Congratulations to promoter Jon Henderson and his crew for another fantastic A.C. Beer & Music Fest. The selection of beers was the best I have seen, and the thirsty throngs seemed to enjoy it immensely. The long lines at the crowd favorites were a testament to that.
All of the N.J. breweries were together in one spot and everyone got to taste some of the best beers in the state. Newly-opened Pinelands Brewing won first place for Best of N.J., with N.J. Beer Co. winning the Silver.
The People’s Choice for the Festival was awarded to Bolero Snort Brewing for the second year in a row! Congrats to Bob Olson and Andrew Maiorana for a job well done. Their Happy Buck’N Anniversary Ale, an imperial porter, was the hit of the show and I recommended it to everyone.
Next year will be the 10th Annual Beer & Music Fest and special events will be the norm.
I also would like to give kudos to Iron Hill-Maple Shade and Flying Fish for winning medals at the World Beer Cup in Denver, Colo.
Brewer Chris LaPierre from IH won a Bronze for his Honey Tripper, a honey tripel, and FF took a Bronze for their HopFish, a wonderful IPA.
Iron Hill also won for Small Brewpub of the Year — the third year in a row — for the Media location that was awarded two Golds for brewer Bob Barrar’s Russian Imperial Stout. Chestnut Hill and Phoenixville venues also brought home some bling.
Speaking of Iron Hill, May is National Burger Month, and they celebrate by offering 31 different burgers, one for each day of the month! Look at IronHillBrewery.com for the selection of the day!
Also, Flying Fish just released a NJ350 brew celebrating the 350th Anniversary of the establishment of the Garden State.
Got to taste some at the ACBF, and it is on your retailers’ shelves now. It is an English stock ale brewed with blackstrap molasses and a variety of traditional English malts, finished with American hops — Simcoe, Centennial and Cluster — and comes in at 7.5 percent abv. Don’t miss it.
Made a stop at the Old Oar House in Millville recently and was impressed with the selection on the 40 taps.
’Tis the season for the beer garden to open for you to enjoy some great beer and food.
Also, I would like to correct an oversight that I have made. Bootlegger’s Liquors on Tilton Road in Northfield has been off my radar because my first visit when they opened revealed a very limited craft beer selection.
I am happy to report that that situation has been rectified and their craft beer offerings are exceptional. Beer Manager Wendy Csaszar-Roman informs me that she worked very hard to make this department what it is today. She has learned a lot about beer and enjoys tasting the plethora of styles that pass through the doors.
On Friday afternoons, they usually have a tasting from 4 to 6 p.m. highlighting a different brewery or winery. Stop in and check them out.
Well, the beer event season will be hitting its stride though it seems like they never slowed down all winter.
Saturday, April 19: Glasstown Brewing will hold an Adult Easter Egg Hunt at their brewery, 10 Peterson St., Millville, at noon. Prizes to be claimed at the brewery will be contained in the eggs. Check GlasstownBrewingCo.com for details. Sounds like fun!
May 10: Garden State Brewfest, Mt. Carmel Fairgrounds, Berkeley Heights, 1 to 3 p.m., VIP ($110) includes food; general admission ($60). GardenStateBrewfest.com for info and tickets
May 31: Sea Isle City Craft Beer and Rock Fest, 63rd & Landis Ave, 2 p.m., VIP ($55), 3 to 7 p.m. general admission ($35), discount prices end May 1. SeaIsleChamber.com for info.
Mark Haynie is a craft-beer expert who lives in Somers Point and travels extensively to find new beers. He is a contributor to the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News and is the co-author of the book New Jersey Breweries with Lew Bryson. His column runs every other week.