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Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Saturday, September 14, 2013

7th Central Jersey BeerFest a Hit--Again

"Barbarians" at the Gates!
If one didn't know history, he might think that the  number 7 was a lucky one for Mike Cerami, but Cerami clearly has an "in" with the weather gods. His Central Jersey Beer Fest--an event which funnels proceeds to worthy Woodbridge causes--seems to always have the cooperation of the weatherman. Today's fest saw cooler temps than in the past, but the nearly 800 beer lovers who turned out were not the least bit concerned.

The event was designed to assist the family of Thomas Kurzeja, a leukemia sufferer, and the large turnout pretty much guaranteed a nice donation.
Cerami invites some of the best area brewers to showcase their wares, and this year saw some serious lines at more than one tap. Shore Point offered Sam Adams' Octoberfest and Cherry Wheat, Brooklyn Brewing's Brown and Post Road Pumpkin, Blue Point's White IPA and Rastafarian Rye, and He-Brew's David's Slingshot and Hop Manna IPA.

Brian Boak
The peripatetic Brian Boak was on hand offering five beers--two of which are not yet aviailable to the general public. Those would be Flamethrower and a Flemish Brown sour. The outstanding Monster Mash, Two Blind Monks and DBW rounded out the offerings. Boak channeled a carnival barker as he exhorted the long lines of beer drinkers to try his beers. Apparently, they listened. Check out Boak's pitch here.

Tun Tavern offered a delicious Apple Stout and an IP Ray, while the Ship Inn (NJ's first brewpub) brought its Best Bitter and a resurrected porter called Black Death. Brewer Lea Rumbolo allowed that she had to do some "forensic brewing" to bring this beer back to life, as the recipe had never been written down due to a mistake in the grain bill. Originally intended as a pale ale to commemorate Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee, the former brewer accidentally added black malt instead of pale malt. Many great innovations have happened because of such accidents, and this is clearly one example.

The NewlyWeds--Mr. and Mrs. Percello
Uno's of Metuchen's Chris Percello ( newlywed) brought in his Oktoberfest and his old reliable Ike's IPA, while Beach Haus's Tom Pryzborowski offered his flagship brew along with KickBack Amber, Cruiser and Winter Rental. The host brewpub, JJ Bittings, had four beers available: Whales IPA, Bierstrasse Wheat, Raspberry Wheat and its outstanding, award-winning Bad Boy Oktoberfest.
Megan, Mike and Brendan of Shore Point Dist.

Some well-known beer cognoscenti were in attendance, including the lively--and growing-- Shore Point crew and NJ's first brewmistress, Gretchen Schmidhausler, who won a GABF Gold Medal a few years back. Live bands provided musical ambiance and various food vendors were also on hand to provide solid nourishment. Appetites must have been triggered, because the proprietor of Benson's Southern BBQ advised me that by 3 PM he was already drained of 85 pounds of pulled pork.

Cerami, whose entire family participated in the event, has once again made a positive impact on both his community--and the community of good beer lovers.

Check out more pics here.

2 comments:

Michael DeCastro said...

Hi Kurt,
I volleyed back an e-mail.. not sure if you got it. So I am reaching out here... I hope it's not intrusive in any way. I was wondering if I might be able to ask you a few q's. Your blog is a great mix of beer info, but also very welcoming to a wide audience. I think our audience would really what you're doing

Michael DeCastro said...

Hi Kurt,
I volleyed back an e-mail.. not sure if you got it. So I am reaching out here... I hope it's not intrusive in any way. I was wondering if I might be able to ask you a few q's. Your blog is a great mix of beer info, but also very welcoming to a wide audience.