BELMAR, NJ — There’s a new brewer in the “Haus,” who has been busy taking a fresh, new approach to beer-making at Belmar’s own landmark brewery.
Matt Pipkin has joined Beach Haus Brewery as lead brewer, after mastering the craft on the West Coast — the epicenter of this growing industry. And in his first five months at Beach Haus, Pipkin has been creating new brews and enhancing the taste of established beers at the craft brewery, located at the corner of Main Street and Eighth Avenue.
“Beach Haus’ 30-barrel brew house is an amazing facility — not only in size, but in the capabilities of its state-of-the-art brewing system,” said Pipkin. “Every day, we are looking at emerging trends to come up with new beers, as well reformulating our longtime brews to make them more flavorful.”
It’s a lengthy process due to the time-honored constraints of brewing, but well worth it, he added. “Our major goal is to make a better product … one that tastes good, looks good and is consistent time and time again.”
Pipkin is no amateur when it comes to brewing. While a pre-med student at Rutgers University, he learned to home brew and became fascinated by the science behind beer-making. When the opportunity arose to enter a master brewer program at University of California/Davis, he took the leap of faith and enrolled.
“I already had taken all of the science courses that I needed — calculus, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics and thermodynamics — so I decided to change my career plan and moved to California,” he said.
Pipkin, who calls himself a “fermentation specialist,” has not looked back since. After earning his master brewer certificate at UC Davis, he quickly landed a brewing job at Big Stump Brewery in Sacramento and then another at Postdoc Brewing, outside Seattle.
But while on the West Coast, he kept his finger of the pulse of the industry on the East Coast, returning last summer to New Jersey — and accepting a “research and development” position at Beach Haus Brewery before being elevated to lead brewer.
“Everyone liked what I was doing here, and I really like the breathing room I have to be able to take brewing here to the next level,” Pipkin said. “As a brewer, I’m one part scientist, one part construction worker and one part chef, whose always looking to try something new in crafting the best beer we can.”
Pipkin is a welcomed addition to the entire Beach Haus Brewery team, said taproom and events manager Steve Tichenor.
“Matt’s been out on the West Coast working with the best, so it’s great to have him back in Jersey. From Cal Davis to two great breweries in Sacramento and Seattle! That’s an impressive foundation,” Tichenor said. “He’s been brewing some really nice stuff since he’s gotten here, so we’re looking forward to a great new line-up to complement our current favorites this spring and summer.
Pipkin's brewing team includes Dylan Kohan, who also serves as cellar manager, and Logan Smith, brew house assistant. Both men work with him in coming up with new ideas for new brews, largely based on the feedback it receives from patrons during Beach Haus’s weekly Friday Night Test Dept.™ release.
With ceiling-to-floor windows, the Beach Haus’s 4,000-square-foot upstairs taproom offers more than 20 beers on tap every day. The room opens onto an outside deck with the best views of downtown Belmar and the nearby Belmar marina. All guests age 21 and older are welcome and guests under age 21 are welcome if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Beach Haus is a BYOF (bring your own food) establishment, and most beers are available in kegs, cans or bottles to-go. Its spacious taproom also can accommodate private events for up to 300 guests any day of the week.
The brewery, located at 801 Main Street, can be reached at 732 202-7782 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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