Just in time for Oktoberfest, craft beer is coming on strong across New Jersey. So much so, the independent breweries that produce it are giving big brands – like Newark’s Budweiser – a run for their money. Hops are happening in the state and according to an article in NJ.com, craft beer is the fastest growing beer market in the U.S. today. Breweries are popping up everywhere.
Writer Peter Genovese answered the call by kicking off a new column. The aptly titled Beer Here claimed the following state stats:
The Atlantic City Beer Festival, in its fifth year, attracted 15,000 people in March and sold out in advance. The BBQ & Craft Beer Festival at Monmouth Park, over the Labor Day weekend, was a runaway success. Rockin’ Brewfest, another celebration of craft beer, was held in the Sun National Bank Center in downtown Trenton this past weekend [cq: Sept. 18]. In New Jersey, 20-plus brew pubs and microbreweries, from Flying Fish in Cherry Hill and the Tun Tavern in Atlantic City to the Ship Inn in Milford and Krogh’s in Sparta, have been a hit among the hops-loving crowd.
It wasn’t a quiet revolution either. By Genovese’s math, craft beer sales in the U.S. have grown 12 percent in the first six months of 2010, compared to the same time last year. Even as our economy struggles, we reach for a brew to help us get through. It’s practically recession-proof as he reported that overall beer industry sales dropped 2.7 percent. Craft beer drinkers know what they want and they’re not going to sacrifice quality and flavor for just any beer. There’s an art associated to craft brews that just can’t be found in mass-produced beers. As our faithful columnist notes:
Given a choice between Miller and Magic Hat, though, and it’s no contest.
What other industries can point to this kind of growth? And what would you attribute it to?
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