Dry Town, Pitman, Approves First Ever Brewery
Small town, Small brewery, big flavor…
This is how Justin Fleming, Jeannette Fleming, and David Domanski, owners and brewers at Kelly Green Brewing Company, describe their vision for the first ever official craft brewery in the history of Pitman, NJ. Two local guys, Pitman and Blackwood respectfully, plan to open the doors to their dream in the Spring of 2016.
After living in the 2.2 square mile town of Pitman for almost a decade, and experiencing life in the town even longer, if there is one thing I’ve always thought this place needed, it was beer. Pitman has been a “dry town”, to much of my dismay, since the dawn of time. With the opening of the first brewery, this town gets a dose of life breathed into its lungs. As a resident, it has been sad to see many entrepreneurs’ businesses rise and fall on Broadway Ave. It is a simple equation: beer brings revenue. People come to a brewery for the experience; for tastings and growler-fills, and it is an added bonus that after a visit to Kelly Green, one can walk a few feet and grab lunch, or check out the dozens of various stores in the heart of Pitman selling anything and everything from other South Jersey locals.
It has been one of my dreams to see a brewery planted in this dry town, with the understanding that “traditions” are the backbone of Pitman, NJ…and you don’t mess with Pitman traditions! Naturally, I had to meet these like-minded pioneers. They were more than happy to participate in an interview. Bother Justin and David were asked the same questions, giving their own response…
Q: When did you start brewing?
JF: We both started about 6 years ago.
DD: Yeah we just needed a hobby, a good reason to be able to hang out (smiling).
Disclaimer: Both brewers are family men!
Q: What has been your go-to style to brew?
JF: Standard IPAs. You get a lot of free space to play around with them without losing sight of the style.
DD: Stouts and porters. You can’t mess up the clarity with a stout (smiling again).
Disclaimer: I’m beginning to think Dave is the comic relief!
Q: Why Kelly Green?
JF: He can answer that one (pointing to Dave, smiling).
DD: There’s no hidden meaning: He’s Irish (pointing back to Justin), I’m an old school Eagles fan..
Q: Is it still difficult to open a brewery in the state of NJ?
DD: Yeah, lots of hurdles…lots of phone calls..
JF: Yes, NJ is a hard state to do this in, though my experience has been a blessing and a curse. We have been blessed tremendously through the recent death of my father. He really wanted us to pursue this and he left me the money to start up this dream.
Q: Why Pitman?
JF: I was born and raised here. It’s been a hometown dream wanting to breathe some change into this town. We are piggy-backing off of what Vic has started. (“Vic” is owner of Bus Stop Music Café and first business owner in Pitman to offer the purchase of alcohol: wine from a local winery, which Kelly Green will be next door neighbors)
DD: I’m loving the small town setting for this journey. The dream started in Pitman at Justin’s house, and we want to keep it here.
JF: We actually had a few opportunities to open in Washington Twp. (next town over) that our realtor highly suggested…we just couldn’t do it. It’s what my dad wanted to see us do.
Q: What are your goals/intentions/mission?
DD: We just want to be solid brewers. Traditional beers, nothing crazy.
JF: We have no intentions of ever becoming a large-scale brewing operation..small town, small brewery, big flavor. We want to be able to invite homebrewers in and brew; possibly have their recipes on available tap space at some point.
DD: We will be able to have tastings/pints/flights for in-house, along with growler fills for take-outs.
Q: Any influences/shout-outs/inspiring breweries?
JF: An absolute shout-out to Keg and Barrel Homebrew Supply, Jack and Gina. They have been huge supporters of me and Dave. Jack especially has helped us through the years with brewing education especially when we were starting out. I’d also say Glasstown Brewing is a huge influence to what we are doing. Great people there at Glasstown.
DD: Glasstown has been a huge influence for us. The first time we visited them, we saw how nice it must be to truly enjoy your work that much.
Q: Expected launch of Kelly Green?
JF: We have a space on Broadway locked down, and are looking to open the doors in the Spring of ’16.
Q: Any flagship beers the folks of NJ can be expecting?
JF: For sure, I can share we will offer the Off-Broadway IPA…we have a few others in store as well; our beers are going to be Pitman-themed.
You can find Kelly Green Brewing Company on all forms of social media. Look for the brewery this upcoming Spring…and that NJCB Discount!