The annual Newark festival has become a celebration of community
The Newark Food and Brew Festival (F&B) returns for its 14th year on Saturday, July 22, from noon to 7 p.m. in downtown Newark.
F&B began in 2003 as an event aimed at showcasing the craft beer scene and the many restaurants of downtown Newark. But it quickly became more than a compilation of food and beer, evolving into a representation of the community. F&B gives the citizens of Newark a chance to enjoy their town, listen to live music, eat delicious meals, and indulge in a diverse selection of beers without the usual crowds. It also allows local businesses to connect with the full-time residents of Newark.
“So much of our business comes from not only the college students, but the support staff for the university—professors, staff, and their families,” says Sasha Aber, owner of Home Grown Café and a veteran of F&B. “During the summer, those patrons go their own way, and the locals begin to emerge in droves. It’s great to see people running into old friends and making new acquaintances in the heart of our town.”
F&B was one of the first craft beer events in Delaware. Fourteen years later, it has grown into one of Newark’s most anticipated summer festivals. “Food and Brew highlights the best of downtown Newark,” says Megan McNerney, Community Affairs officer for the city.
This year, 18 establishments along Main Street will participate. Each will be paired with featured beers from a selected brewery. Some of the breweries include Lagunitas, Brooklyn Brewing Co., Victory, Dogfish Head and more. To make the most of the $1-$2 beer samples, available at each establishment, the first 2,000 visitors to this year’s F&B will receive a commemorative five-ounce tasting mug.
Participating restaurants will serve tapas styled bites to go with the brews. “The restaurants are pairing specialty plates with beers to give customers a unique experience,” says McNerney.
Old Favorites, such as Catherine Rooney’s, Home Grown Café and The Deer Park Tavern, will also offer tasty plates. Some establishments, such as Café Gelato, have full entrée deals and larger beer samples for the attendees.
F&B is a pay-as-you-go festival. Attendees can stop at as many of the participating establishments as they wish and get their fill, while enjoying the town and a night out in their community. The pay-as-you-go aspect allows them to participate without breaking the bank—or expanding the waistline.
For more information and the full list of participating restaurants and featured breweries, visit newarkfoodandbrewfest.com.