This 'Dry' Town Is Helping Brewery Business Boom

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As the beverage tourism industry in South Jersey continues to grow, more and more breweries are popping up, with a few opening their doors in dry towns.

“We need to start thinking about the type of town we want to be, instead of the type of town we used to be,” said Bob Hochgertel, managing director of Kings Road Brewing Company, quoting a resident.

Those words came from a resident who spoke on behalf of Kings Road Brewing Company when they proposed their plans to come to Haddonfield.

“We noticed as residents of the town that just the foot traffic in town was changing over the years, and more and more people were getting their wares and their goods through the internet,” said Hochgertel. “And that’s something you can’t do yet with beer.”

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For the five co-owners of the brewery, it was easy to decide they wanted their hometown of Haddonfield to be the location of their new business.

Though they were hoping to bring more customers back to the town’s shops and restaurants, they still weren’t sure what feedback they would receive, as Haddonfield is known to be a "dry" town.

“One of the first things that we discovered through our research is that Haddonfield is not really a 'dry' town,” said Hochgertel.  “The borough, the municipality chooses not to sell liquor licenses, and that’s different than truly being a dry town.”

The building that the brewery stands in was actually built in 1777 with the intentions to be a town tavern.

That’s only one of the many reasons the owners say that Haddonfield was the perfect place to set up shop.

“It’s more than just the beer,” said Hochgertel. “And we make excellent beer, we do. But it’s about the community, and it’s about the social dynamic. And that has been an added positive that we couldn’t have expected.”

Since they opened their doors in December, Hochgertel says they’ve seen nearby restaurants benefit from the added customers.

“By us being here, we’re going to help kind of, drive patrons to some of the other shops and some of the other restaurants and that’s clearly what’s happening,” said Hochgertel.

With heavy crowds forming on the three days that they’re open, he says they will be looking for a second larger space very soon to accommodate their growing business and busier Kings Highway.

Read: Who's Going to Pay for Building Demolition Next to Jim's Lunch?

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