HomeMoorestown NewsState's first education-based microbrewery coming to Main Street

State’s first education-based microbrewery coming to Main Street

Community House, Rowan and King’s Road Brewing partner for new venture

Special to The Sun
Community and business leaders gathered at the Community House of Moorestown recently to announce a partnership between the venue, Rowan College at Burlington County and King’s Road Brewing Company.

The Community House of Moorestown, Rowan College at Burlington County and King’s Road Brewing Company announced plans last month to launch the state’s first educational-based microbrewery on the township’s Main Street.

“This historic building continues to be a gathering spot for our neighbors and our friends, and as an independent 501(c)(3), the community house board and our great staff are tasked with preserving this beautiful building and ensuring it will continue to be home for our community for many years to come,” said Haynes Hendrickson, vice president of the board of trustees of the community house.

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The venue has hosted events and activities dating back to 1926, and a microbrewery built in repurposed space that used to house an indoor pool with an educational component is said to be a complement to the organization’s mission and purpose.

“We’re here today to announce plans that will leverage the community house’s presence and launch a major initiative to benefit Moorestown and Burlington County,” Hendrickson explained. “Rowan College at Burlington County, the community house and King’s Road Brewing Company are partnering to create the first educational-based microbrewery in the state of New Jersey, the first microbrewery in Moorestown – a long awaited economic stimulant to the town’s Main Street corridor – and plans for the community house to continue to serve as the central gathering place in the heartbeat of Moorestown.”

The interest in developing a relationship between the venue and Rowan centered around a mutual desire to create an educational pathway into the craft brewing industry while finding a new use for the former pool space. The program will include classroom education and hands-on experience in launching and running a microbrewery just a few miles away from the Rowan campus in Mount Laurel.

“In (2021), the township of Moorestown passed an ordinance permitting breweries, distilleries and tasting rooms within Moorestown, and our partnership with RCBC and King’s Road Brewing Company has been in the works for some time,” Hendrickson noted.

“The township and elected officials have been very supportive in helping us get to this announcement, and we all agree there’s no better location to stimulate this economic growth off Main Street than the community house.”

RCBC received a grant from the state’s Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund to secure necessary equipment for a microbrewery. The college is creating an associate’s degree program in 2025, with a certificate program available this fall so students can begin to complete their general requirements before the brewery curriculum is approved.

Christine Harkinson/The Sun
The microbrewery idea was conceived in part to find a new use for the former pool space at the community house.

“This is a great example of how Rowan College at Burlington County can partner with industry and the community to provide meaningful pathways to employment in underserved industries,” said Rowan President Dr. Michael A. Cioce.

“Establishing the state’s first educational microbrewery at a historic venue will create educational and career opportunities for students, economic growth for downtown and a new chapter for the storied history for a local Moorestown gem.”

Mayor Nicole Gillespie described how the community house holds a special place in the hearts of many people and the opportunities that the partnership will bring to the area.

“To be at the forefront of this idea – this really unique model – to have it happening right here in Moorestown in this beautiful place, we couldn’t ask for better,” she enthused. “To be partnering with King’s Road and our neighbors at RCBC is really a dream come true, so we’re very proud of this (and) we’re very grateful to all these people who have worked so hard to put it together.”

King’s Road Brewing Company was founded in 2016 by five friends who took their knowledge of and passion for craft beer to the next level by opening a brewery and tasting room in Haddonfield, a town that has been dry since 1873, according to the brewery site.

Since it opened its doors in 2017, King’s Road has served ales and lagers to locals and visitors alike.

“King’s Road Brewing Company has helped in transforming Haddonfield,” said Bob Hochgertel, its co-owner and managing director pointed out. “Through our commitment to quality craft beer and community involvement, we’ve become a catalyst for positive economic and social change in Haddonfield.

“We believe the same can be true in Moorestown, and Main Street … is a physical continuation of the historic King’s Road, from where the brewery takes its name.”

“We’re excited about the positive impact a brewery like King’s Road can have here in Moorestown,” added Burlington County Board of Commissioners Deputy Director Dan O’Connell, “and we’re very, very proud that RCBC, not only in this effort, but in all their other efforts, take students and track them to where the jobs are going to be, so that when they get a degree, it’s not a dead end, but actually the beginning to the rest of their lives.”


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