octoberfestI have a friend who brews his own beer. Deep in the recesses of the small village of Denville, famous for its fantastic comedy nights at Benny’s Fireside, he works tirelessly into the night, tweaking the magnificent machinery with the right combination of ingredients and hops, until the perfect liquid gold pours out of the tap. Frank Zappa had “Joe’s Garage.” We had “Larry’s Basement.” After years of misspent youth, drinking Bud and Lowenbrau and Corona, the taste was completely out of this world. And so it goes, in basements, garages and warehouses all over the state, where New Jersey beer is being brewed every day.

The Garden State Craft Brewers Guild is an organization that promotes local microbreweries within the state. These are a series of small businessmen with aspirations to take their products national and bring jobs and revenue back to the people of New Jersey. They’re doing it with beer. How can you not like these guys? Working with legislators to govern and regulate their industry while promoting responsible alcohol consumption is their collective goal. That and selling really, really good beer. In pubs all over the country you might find a JJ Bittings Nut Brown Ale or a Harvest Moon Hodgepodge Black Ale. The shelves of liquor stores might be lined with bottles from Gaslight Brewery, Cricket Hill Brewing Company and the Highpoint Brewing Company. All of the above, brewed right here in places that probably started out as “Larry’s Basement” did.

Many also house Brewpubs. They brew their beer on site and many feature tours, restaurants and entertainment. Go for a tour and tasting at the Flying Fish Brewing Company, bust out your best Kanye at Karaoke night at J.J. Bitting Brewing Company, eNJoy some jazz at Triumph Brewery, and grab a bite at Krogh’s or the Gaslight. You know what you can wash it down with? Beer. Homer Simpson would approve.
Here are a couple of Oktoberfest celebrations you might want to check out this month…


October 1    Heavy Seas Tap Takeover
5:00PM – 10:00PM
395 Bloomfield Ave
Caldwell, NJ 07006

October 5    13th Annual Highlands Oktoberfest
2:00PM – 9:00PM
Veterans Park

Bay and Shrewsbury Ave.
Highlands, NJ 07732
732-291- 4713
October 12   Oktoberfest Beer & Food Festival
12:00PM – 10:00PM
Piccolo’s Restaurant / $50
174 Kinnelon Rd
Kinnelon, NJ 07405

October 13   Octoberfest
1:00PM – 7:00PM
The Old Bay Restaurant / $15
61 Church St
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


eNJoy but drink responsibly folks

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