December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Blackthorn hasn't had much to report in the last few weeks, sorry guys.  We're still waiting for our builder's permit, until then there's not much to be done.

To wrap up 2012, Blackthorn:

  • Completed our business plan
  • Signed a lease for a 6,500 sq ft facility in Toms River, NJ
  • Partnered with a contractor
  • Obtained zoning and demolition permits
  • Began demo and received construction materials
  • Ordered a 25 barrel (775 gallon) brewhouse
  • Hired a brewer

We wish everyone a happy, healthy and exciting 2013.  Cheers!

 - Chip, Jacqui & Jason

December 7, 2012

The Grain Room is Taking Shape

The grain room has walls!  Well at least studs...

Grain room in the corner of the warehouse

Progress is being made, little by little.  Met with the Fire Inspector today, hopefully the final building permits will be approved soon!

December 4, 2012

Brewing Equipment is Ordered

*PHEW* After months of various delays, we finally ordered the brewery equipment yesterday!

25 bbl brewhouse (1 barrel = 31 gallons)
(4) 50 bbl fermenters
(1) 50 bbl brite tank (where the beer carbonates)
Kegging station
Bottling line

If everything goes according to schedule, we should have delivery in March.

December 3, 2012

Blackthorn Hires a Head Brewer

We are extremely happy to announce our newest beer-family member, Jason!  Jason joins us as Head Brewer, with a great love and creativity for brewing English & Irish ales.

Jason graduated from Ohio State with a BS in Food Science, and received a diploma in British Brewing Technology from the University of Sunderland, UK.  Jason has brewed at a number of breweries in the UK and the US.

We're looking forward to begin brewing with Jason!


November 16, 2012

Demo Week 3

Week 3 of demo concluded with the installation of new plumbing pipes for the taproom and kitchenette.

Pipe for sink in taproom

Plumbing for keg washer

Bottling line/bathroom/taproom connection

The taproom will be in this corner!

November 9, 2012

Demo Week 2

Week Two of demolition was exciting!  The crew starting digging the trenches for the floor drains and additional plumbing.  Structural beams for the taproom were delivered.

Trench for keg washer drain

Trench for bottling line drain

Can't wait to paint over the cheerleading designs!

Ceiling beams for the taproom

Wall studs for the taproom

October 26, 2012

Demolition Begins!

On October 15, we decided on a contractor.  It was a LONG 4 weeks waiting to receive all the bids, but such a relief once we chose who to work with.  Now the real fun can begin!

Demolition started this week, beginning with the office space.  There were a few walls that had to come down, and the drop ceiling removed.  The pictures below are from Week 1 of demo.  Next, parts of the concrete floor in the warehouse will be torn up for installation of floor drains.

Before the contractors began "official" demolition, we put some holes in the walls ourselves!

View looking into the office space, from the warehouse. 

This is the office space.  The back left corner where walls still exist will be the kitchenette.  The warehouse is to the left.

Opposite view of the office.  The kitchenette is to the right, for reference.

View looking from the office, into the warehouse.

September 21, 2012

Gov. Christie signs Garden State Craft Brewers Guild bill into law

This afternoon, Governor Christie signed the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild's bill S-641/A-1277.
"With this law, we will create a more friendly business environment for New Jersey’s craft brewing industry, giving it the opportunity to expand and thrive. Growing the industry will create new local jobs, increase tourism and help contribute to an overall healthier state economy." - NJ Senator Donald Norcross

Thank you to all our friends, family and beer fans for contacting your location representatives, senators and Gov. Christie.  Because of all your support, we were able to get the bill passed.  This a great time for NJ craft beer!

View the article on

August 21, 2012

Help Name Our New Beer

We intended to make a "English Blonde", but it turned out a warm copper color with a light tan head. Like most of our ales, this new brew has a rich, malty flavor and caramel notes. It finishes slightly sweet with no noticeable hop bitterness, through is extremely well balanced.

Help us name this new beer to be added to the Blackthorn collection!

July 26, 2012

Blackthorn Brewing is looking for an experienced head brewer

Blackthorn Brewing a new 25 BBL production brewery located at the shore in Ocean County in NJ is looking for a Head Brewer.  You will be in on the ground floor of a start-up brewery, initially producing English, Scottish and Irish Style Ales, making a name and reputation for ourselves and having a hell of a good time doing it!  You will participate in developing the overall growth strategy of the brewery and contributing to developing and updating SOP's to facilitate improved beer quality, operations, efficiency and safety.
This person will be responsible for the entire brewing and quality control processes.  the position will consist of all aspects of brewing including, but not limited to, wort production, fermentation management, lab & computer duties, cellaring, cleaning, scheduling, inventory, cost controls, kegging/kegwashing, bottling, self-distribution, participation at festivals & other special events and designing pilot beers.
The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 3 years of professional brewing experience, must have strong supervisory, production, communication and computer skills and a strong work ethic.  Candidates must be well organized and pay particular attention to detail. Formal education is a definite plus but not mandatory.

Email resume to

July 23, 2012

Brewery Layout

So after many conversations between our architect, electrical engineer and the fabricator we've come up with a working layout for the brewery.  The working area is just over 5900 Sq. Ft. including the taproom.  The brewhouse will be a 25 BBL semi-automatic system with (4) 40 BBL fermentors, (1) 40 BBL brite tank, a 2000 BPH bottling line, grain room, 2 head keg washer and cold room.  
We should be going back to the township for building permits by next week and sending the plans out for bids to our contractors. If all the planets fall in line we could be producing beer by the first quarter of 2013!

July 10, 2012

Blackthorn is on the Streets

Look for the first rolling advertisement for Blackthorn Brewing!  The rear window screen was added to our vehicle and is already getting attention.  If you see us on the road, give us a honk!  Look for us in your favorite pub starting sometime after the first of next year.

June 26, 2012

It's On To The Governor Now

Legislation has passed both the Assembly and Senate that would allow Blackthorn Brewing and all craft breweries in New Jersey to sell directly to the public!  If signed by the governor, guests coming in for tours will be able to enjoy a pint of the freshest beer they've ever had in New Jersey (other then brewpubs).  If you really like our brews, you'll be able to purchase as much as you'd like to take home, a 6-pack, a case or two, or even kegs.  Prior to this, you were limited to purchasing 2 6-packs after a tour, not anymore.

So, with this in mind, we're working with our architect, drawing up plans for our tap room that will overlook the brewery.  You'll be able to sit and relax after a tough tour of the brewery, look out thru the glass walls and enjoy a pint of Rinn Duin Irish Red Ale, or any of your favorite Blackthorn beers.  I can't wait!


June 9, 2012

NJ Assembly Panel Passes Bill A-1277

New Jersey is one step closer to allowing microbreweries to sell directly to the public.  Bill A-1277 has now passed both the Senate and Assembly panels and is ready to go on for a full vote.  This bill is a great step forward for the brewing industry in New Jersey, allowing both brewpubs and production breweries the ability to increase their business.  For Blackthorn Brewing, it would allow us to sell to the public directly from the brewery. When you come to the brewery for a tour you could buy a pint of your favorite and not be limited to the small samples that are allowed now.   And if you really love it you can leave with a case or two, having a party, you'll be able to come in and get a keg of beer.  Never before in New Jersey have you been able to get beer this fresh!

June 3, 2012

One Step Closer

Blackthorn Brewing received  its Zoning Permit Application approval this week. This was an important step because Toms River does not have "Microbrewery" as an approved use in the industrial zone where we are located.  The next step will be to finish the layout plans with our architect so we can submit to the ""Permit/Building Dept." for approval.  This is one step closer for us in a long list of items to complete, have approved, obtain and order. . . . .  and we just want to brew beer!

May 27, 2012

Pictures of the Brewery

Here's some preliminary pictures of the Brewery!  The wine school is currently using the warehouse for storage, but on June 1 the space is ours.  Let the construction begin!

Blackthorn has the left portion of the building

View from front-to-back of the warehouse

View from back-to-front of the warehouse

Back of the building on the loading dock

This is the corner where we're going to build the tap room!

May 22, 2012

Blackthorn Now Has a Location!

We haven't had much to report over the last few months, but that time is over!  During April and May we negotiated a lease for space and began working with general contractors.  The new Blackthorn Brewing LLC will be located at:

1540 Rt 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755

Our new location is 3.5 miles west of the Parkway off Exit 82

We'll have pictures of the building soon!!


February 9, 2012

Progress Update

The business plan is finished, again.  I think it's got to be the 25th revision, but it's done!(at least for now)  We've had the initial meeting with our attorney and he's putting new wrinkles into the plan. We're now looking into purchasing or building the brewery from scratch instead of leasing space!  This involves financing options that were never looked at before and a meeting with the SBA was held last week.  This could work.  SBA is reviewing our plan and current financials, they're going to get back to us shortly and we should go from there.  So, at this point we're looking at undeveloped land to build on, existing locations that could be modified for our needs and speaking to builders for cost estimates.  This has not been a journey that traveled in a straight line, we're at the point now that we take two steps forward and one step back, or sideways or somewhere, but certainly  not straight, but still in the right direction.
At the same time it's a little over a month to St. Patty's day and the stout is kegged, the Irish red ale will be brewed this weekend and more then a few friends have been asking when the party starts.