Thursday, December 4, 2008

Review of New Jersey Breweries

Someone finally noticed that Mark and I put out a book... There's a nice review of New Jersey Breweries up at myCentralJersey.com. Sweet, and just in time for the holidays.

As for her calling me on a "misstep" on putting attractions/lodging in Clinton down for Cricket Hill, well... she's right. Looks like that stuff for Cricket Hill should have been in the Long Valley entry. Not sure what happened there; editorial brainfart on my part, definitely, because I wrote that section. Sorry.

12 comments:

Ari Juntunen said...

I also reviewed the book back in September. Unfortunately in Finnish :)
http://arijuntunen.blogspot.com/2008/09/lew-bryson-mark-haynie-new-jersey.html

Lew Bryson said...

I'll be damned, so you did. Didja like it?

Ari Juntunen said...

Firstly, I apologize my clumsy English. By the way, just came from the sauna, celebrating the Finnish Independence Day.

To be direct, as we Finns are, I was a bit disappointed with this book, compared to your earlier works. Mainly because the subject matter is too narrow for an entire book, just 19 breweries in New Jersey. And the stretching made it worse, I mean, fairly uninteresting (in my opinion) Anheuser-Busch quality control material, a brew-on-premises description, and even an applejack distillery, come on. I also suspected that there are some re-used stuff from earlier books.

On the other hand, a lot of good things. I liked the musical references, local history descriptions and the general integration of the beer culture to its environs. The brewery descriptions were maybe less subjective than in earlier books (Mark Haynie contributions?) but very informative and useful for travel purposes. I could well agree with the presentations of those brewpubs that I have visited (The Ship Inn, Triumph Princeton, Basil T Toms River).

I'm a big fan of your earlier books. In April 2001 I toured rural Pennsylvania, with your Pennsylvania Breweries firmly in hand. I have also put your books into the Finnish beer wiki:
http://olutopas.info/wiki/index.php?title=Luokka:Kirjat

Lew Bryson said...

It was a short book. We talked about a New Jersey book for years, and kept coming up against that problem. Too many in PA to combine the two, the New York book didn't sell well enough to do another edition with NJ in it...we finally decided to go ahead with this. I'll defend the applejack distillery inclusion, though: Laird's is an interesting place, a real NJ original, and easily as many readers have been as happy with the inclusion as not. The A-B stuff is personal preference, I guess.

And yes, some of the interlude stuff (and much of the glossary) was largely taken from the previous books, something I've done in all the books, but it's always in a state of re-write. There's only so many ways to say things, and it's still useful material for the readers.

I saw you liked the music references: are you a Southside Johnny fan? When the albums came out on CD, I was a happy man.

I've agreed to do an update of PA Breweries, by the way. There's a LOT of new material: almost 20 new breweries, major changes at older ones, and of course the Sam Adams takeover at the big Vogelsville brewery. Gonna take a while, but I'll get that one done.

Thanks for the synopsis. Your English is fine, too: beats hell out of my German, and well, my Finnish doesn't exist...

Ari Juntunen said...

I remembered that I wrote 2001 an article published by a Finnish drinks magazine from that Mid-Atlantic trip. Your book and the consultant role in Heavyweight is mentioned. The article, probably little shortened, is in the net:
http://www.kolumbus.fi/juomanlaskija/arkisto/2001-45/amerikka.html

Yes, I'm a Southside Johnny fan, I saw him with his band in a small club in Helsinki 1989, amazing. Also I bought his 70's CDs straight away. I like Springsteen too, I've written a lot of his new stuff in my blog.

I look forward to the new PA edition. What about some new ground, Ohio perhaps? Although I'm not sure how good the beer scene there is. My next US beer trip will probably be around the Lake Michigan. Chicago, North Indiana (at least a brewery called Three Floyds), Michigan, Wisconsin, may be some Minnesota, too.

Lew Bryson said...

I saw Southside twice, and I think it's a shame they never really hit it big. Probably won't do any new areas, the travel involved is just too much any more. That was one thing that was very attractive about New Jersey: I could reach almost any spot in the state from my home in PA in under two hours!

Anonymous said...

Lew,Just wanted to let you know I loved the book.I really enjoyed the part about The Tap Room in Warren.The upper management liked it so much that they had that part blown up for display(along with the front of the book) before you enter The Tap Room.Cheers, Kevin.

Lew Bryson said...

Thanks, Kevin. The Tap Room was one of the top spots in the state; my only -- niggling -- complaint was that the room was too hot. Couple beers in there on an afternoon, and I'd be curling up on one of those big couches and falling asleep!

Anonymous said...

Well accord to the write Berkeley Heights is in Central Jersey but Roselle Park isn't, so I wouldn't feel so bad geography wise.

Bill said...

This blog definitely needs more Southside Johnny discussion! Although I believe Mr. Lyon had to give up enjoying the stuff that makes up the main subject here at STAG -- that was the case when I first saw them in the late 80s. Saw them again in the late 90s. I see he just released an album of Tom Waits covers!

Lew Bryson said...

Could you send a title on that album, Bill? That sounds like something I should be listening to (and maybe putting on my Santa list).

Bill said...

"Grapefruit Moon: The Songs for Tom Waits" -- and here's a recent interview on it:

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/features/20081128_Southside_Johnny_does_tribute_CD_to_Tom_Waits.html