Trivial Things with Tony Romeo Craft Beer Trail!

People that play trivia Trivial Things with Tony Romeo at the various craft breweries I host very often ask about the OTHER craft beer locales I host.  So I decided to put my thoughts in a post in what I am calling the Trivial Things NJ Craft Beer Trail, or maybe the Tony Romeo “Triv-Trail” for short.  Currently I host at the following locales: Berlin Brewing Company, Eight & Sand Beer Co, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Lunacy Brewing, Red, White and Brew, Swedesboro Brewing and Westville Brewery (schedule here)… that’s how they stack in alphabetical order– here they are on a craft beer map of NJ.

Berlin, NJ is my home town, so let’s start there at Berlin Brewing Company.  Trivia truly started for me with an off the cuff convo with owner Joe Cruz.  In 2018, I mentioned I always wanted to, he set it up and the rest is history.  Usually we do Fridays and some of the most raucous, rowdy times we ever had were with our great, great friends at Berlin.  I’m a huge fan of brewer Tony Alfano’s “Grey Earle” beer, but the “Humble Bitch” and the “Reverence IPA” are also great. This summer I have been really enjoying their new line of Seltzer.  Great Pizza next door at Scottos, a hidden gem in the Berlin Mart for gyros called Opa’s Diner is a world class.  If you’re in a Jersey Diner kinda mood after?  Palace and New Berlin Diner won’t let you down.  Don’t let beertender Rachael catch you cheating at trivia, she will call you out, if not end you!

Next up, moving up the White Horse Pike is my first and third Wednesday trivia gig, Flying Fish Brewing Company.  Flying is a local craft giant that distributes to about 7-8 states. The scale of the operation makes the beer amazingly consistent and brewers like Chris, Lea Ann and Barry make the brew consistently good. My summer go to is Hazy Bones and I enjoy Hop Fish and Citra Pale Ale all year.  We get really great crowds and the crowds keep me busy.  Erin, Matt, Alex and Alyson keep the big crowds hydrated in the tap room and Salt and Sea is my go to.  It’s also my post run beer and it’s like gatorade and beer had a baby.

Keeping it moving up the White Horse Pike, let’s talk a little Lunacy Brewing next.  I met the Lunacy family in a Weekend Philler spot a few years ago and now they are my family too. The greatest people.  I host trivia 2nd and 4th Thursdays and when weather permits we are outside on my favorite deck in all of craft.  The acoustics on our Music Trivia game are like a 70s Polk Speaker!  Owner Ricky Lees is usually behind the bar on trivia days and owners Mike and Ed sometimes play along. Mike is tough to beat in the music round… Ed is impossible to beat.  Once a month we do a deep dive theme trivia that mixes a single topic and day drinking. (Seinfeld, The Office, Friends, Schitt’s Creek, Star Wars). Speaking of Star Wars, I enjoy their flagship IPA, C3-PA and they usually have a Gose I like… At the holidays, don’t miss our Holiday Trivia and their Mrs Claus Draus”…

Less than a mile away we’ve got one of my newer trivia’s, Red, White and Brew… one of the more interesting buildings I host in, TONS of history.  Red, White and Brew was originally a turn of the century bank in Audubon, NJ.  I love this locale as much as I love the beer and the people from that area.  Also a big fan of SMOKE, the BBQ right up the street.  We play indoor and outdoor with tons of space and so many great teams.  Big fan of the Rosie’s Red Amber Ale and the Paul’s Midnight Ride Porter… but on trivia day I usually go to their sours or fruited beers as they come.  There is a lot of running around with trivia– i like the different styles than when I’m just chilling.

Jumping on 295 for less than a minute and heading south we come to one of my first and fondest breweries. Westville Brewing.  Mike and Pam are a husband and wife duo that make amazing beer for a really great group of regulars.  Time Piece IPA, named for the clock that’s a famous Westville landmark is a staple that people love.  I am a huge fan of their Sofa King Sour series when I host.  Seasonally they have slushies that are amazing. We do trivia inside and outside the first and third Thursday of the month.  Don’t miss Lorenzo’s next door for some really good eats.  Look out for the TimeLords and I Drink and I Know Things… they are in it to win it.

Right up the street I also host at Eight and Sand in Woodbury. Top notch beer and notch people.  Plenty of space indoor and out for great theme games I host on weekends.  Deep dives into topics like Game of Thrones, Seinfeld, The Office, Disney and more.  Our Friends game is still my record for one venue when we got 37 teams!!  I’m still in awe of that.

Speaking of records, my newest venue, Swedesboro Brewing, is off to a great, great start.  We broke our “during-the-week-non-theme-game” record for teams our first time out.  I’ve only sampled a few beers but the Pilsner jumped right to the top of my go to.  We will be adding this venue as a once a month Tuesday and I will report back with what I find out.  On my short list is investigating a local ice creamer that is supposed to be out of this world.

Honorable Mentions– so I don’t do trivia at restaurants too often, but I did a few one offs at Pic-a-lilli that I won’t forget.  The people there are the best and the reputation speaks for itself.  I felt super proud to dish trivia at a place known for awesomeness for 90 something years.  They have a trivia night on Monday’s that I play once in a while.

And finally, Villari’s Lakeside. Greatest Food, greatest ownership.  This was my pre-covid Wednesday that was just getting going, and then we got a freaking pandemic.  Nothing but fond memories.