupid.
Well, not often.
Anyways, both Lisa and I enjoy a quality pint and have tried many a brew over the years. We’ve come to appreciate beers from around the world, especially the well-known beer capitals of Germany, England and Belgium. We also really love the microbrews that are all over this country. The US of A doesn’t have to take a back seat to anyone; many happy, magical beers are being made right here. And I do mean happy, because if you ever go visit a microbrewery, the folks working there genuinely enjoy their pursuit of making great beer. Beer makers are a happy people.
We even brew a batch ourselves from time to time. Lisa is really the brewmaster (brewmistress?) in the Howard-Fusco Brewery; I am the helpful assistant and logo designer. Oh, and taste tester as well. (Well SOMEBODY has to do it!) We used to brew a few batches a year; we even made beer to give out as favors for our wedding. Now, it’s become a Christmas tradition of ours.
Sadly, New Jersey as a whole (and South Jersey in particular) has not been big in the American beer making renaissance. But there are a handful of places in the state that are making beer, and they will be getting together on June 21st at the Battleship New Jersey for the 12th Annual Garden State Craft Brewers Guild Beer Festival. If you’re interested, go to http://www.njbeer.org/. We’d love to go, but with Lisa not really able to drink, it would be kind of a waste. (Not for me, mind you, but I think Lisa would be kinda pissed.)
We’ve added Beer Advocate to our food links. It’s like Chowhound for beer, and it’s run by those fun and beer loving Alstrom boys. Look up any beer, and you’ll find a bunch of folks who have already sampled it and reviewed it. You’ll also find people looking to trade beers with others.
In the other links list, I’ve added one of my favorite online hangouts. I am a big time soccer fan, and if you want to get a pulse of soccer here in the US, you have to check out BigSoccer. The Internet is really the best place to get news and opinions on all things soccer, and BigSoccer is a great central location to start.
It’s interesting to take a peek at this moment in time in regards to local beer. In June 2008, there were very few microbreweries in South Jersey. You had Flying Fish, you had Tun Tavern, and not much else. It would be another three years (!!!) before the second wave of craft brewing would hit the area.
Oh…and BigSoccer? Really – in this post? – John H-F, April 2018