Usually I would start this type of article off with an “Imagine this,” description, but I don’t believe I need to as every one of us has been there before. It’s the middle of the summer and you’ve decided to attend a village, town, city, or county festival for a “fill in the blank” reason (there is simply just so many of them). Typically, the festival occurs on a Saturday or Sunday and starts in the middle of the day. The adrenaline is coursing through your veins as you arrive. There are people everywhere, tons of things to see, knick-knacks to buy, food to eat and pictures to take. Before you know it, excitement recedes and you find yourself searching for salvation from the beating sun and humid temperatures in the form of the infamous beer truck. But what if instead of starring at the standard silver, blue and red lager taps you found a beer that you usually only see at your favorite craft beer bar? Well that, friends, would be no “typical” festival – that would be a truly unique experience.
This is exactly the type of setting that Wolf Sterling, owner of Pint Bar, foreshadowed three years ago and will make happen this Sunday, October 9th (changed from August due to Hurricane Irene) at the 11th Annual Hudson Pride LGBT Festival & Parade starting at 11AM in Jersey City, NJ. (Read more about festival here and here) I had a chance to sit down with Wolf and pick his brain about the festival and his decision to depart from the typical beer trucks that line the streets during festivals.
I’m pretty excited – after years of cajoling the organizers of Hudson Pride, this year they agreed to let Pint sponsor their beer tent. For the first time ever, we’re doing away with the common adjunct lagers and brining in craft beer from New Jersey Beer Company and Abita. There will be nary a macro lager in sight!
The event is expecting to bring thousands of people together to the downtown Jersey City area to participate in the Do Ask, Do Tell! festival. Uniting the “regular beer drinker” and craft beer communities is no easy task, but when you speak to Wolf you know he’s the right man for the job. When asked about the choices of breweries and beers, Wolf noted his sensitivity to throwing beer drinkers into the craft beer deep end (Double IPAs, Imperials Stouts, and Belgian Strong Ales). His choice for the Abita (@TheAbitaBeer) Light was driven by the simple need to ease “light” beer drinkers into a craft beer that they can stomach and drink throughout the festival.
For those festival goers that are feeling a bit more adventurous and willing to further explore the rabbit hole that is craft beer, Wolf plans on tapping into several of NJ Beer Company’s (@NJBeerCo) finest selections. Although a big fan of their products, Wolf’s main drive behind selecting the Hudson County brewery traces back to his overwhelming sense of community and promotion of local businesses. The exposure that a festival like this can provide to a local brewery can quickly drive them to the top of bar managers’ tap lists and order forms.
The thoughtful preparation that Wolf and other organizers have put into this year’s festival will surely make this one easily stand out – we hope to see you there friends!