Two Jersey Guys Report Their Brew, Beach Haus, is in the ‘Haus’

Share Article

Beach Haus® Classic American Pilsner has far exceeded the expectations of John and Brian since their launch in late August. The warm reception and feedback from consumers and the entire New Jersey Beer market has proven to the new company, that Beach Haus is in the ‘Haus’ and still growing.

Without ‘tooting their own horn’ East Coast Beer Co. owners, John “Merk” Merklin and Brian “Really Sharp Guy” Ciriaco, are excited that their first year in the beer market is under their belts, a new, promising year is about to begin, and that their first craft beer, Beach Haus® Classic American Pilsner, made a splash when it hit shelves all along the Jersey Shore.

Beach Haus® Classic American Pilsner has far exceeded the expectations of John and Brian since their launch in late August. The warm reception and feedback from consumers and the entire New Jersey Beer market has proven to the new company, that Beach Haus is in the ‘Haus’ and still growing. Although the delayed launch threw a wrench in their plans of summer domination, they still managed to come onto the Shore scene with style, making their debut more successful than they anticipated.

“We had no idea it was going to take as long as it did to get our Federal and State licensing,” recounts John. “Thankfully this bummer of a feeling quickly dissipated with our Labor Day weekend launch, which was one of the most exciting three days of my life. I barely slept those first couple of days because I was so excited to see our dream come true.”

Their beer was featured at Monmouth Park’s BBQ & Beer Tasting event on September 4th and 5th where hundreds of beer and BBQ enthusiasts, as well as novices, sampled Beach Haus® for the very first time. East Coast Beer Co. sold over 180 case equivalents in just three days.

“We go through a good amount of the beer,” said Bob, owner of Edgar’s Pub. “Its popularity definitely stems from the fact that it originated in Point Pleasant. It has been a pleasure working with Brian and John and I look forward to what they come up with next.”

Edgar’s Pub in Manasquan, NJ was the first establishment to have Beach Haus® Classic American Pilsner on tap and they have seen the consistency of the brand, as well as its consumption.

Getting consumers to know who they are was not the biggest obstacle the duo faced this year. Their biggest challenge to date, aside from learning how to deal with the government for licensing, was getting in front of distributors, and more importantly convincing them that they should add Beach Haus® to their portfolio. Even local distributors were difficult for them to get in touch with.

“Good things come to those who persevere,” Brian contributed. “Despite the difficulty we experienced, we just kept on calling, sending emails and accepting the rejection as best as we could. But we never gave up. Thankfully the ‘power of the first sale’ took over and we have had more and more interest from distributors since we sold our first beer. It’s funny – so much has changed since then that we are close to having state-wide distribution. However, we don’t take that for granted. While we have had many recent successes, this will always remain a big challenge for us especially as we enter new markets.”

Unchartered territory is exactly where they are heading for 2011. East Coast Beer Co. plans to expand its distribution of Beach Haus® Classic American Pilsner into New York and Pennsylvania early in the year so they can be a part of the summer season in all three states. This is contingent on licensing in the two states, but regardless of their lengthy engagement with New Jersey and Federal licensing, they are still planning for a launch early in the year.

The 2011 spring/summer season is going to be pivotal for the company and brand, as it will be the real ‘Showtime’ for East Coast Beer Co.

With only three months of actual sales, East Coast Beer Co. has far from a complete track record to forecast for the upcoming year. Despite the incomplete year to review, they are a bit ahead of where they thought they would be considering their later-than-expected launch date, especially in their home markets of Monmouth and Ocean counties.

The upcoming spring/summer season also brings the opportunity for the locals to really embrace Beach Haus® and take pride in the beer that has originated in honor of its birthplace, The Jersey Shore.

“I think a local beer style adds to the character of any locality,” chimed Brian, “and while we want more of the region to embrace our beer, we also want vacationers to enjoy it as another perk of the region. If you talk to someone who travels out to Colorado for ski season, many will undoubtedly talk about the Fat Tire Ale or Beckenridge Brew that they enjoyed with their visit. We think many people will appreciate Beach Haus in the same way.”

Their journey began in 2007 when John and Brian launched their entrepreneurial spirit into full-drive, after deciding to leave their jobs at Quintum Technologies and develop a craft beer evocative of the shore and its style – Beach Haus® Classic American Pilsner.

The idea to launch a beer specific to the Jersey Shore came to John when he was on a business trip in early 2007. Reading Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter, founders of Brooklyn Brewery, John had an illuminating discovery – the Jersey Shore, home to a population of almost two million residents where numbers swell to five times that in some cities during the summer months had no regional beer of its own; something he found to be positively preposterous. By the time his flight had landed, he was certain that divine intervention had taken place and it was his destiny to create this regional beer and a company to support it.

Similar to his new found idols at the Brooklyn Brewery, John could think of no one else other than his long-time friend and high school comrade, Brian, to set out on this mission to create a Jersey Shore beer.

No strangers to craft beer, the two took advantage of every opportunity to feast on anything and everything local when traveling in their past lives as International Sales Executives at Quintum Technologies. Indulging in craft beers from all over the world, including some notable North American craft beers, the two developed a discerning palate and appreciation for lagers and ales.

After a three-year refining process, they were ready to share their passion with the rest of the world, or at least New Jersey initially. Beach Haus® Classic American Pilsner is a true American product; a pre-prohibition style pilsner, made with all American ingredients, including Mt. Hood Hops.

“Some beers I would just drink, but this one I’d buy,” wrote Pete Genovese of the New Jersey Star Ledger. “A convincing win for Beach Haus!”

Aspiring to become a pillar of industry at the Jersey Shore, two local guys are realizing their dream, and fueling their love of craft beer and the Jersey Shore. It’s in the Haus!

For more information, visit

About East Coast Beer Co. – Established in 2007, Point Pleasant, New Jersey based East Coast Beer Co. (ECBC) was founded by passionate individuals with a belief that the great American traditions of creativity, diversity, and accessibility apply equally to building a great beer company. Pouring onto the scene in Summer 2010, East Coast Beer Co. introduced Beach Haus Classic American Pilsner (CAP) – which is crafted to pay homage to those early German-American brewers and the CAP style they created. East Coast Beer Co. will continue to explore and fuel their love of craft beer by cultivating and developing new brews in the future. It’s in the Haus! For more information on ECBC or Beach Haus, visit


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website