Cheers! Beer, spirit fest builds brand recognition … for good cause

Fewer people come together to celebrate as a community in the winter — unless, of course, it involves beer, spirits and especially, charity.

The third annual Craft Beer and Spirit Festival at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 9, in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties.

Festival-goers will be able to enjoy samples from more than 55 local craft beer and spirit vendors while dining, vying for raffle prizes, and listening to live music by the Blaire Reinhard Band.

“We are thrilled to be part of this great event showcasing some of the region’s finest craft beverages and beverage producers,” Mark Ganter, CEO of Little Water Distillery in Atlantic City, said. “Since opening in 2016, Little Water Distillery has been a supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Atlantic County, and this is the perfect opportunity to do the same for our neighbors in Monmouth and Middlesex counties.”

Being a New Jersey-based business, said Zack Ohebshalom, co-founder of Asbury Park Distilling, comes with the responsibility of helping to support New Jersey-based charities.

“We always are on the lookout for fun, local events that raise money for a great cause,” he said.

While being able to help a local charity is incentive enough, Richard Bentrewicz, co-founder of Tree City Spirits in Kenilworth, said, events such as this also help to promote small businesses.

“As a small business, it is very important to participate in events where we can showcase our Tree City Vodka,” he said. “It is just that much more special when we can help a local charity, too.”

“This event is great exposure for our brewery, which is just over 16 months old,” Andrew Zebrowski, co-founder of Hoboken Brewing Co., said. “As our brewery grows and expands, it is critical that we garner brand awareness and this event will allow us to build relationships with potential end consumers.”

Zebrowski added that, as a Rutgers University graduate of 2008, the New Brunswick market is especially important to him — as it is for the Harvest Moon Brewery and Café, Neil Glass, the owner, said.

“The Heldrich Craft Beer and Spirit Festival has really turned into a great event, bringing together the New Brunswick community as well as all of the surrounding areas for a great night of fun while helping out great causes,” Glass said. “Being located down the street from the festival indeed helps drive some customers to visit us that night and into the future.”

Additional New Jersey-based distilleries, breweries and brewpubs showcasing at the event include:

  • Asbury Park Brewery;
  • Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum in Atlantic Highlands;
  • Brooks Brewery in Manville;
  • Climax Brewing Co. in Roselle Park;
  • Copper Kettle Spirits in Freehold;
  • Corgi Spirits at the Jersey City Distillery;
  • Flying Fish Brewing Co. in Somerdale;
  • Ironbound Hard Cider in Asbury;
  • Jersey Cyclone Brewing Co. in Somerset;
  • Jersey Girl Brewing Co. in Hackettstown;
  • Jersey Spirits Distilling Co. in Fairfield;
  • Lone Eagle Brewing Co. in Flemington;
  • Ludlam Island Brewery in Ocean View;
  • River Horse Brewing Company in Ewing Township;
  • Sourland Mountain Spirits in Hopewell Township; and
  • Three 3’s Brewing Co. in Hammonton.

Tickets can be purchased here for $42, or for $46 at the door.