Before I actually explain why you should be at this event tomorrow on the Jersey Shore, let me first explain what the Hop Sauce Festival is. Imagine an event that combines the love of spicy things with the love of beer. Add in an ongoing music concert, the love of good food and place it on the Jersey Shore at Long Beach Island, and then you might get the idea of what is going down. By the reactions of some of the hot sauce vendors that attended last year, this was quite the place to be at the inaugural event. I did not attend, instead choosing to do the upstart Kempton Pepper Jam, which was more like a Farmer’s Market that an event like this Hop Sauce Festival seems to be. I was not disappointed in my trip because I got to try some amazing new products, but I was jealous at the fanfare this event received. So I am hopping in my jalopy early in the morn and going 4 hours north to see what the hubbub is all about.
For those people that know me, know that I am not a beer drinker. I never cared for the sudsy stuff. So my dilemma and the ultimate question upon an answer will come your way on Sunday is whether a guy who does not like beer can have fun at a beer event? Of course there is the hot sauce end of things. 18 vendors as I list each one below, taken with care from the Hop Sauce Fest website (CLICK ME to SEE). There is also 7 music acts kicking off the event at 11:20am with the final act hitting the stage at 5:20pm. Please check out the schedule HERE. You can also get a sneak peak of the music by clicking on the player to the right of each act. What about the food? Well, many restaurants will be serving up a sample of what they do best, and if you check out the list of food, from crab cakes to BBQ pork belly to wings to fish tacos, I think you might start planning your trip tonight. It is not too late of course, and with an all day event like this, there is plenty of time to get your spicy-beer face on.
Oh yeah, I am bringing my spicy peanut butter pie for those that might want to get some sweet heat with their beer. I made two pies. 😀 If you see me, please come by and say hey. Here are some of the details followed by the list of spicy makers serving it up at the Hop Sauce Festival:
DATE: Saturday, May 30, 2015
TIME: 11 am to 7 pm
WHERE: On the ball field in Beach Haven, NJ between 9th Street and Taylor Avenue
COST: $10 general admission or $40 for beer sampling bracelet
As you can see above, the General Admission tickets are $10. For that, you get into the festival where you can sample all the hot sauces, listen to the bands, check out our partners, and enjoy the day. Craft beer tickets are $40. In addition to entry and hot sauce sampling, that gets you a sampling glass for responsible beer tasting all day. The vendors have food for sale, all portioned at fair prices, so you can try a lot of different delicious goodies with either ticket.
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Born to Hula
Not just a hot sauce, but a way of life. The idea was to take the things in life that people enjoy and pour the excitement into a 5 oz. bottle. All sauces are handmade in a local kitchen with the freshest ingredients, small batches to keep it more personal. Peppers are hand picked from local farmers’ markets at the Shore area, perfectly aged pepper mash and exotic dried chilies make for a delicious product.
Red Hawk Premium Peppers
“Come for the heat, stay for the flavor.” Red Hawk, had been growing hot peppers for over a decade and finally decided to start offering spicy wares for sale – from hot sauces to spice rubs, pepper jams, dried powders, and even hot pepper seeds. Growing techniques hav minimal environmental impact, using rainwater and composted vegetable waste fertilizer. All natural, award winning products with heat levels for folks that enjoy a little burn up to the hardcore chili heads.
Jak Jeckel Pepper Sauce
“Real Sauce made for Real Food.” Jak Jeckel believes hot sauce should be more about flavor than fire. Most hot sauces try to sell you on their scoville units, but Jeckel’s idea has always been to combine delicious ingredients to produce a sauce that is complex while remaining accessible enough to not overpower your favorite foods. With a subtle blend of lime, hot peppers, and select smokey spices, each flavor is a balance of taste and heat, making for flavor and heat in one bottle.
Bad Brains Hardcore Hot Sauce! Out of New York’s Hudson Valley, Heartbreaking Dawns brings Searing passion, sensory seduction! Try the Jalepeno Pineapple, Mango Habenero, Classic Gold Habenero, or Southwestern Habenero. Independently owned and operated by husband and wife Chef Johnny and Nicole McLaughlin, featured on the Food Network’s Chopped, Maxim Magazine, Cooks Illustrated and Imbibe Magazine, Dawns offers hot sauces, grilling and BBQ sauces, preserves, chutneys, and apparel.
Whitehouse Station Sauce Company
From their kitchen to your table, Whitehouse Station sauce is a family-operated company in Hunterdon County, just an hour from LBI, the brainchild of Johnson and Wales University culinary graduate, Jon Kasper. There are even a few sauces made with peppers from the owner’s very own garden. Featuring their fine Habanero Sauce, Whitehouse is known for the “Sweet Heat.”
Matt and Brian, childhood friends, started Hanksauce while living in Florida and then bought it back to our state, bringing in their roomie, Josh. Not only do they have four delicious sauces – Cilanktro, Camoflage, Herb Infused, and Hanks Heat – but they also run a restaurant of the same name in Sea Isle City, with a menu full of awesome items that go great with spice and tang and a love of surfing, great music, and fishing.
High River Sauces
The project of music industry veteran, food junkie and author Steve Seabury, High River Sauces has won awards from NYC to Texas. His cookbook titled “Mosh Potatoes” (Simon & Schuster) is a collection of recipes from the biggest bands in rock and metal. Seabury found his passion for food was shared by many of his favorite icons. High River Sauces, like the amazing Tears of the Sun, provides the music/food fanatic with artisan sauces made from the best organic ingredients.
Honored by numerous salsa competitions, Deception Salsa is all natural, GMO, and gluten-free. Girly Girl is the most mild. Entice is a black bean and corn. Tease is a medium tomato salsa, Insanity is a tomato base kicked up with Serranos and hot Thai chilies, and Dare You is a wickedly hot salsa with Ghost Peppers, Habaneros, Red Cherry Peppers and Jalapenos. Start out on a sweet note and in about ten seconds, you feel the heat. Hence a hint of “deception.”
Voodoo Chili Sauces & Salsa
Voodoo Chile Sauces and Salsas are world famous for creating the world’s first gourmet bacon hot sauce, Porcus Infernum, and are the makers of Peppadew Hot Sauces. A hallmark of their line of sauces is that “flavor first” is not just a marketing line: the heat on almost all of their sauces is rather noticeably delayed, allowing you the chance to fully enjoy and judge the quality of the flavors … first! At last year’s Hop Sauce, they introduced the world’s first Hops & Chile pepper infused malt vinegar. Make sure to grab a bottle of this before ordering your fries!
Jersey Barnfire Hot Sauce
These guys take pride in their sauce. Their mission is simple – to make the best tasting, locally-produced and sourced food products while helping to keep local farms thriving. Jersey Bonfire’s sauces enhance the foods its customers eat without masking their original flavor. Since its humble beginnings just over a year ago at local farmer’s markets to participation at premiere food industry events, Jersey Barnfire owes its rapid growth to popularity with folks and restaurants across the Garden State. At the recent NYC Hot Sauce Expo, their Black Garlic took second place at the Screamin’ Mimi Awards for Best Sauce released in 2014. They support local farms in Pennsville and Allamuchy, New Jersey. This season, they are also farming their own plot of land.
“All about the passion for creating great barbecue and sharing our efforts with consumers who appreciate a twist on tradition. Creator Wayne Tuohey traveled the US and the Caribbean learning about this culture and now provides both the “’cue artisan” and “’cue challenged” with premium sauces and seasonings. Let your mouth water, as you think Pomegranate Jalapeño Sauce, Black Jade Marinade, Machu Picchu Marinade, Apricot Habanero Rum Sauce, Cherry Bourbon Sauce, North Carolina Vinegar Sauce, and their sauce partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Raise The Roof.
WORLD FAMOUS HOT SAUCE
Husband and Wife team, Graham Connolly and Lindsay Otto founded World Famous Hot Sauce after getting married on Long Beach Island in 2013. Their first hot sauce, LBI Love Potion started out as a wedding favor and the positive feedback they received from their guests convinced them to get into the hot sauce business. Fast forward to 2015, they have three Long Beach Island branded sauces and one World Famous seasoning with plans to release a new line of premium sauces later this year.
THE JAM STAND
Brooklyn’s happiest food company began in an apartment kitchen in Williamsburg when Jessica Quon and Sabrina Valle, breathed life into an original concept – create a food that’s a true reflection of themselves and their community. The Jam Stand give their products an imaginative personality allowing their “Jam Fans” to take initiative and get creative in the kitchen. Meticulous detail and thought is put into each element that comprises The Jam Stand and the sum of those parts are all meant to make you smile.
Gemini Crow Sauce Company
“Evil has never tasted so good.” At some point soon, Gemini Crow will be using New Jersey grown peppers exclusively for their Scovie-award winning, all-natural, gluten-free, and vegan sauces. The Gemini Crow line up includes Blackberry Belle, (a 2014 Chili Pepper Magazine Award Winner) The Devil His Due, Burn, Geminiah’s Fiery Catsup, Mrtv, and Zivot with flavors ranging from ghost peppers and blackberry to Trinidad Scorpion and apple.
FEELTHEFLAVOR – BONFATTO’S SPECIALTY SAUCES
Bonfatto’s aren’t just wing sauces, they’re hand-crafted, versatile marinades, sure to liven up any kitchen or barbecue. And they’re the reason Central PA keeps voting their wings the best around! Order your favorites online. Bonfatto’s is made in their historic 1910 grocery store-turned restaurant and lounge famous for Bonfatto subs. The fourth generation of this family launched the sauces – Original, Peaches & Scream, Hawaiian BBQ, Apple Pepper Jack, RazzHab, Fire-In-The-Hole, and Tongue Thai’d.
MESSY BRINE PICKLES
“Get Messy. Be Happy!” Every jar of pickles is crafted by hand, using ingredients sourced from local farms. They want people to eat better and they’re not afraid to get a little messy in the process. Try the Caulikraut, Jalbeano Carrots, Rye Bread and Butter, Salt and Vinegar, and Spicy Caulikraut. With a goal to change the world around them, they’ve partnered with Concern Worldwide to donate a percentage of proceeds to fund and support clean water projects.
RIGHTEOUS FELON JERKY CARTEL
Criminally crafted for the unlawful appetite, Righteous Felon Jerky Cartel specializes in producing and trafficking high-potency beef jerky made with illegal combinations of unique, all-natural ingredients. Using the highest quality natural ingredients and great tasting Black Angus Beef grown naturally; without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics, Righteous Felon is handmade in small batches to ensure freshness, quality, and consistency. As they say, “Our product is pure. Our product is potent. Our product will blow your mind.”
LORD DARNLEY’S BLOODY MARY MIX
As the legend goes, on the night of February 10, 1567 an explosion devastated the Edinburgh residence of Lord Darnley, husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. Those arriving at the scene of devastation found, under a tree in the garden, the naked corpses of Darnley and his valet. Neither had died, but both bodies bore marks of strangulation. At the time, Mary was conveniently away attending a wedding masque. Clearly a murder attempt had taken place, and the legend of Bloody Mary was born! This brand remembers Lord Darnley with a spicy Bloody Mary Mix fit for a noble king, or a devious queen! Non-alcoholic.