Club Happenings – Summer 2020: Scenic Drive Through Delaware Water Gap hosted by eMpower Automotive, Convenience Collision & Auto Repair, and TriState5ers
by Rich Altman
Do you like BMWs, locally-brewed craft beer, and windy country roads? On June 14th, NJ chapter members participated in a scenic drive through the Delaware Water Gap with stops at three local breweries co-hosted by eMpower Automotive, Convenience Collision & Auto Repair, and the TriState5ers group to support local businesses and raise funds for Good Will Fire Company No. 1 in Belvidere.
Restrictions on indoor activities and social gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic in place at the time of the event required some flexibility, but all of the attendees were happy to make those minor accomodations in order to enjoy the beautiful weather and explore the picturesque country roads of the Delaware Water Gap in their BMWs. The approximately 100-mile long scenic drive began at eMpower Automotive in Belvidere, where approximately 40 BMWs including 2002’s, 750iLs, and a strong showing of 5-Series models from the E28, E34, and E39 generations in both bone stock and heavily modified forms queued up for the drive.
From eMpower’s location in Belvidere, the convoy of BMWs (and a handful of BMW owners and enthusiasts who dusted off their classic American iron for the drive) headed west past Good Will Fire Company No. 1, and over the Delaware River into Pennsylvania for the first stop of the scenic drive at Bangor Trust Brewing in Bangor. At Bangor Trust Brewing, the group was welcomed with a selection of their tasty craft beers brewed using organic grist, homegrown hops, and locally-sourced ingredients, including their signature PigEarth ESB and Weizenhiemer Weissebier brews. Beverages had to be served ‘to go’ in glass growlers, but that didn’t prevent us from enjoying the historic downtown architecture along Broadway which provided a terrific background for photos of our cars.
After enjoying the refreshments and scenery, the group headed back across the Delaware River to New Jersey and picked up scenic NJ Route 94 to our second stop at Buck Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Blairstown. The second stop offered all of the participants a chance to grab a farm-to-table lunch and sample Buck Hill’s unique locally-inspired beers made from locally-produced ingredients served ‘to go’ in the restaurant’s parking lot, as well as more socializing with other BMW owners and enthusiasts outdoors while enjoying the sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s.
After lunch, the group continued north on NJ Route 94 and US Route 206 to Angry Erik Brewing in Hampton Township to sample their variety of craft beers and another opportunity to display their vehicles in the brewery’s parking lot. The brewers at Angry Erik Brewing have been prolific while the tasting room has had to remain closed due to restrictions on indoor activities and social gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have more than 15 varieties of tasty traditional American and Belgian style ales available ‘to go’ in cans and growlers, including their own variety of “All Together” IPA derived from a recipe from Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn. Proceeds from the sale of “All Together” — a tasty juice bomb IPA filled with lots of hop aroma and haze — benefit the New Jersey-based ‘Brewery Strong’ charity to support people in the brewing, bar, and restaurant industries that have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leaving Angry Erik Brewing, the convoy continued north towards the northwest corner of New Jersey on US Route 206 and split up into two groups. One group turned south just before crossing the Delaware River and headed south to eMpower through the national park; one group took the scenic route (.. in other words, we missed the left turn ..) and headed over the Delaware River on the historic Dingman’s Ferry Bridge before turning south on US Route 209.