The Big List of Beer Events

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New Jersey is home to over 20 craft breweries and numerous brewpubs so it’s no surprise that there are well over a dozen beer events held thru out the year.  Add in Oktoberfest celebrations throughout September and October and there’s no shortage of  events where you can eat delicious food and  sample craft brews from NJ, the US or from around the world. Whether you’re a casual beer drinker or a beer snob there’s an event almost every month where you can find a beer that will become your new favorite. A good website to visit to learn more about Jersey beers is NJ Craft beer. They have a lot of information for home brewers and a large calendar of events going on a local pubs. they also list all the NJ breweries, most of which offer tours throughout the year.

JANUARY

The Great Beer Expo comes to Secaucus January 25, 2014.  The festival has an international focus with more than 50 breweries and 100 beers from across the globe.  There are two sessions $42 each in advance, DD for $10

FEBRUARY

The Big Brew Festival is one of the largest beer events in the state, and is so big they hold it twice a year in February and September at the Morristown Armory.  Admission $50 in advance, $60 at the door) includes a souvenir four oz. tasting glass with a two ounce pour line. Over 225 different beers are on display and the Morris Tap & Grill hosts a VIP event which includes access to the Morris Tap & Grill VIP Lounge, exclusive VIP only rare beer tastings hor d’ouevres and hot buffet provided by Morris Tap & Grill and prepared by  Chef & Partner Eric LeVine.

MARCH

2013 saw the 2nd annual Beers on the Boards event held at Martell’s Tiki Bar in Pt Pleasant. Featured beers included Ommegang, Flying Fish and Carton, as well as newcomers like Boulder, Starr Hill and Smuttynose. Pre-event prices were $50 or $20 for designated drivers per session (there are two). Brewery reps are there to talk to, there is a buffet and an all-IPA Happy Hour during each session.

APRIL

The AC Beerfest is a weekend long event held April 3-5, and 2014 will be their 9th year. The Celebration of the Suds features over 100 different US breweries and cater to beer snobs as well as casual beer drinkers alike.  An extensive list of the brews can be viewed here

MAY

The Jeresey Shore Beerfest is held in May in Neptune and features over 30 craft brews. Admission is $45 in advance or $55 at the door and includes a beer sample glass and food.

JUNE

The Garden State Beer Expo was held in June 2012 and I can’t find evidence it was held in 2013. I think it may have morphed into the Jersey Shore Beer fest

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Six Flags hosts the annual Brew HaHa, a combiantion craft beer festival and comedy jam. 30 breweries will be on hand with over 50 different beers plus there will be BBQ, hot dogs, wings, nachos and other great food to wash down with your beer. Some of the breweries on hand include Ithica, Tuckahoe Brewing, Flying Fish and Carton Brewing. Attendees receive a 5 oz tasting glass with a 2 oz pour line and can sample an unlimited amount from the beers on hand. Attendees will vote for their favorite beers including their favorite NJ based beer. Tickets are $50 for the beer and comedy festival, $75 for that plus theme park and safari admission. Discounted prices for the event will be offered to Six Flags Season pass holders. The beer festival runs from 330-600 with a VIP session starting at 3PM. This will be followed by an awards ceremony and then the comedy show at 7PM. Big Joe Henry from 101.5 will be on hand thruout the event.

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The Battleship NJ is home to the 17th annual Garden State Craft Brewers Guild Festival. This festival is the only one to exclusively include Jersey brewed beers.  Regular admission is $45 and includes a tour of the battleship.

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Crystal Golf Resort’s Annual Oktoberfest features two days of music, events, games and of course food and beer.  Grilled meats, Bratwurst, Knockwurst, Potato Pancakes, German Potato Salad and Black Forest Cake, Jersey Corn and more! The focus is on German beers and Oktonberfest specialties including  Hofbrau, Hofbrau Oktoberfest, Shofferhofer, Staropramen, Stiegl, Yuengling Oktoberfest, Becks Oktoberfest, Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest, Otter Creek Oktoberfest, Shock Top Pumkin, Blue Moon Pumpkin, Franziskaner, Ramstein Oktoberfest, Ayinger, Spaten, Spaten Oktoberfest, Radeberger, Corsondonk White Apple, Uinta Pumpkin, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Sam Adams Oktoberfest, and New Castle.

AUGUST

The Physick Estate in Cape May hosts the annual Cape May Craft Beer and Crab Festival featuring a circus, lots of craft brews and fresh seafood.

SEPTEMBER

Monmouth Park hosts an annual BBQ and craft beer festival around Labor Day weekend. Among the featured food vendors last were A-Maize-Ing Roast, Ben’s BBG & Catering, ChipStix, Chop Shop BBQ, Delano’s Food Service, DRJ Catering, Harvest Specialty, Kona Ice, Local Smoke BBQ, Max’s Famous Hot Dogs, Memphis Pig Out, Nitro Cream Cafe, RTC BBQ Pit, and Ryan’s Deli. $3 general admission gets you into the track AND festival area. Beer Garden is $10 for ten 2oz samples and a commemorative mini-Pilsner glass.

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High Point Brewing in Butler has  several open houses during the year and hosts an  annual Ramstein Oktoberfest release. The 17 year old brewery event includes a tour of the brewery which makes German style beer including hefeweizen, dunkelweizen, wheat doppelbock.

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In 2013 , the American Legion Post 28 of Absecon held their 28th annual Beef and Beer dinner.  Roast beef dinner, baked beans hot dogs and of course beer for $12

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The Pig and Prince Restaurant and Gastrolounge in Montclair holds an annual Oktoberfest every September with a focus on local craft beers and lots of good food.

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Over 50 beers are on tap and german bands will be playing at the Zepplin Hall Biergarten Oktoberfest held every Friday and Saturday from the end of September thru the end of October. This Jersey City restaurant features a large open seating area and has a constantly chaining lineup of craft beers on tap. Check out their list of drafts available and if you can’t decide what to try, have a flight (four 5 oz glasses of different beers). Dedicated to count Von Zeppelin, the visionary inventor of the rigid airship, the restaurant is like the airships he designed: big…German…and coming to New Jersey.

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The Big Brew Festival is one of the largest beer events in the state, and is so big they hold it twice a year in February and September at the Morristown Armory.  Admission $50 in advance, $60 at the door) includes a souvenir four oz. tasting glass with a two ounce pour line. Over 225 different beers are on display and the Morris Tap & Grill hosts a VIP event which includes access to the Morris Tap & Grill VIP Lounge, exclusive VIP only rare beer tastings hor d’ouevres and hot buffet provided by Morris Tap & Grill and prepared by  Chef & Partner Eric LeVine.

OCTOBER

Highland Park holds an Oktoberfest featuring German food, german beer and Oompah bands. Last year the food was prepared by executive Chef Butch Greenwaldt formerly of the Hofbrauhaus. There are plenty of light and dark Oktoberfest Beers, and there lots of festivities including live authentic German music and the Bayern Verien German Dancers. Festivities include a “Best-Dressed” Contest, and a “Beer Stein Holding” Contest with special prizes.

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The Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren  hosted its first ever Oktoberfest in 2013 . Price is $40 in advance, $45 at the door. and entitles you to two beers and a German buffet (Grilled Bratwurst, Hot Soft Pretzels, Potato Dumplings, Apple Streudel, German Chocolate Cake). Kegs of Weyerbacher and Breckenridge. Don’t miss the Corn Hole Contest!

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For 14 years, the Rotary Club of the Palisades has sponsored an Oktoberfest in Leonia.  It functions as a fundraiser for the Weekend Snack Pack Program (WSPP) at Leonia’s ACS and Edgewater’s GW Elementary Schools. In addition to traditional german food they served  Boaks and Bolero craft brews.

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Princeton Lodge #38 held their  fifth annual Oktoberfest Celebration in 2013. $10 admission includes such german fare as   Brezel mit senf, Bratwurst, Schwein mit Jagersosse, Spaetzle, Rot Kohl, Sauerkraut, Apfel Strudel, Deutschland Schokolade Torte. German music will be played and German Beer will be served including Hacker Pschorr & Paulaner Oktoberfest, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse. A portion of the profits will benefit the Tristate Wheelchair Athletic Association

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The Ocean County Fairgounds hosts the Oktobeerfest NJ Stop by for German food, live music, contests and a HUGE selection of German and craft beers including Beck’s Oktoberfest, Spaten Lager, Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat, Victory Festbier, Benediktiner Weissbier, Bitburger, Fruh Kolsch, Kostritzer Schwarzbier, Hofbrau Original, Hofbrau Hefeweizen, Weltenburger Asam Doppelbock, Blue Point Oktoberfest, Samuel Adams Oktoberfest, Cricket Hill Fall Festivis, Angry Orchard Cider and many more. Food will be provided by various vendors including Taste of Smoke and Bahr’s Landing.

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Forest Lodge in Warren hosts one of the larger Oktoberfests in New Jersey. Bernies Orchestra will play lively music, and the Saengerchor, an all male German chorus, will be performing as well. Lots of craft vendors will be on hand and there will be many carnival activities including rides, face pairing, pony rides and more.

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In October come visit the annual <a href=”http://glassboromarketplace.com/event-schedule/glassboro-craft-beer-festival-2/”>Glassboro Craft Beer Festival</a>. Located adjacent to Rowan University, it features food & merchandise vendors, live music, sponsor tables and 25 different craft brews. Admission gets you a 5 oz tasting cup to sample all the delicious beer that is available.

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Lambertville hosted their first annual Oktoberfest in 2013, a  benefit for the Friends of Ely Park. The focus was on craft beers from regional breweries including Sierra Nevada Torpedo, Riverhorse Hop Hazard, Angry Orchard Cider, Dogfish Head 60 Minute, Coors Light, and Oktoberfest beers from Slyfox, Flying Fish, and Sam Adams.  The food menu includes German style pulled pork sliders, kielbasa and sauerkraut, traditional style bratwurst, smoked bratwurst, pierogies, potato pancakes, German meatballs and sauce, braised red cabbage slaw, cucumber salad, German potato salad and Bavarian cheese spread and rye toast, donated by local eateries such as the Inn of the Hawke, Bitter Bob’s, Homestead Farm Market, and Anton’s at the Swan.

NOVEMBER

Come to Monmouth County for the annual Shark River Beerfest in November. The event focuses on New Jersey beers with over 30 breweries represented. Costumes are welcomed and will be rewarded with a gift from beerheads. Admission ($25 in advance or $50 at the door, DD $15) includes a meal ticket and a tasting glass with which to sample 2 oz. pours of any and all beers. Live music will be provided by Holme and there will be food pairing discussions.  The Brewers Apprentice from Freehold will be there to discuss home brewing. Brews featured include prism ,flying fish, east coast, starr hill, keens yards, lancaster ace cider, heavy seas, smuttynose, books, blue point brooklyn, great lakes weyerbacher, unibroue, cricket hill, north coast hofbrau, and defiant.

DECEMBER

The Brewers Apprentice in Freehold, NJ is New Jersey’s largest homebrew supply shop and the only “Brew On Premise” in the tri-state area. In December they hold a beer and wine tasting event. In 2013  Tim Vandergrift, self-proclaimed head “wine guy” from Winexpert gave a seminar on this year’s 2013 Limited Edition wine selection and spoke about wine pairing and making wine making at home. This was followed by a sampling of the various beers made right there in the brewery.

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2 thoughts on “The Big List of Beer Events

    Thomas Pluck said:
    December 7, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Reblogged this on Thomas Pluck and commented:
    Annual Beer Events in New Jersey!

    The_Jersey_Zymurgist said:
    December 18, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    FYI Homebrew University Main Street in Hackettstown should soon receive the BOP license…Great list by the way. I live in NJ and have been looking for a catchall list of events.

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