February 28, 2013 – Hunterdon is proud to announce that Blue Mountain Brewery will be the next addition to their expansive portfolio of craft brews. Distribution agreements have been signed and a sampling of their unique artisan ales from their “Barrel House Series” will be launched into the market the week of March 4, 2013.
The Barrel House Series is brewed at the newly opened Blue Mountain Barrel House, founded in 2011, four years after the opening of the original Blue Mountain Brewery, which was recently named ‘Best Brewpub in Virginia’ by Ratebeer.com. Both breweries are located in rural Nelson County, Virginia in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and are led by head brewer and owner Taylor Smack, formerly of South Street Brewery and Goose Island Brewing Company. Combined production between the two breweries is approximately 10,000 barrels per year, the majority coming from the new production brewery.
While the original Blue Mountain Brewery focuses on a wide range of classic styles and American favorites, the Barrel House portfolio is a small collection of high-end, experimental and barrel-aged brews ranging from complex French and Belgian-inspired ales to American oak-aged Imperial Stouts. Taylor’s talent for the art of barrel-aging can be attributed to his time spent at Goose Island as well as his education at the Siebel Institute and thirteen years experience as a brewer. Each of his cork and cage creations is hand-crafted with the best ingredients and a labor-intensive brewing process.
Blue Mountain prides itself on the level of care, quality of ingredients and sustainable practices implemented at both of their facilities. Crystal clean water sourced from natural wells in the Blue Ridge Mountains is used for their entire line of products. “The consistency and trace mineral uniqueness of deep aquifer water sources adds something special to our beers, and to all the beers being crafted in Nelson County,” states Taylor. In addition, they are one of the few breweries in the country that works on the ‘parti-gyle’ system – an old brewing technique where two batches of beer are created from the same batch of grain; cutting back on waste while creating two unique styles – one higher alcohol, complex ale and one lower alcohol session ale.
Blue Mountain’s products can currently be found in five other markets along the Eastern seaboard from New York City to North Carolina. “Filling in New Jersey has been on our radar the whole time,” states Taylor. “Hunterdon was always our first choice because of their amazing portfolio of like-minded craft brewers, and we are extremely pleased they have agreed to represent our beers in the Garden State.”
The inaugural rollout will feature four ales: Mandolin, Local Species, Dark Hollow and Sour Devil. Consumers can expect to see core products from their Blue Mountain series, such as Full Nelson Pale Ale (made with house-grown hops from the Blue Mountain farm) and Kölsch 151, making their way to the New Jersey market sometime in 2014. Construction is underway on a third facility that will give them the capacity to meet these future distribution demands.
Taylor Smack will be in New Jersey to attend official launch parties on March 6th at Morris Tap and Grill in Randolph and March 7th at Ott’s Bottlestop in Medford. In addition, beer enthusiasts attending this year’s Atlantic City Beer Festival should be sure to stop by the Blue Mountain table for a few samples of their delicious Virginia craft brews!