Header imageHeader image


HackerBrew on YouTube


Tour De Brew History!

Tour History
The premise for the "Tour De Brew" has always been to meet and start touring local establishments and do some beer tasting along the way. As usual, it's always been tough to get everyone together at exactly the same time.  Back in 1996, I introduced a small sampling of homebrew while we were waiting for the crew to arrive and the rest is history.

Here's a look back in time at some of the previous years more memorable moments:

2008 - "Tour De Brew XIII" - We had clear but COLD weather that carried into the night.  All the “Tour” participants gathered on the patio and huddled around the fire pits and outdoor heaters, while sampling this years tastings. 

This year we had four offerings on tap. The three ales on tap were the HackerBrew "Pumpkin Ale”, “Mouse Tail Pale Ale”, and "Mocha Porter". As like last year it was hard to call a favorite as all three kegs emptied at seemingly the same time. I beleive the first to empty was the "Pumpkin Ale " follwed by the "Mouse Tail Pale Ale" and then "Mocha Porter".

All in all we had about 80 people in attendance at this years event, made up of family and friends. We also probably had a few rookies, which is always good to see.

Thanks for making this years event succesful as Kim and I look forward to seeing everyone at next years event!

2007 – “Tour De Brew XII" - We had clear but COLD weather that carried into the night.  All the “Tour” participants gathered on the patio and huddled around the fire pits and outdoor heaters, while sampling this years tastings. 

Every year I seem to add a new addition to the pub and this year was no exception. I crafted three new custom oak tap handles to apply a nice finishing touch to the the faucets on the chest freezer.  The three ales on tap were the HackerBrew "Pumpkin Ale”, “Blonde Honey”, and "Chief Jay Strong Brew". It was hard to call a favorite this year as all three kegs emptied at seemingly the same time. I beleive the first to empty was the "Blonde Honey" follwed by the "Pumpkin" and then "Chief Jay".

All in all we had about 100 people in attendance at this years event, made up of family and friends. We also probably had about 40 or so rookies, which is always good to see.

Thanks for making this years event succesful as Kim and I look forward to seeing everyone at next years event!

2006 – “Tour De Brew XI” – We had some beautiful weather that lasted through the day.  Once again the “Tour” participants gathered on the patio, to sample this years tastings.  A new addition to the HackerBrew Pub is a chest freezer, which allows for multiple kegs tapped in a very low profile configuration.  A couple of nights before the Tour, I took apart the new freezer and retrofitted it with a false collar which wrapped around the top.  This allowed me to drill through the collar for the taps and not the freezer……. Learning from last years mistake.  The new system worked real well with the addition of a temperature controller added to keep the beer from freezing.  Once again the traditional “HackerBrew Pumpkin Ale” was the favorite brew choice, followed by the “HackerBrew Baby Face Pale Ale”, and with two cups left in the keg the “HackerBrew Short But Stout” brought up the rear.
The 2006 event also welcomed about 20 newcomers to the “Tour De Brew”, as the thing just keeps growing.

2005 – “Tour De Brew X” – Again we had some cold weather that grew colder as the day went on.  As is tradition, there were definitely a lot of “one glovers” in the crowd.  The new addition of an outdoor fireplace helped to take the chill off as everyone was bunched around the fire.  This year we migrated from the traditional garage placement to the new patio, which allowed me to wheel the garage fridge out to the patio.  The only problem was that I drilled through the refrigerant lines the night before when installing the new taps.  Thanks to the temperature not getting much above 33 degrees the kegs could have just been placed outdoors and they would have stayed cold.  Once again the traditional “Pumpkin Ale” was the favorite brew choice.
I will be searching for a new washer game judge next year to keep an eye on Art, as somehow I took a beating from him in the game.  There must have been something bad in that chili because usually a half bottle of Tequila sits well with me.  My fingertips where burned for life as I tried to grab the brisket from the hot smoker without any utensils.  Thanks for the warning Art!  The “Old 96er” was surprisingly very tasty even after hitting the blacktop.
The 2005 event saw the anointing of about 10 rookies who hopefully will be back in 2006.  Party on! 

2004 – “Tour De Brew IX” - It was another great event that lasted late into the evening.  A small group managed a late tour this year which proved to be lots of fun.  Larry McKay’s constant line of “I am wasted” seems to stand out kind of like the repeated song in Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day.  Beaks and his bride made it till the very end along with Tommy Bork and a late return visit from Joey M.  Sometime in the eight o’clock hour Tommy, Joey and yours truly ventured out on a small tour to the pub of a childhood friend of mine, Bill Kaiser.  Bill was three sheets to the wind, and had to depart for his son’s hockey game at six in the morning.  Before disappearing Bill decided to beat up on Mike until Mike’s arm was purple.  We then proceeded to play quarters and were entertained by the amazing dice trick.  Kize wasn’t feeling to well towards the end of the night, and again in the morning, before finally departing for the hockey game……..by the way he didn’t have a sip of Hacker Brew………..need I say more!

2003 – "Tour De Brew VIII" – A good turnout and a nice day with a few new faces.  There was not much to report as the day was fairly uneventful.  This is the first year that the “Tour” group did not migrate and we ended up staying at the brew house until about 9:00 PM.  Wendell brought in a bean bag game this year which provided a lot of fun and got the competitive spirits going.  We also had some nice foosball games going ………….. Like we really needed a couple of games to get us drinking.  Again the weather cooperated with a nice day (no gloves) as we had two Hacker Brew kegs on tap.  The traditional “Pumpkin Ale” was the favorite, followed by the “Baby Face Pale Ale”.

2002 – "Tour De Brew VII".  Kim, the kids and I had just moved in and it was time for the annual “Tour De Brew” gathering.  This was the first event at the new brewery and thankfully all went off without a hitch.  The day started with a power outage in Shamong that lasted until about 11:00 AM, but most importantly the ale was not affected.  There were some old faces and some new, but as always it was great to get together with friends.  The weather cooperated with a typical fall day (no gloves) as we had three Hacker Brew kegs on tap.  The traditional “Pumpkin Ale” was the favorite, followed by the “Baby Face Pale Ale”, and then the “Chief Jay Strong Brew”. 
Events:  We had a team of men led by Mike Troost to relocate the kids swing set to the other side of the yard. Getting to the "Flying Fish" for a private tasting party is always an event. One we’d like to forget was Pete Fascia driving over the brand new paver walkway.  Thank goodness for Miss Kim as our designated driver for the evening, which was priceless.  The Fish was pretty uneventful this year as we drank their latest offerings and then headed to Jay’s Elbo Room (Former Employer of Tom Bavero).  Eddie was just finishing his shift, which proved to be deadly for us as the shots were starting to flow.  As usual the group slowly dwindled down and all passed out.
The return trip home:  It’s always a joy to drop Tom Borkowski off at his house (in that state) and watch him try to get in his front door (another priceless moment that I promise to video tape one year).  As I returned home to the brewery, I found a trail of ale coming from the bottom of the garage door.  As I opened the door, I noticed that it was actually coming from the brew refrigerator.  (This is all Sherlock Holmes stuff at this point).  Yes, the tap to the “Pale Ale” was leaking out the refrigerator.  Oh well, we’ll make more!
A special thanks to everyone who participated in last year’s event and I hope to see everyone at the “Tour De Brew VIII”.

2001 – "Tour De Brew VI".  Little did we know that this would be the last year at the Cherry Hill location.  We enjoyed a good turnout for the "Tours" sixth event, as Mike Troost arrived first this year, beating out Tom Borkowski for the first time in Tour history.  The weather was beautiful (no gloves needed) as we had four five gallon kegs and one three gallon keg on tap.  The three gallon keg contained a Barley Wine Ale (potent, just ask Rich), we also served a keg containing "Pumpkin Ale", "Baby Face Pale Ale", a "Light Pale Ale", and a keg of "Hack's Hard Cider".  As for consumption, the Barley Wine keg was kicked, and the Baby Face and the Pumpkin Ales had little left in them.  The light Pale Ale was about half gone and the Cider was about 3/4 of a keg full.  I think this is mainly the result of Tom Borkowski being MIA for the first part of the Tour (see below).  Prior to leaving the first leg of the Tour, Rich Canale decided it was time to fill-up on the Barley Wine (possible mistake).  This could relate to the fact that Rich was unable to answer any questions posed by Trish or Tom Borkowski at Jay's later that evening.
This year the Tour actually made it to the "Flying Fish" for a private tasting party.  Yes, besides Hacker Brew we actually stopped and consumed some other domestic real-ale along the Tour.  The Fish was lots of fun, as the highlight had to be Pete Fascia helping himself to a make-your-own (steal-your-own) six-pack.  The brew room was filled with visitors as Pete proceeded over to the empty six-pack holders and started to package his own, all while the powers to be were in the room.  I'm not sure he understood the beer-for-sale concept.  Besides the Flying Fish, as is tradition, we made our way over to Jay's Elbo Room.  The South Westerns went down well as the Tour rolled on.  We were lucky enough to come at the end of "Eddies" shift and the start of Tom Bavero's shift - more fun!  
We were greeted by some new faces as well as some old companions too.  Mr. Beakley, along with Wendell made their first appearance to the Tour and hopefully have some pictures to forward.  He snapped many pictures, but does anyone know if there was film in that camera?  How many laps did he make around the house?  Another question, has anyone seen my brother-in-law Jim, he left me at Jay's, while promising to come back.  Anyway, All in all it was another successful Tour enjoyed by all!
A special thanks goes out to Pete Fascia for bring the 8lbs. of sausage and to Joe Mullen for bringing hot dogs, burgers and the cheesecake (I think it's still in my freezer).  Also, I'd like to thank Tom Borkowski for making the train trip back from Virginia, just to be with his buddies.

2000 – "Tour De Brew V".  A strong turn out for the "Tours" fifth event - 20 tasters to be exact.  We served two five gallon kegs and one three gallon keg on tap.  The three gallon keg contained a Barley Wine Ale (potent), one five gallon keg which poured the infamous "Pumpkin Ale" and the other served a "Pale Ale" similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.  The Pale Ale won out as the favorite based on consumption (the keg was kicked), the Pumpkin Ale had a quart or two left in it, and so did the Barley Wine Ale.  The food was a hit this year too.  We consumed Bratwurst and hot sausages, accompanied by German potato salad and the usual pretzels and chips.  All in all it was a good day, albeit a little chilly.  The kegs didn't even need to be refrigerated!  As for the weather, I now own four different one handed gloves.  
A valid attempt was made at 3:50pm to relocate to the Flying Fish Brewery, but upon arriving we were greeted at the door with a "WE'RE CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAY" sign.  So we regrouped back at the "Hacker Brewery" (trademark pending -  see Pete Fascia) to finish off some more local product and decided to move on to Jay's Elbow Room.  This year we received a much deserved shuttle ride to Jay's.  While at Jay's we contested the "Mr. Tour De Brew" award, which turned out to be a tough battle, but eventually won by Tom Borkowski. Hats of to Tom.

1999 – "Tour De Brew IV". Last years "Tour" was the first held in my garage. On tap we served Pumpkin Ale and the addition of Strong Ale. We missed the 12:00 – 4:00pm tour at the Flying Fish and we headed straight to Jay's Elbow Room.

1998 – "Tour De Brew III". I dropped off the mini-keg with Mike Troost and had to run an errand. After a late start and lunch at Big John's, we finally gathered at Pizzeria Uno's parking lot for Football and Beer. We drank Pumpkin Ale from a mini-keg or two and then headed to the Flying Fish Brewery. Since the Fish tour closes at 4:00pm and it was about 3:59 we new we had to invent a back way there from the back of Big John's and not use Route 70. We arrived at the back of the brewery at 4:00pm, but we were at a dead end road with a fence between the brewery and us. Eventually, we risked the drive around to the front of the building and begged at the door that we were out-of-towners and to please let us in. It worked and we were able to tour the facility and sample some beer. We then headed for Jay's and it only got better from there.

1997 – "Tour De Brew II". Once again, we met at Pizzeria Uno's parking lot for football and beer. Believe it or not, I think Rich Canale was the first to arrive. This was the first introduction to the 2-Liter mini-keg system. After we killed the keg we ventured into Uno's establishment and continued to sample some of their offerings, as we waited for the rest of the group to arrive. As a whole, we seemed to dislike the Raspberry Beer concoction we were given. During this sampling we noticed that my 22-oz. glass had been chipped around the rim. Thinking quickly or at least as quickly as we could, we decided that the glass was a hazard and that a cut lip, fake or not should merit a free round. With my representing attorney (Pete Fascia) at my side, we decided that a summons of the manager was in order. The manager arrived with pen and pad and recorded all my info (name, address….). I think we only received one free beer for our efforts that day, but the statue of limitations doesn't run out until the year 2004.

1996 – "Tour De Brew I". The inaugural event started at Pizzeria Uno's parking lot. I believe we drank bottles of Pumpkin Ale and then migrated up the street to the Flying Fish Brewery. We got the full tour of the brew house and then sampled some fine brews …….and then some more. In fact, Joe Mullen was kind enough to take over the pouring duties from Joe the head brewer. We then ventured down the street a bit further to Jay's Elbow Room and were greeted by the bartender and fellow hockey player Tom "BATS" Bavero. Since we were so happy to see Tom we felt like singing for him. Within short order we were ejected from the bar by Tom, of which to this day we don't fully understand why.

 Polar Shredding - New Jersey Paper Shredding Service


Read about...

America is... and always has been... a country of beer drinkers. See how it has been part of our lives from the early settler days until now. More

Need Scanning?

Polar Shredding (800) 866-9212


©2009 HackerBrew. All rights reserved.