It was a beautiful, very easy-going day. The temperature was just right for this time of the year. Doing beer tastings events in the cold has a different effect on me; next year I have to pace myself differently. But all in all, Das Erste! OktoberFestival.

The First Annual Oktoberfest for the Garden State Crafts Brewers Guild was held at NEWARK BEARS RIVERFRONT STADIUM, in Newark NJ. It’s a perfect place due to the amount of mass transportation present (Don’t Drink And Drive!!!). There were ten of New Jersey’s finest breweries at the great venue, which made for a fine event.

Cask conditioned ales and OktoberFest beer were the features of the day. The Cask Ales seemed stronger on the alcohol feel. Basil T’s Maxwell Stout was my favorite beer, a classic stout with roasted barley bitterness and a dense, creamy head and a touch of coffee. Gaslight’s Heart of Darkness was a close second for beers I liked the most for the day. New comer, to me, River Horse was very good. I did not like the Pumpkin Spiced Beer from Gaslight, too heavy-handed on the spices. All the Oktoberfest beers were all nicely done. I liked Gaslight’s the most because it had more depth In flavor compared to the others.

The event itself needs more local supporters from the breweries, but this was the 1st time so it was a little risky. I’m sure next year will be bigger. It was a lot of fun in the end. A great thing about this show was that the brewers were not ‘competing’ with one another. Everybody was happy to present their beer and talk with you for a little bit.

Next year, if you love beer and live in New Jersey, Oktoberfestival is a must. It was smeggin’ fantastic and could be as good as the Camden event in time. Camden had better beer also. The festival needed an event on field also, like a brewer’s soft ball game or something of that nature. It would of added the right kick to the day. But it was a day well worth the price of admission.

List of Garden State Crafts Brewers Guild present and their Beers present for OktoberFestival:

•Flying Fish Brewing Company flyingfish.com

Oktoberfish, Cask-Conditioned Oktoberfish, Extra Pale Ale, Abbey Dubbel

Flying Fish is the first craft production brewery in the southern half of New Jersey and the most widely produced craft beer in the state. We specialize in classic English and Belgian styles and currently brew six bottled beers: ESB Ale, Extra Pale Ale, Porter, Belgian Abbey Dubbel, Farmhouse Summer Ale and Grand Cru Winter Reserve, some of which are bottle conditioned. In addition we brew a variety of draft-only seasonals and cask-conditioned “real ales.”

•High Point Brewing Company aka Ramstein ramsteinbeer.com

Classic Dunkle Weizen, Keller Pills, Barrel Oktoberfest

High Point Brewing Company is the first exclusive wheat beer brewery in America. High Point brews the award-winning Ramstein beers. Ramstein beers are available on draft and in bottles throughout NJ, NY and PA.

•Pizzeria Uno pizzeriauno.com

IPA, Red Ale, Oktoberfest, Porter

We’ve evolved the Pizzeria Uno legend to a brewhouse as well. Our Brewmaster, Mike Sella, brews all of our own beer on premise, using a custom built 15bbl Pub brewing system. Mike has formulated these beers to be the perfect compliment to our delicious food. Fresh beer tastes best.

•River Horse Brewing Company riverhorse.com

Tripel Horse, Belgian Freeze, Hop Hazard

River Horse is a 20-barrel micro located on the Delaware River in Hunterdon County. Opened in April 1996, the brewery produces both ales and lagers and currently features five products.

•Cricket Hill Brewing Company crickethillbrewery.com

Fall Festivus, East Coast Lager

Cricket Hill is the newest microbrewery in New Jersey. Since January 2002 they have brewed two flagship beers: East Coast Lager and American Ale. Most recently they have produced their Cask Ale, Colonel Blide’s Bitter. All three are extremely easy drinking and refreshing. Tours are given by appointment, with Friday afternoons being the most popular time.

•Basil T’s basilt.com

Maxwell Stout, Rosies Pale Ale, RocketRed Ale, XXX Golden Ale

There are always at least six hand-crafted ales on tap. The bar features New Jersey’s largest mug club, happy hour, and live music on Wednesday through Saturday evenings.

•Harvest Moon Brewery and Café harvestmoonbrewery.com

Pumpkin Ale, OktoberFest, Smoked Oatmeal Porter

The Harvest Moon Brewery/Café is a casual relaxed restaurant offering creative American cuisine at affordable prices in a unique setting. Handcrafted freshly brewed English style ales including our flagship brews, seasonal, cask conditioned, dry hopped and guest taps.

•Triumph Brewing Company triumphbrew.com

OktoberFest, Pumkin Ale, Grand Cru, Gothic Ale Cask

An ambitious and eclectic menu is served in an architecturally unique setting. Seven craft-brewed beers are always on tap including ales, lagers, nitro-pour stout and hand-pumped real ale.

Tun Tavern Brewery & Restaurant tuntavern.com

Oktoberfest, N.J. Hop I.P.A., Tun Light

Tun Tavern is Atlantic City’s first and only brewpub. It was recently voted the Number One Restaurant in New Jersey by the Server Foodservice News and Favorite Brewpub in New Jersey by readers of Gary Monterosso’s What’s on Tap newsletter. Tun Tavern offers casual gourmet cuisine and handcrafted brews.

•Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant gaslightbrewery.com

Abbey Normal, Zum Alt Dorf, Oktoberfest, Dog river Farm Organic Pumpkin Ale, Heart of Darkness Cask

This is Essex County’s first brewpub. We offer a relaxed atmosphere where people can come to enjoy freshly brewed beer and delicious food, watch a game on TV, play darts or shuffleboard, and listen to good music. We try to make this a spot where everyone can have some fun. We try to have live entertainment at least three times a week.