St. James Men of Charity will host its fundraising fifth annual Harvest Fest & NJ Microbrew Night — featuring New Jersey micro-breweries and also local home brewers — this Saturday starting at 6 p.m. at the St. James Church's school gymnasium, 200 S. Finley Ave., Basking Ridge.
Sample beer from NJ-based micro-breweries including Cricket Hill Brewery, High Point Brewing (Ramstein Beers), Climax Brewery, Trap Rock Brewery, East Coast Brewing, Carton Brewing, and Flying Fish Brewery.
Home brewers will compete for the title “best home brewer” by popular vote. Samples from New Jersey wineries also will be available. A “Tricky Tray” raffle will be held during the event.
Participating home brewers this year include Michael Singer, James Foti, Gregg Marks, Greg Rose and Rich Comeau.
Here is an interview is with James Foti, speaking for himself and Ed Anderson, local Basking Ridge home brewers and residents.
Foti said he started brewing about a year ago at Anderson's house along with some close friends that include Stevie Grossweiler, Josh Felter and Michelle Somody.
"We started beer making as a hobby, experimenting with different ingredients and making various styles of beer to enjoy and share with others. We’ve made many different types, such as IPA, an Apricot Ale, Hoppy Lager, Stout, Meade, and Shandy," Foti said.
Michael Singer of Basking Ridge also will be one of the micro-brewers. He too was interviewed for a blog on Patch.
"I recently read that George Washington was a home brewer," Singer said in the blog. "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," he said.
Greg Rose, local Basking Ridge home brewer and resident, said in another blog that he has been brewing on and off for 20 years.
"When I’m not boiling wort in my driveway on Sunday afternoons, I like to find projects to keep me busy," Rose said. "I just put on the finishing touches on a 4 tap bar in the basement and next year, it’s trellises on the side of the garage for growing hops."
He said that he and Gregg Marks will this Saturday offer their home-brewed Chestnut Honey Brown Ale, called P.O.T.G Ale. "We’ll keep the event goers guessing on what that stands for, but suffice to say, it’s a smooth, sweet tasting ale brewed with fresh chestnuts and verona coffee beans, fermented with chestnut honey," Rose said.
Admission is $40, which includes a commemorative tasting glass, German festival foods, wine, soda and a variety of microbrew beers featuring New Jersey craft brewers and home brewers.
On-site babysitting service, for children age 3 years and older, will be offered by the St. James Respect Life Committee for $20 per family.
An RSVP is required to attend. For tickets, call Paul Mattiola, 908-419-0850, or the parish office at 908-766-0888.