Craft beer fans applaud passing of N.J. brewpub legislation

Assembly Bill 1227, which would allow New Jersey craft brewers more flexibility to distribute and promote their products, passed the Senate Monday and is now on its way to the governor’s desk.

The passing of Assembly Bill 1227 comes as welcomed news for craft beer lovers across the state, including those who attended the 16th Annual Craft Beer Festival on the Battleship New Jersey Saturday.

Roaring beer lovers in Camden raised their four ounce glasses many times in a toast to New Jersey breweries. The festival featured 19 brewers from around New Jersey, all gathering on the Battleship New Jersey to serve samples of their brews to enthusiastic drinkers.

Many attended not just to drink but to learn more about craft beer ingredients.

For eight consecutive years, the festival has been held on the ship and serves as a fundraiser for the Guild and the Battleship New Jersey Guild.

Treasurer and Flying Fish Brewing Company Founder Gene Muller’s father served on the ship. Muller believes it’s a better event space than any indoor location and that the beautiful day on the water energized the adventurous crowd.

Among the many beers available to sample, Chipotle Black IPA made by Harvest Moon Brewery and Cafe in New Brunswick was among the most popular.

“It’s the most unique beer I’ve tried here and although it burns going down, I’ve gone back for seconds,” craft beer supporter Tasha Rothlisberger said.

Harvest Moon’s head brewer Kyle McDonald was not ashamed to say that the IPA was not for every beer drinker but that N.J. craft brewers were ecstatic to be serving to so many on the ship.

“New Jersey is maybe been a little bit slow in general in the craft beer movement but in the last two years I’ve seen a huge pick-up,” McDonald said.

Organizers of the event hope that New Jersey’s craft beer scene will spur tourism and create jobs in the state.

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