Newark Food and Brew 2015

Newark Food and Brew is an annual event that offers the chance for people to walk down Main St in Newark, Delaware and stop in various participating restaurants and sample craft beer and small plates of food. I had been once before about four years previously and was excited to get a chance to attend again. It was also going to be my first beer event after getting back to the U.S.A.

Catherine Rooney's Irish Pub was the first stop for no other reason than, it was the closest restaurant to where we parked. Heavy Seas was being poured, and I hopped in line quickly. A few moments later I was offered three choices. I decided to go with a sample of a new Saison of theirs, Red Sky at Morning. I was fairly disappointed that $2 got me a small, maybe 1 oz, pour in a very small plastic cup. It kind of reminded me of drinking beer from a thimble. It was crowded without any comfortable space to linger, so we headed down the street.

The next stop was the Stone Balloon, because once again it was the next place to stop by. 3rd Wave, a new brewer located about as far south in Delaware as possible, was offering draft samples. $2 was transformed into a 4 oz Bombora Double IPA. It was pretty tasty and things were looking up. It was crowded inside, so we went outside on the patio which was adorned with abundant scaffolding. Overall the atmosphere was lacking (there was at least one guy with a fedora), so we decided to move on again.

No one in my group had been to Taverna before, so we headed inside to check it out. It was modern and dark, and we headed back to the light of Tröegs being poured from bottles. My $2 sample of Cultivator and I headed back to a seat. We decided to get some food, which wound up being an order of Calamari and a small brisket sandwich. The sandwich in question was well done and tasty but certainly price prohibitive considering its size and $5 price point. It paired decently with my Helles Bock, but there were probably better choices.

After some short wandering we wound up at Santa Fe mainly due to one of my party member's interest in a shrimp dish they were offering. Upon further investigation the shrimp dish didn't look so good, so we only stopped for a quick drink. I was able to get a $1 sample of Lagunitas Maximus which was one of the better beers I got to try. We didn't linger long.

We went for some dinner at a non participating restaurant on Main St and then walked around for a bit. We stopped in at The Delaware Growler who was serving samples from Brooklyn Brewery. I decided not to get anymore beer, but I was glad to get to check out the newish beer store on Main St. The growler list is massive with about 50 options, but unfortunately it is limited to Delaware distribution. The upside to this is it does offer many local beers that can be hard to find. Prices for some beers seemed good while others were high. The six packs were normally priced. I doubt I will go to this store often, because parking and driving on Main St is annoying for large portions of the year, but I think it will do well.

While I had fun at Newark Food and Brew, it was a mixed bag. There was a lack of information available about what the different breweries would be sampling as well as the pricing and pour size. The idea of small plates often seems nice to me, but they are hardly practical. There were several beer events in the area that Saturday, which I think kept attendance somewhat limited. That probably helped, as it was often crowded inside the participating restaurants, because they are set up for seating people and not having them wander. My only other complaint is that I'm not ever super excited to drink from small plastic cups. Despite not being great a little fine tuning could vastly improve future Newark Food and Brews.

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About averageguysguidetobeer

Hi, I'm Colin, I love a good hoppy IPA, but I can find immense enjoyment in a solid session beer, imperial stout, quadrupel or a nostalgic beer from my past.


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