A Crafty Concept

Newark Food & Brew Festival celebrates 15 years

Events should be measured in dog years. Such is the challenge of keeping them relevant.

But one tradition that continues to resonate is the Newark Food & Brew Festival, a concept developed in 2003 by Out & About Magazine and former Newark Mayor Vance Funk. The goal was to use the nascent craft beer movement to spotlight Newark’s burgeoning dining scene and provide the restaurants a mid-summer boost at a time when most University of Delaware students were gone.

“Newark Food & Brew allows people to get a taste of the many establishments Main Street has to offer in one night,” says Megan McGuriman, Community Affairs officer for the City of Newark.

The 15th incarnation will take place on Saturday, July 21 (noon-7 p.m.) and will feature 17 venues and more than 40 craft breweries. Each venue is paired with one or two breweries and will create a tapas-style menu to complement the beer selection. Samples as well as full pours can be purchased. The first 3,000 attendees will receive a commemorative five-ounce tasting mug.

The format is pay-as-you go, so there is no admission fee. There is also no designated starting point, so you can visit the restaurants in the order you prefer.

“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 participant in every Newark Food & Brew. “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.”

“This year we’re celebrating our 30th year of the magazine and Food & Brew has been around for half of those years,” says Out & About Publisher Jerry duPhily. “It remains one of the favorite events we do.”

For more information and the full list of participating restaurants and featured breweries, visit newarkfoodandbrewfest.com.

So, what do you think? Please comment below.