A Tasty Tradition

12th annual Newark Food & Brew Fest set for July 25

For more than a decade, the Downtown Newark Partnership and Out & About Magazine have worked together to make the Newark Food & Brew Festival one of the area’s top summer traditions. Featuring 16 restaurants, more than 40 craft and imported beers, live music and outdoor activities, the festival binds together the Newark community and lifts up local businesses.

“There’s an attraction to a genuine downtown that’s organically grown over the years,” says Ricky Nietubicz, an administrator of the Downtown Newark Partnership. “You can build 100,000 square feet and fill it with restaurants, but it doesn’t have the same feel and the same look as our restaurant community.”

The festivities will be held on Saturday, July 25, from 2-9 p.m. and will showcase prominent area brewing companies such as Dogfish Head, 16 Mile, Tröegs, Heavy Seas and Victory. A unique aspect of this festival is that it takes place at the restaurants and allows guests to travel from each location sampling beers, tasting dishes and enjoying the atmosphere. Guests can partake in a variety of food pairings from restaurants that include Ali Baba, Caffé Gelato, Deer Park Tavern and The Greene Turtle.

“When going to dinner in Downtown Newark, often the biggest problem is figuring out which of the numerous very good restaurants to choose from,” says Nietubicz. “The nice thing about Food & Brew Fest is you don’t have to choose—you can graze from one end of Main Street to the other.”

Founded in 2003, the festival was the first Newark event to embrace craft beer as a central element. It also helped foster a spirit of cooperation among local businesses as well as provide a boost to business during the slower summer months.

“We definitely sell more beer on Food & Brew day than other days of the year,” says Ryan German, owner and operator of Caffé Gelato.

The first 2,500 guests will receive a commemorative five-ounce tasting mug. Tickets are not required; just pay as you go and bring your ID for beer tastings. Guests can sample one of the restaurant’s featured brews for $1.

A day-of-event program will be available at restaurants and information booths will be located on the Academy Lawn and at The Greene Turtle on South Main Street.

Strolling musicians and balloon decorations will line the street. O&A Magazine will be there, hosting a root beer tasting stand for kids on the Academy Lawn until 6 p.m. or until supplies run out.

“Newark is a dining destination,” says German, “Having so many restaurants together in a walkable distance, with so many good beers, is what I like about the festival.”

The menu and details are posted on newarkfoodandbrewfest.com. Municipal parking lots are conveniently located throughout downtown, and the University of Delaware’s parking garage will make spaces available. A complimentary air-conditioned shuttle will run from 4-8:30 p.m. to take guests to spots near the participating restaurants.