Beer at the Big House
Mt. Holly, NJ


Standing in the now-serene courtyard in the historic Burlington County Prison enjoying the bright sunny day, we could not help but reminisce about the Fire & Ice Festival held at the end of January just down the street 2 blocks. Lew Bryson and myself along with about 12 breweries huddled under a plastic tent protecting us from the extremely frigid weather and, when the sun went down, not doing a great job! I was immediately reminded of this by the lovely Suzanne Woods of Sly Fox Brewing who could not forget how frozen her feet were. On this day though, the tents were to protect the pourers from being roasted by the hot sun! Shade from the large old trees in the yard was quite a welcome sight.

Gary Monterosso and crew were making their rounds filming their excellent "Crazy After All These Beers" segments found on Facebook, Twitter and Be sure to visit and see all the episodes. He even interviewed your truly on this occasion!
The crowd was really up for a beer fest and those that attended were not disappointed. The collection of breweries that made the day a hit were: Flying Fish, River Horse, Unibroue, Stoudt's, Troegs, Sly Fox, Captain Lawrence, Long Trail, Blue Point, Magic Hat, Victory, Clipper City, Allagash, Southern Tier, Southampton, North Coast, Lagunitas, Stone, Founders, Franziskaner-Spaten, Ommegang, Maredsous and Chimay. What a lineup!! The rep from Stone brought some of their finer beers in growlers for us to taste....'07 Vertical Epic aged in wine barrels and and IPA made with Belgian yeast. My friend John Companick also came prepared with some extras for an elite group of geeks to taste....Captain Lawrence Golden Delicious and a '00 Samichlaus. Someone else brought an '01 Oggi's Witch Doctor Imperial!!!
Many of the beers served here were my favorites: Unibroue Trois Pistoles, St.Bernardus Abt 12, North Coast Old Stock '07, Flying Fish Exit 4, Oak aged Mad Elf, Southampton Double White, Fiver Horse Double White, Founders Old Curmudgeon, Sly Fox Sovereign Pale Ale, Stoudt's Fat Dog, Heavy Seas Hang Ten, etc.
The food wasn't bad either. They served Pulled Pork or Brisket Sandwiches and Grilled Scallops.
A free tour of the prison was included in the ticket price, but we wated too long to take advantage of it. No matter, it seems to me that this will not be the last fest here!
The McDevitts did a real fine job on coordinating this event being fairly new at it! Everything went off without a hitch it seemed. They were limiting it to 400 people, but I believe just over 200 showed up in the end. But even with 400, the courtyard would not have been overcrowded and still would have been comfortable.
Keep an eye out for more events by the High Street Grill gang. Visit regularly for all their special events like their monthly beer lunch usually on the 3rd Saturday.
See you at the next one!!