Recap: NJ Beer & Food Festival at Crystal Springs

A couple weekends ago, beautiful Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg hosted its annual NJ Beer & Food Festival. The craft beer events took place over Father’s Day weekend, providing a unique way for guests to spend quality time with dad—and with a wide array of beer-centric activities.

Saturday BBQ

The three-day festival kicked off with the “NJ Chefs & Brews” walk-around tasting on Friday, with five chefs crafting a menu that paired with five New Jersey and New York beers. The star-studded chefs’ lineup included newly appointed Crystal Springs Executive Chef John Greeley, Chef Michael DeNigris of the Stony Hill Inn (Hackensack), Carlo Carbonara of Bottagra (Hawthorne), Andrew Rodriguez of Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern (Ho-Ho-Kus) and Eric Levine of Morris Tap & Grill (Randolph).

I attended the Saturday Beer & BBQ tasting event that gave attendees a chance to sample over 120 beers, many of which were craft brews, and ciders from 40 breweries from New Jersey and New York. The beer lineup was matched with various barbeque items including burgers, sausages, grilled chicken, pulled pork sandwiches and countless sides and condiments. The Beer & BBQ event took place under a giant tent providing cover in case of inclement weather or shade on a sunny day, which we were fortunate to have Saturday.

Cricket Hill Shirt
Cricket Hill Shirt

Sunday was a special Father’s Day BBQ lunch in the picturesque Chef’s Garden with Crystal Springs Executive Chef John Greeley and Top Chef Season 7 winner Kevin Sbraga of Sbraga restaurant in Philadelphia. The event was family-friendly and offered guests a chance to sample some of the items on Chef Greeley’s new Chef’s Garden BBQ menu.

2015 is sure to bring more fantastic events and participants at the NJ Beer & Food Festival and interested parties can stay abreast of updates by visiting

For reservations, classes and more information about Crystal Springs Resort, please call 973-827-5996 ext. 3 or visit

Veronique DebloisFood & Wine Chickie: Veronique is a food and wine writer based in Morris County. As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie Insider, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews and insight into the travel industry of which she’s a 15-year veteran. Follow Veronique on Twitter or like her Facebook page.