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Only in NJ: New York’s Best Pizza & #1 Beer in America

Cape May Brewing Company

New Jersey has a long-celebrated history in beer. Many have credited the former Peter Ballantine & Sons Brewing Company of Newark with brewing America’s first India Pale Ale, Ballantine IPA, in 1878. It was the only American-made beer that successfully continued the tradition of 19th century IPAs after Prohibition ended. The wood-aged, hoppy beer, since resurrected by Pabst Brewing Company, helped to ignite America’s craft beer renaissance. There’s no question that today’s craft beer industry has become a major economic driver. In fact, a recent study by Stockton University found that the craft beer industry contributes $1.2 billion to the New Jersey economy.

Out of the 100 and counting craft breweries located in New Jersey, one the largest and most popular producers is Cape May Brewing Company. Located at the Cape May Airport, this brewery is putting the peninsula on the map. Cape May Brewing Company’s sour blonde ale The Topsail was named the Best Beer of 2017 by Beer Connoisseur magazine—further positioning New Jersey on the forefront of America’s craft beer scene.

Craft beer experts will tell you there’s more to a great beer than just hops, grain, yeast and water. Cape May Brewing Company takes pride in their specialty ingredients, claiming that South Jersey has some of the best in the country. Cape May Brewing Company was the first brewery in the State to market beer with the Jersey Fresh seal for its Honey Porter beer. The subtle sweetness of the beer is thanks to a local honey supplier. (For those that don’t know, the Jersey Fresh logo, issued by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, indicates that the product has met the highest quality standards upon inspection.) In addition, the company utilizes nearby Avalon Coffee’s coffee beans for its dark, full-bodied stout.

Seeing exponential growth in the last few years, Cape May Brewing Company services hundreds of wholesale accounts, employs nearly 70 local residents, and has expanded their facility three times in the past seven years. Even though the brewery draws inspiration from its shore town identity, it doesn’t have to be beach weather to find a crowd at their tasting room. Cape May Brewing Company was also the Beer Connoisseurs pick for the third-best brewery in the nation in 2017.

After you grab your growler in South Jersey, come up to North Jersey for a slice of pie.


New Jersey pizza tells the story of our Italian-immigrant roots. Three out of the ten oldest pizzerias in America are based in New Jersey, including Papa’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville—the longest continuously running, family-owned pizzeria since 1912. Whether you prefer Neapolitan, tomato pie, Sicilian, or thin crust style, New Jersey gets the delicious cheese, sauce and crust combination right. We know that superior pizza is found on this side of the Hudson, and last year the New York Times made it official: food critic Pete Wells dubbed Jersey City-based Razza as “New York’s Best Pizza.”

Razza’s owner and chef Dan Richer was born and raised in New Jersey and is a Rutgers University alum. Skipping his graduation ceremony for a trip to Italy, Dan was inspired to learn and perfect Italian cooking techniques and ingredients. Today, even with a glowing New York Times review and two James Beard Award nominations, Dan doesn’t rest on his laurels. He is a devout bread-making student, always experimenting and improving his craft. His belief is ingredients and technique truly makes the pie, and is likewise meticulous in choosing fresh, locally sourced, high-quality ingredients.

The flour used for Razza’s pizza is milled in Clifton, NJ. Look at their menu, and you’ll see a homage to New Jersey agriculture with “crushed NJ tomatoes” and “NJ water buffalo milk mozzarella and ricotta.” Even the Proscuitto and Burrata pie features Rutgers hazelnuts. (Notably, researchers at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station developed and bred a blight-resistant hazelnut that can thrive in cooler climates to meet the growing demand for hazelnuts.)

Razza has become a beacon within Jersey City’s buzzing foodie scene. With a nod to tradition mixed with contemporary flair, Razza elevates the pizza eating experience within an industrial-chic space. Their carefully curated menu features both artisanal and traditional wood-fired pizzas and seasonally-inspired beer, wine and cocktails that pair beautifully with your meal.

Razza is quintessential New Jersey through and through, and now everyone wants a slice.


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Ryan Fox
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