The first weekend of summer ’18 is packed with three major local beer festivals, including two that will have a new look. You can’t hit ‘em all, so choose wisely.*
When: Saturday, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Battleship New Jersey, Camden.
Joe Sixpack Sez: This excellent fest almost didn’t happen this year, following the split of the New Jersey Brewers Association. At first, the insurgent Brewers Guild of New Jersey (comprised of larger packaging breweries, including Flying Fish and Cape May) was going to run the show, though it has just 9 members. Eventually, the two groups agreed that the much larger association would run the show. The late start likely means fewer tickets will be sold, so… more room for your elbows.
As for the beer, this has always been a great opportunity for Philly-area beer lovers to discover the smaller breweries of the Garden State, particularly those with limited distribution. Expect around 30 breweries aboard the historic battleship on the Delaware River.
When: Saturday, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia Zoo, 34th & Girard, with free shuttle from 30th Street Station.
Joe Sixpack Sez: A seriously big beer list with 150 craft brews, including a few out-of-towners (Robin Hood, Highway Manor) that you don’t see in these parts much. Beer stands are scattered throughout the zoo, providing ample opportunities to get your buzz on while talking to the animals.
When: Saturday, Noon – 4 p.m.
Where: Near the Lansdale train station.
Joe Sixpack Sez: Look for a downsized festival this year as the organizers, faced with complaints of overcrowding, eliminated general admission tix and will instead run a single VIP session. By reducing ticket sales to 1,500, the organizers hope to give attendees a bit more elbow room while reducing the mad rush for food (included throughout the fest).
*Prove me wrong.