Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stormy seas

State cutbacks are churning up some waves for the USS New Jersey, and quite possibly for fans of Garden State craft beers, who've made the trek to the battleship for the annual beer festival.

The news is this: Our perpetually cash-strapped state – overextended and underfunded – has had to slash the subsidy for the ship, which now serves as a martime museum docked at Camden's waterfront. (Read more here.)

That means layoffs for the staff that runs the ship, which exhibits the vessel's rather large history as the most-decorated battleship in the US Navy.

The USS New Jersey has provided free space for the June beer festival staged by the Garden State Craft Brewer's Guild for the past three years (twice on the ship's fantail and once along its dock). So what becomes of the relationship that has spared the guild some festival overhead?

Well, there's no word right now on what it means for next summer, presuming the guild wants to return to the ship's decks. (The festival used to move around the state somewhat, but found a mooring at the ship, so to speak, largely based on the free event space the Big J provided.)

However, an October Garden State guild festival at the Newark Bears minor league baseball stadium is still in the works. (More on that soon.)

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