Music producer Michael Nuceder talks home brewing styles

We sat down with Michael Nuceder, a producer and music engineer at Sine Studios in Philadelphia. He is an avid home brewer. We talked with him to get some background on his home brewing history, style and dedication to craft beer. Michael also showed us a Belgium beer he recently brewed.

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South Jersey town has a rural beer scene feel

I recently spent some time in National Park, NJ and wanted to share the small beer scene it has with you. There are plenty of places to get some craft beer if you so choose. National Park is a very small town tucked away in the corner of Gloucester County, NJ. It sits on banks the Delaware River and is right across the water from Philadelphia. In fact, a ferry boat used to run from National Park to the Philadelphia Navy Yard years back. The places to find beer in the National Park area are Winks Pub,  Zoe’s Place, Rossiter HallPark Place Bar & GrillePark Wine & Liquor Shop, Cattails Bar & Grill, and Geisler’s Liquor Store in neighboring Thorofare, NJ. I took some pictures to give you a visual of the experience National Park has to offer beer and small town fans.

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Rowan alumni makes home brewing in LA a priority

A Philadelphia native and Rowan University alumni named Jack Swiker moved to Los Angeles in 2007. While living on the west coast Swiker picked up a new hobby and has had great success with it. What he’s been doing is home brewing craft beer. He’s made six different beers so far and has enjoyed the process in making them. Swiker talked about some of the process of home brewing and the beers he’s made.

Swiker, 29, started home brewing because he had an appreciation for craft beer and microbrews. A friend randomly posted on Facebook about a home brewing kit and Swiker was on the move. He ordered a one gallon home brew kit from the Brooklyn Brew Shop and received the kit in the mail shortly after. “It was an appreciation and growing progression of an interest in craft beer and micro breweries that pushed me to try this out,” Swiker said. “I didn’t want to taste Coors or PBR, I wanted something with a great taste.”

Swiker explained that in order to brew you need to put aside about six hours and for him on a weekend day. The equipment he uses cooks down the grain to a process called mashing. Mashing extracts the malt. It then cools and goes in to a fermenter. Hops are added in later. It sits in the fermenter for about two weeks to the end process which may take anywhere from four to six weeks depending on the brew. While this is happening the yeast eats the sugar and the c02 carbonates the water. The beer is then ready to drink.

So far Swiker has made Grapefruit Honey Ale, Wheat Ale, Pumpkin Ale, Apple Crisp Ale, Chocolate Maple Porter and Blood Orange Wheat Ale. The Blood Oranges are only in season a few weeks a year in California. He later upgraded to a five gallon kit. He is planning to make an IPA Hoppy Ale for the summer and Peanut Butter Porter for winter time.

“The reason I make these beers is because they are hard to find in stores and are out of the norm,” Swiker said. “Brewing brings a sense of community with other brewers and friends who enjoy beer.” Swiker also enjoys sharing beer brewing stories with the dedicated people who also brew.

Jack Swiker plans to continue his brewing and explore more microbrews in the L.A. area. He hopes to someday upgrade to 10 gallon kit. Swiker also writes a sandwich blog called The Danger Sandwich. The blog recently had its 100th post. He reviews sandwiches and the restaurants that serve them. He mentions some great craft beers in the blog. On top of that Swiker hosts a webseries named Up All Night With Kurt Magnum.

Swiker's Blood Orange Wheat

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G’s Beer Rep. Alex O’Donnell tells us why he carries your favorite craft beer

Alex O’Donnell is the Beer Specialist and Representative at G’s Liquor Gallery in West Deptford, NJ. G’s is located in the Sherwood Square Shopping Center off of King’s Highway. O’Donnell has his ideas on what craft beers should be carried in this South Jersey store. He tells us about what craft beers G’s carries, why they carry them and what goes into supporting certain craft beers in a small beer and liquor gallery in this part of the state. Listen below:

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G’s Liquor Gallery, West Deptford, NJ