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January 29 , 2009

North Jersey Beer

A Brewing History from Princeton to Sparta


North Jersey residents have enjoyed frothy pints since the first brewhouse opened in Hoboken in 1641. Brewing was big in the Garden State prior to Prohibition, and by 1900, more than fifty breweries were in operation. Nearly half of them—like Krueger—were located in Newark. The dry reign of Prohibition and the region’s proximity to major cities made it a hub for bootleggers and gangsters like Longy Zwillman and Waxey Gordon. Even after the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed, North Jersey brewing sputtered. Some independent breweries like Ballantine restarted operation, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the region saw a craft brewing renaissance. Today, Jerseyans enjoy premium ales and lagers from breweries like Climax, River Horse and New Jersey Beer Company. Beer writer Chris Morris explores the origins and the new revolution of brewing in North Jersey.

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