By John Stringfellow: On Saturday I took a drive up to Hamburg to check out the New Jersey Beer & Food Festival at Crystal Springs Resort at Grand Cascades Lodge. I went there to sample the beers, to learn more about the resort and Sussex County.

The festival is beautifully organized and well attended. There’s lots of parking and helpful staff to guide you and good signage. There were over 135 varieties of beers, ales and ciders to sample. There was quite a good variety of food to go with your brew. You could choose from grilled hamburgers with your choice of toppings, grilled drumsticks, pulled pork, German bratwurst, spit roasted Berkshire pork legs, German potato salad, corn on the cob and coleslaw. Philly Cover Band, Lima Bean Riot was really very good but really loud.

In terms of the beers, my favorites were Warwick Wineries Doc’s Draft Cranberry Spice Hard Cider and their Pear Hard Cider. Warwick is a short drive up the road from the resort and I look forward to driving up there for a visit soon. The other standout for me was the Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale made by the Cricket Hill Brewery of Fairfield in Essex County.

The highlight of the day was meeting David Schwartz and his family, the winners of the Ticket Giveaway. They’re a great family. Their son Alan fell in love with the golf carts. Be sure and see their picture below.

I also got the chance to do some brainstorming with Magdalena Spirydowicz and her husband Michael of MTS Creative. They worked with Crystal Springs to get us our prize tickets to the festival.

One word of caution, if you are driving to the Lodge at Crystal Springs for any reason, do not use the 105 Wheatsworth Road address in Hamburg, New Jersey. I chose that address and ended up in the middle of nowhere with no good cellphone service to find my way out. Use this address instead: Three Wild Turkey Way Hamburg, New Jersey.

Here is our virtual tour of the festival. Click on any photo to see a larger version.

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