Two New Burlington County, NJ Breweries Opening

Yes, I know I just spent the previous post bitching about the legions of homebrewers who can’t seem to stay in the kitchen and out of the potentially overcrowding field of microscopic-scale commercial breweries. But I’m going to talk about two more. Why? Because the people running them are in my homebrew club and I’ve watched their progress and trust their dedication.

The two breweries-in-planning are Village Idiot, taking over an old bar on Mt. Holly’s main street, and Spellbound Brewing, which is firming up a location nearby. The guys behind both projects are friends and are looking forward to working together to turn Mt. Holly–already home to High Street Grill, one of South Jersey’s most respected craft-beer bars–into a beer-tourism destination.

Village Idiot’s owners, Rich Palmay and Vince Masciandaro, have been homebrewing for a combined 35 years and plan to open with seven flagship and seasonal beers brewed on a 1.5-barrel system (46.5 gallons). You may remember Masciandro’s name from last year’s Philly Beer Week raffle that sent him and Iron Hill Maple Shade head brewer Chris LaPierre to Belgium to brew at the legendary Brasserie Dupont. As for his partnership with Palmay, the pair doesn’t plan to distribute their products outside of the tasting room, but pledges to be a “responsible, valued part of a beautiful downtown location where we can attract commerce, employ local talent and contribute to the economic growth and well-being of the community.”

While searching for a location, Spellbound’s owners have been hard at work designing tap handles, signing contracts to buy hops, and pouring beers at festivals and charity events. Mike Oliver, John Companick and Scott Reading have some impressive homebrewing awards between them, and they plan to brew two or three year-round brews (they’re starting with an IPA and a porter) and release a seasonal every three months.

Village Idiot [Facebook]

Spellbound Brewing [Twitter]