USA, NJ: South 40 Brewing Co. set to open in Edison on October 24
Seven years ago, a friend gave Kevin Pacansky a beer-making kit, MyCentralJersey.com reported on October 22.
I messed it up so bad that it just tasted like funky, murky water, laughed Pacansky. It wasnt even carbonated properly. But Im one of those people that when I mess something up so bad that it's atrocious, its going to eat away at me until I figure it out.
Much has changed since then. Pacansky is set to open South 40 Brewing Co., a new brewery in the Raritan Center in Edison at noon Oct. 24.
After receiving the beer kit, Pacansky, a self-proclaimed foodie but one who, at the time, didnt even enjoy craft beer spent four years homebrewing and experimenting with ingredients.
When I was trying to figure out how to make it, I started liking craft beer, and then I started to realize you can put all these crazy ingredients in it like coffee beans and vanilla beans and I then got hooked trying to make different flavors, he said.
Then, in 2017, he connected with a family friend interested in investing in a brewery. Pacansky found the space, a 2,000-square-foot former Army ammunition depot, at the end of 2018.
The cozy, rustic digs are reminiscent of an eclectic garage and include license plates from around the country, an old traffic light and highway markers.
Beers will include a pilsner, a blond ale, a coffee stout, a dunkelweizen (dark wheat), a coffee stout, a hazy pale ale and two double IPAs.
Im partially addicted to trying to make a beer my mom would like, said Pacansky.
Toiling away in a brewery is a far cry from Pacanskys former life, which he left only days ago when he quit his job as a legal assistant. He once planned to go to law school, but he eventually realized making beer is a lot more fun, he said.
Before finding his Edison location, Pacansky probably spoke to every single landlord that had a space open in Long Beach Island.
South 40 Brewing Co. is named after Route South 40, which, before 1958, was the name of the main road running into Long Beach Island, Pacanskys familys favorite vacation destination (The road is now Route 72). A mural inside the brewery, painted by a family friend, portrays the iconic road.
At 25 percent capacity due to COVID-19, about 13 people will be permitted in the taproom at a time, and additional seating may be available in the brewery area and outdoors. Masks are required unless visitors are at their socially-distanced seats.
Pacansky originally planned to open South 40 Brewing Co. early this summer, but those plans were put on hold due to COVID-19.
The space was just four walls and a single outlet that didnt work properly. There was no water and only a garden hose in the back, said Pacansky. We were like, How are we going to do this?'
But, after a year of work, they did, and even stumbled across an old '4' number four sign in the grass, fittingly similar to the '40' in South 40 Brewing Co.
"I'm very excited it's finally happening after a long wait and lots of hard work," Pacansky said.