Saturday we attended the First Annual What’s On Tap Beer Fest and had a great time. This event, rescheduled from it’s original date in May, was well organized, had great weather, and great beer! We were very impressed with the location at WheatonArts and can see why it was chosen. It is a great space that has a lot of room to expand in future years to acommodate more breweries and food vendors and, even though it was opressively hot, had a lot of shaded areas off in the wooded areas of the festival area to sit and cool off for a bit.
Pulling off an event of this scope successfully in it’s first year is a major feat in itself. Gary Monterosso, Tara Nurin, SNJ 40, and the entire What’s On Tap crew really did a great job in making sure that it went pretty smoothly. At an event this large you will always have a few problems and, in talking to some of the breweries represented, they were all pretty minor. The ice situation was a little bit of an issue, but with the classic high humidity Jersey weather that the festival operated it is probably to be expected.
We have high hopes that this festival will become one of the pinnacles of the South Jersey Beer Scene in the years to come. With the cancellation of the Brews on The Bay event, this festival is a prime candidate to showcase the breweries that are making great beer in South Jersey and it’s nearby surrounding areas. It was great to see our local guys Slack Tide Brewing Co, 7 Mile Brewery, Garden State Beer Company, Pinelands Brewing Company, Tuckahoe Brewing Company, Glasstown Brewing Company, Tomfoolery Brewing, and Cape May Brewery representing South Jersey with some great beer, and not just bringing the easy go-to selections you see at Beer Festivals. In what was also a very telling sign, the lines to these local craft beer houses were really busy as compared to some of the “big beer” offerings that were there. Not saying we don’t like those, just great to see local breweries getting their beer into people’s glasses that cannot readily get to the taprooms.
Be sure to watch What’s On Tap on SNJ 40 in South Jersey, Thursday nights at 6:30, to watch the highlights and interviews that were done at the festival with Gary and Tara. Also, let’s show some support by letting the people who organized the festival just how great it was and that we want it back next year!
Cheers to everyone involved in the festival for doing such a fantastic job, already looking forward to next year!