RED BANK, NJ - We walked in last month and spoke with John Acara, owner of Red Tank Brewing, 77 Monmouth Street, which will have their grand opening this Thursday.

John is also the owner of John Acara Photography.

It’s definitely a cool place: poured concrete bar top, industrial chic with a crystal chandelier, Edison light bulbs, a “play area” for the kids, long bar and tables and chairs throughout the space.  The brewing tanks in the background complete the interesting and friendly atmosphere.

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So, how do you make a craft beer?

The basic ingredients are water and a fermentable starch source such as malted barley.  Most beer is fermented with a brewer's yeast and flavored with hops. Steps in the brewing process include malting, milling, mashing, lautering, boiling, fermenting, conditioning, filtering, and packaging

Their nine stainless steel tanks that hold various amounts of barrels (1 barrel = 31.5 gallons). 

Red Tank Brewing will keg, bottle and can directly from a tank and also offer “growlers” for tasty take-outs.

John explained the basic process from placing the grain in fermenters, “Where it steeps in the hot water and then the wort is moved (through hoses) to the kettle where it’s boiled and then we add the hops.  Then it goes from one of these tanks into our fermenters and then to (another) tank where it conditions and gets it carbonation.” 

TAP: What made you launch the Red Tank Brewing company? 

My wife Lovina and I love food, the culture and history of alcohol and we were looking for something fun to do.  We had been brewing for awhile at home.  Opening a brewery wasn't on our radar as much as, we wre thinking maybe a winery or a distillery, but the brewery worked out very well

TAP: How did you come up with the name?

Originally, we wanted Red Bank Brewery, but they changed the laws and you can’t have “Bank” in your name.  So, a beer connoisseur friend of mine who’s wedding I photographed, came up with the name  

TAP:  What brews will you be offering?

We’ll be opening up with four beers; a Saison, an Amber, an IPA and a regular Pale Ale 

TAP:  Food and entertainment?

Breweries are not allowed to offer food but our guests are encouraged to bring their own and we’re working with local restaurants for take-out meal deliveries.  If our staff is not busy we’ll run out and get it.  It’s a totally friendly atmosphere. 

We’re going to have a kids section with a chalkboard wall and have games, puzzles and all kinds of fun stuff.  We’ll also have coloring contests so that when we release new beers the winner will be the design label on the can.

The TV in that area will be playing all the old-time cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry and if we can find them, The Little Rascals 

TAP:  Adam Young, Brew Master, how did you become interested in brewing?

My guidance counselor said (after reviewing my school performance), I should learn how to make beer.  I started out at Cricket Hill in Fairfield, NJ and also spent four years at Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg, NY

Acara: And then he got demoted to this!

TAP:  We understand you’re going to do your own bottling here

We have a bottling line that we own and we’ll be doing canning here every week whenever we make a new beer.  These beers will be really nicely aged in barrels such as bourbon, gin, even wine barrels which adds a nice depth to the beer

TAP:  How do you know what type of beer to add to the barrel?

We just mess around with recipes.  We’ll mix a stout in a bourbon barrel that gives it a rich flavor with the cherries and vanilla coming out to give it a unique taste

TAP:  Your wood ceiling looks great.  Tell us about that.

We passed by a property in Freehold knocked on this women’s door whom my contractor knew and we offered to purchase her one-hundred-year-old barn.  It was also a saw mill, so we took the whole barn apart, reclaimed the wood which is a beautiful walnut

Be sure to check out the pre and post construction pictures.

Red Tank Brewing is sure to be a winner for the whole family.

So, get your gang together, bring your own eats or order take-out and come this Thursday and hoist a few at Red Tank Brewing!

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