Autumn pairs perfectly with wine sipping and beer sampling. Cheers to cool weather, cozy clothes and fall weekends well spent at Jersey’s many booze blasts.
Cape May Food & Wine Celebration
Sept 15-24: Indulge in good food and fine wine during this 10-day fair. Events include the Harvest Brew Fest on Sept 16 at the Emlen Physick Estate and the Cape May Wine Trail on Sept 15 and 22.
Times, prices and locations vary.
VIP hour, 7-8 pm; $69; general admission, 8-11 pm; $59.
Jersey Drafts & Crafts Festival
Sept 16: Enjoy samples from more than 30 breweries and browse craft vendors at iPlay America in Freehold. There will also be Jersey-made cheese, chocolate and beef jerky.
Noon-4 pm; VIP, $75; general admission, $40.
Sept 16-17: Oenophiles can taste-test vino from 10 Jersey wineries while browsing more than 70 craft vendor tables and listening to live music. Bring the kids too! There will be pony rides, a children’s concert and magicians.
Noon-5 pm; $20; children under 14 are free.
Valenzano Family Winery, Shamong
Bergen County Food & Wine Festival
Sept 16-17: The inaugural food fest features a tasting village with 70 restaurants, cooking demonstrations and more.
Sat, noon-5 pm; Sun, 1-6 pm; $55-$65.
Garden State Plaza, Paramus
Glassboro Craft Beer Festival
Sept 23: Drink your way though the fifth annual festival offering samples from local and regional breweries, food, craft vendors and live music.
1-5 pm; $5-$50.
College Ave, Glassboro
Heritage Wine Festival
Sept 23-24: Wine aficionados can sample vintages from nine wineries at the Heritage Wine Festival on the 150-acre property of the Mullica Hill vineyard. Craft beer, food trucks and a cigar vendor offer more fun.
VIP hour, noon-1 pm; general admission, 1-5 pm; $8-$75.
Heritage Vineyards & Winery
Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival
Sept 24: Inspired by the Galway Oyster Festival in Ireland, this affair offers cold brews, lobster rolls, mini Reubens, live music, vendors and children’s activities.
Noon-7 pm; $5; rain date Oct 1
White Street Parking Lot
Grand Harvest Wine & Music Festival
Sept 24: Live music plus plentiful wine on the scenic historic grounds of Rutherfurd Hall makes a perfect early fall day trip.
Noon-5 pm, $25.
Feast of San Gennaro
Sept 24: Become Italian for the day. Take a vineyard tour, stomp grapes, learn some Italian phrases and practice your Tarantella skills.
2-5 pm; $15-$25.
Villa Milagro Vineyards, Phillipsburg
Oktoberfest in Cape May
Sept 30: The heart of Cape May is transformed into the site of a German folk festival, complete with authentic food, a beer garden, and crafts, antiques and collectibles for sale. We’ll drink to that!
10 am-5 pm
Carpenter Lane & Jackson Street
Food Truck Wind Up & Craft Beer Fest
Sept 30: Head to Lakewood’s BlueClaws Stadium for live music, great food trucks, craft beer, wine, vendors and fun.
Noon-5 pm; free admission, $5 parking.
First Enery Park, Lakewood
Seaside Heights Oktoberfest
Sept 30-Oct 1: Spend the day sipping craft beers–including locally-made brews such as Beach Haus Pumptoberfest and Spellbound Barrel Aged Living the Dream. German food and music from Oompah Delics give an authentic feel to the festival. Beer tasting sessions are from noon to 2:30 pm and 3:30 to 6 pm each day.
Sat, 11 am-7 pm; Sun, 11 am-6 pm; $5 general admission; Beer tasting $20-$25 at door (cash only at gate)
Big Brew Beer Festival
Oct 7: The annual tradition is back at the Morristown Armory for two tasting sessions of craft brews, plus food trucks and live music.
Session 1: noon-4 pm; session 2: 5:30-9:30 pm; $65-$70; designated driver; $15.
Oktoberfest in Historic Smithville
Oct 7-8: Wursts and rich drafts lend authenticity to Historic Smithville’s annual celebration. There’s traditional music, too. Explore the unique shops and boutiques along the cobblestone pathways, and browse more than 100 craft, clothing and jewelry vendors.
10 am–5 pm. Free.
26th Annual Oktoberfest
Oct 8: With admission, guests can choose one of the 24 international craft beers for free. But the night is just getting started. The wide selection of craft brews is joined by a German food buffet and live music by Alpine Express.
The Old Bay, New Brunswick
1-5 PM; $15 cover charge
Hopped Up Highlands Pub Crawl
Oct 13: Making four stops throughout Morristown, the tour begins at Revolution, Stirling Tavern, George and Martha’s American Grille and End of Elm. All proceeds will benefit the New Jersey Highlands Coalition to help protect, restore and enhance water and other natural resources in the Highlands.
6-11 pm; $20-$25.
Starting at Revolution, 9 South Street, Morristown
Beer & Whiskey Festival
Oct 14: Sample 60 beers and 30 whiskeys while listening to live music from John Eddie and His Dirty Ol’ Band.
2-8 pm; $30-$35.
Grand Exhibition Center, Tropicana, Atlantic City
Central Jersey Beer Festival
Oct 14: Beer lovers can sip on suds at this celebration boasting more than 100 beers, live music and food vendors.
Noon-6 pm; $10-$85.
Mercer County Park Festival Grounds, West Windsor
Stafford Township Fall Wine Festival
Oct 14 & 15: Join the fall frenzy at this 6th annual fest. Sample dozens of wines from Jersey wineries while enjoying the lake-front view. Unique crafters, vendors and food will also be on hand. Enjoy live music from local favorites Funk Shway & The Dojo Birds on Saturday and Acoustic NRG on Sunday. Bring a blanket or chairs.
11 am -5 pm; $12-$15; Under 21 and designated drivers are free.
Manahwakin Lake Park
Oct 21: The fall fun is endless with a four-acre beer and wine garden, live bands and kids’ attractions.
Noon-10 pm; drinker admission, $15; general admission, donation.
Bordentown City Beach.
After the Harvest Wine & Food Event
Oct 28: Just as the harvest season winds down, head to this festival featuring wine sampling, culinary pairings, wine tutorials and live music.
1-6 pm; $25, drinker admission; $10, non-drinker
Culinary Arts Institute at Hudson County Community College, Jersey City
Oct 28-29: A costume contest, wine cellar tours, hay rides, PYO Pumpkins and a corn maze fill this weekend with Halloween fun. Wear a costume to receive an embossed Four Sisters Winery glass mug.
Four Sisters Winery, Belvidere
Grape Adventure Wine Festival
Nov 4 & 5: Six Flags hosts its eighth annual event offering more than a dozen New Jersey wineries, craft vendors and food. Visitors can also tour the 350-acre safari park and participate in a giraffe feeding.
10:30 am-5:30 pm; prices vary
Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari, Jackson
Jersey City Craft Brew Fest
Nov 18: Get in the spirit of Oktoberfest at this traditional German celebration offering more than 150 styles of craft brews. Enjoy unlimited beer samples paired with live entertainment, food and interactive games.
Session 1: 1-4:30 pm; session 2: 6-9:30 pm; $15-$65.
Hudson River Waterfront