The New Jersey Town Among America’s Best Christmas Towns


A New Jersey town has been named one of the best Christmas towns to visit in the entire nation by a major national publication.

Photo by Alin Andersen on Unsplash

Photo by Alin Andersen on Unsplash

October is just upon us. The pumpkin spice is just getting settled in our coffee, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start talking about Christmas. Especially when a great New Jersey town is already getting  Christmas praise.

The Christmas season is literally only weeks away, and even though it is approaching so quickly, it’s something we always look forward to here in the Garden State.

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

It’s the time of year we gather with those we love, and it just seems like things are just a little better in the world when the Christmas season is here.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that New Jersey is home to one of the best Christmas towns to visit in the whole nation, according to Reader’s Digest.

Photo by Filip Bunkens on Unsplash

Photo by Filip Bunkens on Unsplash

We have so many amazing towns that really peak during the Christmas season here in New Jersey, that it’s kind of surprising that only one town made this list. But it is an exclusive nationwide list from a well-respected source.

The New Jersey town that made the list is one that is often honored in many different ways and a lot of frequent visitors of this town would say it is at its absolute best during the Christmas holiday season.

Photo by Karson Chan on Unsplash

Photo by Karson Chan on Unsplash

The amazing town we’re talking about, and the one Reader’s Digest says is among the best Christmas towns in America to visit is the legendary Cape May. And if you’ve ever been there around the holidays, you know exactly why.

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All the Bombshells Revealed About the Sarah Lawrence Scandal – NBC Los Angeles


There’s so much more to Larry Ray than meets the eye.

The convicted conman who authorities said “acted like a cult leader” according to The New York Times is at the center of Peacock’s “Sex Lies and the College Cult.” Per the streamer, the true crime documentary tells the story of how Ray “brainwashed students of Sarah Lawrence College into an abusive sex cult that upended their lives and the lives of their families.”

Many first learned of the story in 2019 when New York Magazine published an article titled “The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence,” a feature recounting how Ray moved into his daughter Talia’s dorm room at the New York-based college and began sexually and psychologically abusing a group of her fellow students.

“Sex, Lies and the College Cult” goes deep into Ray’s scheme, revealing new details about his time with the former students and what came after the publication of Ezra Marcus and James D. Walsh’s NY Mag piece. This includes Ray’s arrest in Feb. 2020, when he was charged with sex trafficking, money laundering and several other offenses, as well as his April 2022 conviction: guilty on all counts.

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Told in some of the victims’ own words, there’s no shortage of shocking revelations made in “Sex, Lies and the College Cult.” Read on for the most surprising.

Friends in High Places

Ray had connections with several notable figures, including former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. He participated in the documentary and made several revelations, including that Ray once brokered an introduction between former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, and then-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Ray and Kerik’s friendship was short-lived, though. Despite serving as the best man at Kerik’s wedding, Ray–still years away from being arrested himself–went on to become a federal informant whose information helped lead to Kerik’s arrest. Kerik plead guilty to eight federal felony charges in 2009 and was sentenced to four years in prison; however, he received a full pardon from former President Donald Trump in 2020.

Putting Everything on the Record

Ray was constantly filming himself and the young adults who lived with him (which, overtime, would come to include daughter Talia Ray, Isabella Pollok, Daniel Levin, Claudia Drury, Iban Goicoechea and siblings Santos, Felicia and Yalitza Rosario). Home videos featured in the documentary showed him carrying out physical torture, coercing false confessions from the young adults that they had caused him harm and more. The details of these offenses and others are laid out in Ray’s indictment.

Intense Blackmail

Ray made sure that should any of the students stop complying with his demands, he’d be able to threaten them with the tapes he recorded of them–namely, those with false confessions. In one such video shown in the documentary and mentioned in the indictment, Ray pressed Claudia to falsely claim she had poisoned him.

A Years-Long Legal Battle

Then friends with Ray–who was ready to relocate from his daughter’s dorm room at Sarah Lawrence–Lee Chen said in “Sex, Lies and the College Cult” that he allowed Ray to stay in his Manhattan apartment, since he frequently traveled for work. It didn’t take long for Ray to completely take over the place, stationing himself in Chen’s bedroom and having the many students who lived with him attempt to renovate (and ultimately damage) the apartment.

But when Chen said he gave Ray a 10-day notice to leave, Ray simply changed the locks and ignored him. It ultimately took six years–three of which were spent just trying to get a judgement–for authorities to actually evict Ray.

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Cruelty Beyond Measure

As Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman put it in a 2020 press conference, Ray “exploited and abused” the students “emotionally, physically and sexually for his own financial gain.”

While testifying–as shown in the documentary–Drury recalled Ray approaching her and suddenly grabbing himself while talking about orgasms. He then suggested Drury and Levin have sex right there, and Drury revealed, “When he left, we did. Iban was next to us.”

The way Marcus saw it, “I think a lot of it for Larry it was about using sex as sort of a tool to destabilize them, make them uncomfortable. It was a tactic.”

Levin was certainly subject to this tactic, especially after telling Ray he was struggling with his sexuality. During one particularly cruel exercise, as Drury testified, Ray made Levin stand in front of the group in a dress. What came next, explained Marcus, was that “Larry asked Isabella to bring out a sex toy and then told Daniel to try and put that into himself in front of the whole group. They all stood around making fun of him for this.”

Self-Inflicted Torture

Ray had the students torture themselves in other ways. Santos, for example, could be seen in one video shown in the documentary (which was also introduced during Ray’s trial) slapping himself in the face over and over again for an entire hour.

The Rosario Siblings

Ray managed to recruit three people from the same family to come live with him under the guise of bettering their lives and helping them reach their full potential. Santos was the first, and then Ray set his sights on Felicia, a Harvard graduate doing her medical residency in California. Over the course of several months and many phone calls, Ray and Felicia became romantically involved and as she later testified during his trial, he often asked her to do things she did not want to do, like have sex with other people, film it and send the footage to him.

Wanting Felicia to join him in New York, Ray later told her that his role as an informant put everyone who he cared about in danger. According to “Sex, Lies and the College Cult”– and Felicia herself, as Marcus interviewed her for the infamous NY Mag story — Felicia became extremely paranoid and eventually complied, leaving her medical residency behind. Yalitza was subsequently coerced into moving in with Larry.

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The Move to North Carolina

Taking his scheme to the next level, Larry relocated several of the young adults to North Carolina where they worked hours upon hours trying to restore a decrepit house. That was, until Larry accused them of damaging his machinery and subsequently owing him hundreds of thousands of dollars, prosecutors stated in court. Unable to pay Larry back, the students turned to their family and friends, telling them they had done something wrong and desperately needed help.

“They’d become profit centers,” former FBI special agent Frank Figliuzzi said. “He has them drain the bank accounts of their parents–in some cases, their life savings because they convinced their parents, ‘I have done this kind of damage, I owe this guy this kind of money, I’m in big trouble.'”

Claudia Drury’s Forced Sex Work

Not everybody’s parents were able to help them alleviate their imaginary debt, though. This rang true for Drury. As she testified in court, she turned to sex work after Larry convinced her that was the only way she could pay him back. For four years straight, Drury saw up to five clients a day–and all of the money went to Ray. Pollok, meanwhile, was the “bookkeeper for Drury’s prostitution,” Figliuzzi said. Prosecutors would later describe her as Ray’s “trusted lieutenant,” and she was indicted alongside him in 2021.

Theorizing about Pollok’s involvement, cult expert Dr. Janja Lalich said in the documentary, “Everyone in a cult to some degree becomes a perpetrator. In Isabella’s case, she sort of become the right hand person to Larry.”

A Great Escape

Fed up with Ray’s abuse, Drury confided in one of her clients in hopes that she’d finally be able to get away from him. Unfortunately, Ray found out she had talked, so he and Pollok “tortured her over the course of a horrific night of abuse,” Marcus said.

Drury, according to Washington Post reporter Shayna Jacobs–who reported on Ray’s trial and was interviewed for the documentary–was “repeatedly suffocated her with a plastic bag. It was relentless and it was painful and it was terrifying.”

She wasn’t ready to give up, though. Later, Drury once again asked a client for help, and this time, he was able to safely get her out of the city, she testified. This, Jacobs said, was “the beginning of the end” for Ray.

An Attempted Rescue

The infamous New York Magazine article detailing Larry’s abuse was published in April 2019. Once Pollok and Felicia’s families–more specifically, Pollok’s mom Cindy and aunt Liz, as well as Felicia’s mom Maritza–learned what had been happening, they said they traveled to Ray’s latest residence in New Jersey with plans to retrieve them.

However, according to the documentary and the women’s interview with New York Magazine, the girls refused, all while Ray apparently hid in the back of the house until the family members left.

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A Tragic End for Iban Goicoechea

Goicoechea began seeking help from Ray during a particularly vulnerable period in his life as he was struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving overseas. According to his fellow Marine John Williams, Goicoechea soon became extremely paranoid because of “the thoughts Larry put in his head that someone was always out to get him.”

By the time Williams persuaded Goicoechea to come stay with him in Oregon, he had “no passion for anything” and there was “nothing he wanted to do.” Tragically, according to John, Iban died by suicide shortly after Larry’s arrest, something that Williams attributes to Goicoechea being so devoted to Ray. He added, “I absolutely blame Larry 100 percent for Iban’s death.”

Per the documentary and court testimony, Felicia and Yalitza both attempted suicide during their time with the group as well.

Isabella Pollok Gets Her Day in Court

Pollok was charged with conspiring to engage in sex trafficking, money laundering and more in 2021. The following year, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money as part of a plea agreement and faces a maximum of five years in prison at her Feb. 2023 sentencing. Prosecutors specified that the illegal activities supporting her plea were sex trafficking and extortion–something that a U.S. District Judge asked her to acknowledge during a hearing. She did, also stating, “I know that what I was doing was wrong and against the law.”

A Convenient Medical Emergency

When Ray finally stood trial, Drury decided to testify against him. But during her testimony, Ray appeared to suffer from some sort of seizure and was carried out on a stretcher. The way Kerik saw it, he was “trying to influence the jury” and “trying to create this self pity thing.”

If that was the case, it didn’t work. He was found guilty of 15 counts and faces up to 120 years in prison.

“Sex, Lies and the College Cult” is now streaming on Peacock.

(E! and Peacock are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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New Jersey’s Best Hole In The Wall Restaurant


There is no question that we love our food here in New Jersey, and we are always looking for the next best thing. Sometimes it’s great to find an amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurant, and the best one in the Garden State has been revealed.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

We have the great luxury in New Jersey of living near some of the most amazing restaurants on the planet, and it seems like we never run out of great food options.

One of those great options is finding that small restaurant that doesn’t always get all the attention but always delivers great food. It’s better known as the hole-in-the-wall restaurant, and some of our best meals over the years in the Garden State have come from them.

Photo by Toni Koraza on Unsplash

Photo by Toni Koraza on Unsplash

There are a lot of great restaurants and eateries like this in New Jersey, but the one that Lovefood chose as New Jersey’s best may seem familiar to you.

If it does, it might be because it was also once named the restaurant with the best-grilled cheese in the state. This place is sounding better and better by the minute.

Photo by Pixzolo Photography on Unsplash

Photo by Pixzolo Photography on Unsplash

It seems like this eatery is getting a lot of attention for a, well, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. As a matter of fact, this place is getting called the best one in the state.

We all love a new food discovery, and this one is nestled in Kenilworth. This “build your own grilled cheese bar” is called American Melts, and you’ve got to give it a try.

If you want to eat at New Jersey’s best hole-in-the-wall restaurant, head to 515 Springfield Rd. in Kenilworth. Enjoy your meal at American Melts.

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Jersey Shore Report for Fri 9/30



HIGH RISK OF RIP CURRENTS. Dangerous and potentially life threatening conditions exist for all people entering the surf.

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY in effect until 6 p.m. Friday

At the Shore

Current conditions and forecast as of Fri morning

Rip Current Risk High
Waves 2 – 6 feet
Winds From the Northeast
16 – 23 mph (Gust 30 mph)
13 – 20 knots (Gust 26 knots)
Ocean Temperature 67° – 73°
(Normal 66° – 70°)
Air Temperature 65° – 68°
Sunrise/Sunset 6:51am – 6:44pm
UV Index 3 (Moderate)

Tide Times

Sandy Hook Bay
Fri 5:10a
Fri 11:30a
Fri 6:02p
Fri 11:57p
Atlantic Ocean
Fri 11:04a
Fri 5:26p
Fri 11:31p
Sat 5:20a
Atlantic Ocean
Fri 11:18a
Fri 5:38p
Fri 11:45p
Sat 5:32a
Atlantic Ocean
Fri 11:00a
Fri 5:30p
Fri 11:27p
Sat 5:24a
Barnegat Bay
Fri 9:15a
Fri 3:10p
Fri 10:07p
Sat 3:37a
Barnegat Bay
Fri 5:04a
Fri 11:24a
Fri 6:07p
Fri 11:51p
Manahawkin Bay
Fri 8:49a
Fri 2:17p
Fri 9:41p
Sat 2:44a
Great Bay
Fri 5:39a
Fri 12:17p
Fri 6:41p
Sat 12:42a
Atlantic Ocean
Fri 11:04a
Fri 5:37p
Fri 11:24p
Sat 5:31a
Townsends Inlet
Fri 5:07a
Fri 11:46a
Fri 6:06p
Sat 12:01a
Atlantic Ocean
Fri 11:13a
Fri 5:42p
Fri 11:38p
Sat 5:39a
Delaware Bay
Fri 5:48a
Fri 12:20p
Fri 6:36p
Sat 12:45a

Marine Forecast

From the National Weather Service, Mt. Holly

TODAY: NE winds 15 to 20 kt. Seas 4 to 6 ft. E swell 3 to 6 ft at 7 seconds. Light swells. A slight chance of rain late.

TONIGHT: E winds 15 to 20 kt, becoming NE 20 to 25 kt after midnight. Seas 4 to 7 ft. E swell 3 to 7 ft at 7 seconds. Light swells. A chance of rain in the evening, then rain likely after midnight.

SAT: NE winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 5 to 8 ft. E swell 4 to 8 ft at 7 seconds. Light swells. Rain.

SAT NIGHT: NE winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 5 to 8 ft. NE swell 3 to 5 ft at 6 seconds. Light swells. A chance of tstms in the evening. Rain likely.

SUN: NE winds 25 to 30 kt with gusts up to 40 kt. Seas 7 to 10 ft. NE swell 4 to 9 ft at 7 seconds. Light swells. Rain likely.

SUN NIGHT: NE winds 25 to 30 kt with gusts up to 40 kt. Seas 8 to 11 ft. E swell 6 to 11 ft at 8 seconds. Light swells. Rain likely, mainly in the evening.

MON: NE winds 25 to 30 kt, diminishing to 15 to 20 kt. Seas 8 to 11 ft, subsiding to 7 to 9 ft. A chance of rain.

TUE: N winds 15 to 20 kt. Seas 7 to 9 ft. A chance of rain. Winds and seas higher in and near tstms.

Plan Your Trip

Data on this page amalgamated from several sources, including the National Weather Service (weather), National Ocean Service (tides), U.S. Naval Observatory (sun), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (UV index).

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. The Shore Report is generated semi-automatically daily at 5 a.m. from mid-May to late September. Follow Dan’s weather blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feed for your latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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From amusement rides to all the boardwalk food and lots of water fun, Seaside Heights and neighboring Seaside Park have endured as a family friendly spot for all ages.

Along the way, the Seaside Heights Boardwalk and Casino Pier have been struck with tragic disasters – such as fire, Superstorm Sandy and another fire. Both have proven their resiliency through rebuilding and expansion.

NJ beach tags guide for summer 2022

We’re coming up on another summer at the Jersey Shore! Before you get lost in the excitement of sunny days on the sand, we’re running down how much seasonal/weekly/daily beach tags will cost you, and the pre-season deals you can still take advantage of!

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10 spots to visit, from Rutherford to Ocean City


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Who makes the best milkshakes in New Jersey?


When was the last time you had a really great milkshake? The kind that was so smooth and creamy you didn’t want to stop drinking it even though it was filling you up so much that you had to stop?

When I heard that Chick-fil-A has just come out with a new fall-flavored milkshake, I thought about all the great milkshakes I have had and now miss. The ones from the milkshake machine that sat on my kitchen counter as a kid. The ones that put air into simple chocolate milk and made you love it even more.

Some fast food milkshakes aren’t the same. It’s like they just filled a cup with soft ice cream, maybe put a little whipped cream on top and you were good to go. But a great milkshake is so much more than that.

Now I’m not talking smoothies, which the milkshake has given way to in many cases. A great milkshake is not about being good for you, although it probably is. A great milkshake is all about taking you to your happy place.

So where in New Jersey would be your happy place for a great milkshake? I polled my following who spend as much time as humanly possible in their happy place and here is what we’ve come up with:

Tina Barilla
Burger 25 on Route 37, Toms River. Well worth the wait, so order ahead if your not able to wait.

Va Nessa
Jersey Freeze

Jeffrey Dejais
White Castle

Jeri Fitzgeorge LaMothe
My milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard…. LOL oops that’s not what you’re asking.
Bordentown Creamery

Jill Zutty
Five Guys

Lucille Marie
McDonald’s especially strawberry.

Jimmy Givens
Sandy’s Cozy Corner Host/Proprietor Sandy Wehmeyer Dreyer makes the BEST milkshakes… ice cream sundaes AND egg creams!

Laurielle Nagel
Johnny Rocket’s

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

You can now listen to Steve Trevelise — On Demand! Discover more about New Jersey’s personalities and what makes the Garden State interesting . Download the Steve Trevelise show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.


The 6 best ice cream places in NJ

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NJ’s ‘Best’ High Schools: New Rankings Released


Niche — a website known for its extensive rankings of schools, universities and communities — released rankings Tuesday that include updated data for 92,743 public schools, 30,112 private schools and 11,820 school districts nationwide. The platform combined user input — ratings from current students, alumni and parents — with quantitative data.

High Technology High School is New Jersey’s highest-ranking public institution, holding ninth place on Niche’s list of the nation’s top public high schools. Two other Garden State schools occupy the top 20: The Academy for Mathematics, Science & Engineering (11th) and Bergen County Academies (15th).

Here are New Jersey’s top public high schools, according to Niche:

  1. High Technology High School (Monmouth County Vocational School District)
  2. The Academy for Mathematics, Science & Engineering (Morris County Vocational School District)
  3. Bergen County Academies (Bergen County Vocational Technical School District)
  4. Biotechnology High School (Monmouth County Vocational School District)
  5. Union County Magnet (Union County Vocational-Technical School District)
  6. Academy for Information Technology (Union County Vocational-Technical School District)
  7. Marine Academy of Technology & Environmental Science (Ocean County Vocational Technical School District)
  8. Bergen County Technical High School – Teterboro (Bergen County Vocational Technical School District)
  9. Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics & Engineering Technologies (Middlesex County Vocational & Technical School District)
  10. Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School (Jersey City School District)
  11. Academy for Allied Health Science (Union County Vocational-Technical School District)
  12. Princeton High School (Princeton Public Schools)
  13. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South (West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District)
  14. Academy of Allied Health & Sciences (Monmouth County Vocational School District)
  15. Tenafly High School (Tenafly Public School District)
  16. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North (West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District)
  17. Millburn Senior High School (Millburn Township School District)
  18. Union County Vocational-Technical High School (Union County Vocational-Technical School District)
  19. Marine Academy of Science & Technology (Monmouth County Vocational School District)
  20. Northern Valley Regional High School Demarest (Northern Valley Regional High School District)
  21. Northern Highlands Regional High School
  22. Livingston Senior High School (Livingston Board of Education School District)
  23. Ridgewood High School (Ridgewood Public School District)
  24. Ridge High School (Bernards Township School District)
  25. Summit Senior High School (Summit Public School District)

These are New Jersey’s best private high schools, per Niche:

  1. Princeton International School of Math and Science
  2. The Lawrenceville School
  3. The Pingry School
  4. Newark Academy
  5. Delbarton School
  6. The Peddie School
  7. Dwight-Englewood School
  8. Kent Place School
  9. Princeton Day School
  10. Rutgers Preparatory School
  11. Blair Academy
  12. Montclair Kimberley Academy
  13. The Wardlaw + Hartridge School
  14. Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
  15. The Pennington School
  16. The Wilberforce School
  17. The Hun School of Princeton
  18. Golda Och Academy
  19. Ranney School
  20. Morristown-Beard School
  21. Pioneer Academy
  22. Moorestown Friends School
  23. Primoris Academy
  24. Mount Saint Mary Academy
  25. Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child – Upper School

See Niche’s full rankings.

Niche said its rankings differ from others that rely almost exclusively on test scores and academic performance in that it also includes input from students, alumni and parents, as well as quantitative data from sources such as the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate teachers, resources and facilities. Niche incorporated nearly 2.5 million school reviews from students, parents and teachers — the largest online collection of school reviews, according to the platform.

The rankings help parents make informed decisions on their children’s education, according to Niche CEO Luke Skurman.

“We strive to put as much power in their hands as possible so they can make informed decisions with confidence,” Skurman said in a statement. “Our 2023 rankings surface key insights and data points for parents everywhere to use in their school search. We’re honored that millions of families consider us a reliable resource during such a pivotal moment in their lives.”

But high school rankings have their critics. In 2013, journalist and former professor and The Atlantic writer John Tierney argued that high school rankings are “nonsense.”

“Parents might be able to use that information to find an affordable residence near good schools, while still leaving themselves within reasonable reach of their place of employment,” Tierney wrote. “It’s harder to fathom the logic for ranking high schools nationwide. Few are the families who will move out of state or across the country on the basis of claims about school quality.”

School ratings have the power to drive segregation, contends Jack Schneider, an associate professor of education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

“There’s evidence that this is already happening via websites like and,” Schneider wrote last October for WBUR. “Privileged parents compete against each other in the real estate market to buy homes near ‘good’ schools, while lower-rated schools suffer reputational harm and serve increasingly disadvantaged students.”

Niche named the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, North Carolina, the top public school. Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, is the best private school.

As in previous years, the Best Schools rankings include categories for boarding, charter and magnet schools as well as schools for STEM and the arts among many others.

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NJ Breweries Serving Fun Fall Flavors


As the leaves begin to change, so too are beer taps across the Garden State. Check out the fresh fall flavors gracing local breweries.

Autumn is in full gear at this South Jersey establishment. Bonesaw’s Pum-Queen–a  vanilla, pumpkin-spice cream ale—is available in the taproom and in select New Jersey stores. The brewery also introduced Bonetoberfest, a Wiesn/Dortmund Export lager with a 5.9-percent ABV.
570 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro; 856-243-5464

Buttzville’s newest brew, Late Harvest Tart Cherry Ale, is crisp and sweet with just the right amount of cherry tartness. Enjoy it at the brewery’s Oktoberfest event on October 1, which features games, contests and the unveiling of the brewery’s annual Oktoberfest beer.
30 East Washington Avenue, Buttzville; 908-223-1831

Cape May Brewing’s Apple Bomb is back with a new look. An aromatic wheat beer made with apple juice, Apple Bomb is available in the popular brewery’s tasting room and at retailers throughout the state.
1250 Hornet Road, Rio Grande; 609-849-9933

Floundering Pumpkin at Flounder Brewing • Hillsborough

A Flounder favorite is back just in time for fall. The mildly spiced Floundering Pumpkin is made with pumpkins from the nearby Norz Hill Farm & Market. It’s being poured now in the Hillsborough tasting room, open Wednesday–Sunday.
2 Clerico Lane (Building 4), Hillsborough Township

This off-season at the Shore, Heavy Reel is embracing sweater weather with its new Oktoberfest brew, a German Marian lager that’s malty and crisp. It’s available in the taproom, in 16-ounce cans ($15 per four-pack), and in cases ($70). Open Monday–Thursday starting at 2 pm, and Friday–Sunday starting at noon.
1520 Boulevard, Seaside Heights; 732-702-2880

Hidden Sands’s new Autumn Equinox Ale honors Germany’s Oktoberfest celebration. The malty brew, offering hints of ginger and cinnamon, is available in the taproom Tuesday–Sunday.
6754 Washington Avenue, Egg Harbor Township; 609-910-2009

Hefe You Seen My Lederhosen? at Lions Roar Brewing • Westfield

Cheekily named after the traditional German breeches, this German Hefeweizen is made with yeast from one of the oldest operating breweries in the world, Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan in Germany. Boasting hints of banana and clove, the brew can be enjoyed all fall—including at the brewery’s second annual Oktoberfest on October 8.
517-519 S Avenue W, Westfield; 908-591-6344

Prepare for pours, tours and to-go beers! Little Dog is introducing OktoberHund, a German-style lager on tap and in cans. (The logo features the brewery’s signature dog—this time sporting a German Tyrolean hat.) Little Dog is hosting Oktoberfest celebrations Saturdays and Sundays through October 9.
141 Steiner Avenue, Neptune City; 732-361-3555

Headed Downtown and Dress Up & Get Down at Old Hights Brewing Company • Hightstown

Old Hights is introducing two new beers for fall. Headed Downtown, an Oktoberfest lager, is a toasty, malty amber ale, brewed in celebration of Hightstown’s Harvest Fair on October 1. Dress Up & Get Down is an amber ale with hints of pumpkin, pie crust, cinnamon and nutmeg. Both are available on tap and in 16-ounce four-packs.
123 West Ward Street, Hightstown; 609-469-5976

Headless Tribesman at Seven Tribesmen • Wayne

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’s Headless Horseman inspired this beer. Made with pumpkin purée, featuring notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, the brew returns to Seven Tribesmen’s tasting room this fall.
1151 NJ-23, Wayne; 973-706-7337

Ubiquitous Autumn Ale and Tony Martzen Oktoberfest Ale at Somers Point Brewing Company • Somers Point

Somers Point Brewing has two new beers on tap. The Ubiquitous Autumn Ale is a rich and malty pumpkin ale made with real pumpkin and the brewery’s special blend of spices. The Tony Martzen Oktoberfest Ale is an amber beer brewed with German-style malts.
705 West New York Avenue, Somers Point; 609-788-0767

Waffle Cone A-La Mode and Bierstiefel-Festbier at Three 3’s Brewing • Hammonton

Salute your inner child with Three 3’s new Waffle Cone A-La Mode milk stout, which offers hints of chocolate gelato, vanilla soft-serve and fresh-baked waffle cones. The Bierstiefel-Festbier, also on tap, reproduces a beer served at Oktoberfest in Germany.
50 13th Street, Hammonton; 732-814-1396

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