After four weeks of tough competition, readers have crowned a champion.
After four weeks of tough competition, New Jersey Monthly readers have crowned an underdog, Slack Tide Brewing Co., as New Jersey’s top craft brewery in the magazine’s 2019 Jersey Craft Beer Madness Competition. The competition began on February 26, with Jersey’s top-16 craft brewers (chosen by a panel of beer experts) pitted against each other in the elimination contest. For the contest, New Jersey Monthly split the state into northern and southern regions, with Interstate 195 as the dividing line. The eight northern and eight southern breweries were seeded 1 through 8, based on the vote by the expert panel. “It’s pretty exciting,” says Jason Campbell, who owns Clermont-based Slack Tide Brewing Co. with his brother Tadhg. “We were stoked to be in the top 16 to begin with.” The first big shock of the competition came in Round 1 when Slack Tide, 7th-seeded in the southern bracket, knocked off number-2 seed Tonewood Brewing. Slack Tide won another upset in Round 2 by beating Lakewood’s only brewery, Icarus. In round 3, Slack Tide pushed past their Cape May County neighbors, top-seeded Cape May Brewing. The final round pitted Slack Tide against Magnify Brewing, the 6th-seed in the northern bracket. Magnify had upset top-seeded Kane Brewing to reach the final round. Slack Tide’s full-court press of promotion through social media lifted the brewery to victory. “We tried to mobilize our base as best we could,” says Campbell. “We really just went with it.” This included sharing a new link on their Facebook and Instagram pages when each new round went live on four successive Tuesdays. They also updated their website homepage with an image of each bracket round and a link to vote. The win is just the latest exciting milestone for Slack Tide. In January, the brewery celebrated its third anniversary. Now, they can’t wait to share the good news with the fans who helped them sweep the championship.
Content gathered & updated by the Bergen Review Media team.