Garden State Craft Brewer’s Guild
Battleship Beer Fest
62 Battleship Place
Camden, NJ 08103
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in June, the Stoutmeister and I headed to Camden for the Battleship Beer Fest on the Battleship New Jersey. Upon arrival, we found the event parking lot was charging $30! Outrageous! However, the lot was full (so there were plenty of fools willing to pay this price), and we were directed to a parking garage down the street, where we only paid $11. Then we had a lovely .25 to .4 mile stroll along the marina to the Battleship New Jersey. Lovely day for it, but I was worried about the walk back after all those beers! Well, there were plenty of benches to rest on (by rest, I mean take a long nap). But this would not deter me!
Once arriving at the venue, you were given the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the Battleship. Along the way, there were various vets and volunteers offering interesting facts about the battleship’s history. I must say, I quite enjoyed this perk, but I saw most people headed to the bow of the ship to start their tasting adventure. The Stoutmeister and I elected to take the tour. The ship is huge! Some interesting facts we learned on our tour included:
- The USS New Jersey is actually the second ship to bear the name New Jersey. The first being built in the early 1900’s, and serving as a training vessel during World War I before being sunk as a bombing target in 1922.
- The USS New Jersey is the most decorated battleship in US history and has served this country proudly during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, service in the Middle East, the Gulf War, and Operation Desert Storm.
- You can read more about the history of the USS New Jersey on her website http://www.battleshipnewjersey.org/the-ship/full-history/
I do recommend anyone having an interest in US history to tour the Battleship.
Next on to the beer fest. The beer fest was held on the bow of the Battleship New Jersey itself, with a giant tent covering the brewers and beer festers! Tables and chairs were available out in the sun near the bandstand where Cabin Dogs were delighting the crowd with their rock music. (Of course after a few samples, any music might seem delightful!) We quite appreciated the fact that the beer fest was sponsored by the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild and featured New Jersey Brewers only. Each attendee was given a sampler glass (er, make that sampler plastic), and 15 drink tickets (5 extra drink tickets for VIP ticket holders). You could also buy more tickets if the need arose. However, all the brewers had a little bucket on their table to collect tickets, and it was sort of an honor system. The brewers weren’t really checking, so once we used up The Stoutmeister’s tickets (I was kind of hoarding mine in case of an emergency), I quit handing them in, and continued tasting to my heart’s content!
The crowds were well-behaved and so nice and friendly (and this was before most had consumed their samples). I myself was resplendent in my beer fest attire – pretzel beer cap earrings, beer mug sun glasses, and my custom hand-painted beer and pretzel shoes (made by my great friend AyJay. https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShoeInkies?ref=shop_sugg I also commissioned her to paint some Mah Jongg shoes for me, but I digress). I felt like a celebrity! Everyone wanted to get their picture taken with me. Wow, now that I think about it, I should have charged them a buck a piece for the honor! I’ll have to remember that for next time.
The Stoutmeister and I discovered several breweries that were not on our radar, and look forward to reviewing them for this blog. One quite interesting beer was Brown Sugar 69 brewed by Devil’s Creek in Collingswood NJ. It is an American Brown ale, and they rim the glass with brown sugar (like a beer version of a margarita). It was delicious! I think it might be my favorite beer of all time! Devil’s Creek just had their Grand Opening on May 21st! Well done, I can’t wait to add them to our review schedule! https://www.facebook.com/DevilsCreekBrewery/events
The weather was great, the beers delicious and cold, and the people friendly. All-in-all, a perfect day!
Favorite Beers of the Day:
- Pretzel – Devil’s Creek Brown Sugar 69, Flying Fish Extra Pale Ale
- The Stoutmeister – Tuckahoe Brewing Company’s Kid’s Table (a sweet milk stout), Devil’s Creek Brown Sugar 69
Additional Posse Comments:
- Pretzel – “Wow, I only had to go to the bathroom once!”
- The Stoutmeister – “I really liked that it was all New Jersey brewers. I found brewers I hadn’t heard of before.”
- Pretzel – “The Craft Brewer’s Guild t-shirt design was boring and uninspired.”
Overall Pretzel Score (8.27 out of 10):
Final Scorecard: BattleshipBeerFest