The Referend Bier Blendery

Bhavna and I had a tour of The Referend Bier Blendery hosted by Melissa Ducommun who is a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Name: The Referend Bier Blendery
Location: Pennington, Mercer County, New Jersey
Recommended Beer: Berliner Messe
Notes: Taproom open for pints, flights, growler fills, merchandise and bottles & cans to go. Upstairs taproom and deck open during weekend hours. Outside food allowed. Only service animals are allowed. Parking lot located next to the brewery.

This fall, The Referend Bier Blendery in Pennington opened its doors to the public. Twice a month, on the first and third Saturday, The Referend Bier Blendery will offer a public tasting of two or more Berliner Messe ales and Alleluiavers ales aged on New Jersey peaches and nectarines, and Gloria, which features an American dry hopping.

The Referend Bier Blenderyy specialises in the production of spontaneously fermented beers. This is a style of beer making used by ancient beer-making cultures and popularised by the modern lambic brewers of Belgium's Pajottenland.

The Referend Bier Blendery, beer, blendery, brewery, people[exif id="23711"]

The Referend Bier Blendery, beer, blendery, brewery, people[exif id="23714"]

My wife and I took a short tour of the brewery hosted by Melissa Ducommun, a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Melissa took us outdoor and showed us the stainless steel fermentation tanks into which The Referend Bier Blendery will be pumping wort obtained from local New Jersey beer brewers. The fermentation tanks are large, shallow pans called a "cool ship", where wild yeast and bacteria will settle on overnight. The "cool ship", which was custom fabricated by Trenton Sheet Metal, sits in the back of a truck that will be driven from location to location.

The Referend Bier Blendery, beer, blendery, brewery, people[exif id="23716"]

The Referend Bier Blendery, beer, blendery, brewery, people[exif id="23717"]

The cool ship is outdoors to reduce contamination to the breweries where Referend obtains wort. Most beer is fermented by commercially cultivated yeast. However, spontaneously fermented beer depends upon the unpredictability of the wild yeast and microflora's presence to impart a singular aroma and flavour profile. The presence of wild bacteria would be disastrous for any commercial beer batch infected by it.

Melissa explained that after the wort has cooled, it is put into aged oak barrels and racked in the blendery, at which point fermentation will begin. The wild fermentation process is lengthy. The Referend Bier Blendery has used Chardonnay oak barrels for the long ageing process.

The Referend Bier Blendery, beer, blendery, brewery, people[exif id="23712"]

The Referend Bier Blendery, beer, blendery, brewery, people[exif id="23715"]

This winter, The Referend Bier Blendery will be brewing 500 barrels of wort to be 100 per cent spontaneously fermented and aged in oak barrels, gradually coming to maturity between four months and four years, depending on the style of beer. Melissa told us that the first bottled offerings would finish conditioning in early 2017 and be sold in traditional corked and caged, 750-ml green glass bottles.

Troon Brewing Grand Opening

Troon Brewing Co. does not sell any beer for on-site consumption and does not have a taproom. They sell beer to go in pre-filled, 32oz crowler cans.

Troon Brewing had been open for a while when they announced their Grand Opening in collaboration with Brick Farm Tavern. I'm not sure what the Grand Opening point was, but it was received with much enthusiasm. Brick Farm Tavern guests had brunch at the Tavern while sampling Troon's fine ales and porter. Troon Brewing's brewer, Alex, provided tours of the brewery while filling growlers of his excellent ales. I spoke to one gentleman who had travelled up from Atlantic City, but most visitors were locals from Somerset, Mercer, Hunterdon, and Middlesex counties. Bhavana and I filled two growlers; one with an American Pale Wheat Ale entitled Dog-Earned Novel and the other Take Off Your Skin And Dance In Your Bones.

Name: Troon Brewing Co.
Location: Hopewell Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
Recommended Beer: Everything
Notes: Troon Brewing Co. does not sell any beer for on-site consumption and has no taproom. They sell beer to go in pre-filled, 32oz crowler cans.

Saturday 10 December, 2016 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8

I am not certain, but I think the man in the photo below is Alex's Dad, but I believe it is. Or maybe he's the owner of the Brick Farm Tavern. I don't know the name of the woman he's talking to, but she may be someone close to the family.

Troon Brewing Grand Opening | Saturday 10 December, 2016 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8
Saturday 10 December, 2016 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8
Saturday 10 December, 2016 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8
Saturday 10 December, 2016 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8
Saturday 10 December, 2016 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8
Saturday 10 December, 2016 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8
Saturday 10 December, 2016 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8
Saturday 10 December, 2016 | Nikon D5100 | 35 mm f/1.8

Vernal Pools

Today Bhavna, Shaan, Kiran and I spent two hours hiking in the Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve in Hopewell. Our hike was hosted by the Sourland Stewards. We had a wonderful time walking through the trail near Mountain Road, and we learned a lot about the amphibian habitats, the vernal pools, of the Sourlands from Mercer Cty Parks Naturalist, Jenn Rogers. We hope to return in a few weeks to see the amphibians that hatch from the eggs we saw.