The 3rd Annual Hop Sauce Festival is heating up for June 4 at the Taylor Avenue waterfront in Beach Haven. Last year, 5,000 enthusiasts found good times at spring’s new hot sauce and craft beer festival, which this year is adding acclaimed bands along with artists from last fall’s homegrown Makers Festival.
Jetty, Spice it Up and Shore Point Distribution present the day that doubles as the Jetty Rock Foundation’s largest fundraising event for its charitable organization.
What’s new and notable for 2016 are nationally acclaimed co-headlining acts, The Lonely Biscuits and Craig Finn. And at the new Makeshift Row marketplace, find a cool collection of regional artisans.
The Lonely Biscuits, from Nashville, play soul, funk and pop blended with laidback hip-hop. As MTV’s “College Artists of the Year,” they were making waves on the college music scene while still students themselves.
They have played Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Hangout Fest, Austin City Limits and SXSW. Now it will be Hop Sauce, on the green at Taylor Avenue next to Bay Village and Schooner’s Wharf.
Craig Finn helped put his band, the Hold Steady, on the indie music map by threading lively narratives through his lyrics on five acclaimed studio albums. Most recently, Finn has cultivated his solo work, prompting Pitchfork to call him “a born storyteller who has chosen rock as his medium.”
This year’s music lineup is rounded out by Brooklyn indie outfit Small Black, the raw soul of Trevor Sensor and LBI locals Funk Shway. The festival stage is presented by Volkswagen of Toms River.
A creative draw from another angle will be artisans from Makers Fest, the enthusiastically received festival that debuted last year on a mainland farm. Makeshift Row at Hop Sauce will be a market-style shopping experience with a variety of wares. Their crafts cover handmade and vintage fashion, to woodworking, to photography and fine art, to food and music.
Organizers say the missions of both the Hop Sauce and Makers festivals “align in a shared vision of breeding and celebrating local culture.”
“I am very excited about collaborating with Makers Fest and adding some unique, creative artists to our vendor lineup.” said Regina Lotito, event director and owner of the Spice It Up shop in Bay Village. “They’ll add a new dimension to our own ‘home grown’ festival fare, brews, and hot sauce vendors.
Hot to Various Degrees Chased With Craft Beer
Hop Sauce plays host to 23 epic hot sauces and specialty foods including: Born to Hula, Heartbreaking Dawns, Red Hawk Premium Peppers, Hank Sauce, Whitehouse Station, High River Sauces, Jak Jeckel Pepper Sauce, Voodoo Chile, ‘Cue Culture, World Famous Hot Sauce, the Jam Stand, Gemini Crow, Feel the Flavor-Bonfatto’s Specialty Sauces, Deception Salsa, Fiery Fusions, St. Lucifer’s, Angry Goat Pepper Co., and Defcon, as well as Messy Brine Pickles and the Righteous Felon Jerky Cartel, Lord Dlarney’s Bloody Mary Mix, the Offbeat Gourmet and Bushwick Kitchen.
These sauces are the perfect compliments to the foods being sold at Hop Sauce by local restaurants: Shore Fire Grille, the Black Whale Bar & Fish House, Country Kettle Chowda, Buckalew’s Restaurant & Tavern, El Swell, the Arlington, The Chicken or the Egg, Barry’s Do Me a Flavor, Tuckers Tavern, Sea Shell Resort and Beach Club and Living on the Veg.
And then there’s the craft beer.
“With the expansion of Hop Sauce’s relationship with Shore Point Distribution and the Indie Craft Beer tent, Hop Sauce will offer tasting of some of the best craft brews, ciders and hard sodas from around the country,” invites a festival preview.
Tickets come at three price levels – general admission ($15 if purchased pre-event, or $20 at the gate); craft beer sampling ticket ($40 pre-event and $50 at the gate); and this year’s new VIP tent ticket ($100.)
The VIP tickets give access to the very cool VIP tent sponsored by Igloo Coolers and curated by Party By Design. Holders will get free food vouchers, first tastes, promos from the bands, “and a loot bag full of killer Jetty/Hop Sauce schwag.” Plus, waitresses will serve samples of all the craft beer.
To get tickets at pre-event prices, go to the link at jettylife.com, stop in at Spice It Up in Bay Village, Beach Haven, or stop at the Jetty Flagship Store, 509 North Main St. (Route 9), Manahawkin.
Online ticket pre-sales are stopped on Thursday, May 26 to ensure that all tickets are delivered in time via U.S. mail.
Patrons must be 21 or older to obtain a craft beer or a VIP ticket. General admission without the beer tasting is open to all ages.
Over the past two years, the event has allowed the Jetty Rock Foundation, the 501(C)3 charitable organization and nonprofit arm of the local Jetty apparel company to donate over $50,000 to initiatives including local scholarships, a sixth grade eco trip, more than 50 iPads and Chromebooks to grammar schools and the newly formed Jetty Entrepreneurship program at Southern Regional High School.
“Each year we are growing, but staying true to our roots and what we set to accomplish: to give our community not only a day to remember, but a chance to come together and be a part of giving back while having a lot of fun,” said Lotito.