Category Archives: Meetings

Annual Homebrew Competition

It’s a bit late notice, but the club competition is set for October 18th, with a 1 pm start time. The location will be the Mill Hill Saloon, 300 S Broad St, Trenton, NJ 08608

Instead of the usual BJCP categories, we’ve decided to go with four broad categories:
Hoppy- IPAs etc
Roasty/Malty- Stouts, Brown Ales, etc
Crisp/Light- Pilsners, Kölsch, etc
Funky- Sours, Brett Beers, anything odd.

I’m sure there will be entries that could be in more than one category, use your best judgment. Please bring at least two 12-ounce bottles (or one 22oz), plain bottles are preferred. Extra beer is encouraged.

Please expect to judge in at least one catergory. We’ll go over how everything works the day of. We’ll be providing appetizers; the kitchen will be open for anything else.

Remember, the competition is open to club members only, so please be sure that your dues are paid up!

Any questions should be sent to

20th Anniversary PALE ALES Meeting

Yes, that’s right it’s been 20 years since Joe Bair convinced a bunch of his customers to all show up one night at The Alchemist and Barrister in Princeton. We decided the only appropriate thing to do to commemorate  the milestone would be to go back to The A&B and raise a pint.

Fell Under The Spell

As a new brewery, I think its always good indicator that you’ve got it right when the local homebrew club comes out and fills their trunks with your beer. Keep an eye out for Spellbound beers on tap. You won’t be sorry! They seem to be doing a little bit of everything style-wise and doing it well every time. Thanks to Michael Renegar, Jimmy and Bair for the pics!

Annual Styles Meeting 2014 – BOCK! BOCK!

Our annual style meeting is always a great time. We had plenty of great food and some really good beers (and some not so good). Steve Rowley led us through a wide range of beers under the heading of bock, including maibocks, dopplebocks, weizenbocks and eisbocks. You can find some pretty dicey beers brewed in these styles — and some members could resist bringing them! However, the vast majority of the beers we sampled were great examples of their respective style. Thanks, Paul for hosting us once again. If you have an idea for the 2015 style meeting, add it to the comments of this post.

IMG_8130Photo by Gary Kaplan.


Big Brew 2013

Another year, another Big Brew down in history… meeting again on the Suydam property in Franklin, the PALE ALES turned out 200+ gallons of homebrew! A big thanks to Paul and Robin for having us there, and everyone who showed up and had some fun! Got pictures I haven’t posted?  Send them in and I’ll add them.



Philly Pub Crawl 2012

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.  And perhaps, the greatest beer city in the US as it is now called by many.  Knowing this, we had a little pub crawl to see just how great things are going.  Starting at Nodding Head, some berliner weiss (award winning no less) was a nice and refreshing inbibe.  From there, a short wander to Monk’s which most folks know well for some interesting Belgians and a realization that it is always crowded (no surprise, great food and beer lead to that).  A little walk further, and up the stairs to the Perch Pub.  A bit newer, another great place for some great craft brews and little plates to keep thing going.  Taking a little further walk, our group ended up at Tria another well known wine and beer bar.  A cheese plate a few beers later, the suggestion was made for dinner; The Percy Street Barbeque.  Finding it turned out to be easy; you’re close when you can smell the hickory smoke!  After pork cheeks, pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and more great beers it was time to call it a night! Conclusion:  Philly is indeed a great beer city.  See it for yourself, you won’t regret it!

Big Brew 2012 – Brown ales

Across two locations (Suydam Farms and Princeton Homebrew) our homebrew club was hard brewing for National Homebrew day.  Following PALE ALES tradition, the recommended recipes from the AHA were turned down in favor of a different recipe: Brown ale threeway.  A good grist of optic malt, carapils, crystal 40L, and carafa III special laid a sturdy foundation for three styles of brown ale:  British hops and yeast to create a rich sweet brown ale, American hops and yeast to create a hoppy and sweet brown ale, and a small dose of bittering hops and a choice between a Flemish or Oud bruin yeast blends to create a sour brown ale.

Brewers came together with cars and trucks packed full of gear, showing a wide diversity of equipment and methods of churning out homebrew.

Keeping with tradition a toast for all homebrewers was held in the afternoon, followed by mint juleps in the afternoon to coincide with the Kentucky Derby!  Not to mention the variety of food and homebrews provided by members, it turned out to be another great Big Brew.  Nearly 200 gallons were made!

A big thanks goes out to the Suydam family for hosting the club at Suydam farms, and Gino for hosting the monster mash next door to Princeton Homebrew!

Annual Club Competition Results

Congratulations to Tim Kowalski (1st); Mark Russo (2nd); Russell Acevedo (3rd); and Ryan Hansen (4th). A big thanks goes out to all our sponsors: Princeton Homebrew, The Firkin Tavern, White Labs, Kane Brewing, Hop Union, Hub City and the Harvest Moon. Thanks for all the great pics, Dawn.