Sunday, April 1, 2007

Calendar Note

Attention! Numbers to remember: 700, 23 and 5.

The 11th annual Garden State Craft Brewers festival will again dock at the pier in Camden, on June 23rd, marking the third consecutive year Jersey-made brews will be served on the flagship of Bull Halsey.

More on Bull Halsey in a second.

Right now, know this: Admission to the event aboard the USS New Jersey -- the floating museum at Camden's Delaware River waterfront -- this year will cost you 5 bucks more (this is not a bad thing, stay with us here) and attendance will be limited to 700 of you beer fans. (We’re not sure what the gate did last year, but capping the attendance is good, since it translates into shorter lines for necessities aboard ship, be they edibles or that ever-important line to the loo.)

So it’s going to be $35 to cruise with some of the Garden State’s best in brews in 2007. But don’t flinch. If you sailed with the Philly craft beer festival on March 3rd, you remember that passage was 40 bucks. And let’s face it, that was a pretty good time, followed by the Atlantic City festival a week later for a few bucks less.

So now it’s time for New Jersey beer’s annual showcase event. And for it, event organizers are putting the extra admission money where your mouth is. And by that we mean better food to go with the malt art you have come to expect from Jersey brewers.

So put on your sailing shoes (yes we’re Little Feat fans), the ship’s waiting for you.

(Last year the number for tickets was 866-877-6262 ext. 108. That’s the USS New Jersey’s line. We can’t say for certain it’s where to call now, but if we were starting somewhere, those are the digits we’d dial.)

About Bull Halsey: (we’re talking the Admiral Halsey here, so forget Uncle Albert and butter pies) … William Frederick “Bull” Halsey Jr. was born in Elizabeth, NJ, 125 years ago, and cut a distinguished jib as a US Navy admiral in World War II (a mere 60-plus years ago). The New Jersey was Halsey’s 3rd Fleet flagship during the battle of Leyte Gulf, the mother of all naval battles (so history tomes tell us).

All this has little to do with beer, but a lot to do with where you stand when you sip one aboard the ship. So when the time comes, tip your glass to the Bull and the Garden State.


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