Harvest Fest & NJ Microbrew Tasting Night – Interview with the Home Brewers…

For the upcoming Harvest Fest on Saturday night, November 2,  the St. James Men of Charity are running a series of interviews with some of the great participating home brewers in our local area.  For tickets to the event, contact Paul Mattiola (908-419-0850). 

Participating home brewers this year include Michael Singer, James Foti, Gregg Marks, Greg Rose and Rich Comeau.  Today’s interview is with Michael Singer, fellow Men of Charity and Basking Ridge Resident.

Michael, please tell us about yourself:

I have been brewing for about 20 years.  I am also raising fish on family farms in Missouri.

What you are brewing for the Harvest Fest?

I am brewing a harvest brown ale.  It has a hint of pumpkin spice.

What do you like best about the Harvest Fest?  What can first time attendees expect?

It doesn’t get any better than making something with your own hands and sharing it with your friends and neighbors.

Any unique beers you’ve brewed or would like to brew?

I recently read that George Washington was a home brewer.  I would like to recreate what he brewed back in the day.  Evidently, it was hard to find barley, so he brewed with molasses.  Ginger, cinnamon and licorice were also common ingredients.

Favorite local brewers?  Local restaurants or taverns?

I have visited Trap Rock many times.  They have excellent beer on tap and fine food too. Cricket Hill is passionate about brewing real beer.  I was really impressed with beers that I have tried from Carton, a young New Jersey brewery.  My family in the Midwest enjoys real beer from Boulevard Brewing Co.

Where do you see home brewing going?

There has been a great renaissance in America with craft and home brewing.  I certainly hope that it continues throughout the 21st century.  It is a great time to be a beer enthusiast.

What contests have you been in?  Any awards?

I won best home brew at the St. James Harvest Fest a few years ago.  The winner was a Belgian brown Ale.

What made you start home brewing? How did you get started in home brewing?

I started brewing in the 1990s when it became legal in the state of Georgia, where I lived at the time.  My first batch was served at my parent’s 25th Wedding Anniversary party.

Any advice you would give to someone interested in home brewing?

It is easy to make really good beer.

Anything else you would like to say?

I brew therefore I am.

The Men of Charity want to thank Mike for the interview and can’t wait to try his harvest brown ale at the Harvest Fest.   The Men of Charity invites home brewers to participate in the Home Brew Tasting contest.  To participate, please contact Mark Balzarotti (973- 216-8025).

The Harvest Fest will be held at St. James and proceeds will benefit works of charity.  There will be German Fest foods, music, wine, microbrews from NJ craft brewers and home brewers, and a Tricky Tray raffle.  Tickets are only $40.

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Home Beer Brewing

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