It’s a tale as old as time — or, at least, as old as New Jersey. The validity of Central Jersey as a legitimate region has for years sparked debate on Twitter and IRL. The Garden State’s governor even weighed in, posting on Twitter in 2019 that it does, in fact, exist.
Three New Jersey breweries are determined to settle the debate with two new releases, according to a Jan. 9 article by New Jersey Advance Media. The competing beers — Central Jersey Does Exist and Central Jersey Doesn’t Exist — will decide which viewpoint is more popular among state residents.
It’s part of a collaboration between Jersey City-based Departed Soles Brewing Company and two other local breweries. Hoppy lager Central Jersey Does Exist is created in partnership with Cypress Brewing Co., while dark lager Central Jersey Doesn’t Exist is a collaboration with Two Ton Brewing Co.
“I saw the state is trying to pass these bills that talk about Central Jersey being a thing or not being a thing and figured we might as well get in on the fun,” Departed Soles founder Brian Kulbacki told NJ Advance Media. “We figured we’d let people vote based off of beer selection.”
Interested in participating in the debate? The only way to cast your vote is by purchasing the brew that supports your viewpoint. They retail for $15 per four-pack of 16-ounce cans and whichever brewski sells out first wins the debate, Kulbacki told New Jersey Advance Media. So far, Central Jersey Does Exist is slightly ahead.
Governor Phil Murphy defines Central Jersey as the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Ocean, and Union. While legislation introduced in 2022 addressed the formal recognition of the region, it’s still a highly-debated cultural topic.
So, is Central Jersey is actually a thing? New Jerseyites are mere sips away from settling the debate once and for all.