Monday, July 13, 2009

Fall through

This is a little disappointing, especially if you live in the northern part of the state. But there is some hope on the distant horizon.

The Garden State Craft Brewers Guild won’t be staging a second festival this year, like the one last fall at the Newark Bears minor league baseball stadium. Guild folks say a deal for a venue can’t be nailed down in time to sufficiently advertise a date for this fall to draw a good-size crowd.

That said, guild folks are scouting around for a place to hold an early- or mid-spring 2010 festival in addition to the annual summer festival that has moored itself to the decks of the USS New Jersey. Stadiums at Montclair State University and Somerville (the Somerset Patriots field) are being eyed for a spring festival.

The disappointment here is, obviously, that if you didn’t make it to the battleship this year, you missed the boat as far guild brew fests for 2009 go. It’s perhaps harder on the folks in North Jersey, who have had to travel to Camden for the past five years to sample the brews of guild members in one sitting.

Camden’s not exactly the idea of a dream destination for those folks, and if you talk to some longtime fans of Jersey-made beers who live above I-195, they will invariably bring up the halcyon days of the late 1990s, when the guild festival was held at Waterloo Village. But those days are long gone, and the festival eventually dropped anchor in Camden, to the satisfaction of South Jersey.

Cross your fingers that 2010 will indeed yield two festivals and be the dawn of an era in which the guild keeps a light on in both halves of the state.

Meanwhile, the version 3 of the Central Jersey Beer Festival is set for Sept. 19 in Woodbridge. And, Pizzeria Uno down the road in Metuchen is likely to repeat their cask ale festival yet again during the fall. Stay tuned.

Speaking of festivals, the video we shot last month aboard the battleship in Camden will be up toward the end of this week. Some people have asked about when they could see it, and we expected it to be up by today. But the computer and a linked pair of external hard drives aren't playing nice with one another. The technical trouble should be resolved very soon.


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