Glasstown Brewing, when it opens late this summer / early this fall, will be the latest addition to South Jersey’s growing list of craft breweries : Turtle Stone, Cape May Brewing Co and Tuckahoe Brewing. Like the other three, it has a unique concept and ties to local history;the success of these new nanobreweries provided the inspiration for co-owners Justin Arenberg and Paul Simmons, who have big plans and a smart concept : keep it very local, cater to their hometown Millville base and then grow as their reputation spreads.
Paul Simmons, brewer and former environmental consultant, and Justin Arenberg, whose contracting experience is going to play a large part in transforming the former equipment hangar into a fully-functional brewery and tasting room, are Millville residents who intend to stress local factors when getting their beer out : regional history, local ingredients, patrons that they’re as likely to see at a local bar as on their Facebook page. The logo on their bottles and growlers features a glassblower, key figure in Millville’s history in the glass business;their seasonal beers are going to feature strawberries sourced from Ingraldi Farms in Millville, beach plums from Green Acres Family Farm in Cape May, and honey courtesy of family friend Gary Schempp. A Founder’s Wall with engraved numbered bricks that can be purchased from the brewery and a limited series of numbered pints, zero to two hundred, will be sold to friends, family and those in the know when the brewery opens in late August / early September. The pints will go quickly, no doubt, but the bricks and the Founder’s Wall pose another dilemma for the fledgling entrepreneurs, who already expect to outgrow their facility. As Paul Simmons says succinctly : “We’ve talked to our architect about it, and we’ll figure out a way to move it (the wall) when we do.” If he gets his wish, and moves Glasstown into an abandoned airplane hangar about two hundred yards away from the warehouse the brewery current occupies, transplanting them shouldn’t prove too difficult.
The current facility is a 2,800 square foot former equipment hangar at Millville Airport, directly behind the Military Museum. The brewers enjoy this aspect of the location : “We talk to them at the museum, and say that you can come hang out here (in the brewery) and we’ll come over and hang out in the museum.” They have purchased a military ambulance from the museum, which is being fitted out as a mobile tasting unit, ready to take the brewery’s product to the thirsty public. Repurposing like this, and simple recycling – “We take our pallets, use a circular saw, turn them into our Founder’s Series 4-pack reuseable beer carriers,” are a definite focus of the brewery, which advertises itself as eco-friendly. Spent grains are being reused by Vitality Pastures in Bridgeton.
When the Millville Aviation Celebration opens to its projected 4-6,000 visitors, on September 28th, Glasstown Brewing will be brewing and serving right at the center of the action. Both owners recognize this is as an excellent opportunity to sell product and get their name out to the wider public. As Justin put it succinctly : “If we sell one beer only to only a quarter of the people who attend, and they remember us, it’s a win.” And that’s not going to be the problem;for the nascent brewery, having the product ready to go for the much more likely scenario of two beers each sold to a third, half, or 60% of the attendees is going to be the dilemma for the two-man operation that Glasstown’s still going to be at that point, a month after their projected opening. They’ll have to brew twentyfour-seven, just to meet that expected demand. Not to mention all the interest that their opening is garnering in the area : several local restaurants and bars to have already contacted Simmons and Arenberg, ready to feature Glasstown’s coming line of beers in their establishments. The initial offerings will include their ‘Merican Pale Ale, a John Doe IPA, the Rusty Trombone Red Ale, a NotSoBrown Ale and Lights Out Stout. Multiple seasonal brews are in the works. This June, Glasstown is going to start its Patriot series, Red, Wheat and Blue Witts : a typical Belgian Witt, a Strawberry Witt and a Blueberry Witt.
The brewery’s first Friends and Family Tasting was held on April 27th, they tapped a special limited-offering Summah Cream Ale and held a raffle for growler fills for a year. Feedback was good, friends and family will come back for more, and soon these two brewers and their operation Glasstown will be busy serving their product to the Millville area, then South Jersey at large.
10 Petersen St, Millville Airport
Millville NJ 08230