Booze And Politics In New Jersey: Tom Kean’s New Brewery Bills

capeMayBrewinglogoThree years after overhauling New Jersey’s brewery laws for the first time since Prohibition, state lawmakers are trying to modernize the system a little more. On Tuesday, Republican Senate Leader Tom Kean is touring Cape May Brewing to applaud its most recent expansion and promote a package of brewery bills he’s sponsoring. (Note: this is not open to the public.)

Kean’s bills, which enjoy bipartisan support, help the brewing industry gain parity with the wine industry–which historically has had more leeway to sell more of its products in more places. Specifically, his bills aim to accomplish three things: in-state breweries could sell beer at farmers markets, brewpubs could self-distribute limited quantities to retailers in and out of state, and brewery visitors could bring in food–which would presumably allow for on-premise food trucks for the first time.

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Food Trucks And Craft Beer: Two Upcoming Events That Bring Them Together

In what's being billed as a pub crawl for grown-ups, the popular Craft Beer Express returns this Saturday. This all-day event is for those who enjoy the art of beer and want to share that passion with friends and other beer drinkers alike. A dozen local bars and eateries will share their finest ales, including Johnny Brenda's, Standard Tap, Kite and Key, and more. Saturday, March 14th, 11 am, $10-15, various locations throughout Philadelphia.

Around here we all go gaga for our food truck fests and our craft beer events. But do you realize that although you can usually find a food truck or two at a beer festival and craft beer at a truck festival, there are almost no events in the nation that actually give the two equal billing?

Well, that’s changing in our area, where we now have two food-truck-slash-craft-beer festivals to look forward to.

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Beer And Cheese Night At Grey Lodge

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Everyone in Philadelphia loves Scoats, the owner of the Grey Lodge Pub, and everyone in the world loves cheese. So, other than craft beer and crabs, there’s not a much better combination happening this weekend than the upcoming installment of Scoats’ weekly Sunday Night Special: Beer & Cheese Pairing.

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Don’t Forget You Jammies: Keg & Kitchen Is Doing Breakfast-For-Dinner

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Breakfast, it’s what’s for dinner at Westmont, New Jersey’s Keg & Kitchen’s Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout breakfast-dinner on August 10th. Reprising a pajama theme K&K’s owners rolled out during a KBS brunch a few years ago, patrons are invited to wear their jammies while they eat foie gras, fried chicken and French toast starting at 7pm.

Awesome.

Bartenders will be pouring plenty more Founders, too, including Dark Penance and Alpha Acid Test IPAs like Centennial, Double Trouble, and All Day. The bf and I will be there wearing our matching onesies and celebrating my birthday weekend so feel free to buy me a beer.

Keg & Kitchen [Official]

Indego And Cuba Libre Team Up To Reward Bike Sharers

cubalibrephillyAttention bike riders: Philly’s own bike share program, called Indego, is partnering with Cuba Libre to offer a free tapas dish to anyone who shows an Indego key and spends at least $15 on food.

Here’s how it works: Present a bike rental key during lunch, brunch or dinner and your server will bring you a free pineapple-guacamole Cubano along with your table’s $15 food purchase. Cuba Libre describes the Cubano as a “classic tapas item (that) features avocado, grilled golden pineapple, roasted jalapeños, fresh lime juice and extra virgin olive oil, and is served with crispy plantain chips.” This is Indego’s first dining partnership.

You can access Indego’s 600 bikes parked at 60 stations (including one close to Cuba Libre at 2nd & Market, just sayin’) by buying a membership or paying on the spot with a credit card – something we wish car shares would get into.

Cuba Libre [f8b8z]

This Weekend: Get Drunk With Monkeys

MonkeyTongue

Wanna go for beers at the Zoo? Of course you do. Which is why we don’t even have to try that hard to sell this one.

So we won’t try to be cutesy when we tell you that from 6-10 pm on Saturday, the Philadelphia Zoo is hosting its annual iteration of the Summer Ale Festival that allows beer drinkers to co-mingle with the species they sometimes resemble upon imbibing too much of the beverage.

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Get Social With Cider In New Jersey

ACCiderSocial

Sometimes you’ve just had enough beer, right? You’ve drunk all the good stuff, the weird stuff, the low-rent stuff. Whiskey and gin just don’t seem right for the moment and you’re certainly not going to switch to wine. So what do you turn to in your hour of alcoholic need?

Cider.

Ever true to his pioneering spirit, the producer of the massive Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival is bringing the first cider fest to Jersey. On August 8, Jon Henderson of Good Time Tricycle will host two sessions of the inaugural Atlantic City Cider Social.

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The Director Of New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Control Just Resigned

MikeHalfacreThe director of New Jersey’s Alcoholic Beverage Control submitted his resignation this morning, effective June 30.

Mike Halfacre, who has held the position for three years, didn’t give a reason for his departure but some speculate that he wants to find a job outside Gov. Chris Christie’s administration before the governor either runs for president or his term expires  in 2018.

So why is this a big deal? Because Halfacre was instrumental in implementing laws that dramatically reformed the state’s brewing and distilling regulations. The Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, as well as prominent beer fest producers, considers him an ally in helping them navigate unfamiliar and tricky rules. And last spring, he worked with them to figure out common-sense regulations for festivals so that reputable organizers could continue to introduce craft breweries to consumers while ensuring that they didn’t promote irresponsible drinking.

So yes, the brewing and distilling enthusiasts in Jersey are, understandably, a little bit worried right now. We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.

The Rules: Garden State Craft Brewers Craft A Best Practices Document

craft beer express

If you spend any time at New Jersey’s brewery tasting rooms, you’ve surely noticed some differences from those in PA. No dining. No entertainment. No food trucks. Well, maybe some food trucks.

In some ways, New Jersey brewers have been left to interpret the state’s two-year-old law that allows them to sell pints of beer and has led to the proliferation of tasting rooms and new breweries across the state. But because the law was met with opposition from the restaurant association, it prohibits food service and entertainment at breweries that aren’t brewpubs. However, the law left some grey area and some room to make one’s own decisions about how strictly to follow the law.

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