🍺 How King's Road Brought Long Overdue Change to Downtown Haddonfield
The newsletter looks at the impact a brewery can have on a downtown.
Good afternoon, y’all! 🍺
We've got another newsletter as we near two months of operation. We’re excited to bring to you another round of BGBR’s top picks for this weekend. You'll see that she stuck true to form and went over the Top 5 that I set. She also has some fall beers in there (against my wishes) so if you’re like me and can't bear the thought of those before Labor Day, issue all complaints to her inbox. In all seriousness, there were a TON of fun releases this week so she had a lot to choose from and I’ll be the first to say she covered all of the standout ones.
We also have our newsletter story spotlighting King’s Road Brewing. A popular joint in South Jersey with two locations, King’s Road also helped bring much-needed change/additions to its downtown, which is the focus of our story.
I also have some housekeeping news real quick. I’ll be on vacation down the Jersey Shore (where else would a Jerseyan go?) this week so content may be a little scarce next week but the newsletter will be out regardless! So just bear with me as I soak up all that's left of the summer. I'll be sharing all of my “research” over on Instagram so give that a follow if you don't already.
So crack a cold one open (you deserve it), and let's get reading!
By the way, if you aren’t already, make sure to subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss out on any of the news from the week! Emails go out just once per week every Friday so no fear of spam, we promise! It also helps us grow!
King’s Road Brought Positive Change to Haddonfield’s Downtown
Setting up a brewery in New Jersey is no easy task. It’s not as simple as “Hey, let’s open up a brewery.” There are a lot of meetings, approvals, and paperwork (oh, and lots of waiting around).
Bob Hochgertel recalls one moment during a zoning meeting back in February of 2017. This was about 11 months before they opened up King’s Road Brewing in Haddonfield. At the time, King’s Road was attempting to break into a dry town and change the landscape of the already popular downtown.
He remembered one remark made by someone during that meeting, “We (Haddonfield) need to start focusing on the type of town we want to be, instead of the town we used to be.”
Thanks to King’s Road and the role it played, the Kings Highway downtown section in Haddonfield has become an even bigger destination, one that is ripe with drinking options beyond beer.
Haddonfield is A Hot Spot for Social Drinkers
Walk down King’s Highway today and it's nowhere near what it was 10 years ago. The look is still there, and many restaurants and shops have remained, but it's bustling more than ever… and not just in the evenings. The street is active all day.
Bob only believes King’s Road played a small role in this change though there’s a lot of credit that deserves to go their way. What was and remains a dry town (the town does not sell or administer liquor licenses) has become home to a drinking trifecta. King’s Road started this off at the end of 2017. William Heritage Winery followed suit in May 2020 and just this year, Wildfether Distilling set up shop downtown.
Like it was mentioned, Bob is modest in giving all the credit to this transformation to his brewery, but he's well aware of the foundation it set, “It is incredibly rewarding to know that we played some role in it.”
New Jersey is filled with beautiful and historical downtowns and main streets. There are examples of breweries revitalizing a main drag (such ad Dr. Brewlittle’s in Maple Shade) and others that have brought a new dynamic to the street like we've seen in Medford and Red Bank, for example. The latter is where King’s Road falls in. Haddonfield was already a known commodity for its shopping district but it lacked a true hangout spot.
Now that problem has been solved.
Kings Road is a Local Establishment Through and Through
Photo Credit: @KingsRoadBrewing
Bob and the rest of the original ownership team at King’s Road are certainly engrained in the town. They all take extra pride in the work that they've done within their own backyard which they currently reside in and are raising their families in.
Since opening up, the brewery has already moved to a new building on the street and has already set up another second location in Medford.
All of that success and change is a credit to the locals and those that now view Haddonfield as a weekend (and weekday) destination where you can grab a drink at the “alcohol trifecta” as Bob perfectly described it.
Since King’s Road has opened its doors, it's not just the addition of the winery and distillery that have helped to reinvigorate the town. The added tourist traffic has lent itself to more restaurants and boutiques opening up. With more people visiting and staying later because of the drinking options, these same businesses are also staying open later, showing just how impactful the addition of a brewery can be on a downtown.
That one remark way back in 2017 has certainly come to fruition. It should also serve as a reminder to other towns that are looking at ways of improving their tourism footprint. Viewing things as what you want to become as opposed to what got you to this point is how Haddonfield went from being a spot to grab dinner and hit a shop or two to an all-day destination where you can grab a beer, grab lunch, some ice cream and walk all that off with the growing list of shops.
Basic Girl Brew Review’s Most Anticipated Beers This Weekend
Another week, another impressive list of New Jersey beers that you should check out. I sent over a pretty long list of beers to BGBR this week and gave her the task of figuring out five beers to pick (she went above that, of course). I’ll give her credit though. She stuck to her guns and included some fall options with one caveat (can’t drink until October). She’ll also be trying some of these as soon as Friday night so stay tuned for that. Let’s get into it.
Pale Ale, 6.0% (Credit: @IcarusBrewing)
Growing up at the Jersey Shore, there is nothing like the local summer when all of the ‘bennies' leave to go home (Editor’s Note: Shots fired at myself) and we can actually enjoy our beaches and bars. This Pale Ale sounds amazing - a mix of hops conditioned on toasted coconut and dragon fruit. What an odd pairing but sounds like something I would love!
Pumpkin Ale, 5.8% (Credit: @BucketBrigadeBrewery)
I’m sorry but I can not resist anything pumpkin flavored. I told you I PROMISED not to open until 10/1 and I can keep that, but we need to stock up now!!
Imperial IPA, 8.0% (Credit: @SourceBrewing)
I saw this on Source’s IG and just thought “Damn that sounds refreshing and now I don’t want summer to end.” (Editor’s Note: Yet BGBR can’t resist buying fall beers…). Pair this with some vanilla ice cream and you are set for the best summer night ever.
Peanut Butter Stout, 12.9% (Credit: @JerseyCycloneBrewing)
Shocked I am picking this as I am not a stout girl but Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite candy and this just sounds like it would be so smooth and taste phenomenal. Also, 12.9% will put me to bed and I am ok with that.
Sour Ale, 5.2% (Credit: @LastWaveBrewing)
I love Last Wave and wish I could find it up north more. I saw this on their IG and instantly said I need to try it. I love that it has all of these flavors but also doesn’t look like its a thick sour. It looks like something you could easily sip on.
NE Style DIPA, 8.0% (Credit: @BrixCityBrewing)
I am heading to Brix this weekend to meet up with a friend so this will be on my list to try out. Will report back to everyone once I have it :) The notes of this brew are intriguing.
Festbier, 5.7% (Credit: @ForgottenBoardwalk)
I know, I know - no fall beers until October but I at least can purchase them until then. This is a must and if I know Forgotten Boardwalk, this is probably amazing. I am (kinda) ready for all the Oktoberfests!
Stories You May Have Missed This Week
As always, thanks again for checking out another Jersey Pour newsletter and for your continued support!