Second Annual Beer & Food Festival offers 120 beer selections


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The NJ Beer & Food Festival takes place at Crystal Springs June 13 to 14. This weekend-long celebration of craft beers also coincides with Father's Day on June 15 making it the perfect destination with something for everyone: beer lovers, golfers and families.

The two days of beer fest events include the "NJ Chefs & Brews" walk-around reception on Friday June 13 (8 to 11 p.m., $75), with five chefs serving food paired with five New Jersey and New York beers.

Participating chefs include new Executive Chef John Greeley of Crystal Springs (formerly of New York's '21'), Mike Carrino of Pig & Prince Restaurant & Gastrolounge (Montclair), Carlo Carbonara of Bottagra (Hawthorne), Andrew Rodriguez of Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern (Ho-Ho-Kus) and Eric Levine of Morris Tap & Grill (Randolph). Special guest Steve Weatherford of the New York Giants will be in attendance and signing autographs.

On Saturday June 14, the Beer & BBQ Festival tasting event gives attendees the opportunity to try 120 beers from 40 breweries including many craft brews from New York and New Jersey paired with delicious barbeque in an outdoor setting (3 to 7 p.m., $85 after June 1). Also on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. golfers will have the chance to participate in the "Brews & Birdies" golf tournament on the resort's award-winning Wild Turkey and Ballyowen courses. Tastings of craft beers will be available on six holes of the course ($195 for golf and beer tastings, includes entry to Beer & BBQ Fest). New this year is a FootGolf tournament on 18 holes of the Cascades golf course, complete with beer samplings.

Other activities include a free outdoor grilling class Saturday 10 to 11 a.m. by Crystal Springs chefs in the resort's lovely Chef's Garden and free daily tours of the Wine Cellar, which is the deepest, most extensive collection in the Northeast US situated in over an acre of underground space and featuring some of the most prized bottles, rare vintages and perfect score 100-point wines.

All weekend, the resort's Crystal Tavern will be serving a special three-course Highlands Menu paired with craft beers.

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