Home Beer Editor Leftovers: More with Augie Carton

Leftovers: More with Augie Carton

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Not every word from an interview makes the final cut in a story, which is why blogs come in handy. In our recent “Brewery to Watch” department, we spotlighted the twisted foodie concepts of New Jersey’s Carton Brewing, but the beer isn’t the only compelling story at the brewery. Here are a few leftovers from the interview with co-founder Augie Carton.

Former life as a food critic:
“I wrote a food blog in 2005 and 2006 that the New York Times identified as the only food blog worth trusting in New York City. I was a guy eating in all these restaurants, all the time. I critiqued fairly, and they treated me like everyone else. If you walk in as an enthusiastic diner, this is what happens.”

Long history in New Jersey:
“My son and [co-founder] Chris’s [Carton] daughters are the seventh generation of Cartons within about a mile of the brewery. One of the weird things about New Jersey is that my house is one-and-a-half miles from the brewery, but you travel through four towns to get there.”

Thoughts on the beer black market:
“Every now and again we’ll have a limited big beer in a growler. We did that with a barrel-aged beer named Shipwreck. Then it appeared on a brew site for $200. I gave [a friend] a case to take home and told him to post a bottle on the website for $20 every time he saw it pop up.”

On making the hoppy, sessionable Boat Beer:
“The beers we love are double IPAs—especially from Peekskill, Ithaca, Bear Republic and anything from San Diego. We love big-ass super bold IPAs. When you make those smaller, because the alcohol isn’t there, you have to back off the bitter, so the current trend is late hopping. We went super crisp, super lineal—that’s how the water of our area tastes. We grew up with this iron-rich, super minerally water. We decided that that could handle a fair amount of hops. Our thinking was that Boat would always be fine in Monmouth County, because that’s what the water tastes like.”

On drinking Boat:
“The thing about Boat Beer, it has two real functions in the beer world right now. If you’re watching a game and want to have five or six, it will work. It’s also a speed bump between beers. In both situations, it shouldn’t be something held too precious—not something you should taste in two-once samples. I like it when people trade it, but I hope it’s the one they throw in for free.

On actually owning a boat:
“I learned from someone that owned a boat that you should never have a boat. Boat ownership is for crazy people.”

Beer, food and wine:
“Beer is cuisine. Somehow at some point, someone worked very hard to separate it out. But beer people are just as bad as wine people: “Beer is better than wine,” that’s just preposterous. Every culture has a chicken they cook, and when you eat that chicken on a Friday night in July as opposed to Sunday in December, you’re going to want a different beverage.”


Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at chris.staten@draftmag.com.


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