Beer, BBQ and beats

Locals partake in Beer & Food Festival

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  • Photo by Mark Vanderhelm The Sixth Annual NJ Beer & Food Festival was held last weekend.

  • Photos by Alexis Tarrazi An assortment of German Bratwurst.

  • Kelly Sonnett, Ray Ramboski and Katie Drossel of Hamburg enjoy the Beer & Food Festival.

  • Portions of pork butt were smoked at the festival for 17 hours and then shredded for pulled pork sandwiches.

  • Crystal Spring's Executive Chef Tom Greeley with a pulled pork slider served up to patrons.

  • Lima Bean Riot entertained guests with cover songs.

More than 1,200 beer enthusiasts descended onto Crystal Springs Resort to sample more than 120 varieties of beer from 40-plus breweries.

The Sixth Annual NJ Beer & Food Festival was held on Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14 in Hamburg.

Breweries from all over the area came out to offer samples of their beer, hard ciders and more. Local brewers included Warwick Valley Winery from Warwick, N.Y., Boaks from Pompton Plains, N.J., Newburgh Brewing Company from Newburgh, N.Y. and Defiant Brewing Company in Pearl River, N.Y.

"This is a great festival," said Brian Boak, owner of Boaks. "This is one of the upper end festivals."

Boak may have taken the plunge to start brewing full time a few months ago, but has loved beer most of his life.

"In 1977 when I was 17 years old my mom could call me a beer snob because I would only drink Molsen Golden Ale."

There weren't many craft or imported beers in the 70's so Molsen was one of the few options.

Boak started brewing 6 years ago while working another job, until recently when he started brewing full time. He hopes now to distribute and market his product more widely with his full attention.


Along with a variety of ales and lagers offered, there was also a smorgasbord of food provided by Crystal Springs Resort.

Chicken drumsticks, pulled pork, German bratwurst, spit-roasted Berkshire pork legs, German potato salad, burgers, cornbread and homemade cole slaw were devoured by guests.

Crystal Springs Executive Chef John Greeley, of Chatam, created the menu for the festival and spent several days preparing the food. The most time consuming tasting was the pulled pork.

Greeley smoked the pork butt bone-in cut of meat for 17 to 18 hours with Oak chips and then glazed and seasoned the meat. Afterwards it was shredded for sandwiches.

A total of 580 pounds of pork was cooked for the event.

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