Big Life Changes / Competition Update
The end of the summer for us has been absolutely insane...When we got home from Homebrew Con, it was back into the garage for me tweaking our Cream Ale recipe. The first two versions of this beer came out pretty well and had good reviews, however I knew that I could push this beer to the next level.
At the end of July, we joined members of our homebrew club (Glend Ridge Homebrewers Assoc.) and competed on a brew on site Barrel Competition at Keystone Homebrew in Pennsylvania. We brewed up a batch of Belgian Golden Strong, which we are currently barrel aging and will submit the entry during the regional round of NHC. It of course was one of the hottest days of the summer. Around 15 different regional clubs showed up for the competition and it was a really awesome experience! Looking forward to tasting our final product.
During the brew on site competition I was brain storming my Cream Ale recipe with our club president, Chris. He has had some success with his Cream Ale. Luckily the competition was being held at an absolutely beautiful homebrew shop. So I ran inside and and purchased a few extra ingredients for my brew day. Those few tweaks really made a huge difference and got this beer to where it needed to be. I tested it out at our next homebrew club meeting and everyone approved. It was time to brew it once more just to nail it and submit it in some upcoming competitions.
Morgan - R-Ale, took 3rd place at the Dog Dayzz of Summer competition in Missouri this month. It landed on a mixed table and competed against Munich Helles, German Pils, along with other light lagers/Ales. This isn't typical...It scored a 43, which typically takes the crown on a table, but im sure the 1st and 2nd place entries were delicious! Kind of jealous I didn't get to try them..Competitions in Missouri have been tough for me in the past. They have a really strong brewing community out there and pump out a lot of great beer. I was proud to grab a medal from this state.
Over the summer I also have been tweaking my recipe for our Pale Ale, "Lupo". I switched the yeast strain one last time and changed up my fermentation schedule slightly.
The end product was rather enjoyable so I took a shot and entered it into a competition in Clarksville Tennessee. I typically brew Lupo for my personal consumption because I do love a good Pale Ale. I tend to stray away from entering IPA's/Pale Ale's in competitions because those categories are always jam packed. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Lupo took GOLD at the New South Brew Off! Really really proud of this one. I'll have to brew some more to celebrate...
Now onto the BIG news. In between brew days in August we always spend some time down at the Jersey Shore. My wife, Katie, and I were just talking about the progress that I have made as a brewer over the past year and both were venting about the crazy commute to Manhattan. She looked over to me and said, " you should just brew, just do it. Stop wasting time." It wasn't something I was seriously considering at the time. I always dreamed about just brewing professionally, but I always thought I was about at least 2 years removed from really taking a shot at taking Terra Costa to the next level and going pro. I never really considered taking a detour and maybe brewing for another brewery.
Well, we went home that weekend and I started to research and network. I ended up speaking to the owner, Chuck, at Jersey Girl Brewing in Hackettstown, NJ. I went up to the brewery and we had some really good conversations. I also met with the head brewer, Mark. Chuck decided to bring me on to the team as a Cellarman. Everything just fell into place and this path felt like one that I needed to take.
I started my professional brewing career on September 10th. I have been absolutely loving it! Its a ton of a work, but Im learning new things every day. This experience is going to be invaluable for me. It's crazy to think of even attempting to launch Terra Costa without taking this little detour. When I do eventually open my doors I want to do it the right way. I want to put in the time and effort and Im on the right path. Im excited to be a part of the Jersey Girl Brewing team.
It's a great company with a great vision and they are in the growth fast lane. I will continue to brew at home under the Terra Costa brand and still enter competitions. Nothing has changed in regards to TC. This is just a step in the absolute right direction and I couldn't be more excited. I've said this before, but I will say it again. The support I have had over these past few years have been amazing. So thank you all for the continued support.
I'll keep on updating everyone on the progress I'm making at Jersey Girl and with competition results from my Terra Costa brews.