Beerologists and connoisseurs were in hops heaven at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ this Sunday. There were more food trucks, and the make your own Bloody Mary bar was well stocked and attended too, but there was a pub-like under current running through the venue as well.

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A.J. Eckstein from Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown NY was the hops handler to a standing room only group of taste testers. The thirsty crowd was clearly appreciative of his knowledge and beverage choices as they lingered well after the demonstration.

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Cheese monger at the Cheese Cave, and soon to be Cicerone ( beer Sommelier), Olivia Haver, seen above with her husband and parents, proceeded over several different seat filled, beer themed presentations. Her “What’s Brewing in the Cellar?” was also well attended and included some very unusual cheese and ale pairings. The 25 year old recently married Haver is becoming a well known name in the world of food and drink. There will be more about her in future posts.

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Stew Goldstein of Monmouth Meats led a deliciously educational demonstration. First, he tutored the group in the how-to’s of his famous Marco Roast, which included a lesson on butchers knots. He then went on to debone a leg of lamb. Fielding questions like the pro that he is, Goldstein quipped, “It’s like finding a hair dresser you trust. You gotta find a good butcher.” With what could be a fan based following, Goldstein is clearly a rock star to his customers.

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Stefani Jackenthal, author of Wanderlust Wining, guided a group of enthusiasts through a cheese and wine tasting that included vino from Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. Waiting almost an hour for a spot in this demonstration, those on line found it to be particularly popular and informative as they swished and swirled their glasses.

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The Freezy Freeze group, Andrew, Megan and Kate, wowed children and adults with their hilarious science demonstration of liquid nitrogen. Rolling it on the floor, then experimenting with the admonition, “Don’t try this at home.” the group produced instant ice cream for the crowd.

Saturday and Sunday were a daring feat of organized chaos. The staff at the Count Basie had to be magicians to make this fund raising event come off without a hitch. In the beautiful setting of the historical theater, they managed to make sure that everyone had a good time. It is one of the things that this theater does best. Congratulations to the the entire staff on a job well done.

More about this event can be found here.



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