Coming soon — Wet Ticket Brewing

Work on Rahway’s very own local micobrewery is coming along and Wet Ticket Brewing aims to open as early as next month.

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Al Povalski and Tim Pewitt

Founders Tim  Pewitt and Al Povalski were on location last week to brew the inaugural pilot batch (an IPA) at the Main Street location. The opening is contingent on two things, according to Povalski: a certificate of occupancy issued by the city, and ensuring that the beer is up to their standard of quality.

A typical beer takes about two weeks to brew and Pewitt hopes to have four styles available when Wet Ticket opens, eventually expanding to eight.

Pewitt said they’re aiming to open sometime in November; expect an announcement on the Wet Ticket Brewing Facebook page.

Wet Ticket will be a production brewery with a tasting room, selling pints, samples and growlers. Pewitt plans to brew 500 to 1,000 barrels in the first year. Most new breweries in the state range from 400 to 1,500 barrelswet-ticket-facade-oct2016

In 2014, City Council  amended the Central Business District (CBD) redevelopment plan to allow a brewery as a principal use. It wasn’t until June 2015 that Wet Ticket signed a five-year lease in the former Woolworth building on Main Street. The brewery has taken over about 3,600 square feet, with a tasting room and bar in the front area along Main Street and the production brewery in the rear.

wet-ticket-interior-bar-oct2016The brewery will be among 67 production breweries in New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Craft Beer Club, many of which have opened in the last few years. There are another 20 breweries in the startup phase with permits and licenses pending, and another 18 in early stages of development.

A change in the law in 2012 is what has opened the door to a flurry of microbreweries in the state. A microbrewery is one that brews less than 6 million barrels annually. Only Anheuser-Busch is anywhere near that level in New Jersey; most local breweries in the Garden State brew far less. Flying Fish and River Horse are by far the largest at 14,000 and 12,000 barrels, respectively.

Wet Ticket would be the second brewery in Union County, joining Roselle Park-based Climax Brewing Company.