New Jersey beer goes here
The Garden State Craft Brewers Guild (GSCBG) just hosted their 10th annual beer festival this past Saturday. Around 1,000 people came out on a rather gloomy day to taste some NJ craft beer. I ask myself if it was a success? In terms of the gate and given the weather, I suppose it was. But as a member and president of our organization, I see it as a failure as well.
Of the 16 members in our guild, only 12 brought their beer to the fest. Given that we have only one festival per year, that is disturbing and quite frankly unforgivable. The purpose of our group is to bring awareness to the great beer being made in our state. If the breweries don't believe that, how can we possibly hope that beer drinkers will? I know that some members view each other as competitors and are reluctant to do something that they feel may benefit another business. But what they fail to see is that good beer begets good beer, and good beer drinkers. If they took the time to come out to these festivals, they would see that.
I've been president of the GSCBG for a few years now. I never wanted to hold that office and only did it because no one else would. I know that this organization (if you can call it that) is probably no different than many others. There's little participation from the members and I fear that the group has lost it's vision and purpose.
Since Heavyweight is closing this summer, I'll be leaving the guild. I am sad for the future of the NJ beer scene for I fear that no one else has the time or inclination to keep the guild going. I hope I'm wrong. I hope there is another festival next year. I'll be there, with all the other beer lovers, to support NJ craft beer.