New Jersey is home to more than 70 breweries, so it makes sense that if you and your fiancé are craft-beer connoiseurs you’d think these 70 locations could be potential wedding venues. But in actuality, many of the breweries on the list offer just a few stools in their tasting room and are not equipped for large crowds.
Most don’t serve food and are only open for limited hours a few days a week. Some even go as far as banning wedding-related events, such as bachelor parties and limos arriving with a large amount of people. So this long list of breweries starts to dwindle quickly.
But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and that’s where New Jersey’s brewpubs come into play. This smaller list of breweries also offers food, and many have private rooms that can accommodate weddings, showers, rehearsal dinners and bachelor/bachelorette parties. These venues have a much more rustic feel than your ordinary wedding location, but they can be a really fun event for the right couple. It’s also a great way to keep costs down, since the price per person at brewpubs is extremely economical, starting around $30 a head.
For Sarah Calhoun and Daniel Licata, a brewpub was the perfect location for their July 3, 2016, wedding. “We knew that above all, we wanted our wedding to feel like us,” says Sarah. “That’s what led us to Triumph Brewing Company in Princeton. The relaxed and comfortable atmosphere and delicious food made our decision easy, and all the remaining details fell into place soon after.”
Since Princeton is a great location to host a wedding—a mini-destination in itself—it was easily accessible for their out-of-town guests. “My girls and I got ready with pastries and mimosas at the Nassau Inn, which is just a few blocks from Triumph,” Sarah says. “We got married at the TCNJ Spiritual Center, which is a beautiful open and bright space. Our ceremony was filled with love, and was uniquely us. After the ceremony, we took portraits at the Spiritual Center and then traveled to the Princeton campus for photos with the bridal party. We then arrived at Triumph and went right into our first dance to ‘Coming Home’ by Leon Bridges. The day was perfect in every single way.”
1. Artisan’s Brewery & Italian Grill, Toms River. Artisan’s hosts private parties in their dining room for 10 to 150 guests. They offer at least six of their own house-brewed beers along with a large selection of bottled craft beers and ciders.
2. Birravino Red Bank, Red Bank.. This brick-lined rustic space with long communal dining tables doesn’t host wedding per se, but can accommodate private parties up to 50, making it an ideal rehearsal dinner location with a hearty trattoria menu, including homemade pastas, pizzas and award-winning microbrews.
3. Buck Hill Brewery and Restaurant, Blairstown. This country-style brewery creates a custom farm-to-table menu, from casual to formal, for weddings, showers or rehearsal dinners for up to 100 guests, along with top-notch ales, lagers, porters, pilsners, IPAs and seasonal specialty beers.
4. Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant, South Orange. This family-owned and operated brewpub is the only one in Essex County and offers handcrafted ales and lagers along with a private room on the second floor in a French New Orleans-style décor for parties up to 100. They also have a full onsite pastry shop.
5. Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe, New Brunswick. Harvest Moon’s brewer and chef work together to pair beer and food to ensure a memorable tasting experience. They hosts private events for up to 150, from sit-down dinners to passed hors d’oeuvres.
6. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Maple Shade and Voorhees. There are two Iron Hill locations in New Jersey but only the Maple Shade location has a private party room where you can host an event for up to 55 for a sit-down dinner or up to 70 for cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. Iron Hill offers six signature beers, along with 14 others on tap and a variety of award-winning bottled reserves.
7. J.J. Bitting Brewing Company, Woodbridge. This rustic brewery is housed in a 100-year-old brick building that used to be the The J.J. Bitting Coal and Feed Depot. In business since 1997, the brewery can host private parties up to 50 guests on its second-floor space and new rooftop deck.
8. Long Valley Pub & Brewery, Long Valley. This beautifully restored 200-year-old German stone barn is now the home of Long Valley Pub & Brewery, where you can hold private events for 10 to 100 with custom buffet and sit-down menus. This award-winning brewer offers a wide variety of unique beers and seasonal brews.
9. The Ship Inn Restaurant & Brewery, Milford. This nautical-themed brewery in a Victorian home features craft-brewed ales, ciders and homemade, British-inspired foods. Each week they brew ales based on styles from the British Isles. They host weddings for up to 90 guests and can close the restaurant for your private event.
10. Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery, Berkeley Heights. This microbrewery with seasonal offerings has two private event rooms that can hold up to 50 for sit-down dinners or 60 standing. The Brewer’s Room upstairs is a beautiful cozy room with exposed wooden ceiling beams, a custom-built bar and fireplace that would be ideal for a rehearsal dinner. The Garden Room is located on the first floor and is a large, spacious private dining room with large arched glass windows overlooking the seasonal garden, with a wood-burning fireplace.
11. Triumph Brewing Company, Princeton. Triumph can host weddings from 15 to 300 guests—one of the largest event capacities of any brewery in New Jersey. They offer a number of menu options and event areas in their modern yet rustic-looking space.
12. Tun Tavern Brewery & Restaurant, Atlantic City. This Marine Corps-themed, Art Deco tavern (the birthplace of the Marine Corps in 1775) offers gourmet food, handcrafted beers and private parties for up to 450 people, with additional space on the deck. They also offer special bachelor and bachelorette party packages.
Feature photo by Bri Johnson Photography from Jessica and Ron’s wedding at the Ryland Inn