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NJ – October 2018 / Newsmaker Alert / Residents and visitors to Somerset
County are enjoying the growing beverage tourism trade that’s gaining
popularity in central New Jersey. Beer and wine enthusiasts have many opportunities
to learn about how their favorite alcoholic beverages are produced (and
make some themselves) and to sample local and regional brands at various
County Tourism Now Accepting Nominees for Sixth
Salute to Tourism Awards, Recognizing Individuals and
Four Categories: Economic Champion,
Champion and Outstanding Event
Winners will be Announced at
Annual Awards Event on January 18, 2019;
Steven Pedigo, Economist, City
Planner and Placemaker Will Speak
Donna Albano, associate professor of hospitality & tourism management
at Stockton University, has been tracking and studying the growth of breweries
and distilleries; she writes frequently on the subject and contributed
to the two-volume book, “Craft Beverages and Tourism.” She said that traveling
to experience craft beverage tourism where wine, beer, cider and craft
spirits are produced is a fast-emerging N.J. experience.
is a strong connection between craft beverages and tourism as the public’s
interest in local, artisanal production has gained momentum,” said Albano.
“This focus has helped create another unique tourist experience. People
are designing more tourist trips around wineries, craft breweries and distilleries
and in New Jersey, we are seeing an uptick in beverage tourism as groups
come to wine, dine and stay in the area.”
craft breweries are becoming big business
to the Brewers Association, the trade association for small and independent
craft brewers, there were 90 craft breweries in New Jersey producing 139,562
barrels in 2017; these breweries contributed nearly $1.7 billion to the
state’s economy in 2016.
survey conducted by the Brewers Association several years ago revealed
that more than 10 million people toured craft breweries in 2014, and more
than half of those visitors were from outside the destination. In addition,
18 percent of craft beer drinkers visit three or more out-of-town breweries
Somerville is home to two popular beer events hosted by Tapastre and sister
restaurant Project P.U.B.—a
Craft Beer Fest in the summer and an Oktoberfest celebration in the fall.
Project P.U.B. (“popup brewpub”) is a unique brewpub concept featuring
a tap takeover from a single craft beer brewery for an entire month; the
brewpub also serves a rotating menu customized to pair with that month’s
beer selections, using freshly sourced ingredients. Tapastre
offers a broad array of tapas and American fare with a rotating selection
of craft beers.
to downtown Somerville in December is Village Brewing Company, a craft
brewery and brewpub that will feature an enormous bar, live music, and
event space to host its own social events and that the public can rent
Lounge in Manville, patrons can try scores of beers from the venue’s
own Brooks Brewery, Manville’s first microbrewery, as well as domestic
and international brewers—plus wine, spirits and food, pub games and music.
Northside Lounge was nominated as one of New Jersey’s Best Craft Beer Bars
by the Star-Ledger and NJ.com (2015).
for three brothers became Flounder
Brewing Co., a Hillsborough craft brewery that produces just three
barrels at a time. Recognized for its unique beers throughout the region
and sold at local restaurants and bars, Flounder Brewing Co. was named
one of Food
& Wine’s “50 amazing nanobreweries in 50 states.” It offers
monthly tours and tastings at its facility.
Acres Winery in Far Hills recently added “New Jersey Winery of the
Year 2018” from the New York International Wine Competition to its wall
of awards. Sky Acres’ wines, which are available in local retail outlets,
are made with a proprietary, automated fermentation process that uses a
disposable plastic liner in which the grapes are fermented and pressed.
The sustainable process does not leave anything to clean afterwards, conserving
water and protecting local waterways. Sky Acres holds a fall open house
in early October, where visitors learn about the GOfermentor™ process and
Smartbarrel™ aging system, and can sample wines for purchase. Wine tastings
are also available at the Bedminster Fall Fest in October or by appointment
by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ringoes in neighboring Hunterdon County, Old
York Cellars is set among some of New Jersey’s oldest vineyards. Its
satellite Wine Bar & Gift Shop at Bridgewater Commons Mall offers tastings,
light bites, a full wine selection and wine gifts for purchase, and a lounge
area for seating and events. In 2013, in response to Hurricane Sandy’s
effects on New Jerseyans, Old York Cellars launched its What Exit Wines,
and donates proceeds from every bottle sold to New Jersey-based charities.
those who prefer a hands-on approach, WineMakers
of Somerset in Bound Brook offers winemaking classes for individuals
and groups taught by master winemakers. It also hosts wine tastings and
its own special events. The venue, a historic brick factory building, is
available to rent for private parties. At Grape
Expectations in Bridgewater, participants experience the complete process
of creating their own wine, using up to 25 varieties of grapes.
Jersey’s non-shore counties generated 52 percent of the state’s tourism
revenues in 2017, with an increase in visitor spending led by the food
and beverage category,” said Jacqueline Morales, Somerset County’s director
of tourism. “We’re delighted to see so much growth in the beverage sector
in Somerset County, as local residents and visitors are discovering the
great craft beers and unique wines being made right here in the heart of
information is available at www.VisitSomersetNJ.org.
Somerset County Tourism
County Tourism, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the official destination
marketing organization (DMO) for Somerset County, N.J. and a Division of
the Somerset County Business Partnership.
Its mission is to advance the local economy by sustainably promoting the
area’s outstanding travel products and experiences, and to offer a variety
of useful services to residents, business travelers and leisure visitors.
Somerset County Tourism is an active member of New Jersey Destination Marketing
Organizations and the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association. For more
information visit www.VisitSomersetNJ.org
or call 908-218-4300, ext. 28.
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County Tourism Director
Somerset County Tourism