After a few minutes on the Battleship NJ for Beerfest, I was reminded of those classic words from Chief Brody in Jaws; “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!”
But to be fair, the 14th Annual Garden State Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday June 26 was limited to what is known as the “fantail” of a battleship. But it was indeed packed and it was a ton of fun. I imagine opening up the entire boat to such an event would be an insurance nightmare, not to mention that you’d probably have drunken stow-aways passing out all over. NOT that it was that kind of event. People think “BEER” and “ALL YOU CAN DRINK” and envision a frat toga party. Not even close. This event was much more geared toward the beer connoisseur or aficionado that likes to sample many beers. A by product of sampling many beers is of course intoxication, but I did not see one visibly drunk person on the ship. (My traveling party included. Although Patti was nicer to me on the way home than the way there…just sayin!)
I covered the event for WPHL but was still able to attend with my good friends Jim and Patti Beach. I was also still able to sample a few of the many fine, fine NJ breweries. I have known Flying Fish for a while and am familiar with their products, but my favorite new beers I sampled came from River Horse Brewery (Lambertville, NJ) and Iron Hill Brewery. Ironically enough, Iron Hill is in Maple Shade of all places. Too bad they did not open during my tour of duty. If you get a chance to have an Iron Hill Raspberry Wheat this summer, do it! If you get a chance to be on board when the Battleship NJ turns into the “Good Ship Barley-Hops” next year…absolutely do it!