The Brewers Guild of New Jersey is launching its first beer collaboration this week, Key Lime India Pale Ale, spearheaded by Kane Brewing Co. in Ocean Township.
It’s the first of what Executive Director Eric Orlando hopes to be many, with future collaborations focused on drawing attention to guild rallying cries like reviewing the state’s decade-old craft brewery law, gaining support for government-sponsored financing programs, and maintaining home delivery privileges established during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The inaugural Guilded For the Cause collaboration is an IPA brewed with key limes and lactose, featuring locally-grown grains sourced from Rabbit Hill Farm in Shiloh and Screamin’ Hill Brewery in Cream Ridge, which grows grains on its attached Bullock Farms.
Proceeds from beer sales will go toward the Brewers Guild of New Jersey and its advocacy efforts on behalf of its licensed brewery and brewpub membership.
The guild started talking about a collaboration late in the summer.
“We got it together and thought, in light of COVID, how can we do something like this and make it a reality? Do we get together in someone’s brewery and do this? Do we put together a recipe and share it? The best, quickest way is to collaborate on the recipe and have one brewery volunteer to take it on. Kane was the first one,” Orlando said.
“They spearheaded the effort, organized a bunch of the calls, worked on it on conference calls, Zoom calls, emails. The last couple weeks were spent putting the finishing touches on it, designing the can, dialing in the beer itself,” Orlando said. “Got the word last week everything’s good, so let’s get it out!”
Fourteen breweries collaborated on the recipe for the new beer: Magnify Brewing, Beach Haus Brewery, Kane Brewing Co., Flounder Brewing Co., Flying Fish Brewing Co., River Horse Brewing Co., Hidden Sands Brewing Co., Carton Brewing, Cape May Brewing Co., Little Dog Brewing Co., Hackensack Brewing Co., Screamin’ Hill Brewery, Bolero Snort Brewing Co. and Gaslight Brewery.
The beer will be available at retail and on draft by week’s end.
“What we’re hoping is whether it be a single brewery member brewing up a collaboration recipe down the road or doing a traditional collaboration or making up a recipe and having each individual do their own representation of it, that this’ll be an ongoing thing,” Orlando said.
“How do we engage the public in way that’s putting something in their hand that they really want and maybe utilize that can of beer to make a message to have a call to action to do something down the road?” Orlando said, suggesting a QR code that links to info on a call to action or putting the information right on the label.
“Using what those guys do, which is make beer, send it in to the marketplace, and use that to get people to call their congressman … will get a message out to a different kind of person than someone who does work like this like me for a living can get to,” said Orlando, who is a lobbyist.
The goal of the inaugural effort of Key Lime India Pale Ale is to make people look forward to the next collaboration and the one after that, which will get into more specific issues.
“I’m hoping it builds up a following so that the next beer that comes out, people are ready to take action and engage their local legislators on our priorities and issues,” Orlando said.
Home delivery from breweries, for example, came out of the COVID pandemic to keep breweries afloat before outdoor dining got the go-ahead. But when the state health emergency goes away, so, too, does home delivery.
“I could foresee a beer being brewed with branding and a call to action on that specific issue to say everyone out there, ‘you got used to this privilege, you want it delivered? Call your legislators, ask them to continue this privilege beyond COVID.’ When the state of emergency goes away, the rights go way, so this is to have people looking at ‘maybe we should be doing this on a more permanent basis,’” he said.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 1:14 p.m. EST on Nov. 3, 2020, to update the list of participating breweries to 14, with the addition of Bolero Snort Brewing Co.