Princeton Ghosts & Hauntings

Ghost WashingtonDo you believe in ghosts? Princeton is one of those places where skeptics cross the threshold and start saying yes. Mysterious lights, strange presences, and ghostly figures have made Princeton a ghost hunter’s paradise.

Nestled between New York and Philadelphia, the small town of Princeton is steeped in history. From the Lenape Native Americans, to the British settlement, to the Revolutionary War, to our world famous university, the paranormal footprint left behind here by the people and events of centuries past isn’t too difficult to find.

“You may think you know Princeton well, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye,” said Mimi Omiecinski, owner of Princeton Ghost Tours. “Many people just find Princeton way too beautiful to leave, even after death.”

Ghostly sightings and experiences have been noted in just about every part of town, including here at the Nassau Inn and the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, where dozens of apparitions have been accounted for throughout the course of two and half centuries.

Nick Ballas, Director of Rooms at the Nassau Inn, reported on several occasions of having heard strange noises, seen bizarre figures, and, while staying overnight, witnessed a translucent woman in a white dress floating up the stairs from the 2nd to 3rd floor. “It was both spooky and mesmerizing at the same time,” Ballas recounted.

“The fifth floor is where some of the eeriest stories come from,” remarked a front desk attendant at the Nassau Inn. “There were several instances where guests called down with concerns of hearing constant chatter from disembodied voices. A few guests also described feelings of being hugged by an invisible stranger.”

As a regular stop along the Princeton Ghost Tour route, Mimi Omiecinski knows first-hand that the Nassau Inn is a hotbed of oddities and anomalies. “It’s not just a bunch of kooky ghost stories,” she explained. “We have evidence that they are here.”

You don’t have to take Omiecinski’s word for it, though. She proves the presence of ethereal beings by providing her tour groups with dowsing rods, EMF detectors, and therma-meters.

“Ghosts don’t always announce their presences with scents, sounds or slime,” said Omiecinski. “Ghosts, by their ethereal nature, tend to be a tad elusive. But, with this equipment we can locate, and often communicate with the other side.”

And, Princeton purportedly has quite the cast of famous specters in the area to communicate with. George Washington, John Witherspoon, and Albert Einstein are among the many celebrity spirits associated with Princeton that are believed to frequent the surrounding shops, residences, hotels, and university.

“Princeton has all the right features conducive of paranormal activity,” said Omiecinski. “The historic buildings are conduits of energy that spirits draw from.  You can bet that ghosts like George Washington and Albert Einstein are dropping by Nassau Hall, the McCarter Theater, and the Yankee Doodle Tap Room all the time.”

No matter what you believe about ghosts and the afterlife, one thing is certain – the historic town of Princeton has a lot more odd, unexplained activity than most other places in the world. And, while we don’t guarantee a ghost sighting when you book a room with us, taking a Princeton Ghost Tour should be on your to-do list while you’re here. “Not only is it great time for adults and children alike,” said Omiecinski. “But, what you’ll hear is true and what you’ll see is real.”

The Architecture of Princeton University

If you’ve ever explored the open campus of Princeton University, you may have found yourself in awe of the gloriously designed landscape that’s older than the United States itself. The architectural history is so vast and filled with such variety that it was once described as being “a beautiful sculpture garden for famous architects’ buildings”. Easily within walking distance from our front door, it seems only right to share some of what we know about these beautiful structures and the architects behind them.

Nassau HallNassau Hall
Built: 1754-56
Architect: Robert Smith
Style: Georgia Colonial

 

 

       Fun Facts About the Building       Fun Facts About the Architect
  • Named after: King William III of the House of Nassau.
  • At the time, it was the largest stone structure in North America
  • It is the oldest building at Princeton University.
  • It was possessed by both American & British troops during the Revolutionary War.
  • It suffered from fires in 1802 and 1855.
  • Nassau Hall was the 3rd building he designed in the colonies.
  • Other important works include St. Peter’s Church, Benjamin Franklin’s House, Carpenter’s Hall, and Walnut Street Prison (all in Philadelphia).
  • During the revolutionary war, he produced designs for military architecture to protect Philadelphia from British attack.

Maclean housePresident’s House/Maclean’s House
Built 1754-56
Architect: Robert Smith
Style: Philadelphia Georgian Style

 

 

 

      Fun Facts About the Building
  • Named after John Maclean, Jr. – founder of the Alumni Association and the last president to occupy the house throughout his administration.
  • 10 University Presidents & 7 Deans lived here.

 

Prospect-HouseProspect House
Built: 18th Century Home rebuilt 1850-52
Architect: John Notman
Style: Italianate

 

 

      Fun Facts About the Building       Fun Facts About the Architect
  • Woodrow Wilson lived here before he became governor of NJ & President of the United States.
  • It was donated to the college in 1878.
  • Dignitaries such as Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Truman have been entertained at the house.
  • It is one of the best preserved early Italianate villas in the country.
  • Also known for NJ State Lunatic Asylum, Laurel Hill Cemetery Gatehouse, Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the Church of the Holy Trinity.
  • Credited with introducing Italianate style to America.
  • He was a founding member of the American Institute of Architects.

Edwards HallEdwards Hall
Built: 1879-80
Architect: Edward D. Lindsey
Style: Romanesque

 

 

 

      Fun Facts About the Building       Fun Facts About the Architect
  • Named after Jonathon Edwards, the third president of the college.
  • Originally designed to provide cheap rooms for struggling students.
  • It is now among the most desirable addresses on campus since its renovation in 1985.
  • He was a professor of architecture and the Curator of Buildings and Grounds for the College.
  • Also known for the French Theater and Girard Building in New York.
  • One of his early interests was construction of fire-proof buildings.

FitzRandolph GateFitzRandolph Gate
Built: 1905
Architects: McKim, Meade, & White
Made from: Authentic wrought iron from England

 

 

 

 

       Fun Facts About the Structure      Fun Facts About the Architects
  • Named after Nathaniel FitzRandolph, who was instrumental in raising the money and land required to build the College.
  • It’s the official entrance to the College.
  • It was originally kept closed and locked, except at graduation, the P-Rade, or when a notable guest was visiting.
  • The Class of 1970 ensured the gate would always remain open as a symbol of the University’s openness to the local and worldwide community.
  • Also known for Pennsylvania Station, Brooklyn Museum, the main campus of Columbia University, and mansions in Newport, RI.
  • Their work has been said to define the Gilded Age of America.
  • They were invited to renovate the White House in 1903.
  • With a staff of over 100, the firm became the model for the modern architectural practice.

Firestone LibraryFirestone Library
Built: 1946-1948
Architect: O’Connor & Kilham
Style: Collegiate Gothic Revival

 

 

 

      Fun Facts About the Building       Fun Facts About the Architect
  • Named after tire magnate Harvey Firestone.
  • The library has 70 miles of bookshelves, more than 7 million books, 6 million microfilms, and 48,000 linear feet of manuscripts.
  • Most books are stored in partially underground levels.
  • It was the last building on campus to be built in the gothic style.
  • Also known for work on the Metropolitan Museum, Trinity College, and Smith College.
  • Their firm specialized in storage depots and barracks.
  • Robert O’Connor was a Princeton trained architect.
  • Walter Kilham spent over 3 years visiting libraries all around the world in preparation for the Firestone Library.

When the Light Shines In

NI Crossing DelawareSince before the American Revolution, our meeting space has been widely known among political, business, and military leaders to invite focus and ignite creativity.

Our superior amenities and top notch customer service have always fostered a comfortable and productive environment for our esteemed guests.

While our hospitality greatly compliments the overall experience, the mood of the day is actually determined before a meeting is even convened. It takes effect the moment our guests step into the room and find themselves welcomed by the brilliance of natural light.

All of our meeting rooms come standard with natural light and its many aesthetic and health benefits, which include:

1.) Boost in mood and alertness

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2.) Reduction in stress

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3.)  Elevation in happiness

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4.) Increased quality of sleep

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5.) Boost in metabolism

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In addition, our naturally lit meeting space also comes equipped with the proper shade to accommodate video and presentations.

To book a corporate space or to get more information, please contact us at sales@nassauinn.com or call 609-921-7500

 

Steps from Everything…

Aside

One of the many benefits of staying with us here at the Nassau Inn is our close proximity to first-class shopping, dining, entertainment, and history. Our guests truly appreciate being just steps away from everything. As evidence, here is a list of 10 popular attractions in downtown Princeton – along with the number of steps it takes to get to each one from here. So, tap on your activity tracker and let’s compare steps…  


1.) NASSAU HALL (425 steps)

Everywhere - nassau hallNassau Hall was built in 1756 to house what was then the College of New Jersey. It was the largest stone building in the American Colonies.

The name “Nassau Hall” was proposed by Governor Jonathan Belcher in honor of King William III, “who was a branch of the illustrious house of Nassau.”
Click here to learn more…


2.) PALMER HOUSE (633 steps)

Everywhere - Palmer HouseThe original owner was Commodore Robert Stockton (1795-1866), grandson of the signer of The Declaration of Independence. He married Maria Potter of Charleston, South Carolina and they received the house as a wedding present from her father, John.

When Robert moved across the street into “Morven,” the old Stockton homestead, he sold Palmer House to his brother-in-law, James Potter. (Later he built “Lowrie House” down Stockton Street for one of his children while his older brother-in-law, Thomas Potter, built “Prospect House” on the south side of the campus – both designed by John Nottman of Philadelphia.
Click here to learn more…


3.) PRINCETON BATTLE MONUMENT (633 steps)

Everywhere - Princeton Battle Monument

On January 3, 1777, the peaceful winter fields and woods of Princeton Battlefield were transformed into the site of what is considered to be the fiercest fight of its size during the American Revolution. During this desperate battle, American troops under General George Washington surprised and defeated a force of British Regulars. Coming at the end of “The Ten Crucial Days” which saw the well-known night crossing of the Delaware River and two battles in Trenton, the Battle of Princeton gave Washington his first victory against the British Regulars on the field. The battle extended over a mile away to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Click here to learn more…


4.) PRINCETON UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM (670 steps)

Everywhere - Art MuseumThe origins of Princeton’s art collections date nearly to the University’s foundation, thus making Princeton one of the oldest collecting institutions in America. The Museum and what is now the Department of Art and Archaeology—the second oldest in the nation—formally came into being in 1882, founded on a philosophy that positioned Princeton at the cutting edge of scholarship in an era when the history of art was a new academic discipline, largely confined to the more advanced universities of Europe. Click here to learn more…


5.) BAINBRIDGE HOUSE (686 steps)

Everwhere - Bainbridge HouseBainbridge House is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Princeton and one of the area’s best preserved examples of mid-Georgian architecture. Located on Nassau Street, the town’s busiest and most historic thoroughfare, it is situated directly across from Princeton University. Bainbridge House has been home to several Stockton families; it was the birthplace of William Bainbridge, hero of the War of 1812; in 1783 it was listed as providing accommodations for the Continental Congress; during the late 19th century it served as a boarding house for university students; and for more than fifty years it was home to the public library. Click here to learn more…


6.) MORVEN MUSEUM (844 steps)

Everywhere - MorvenHome to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and to five New Jersey governors, Morven has played a role in the history of New Jersey and the nation for more than 250 years.

After the Governor’s Mansion was relocated in 1982, Morven went through an extensive restoration and archaeological investigation. Morven re-opened as a museum and garden in 2004.
Click here to learn more…


 7.) PRINCETON CEMETERY (844 steps)

Everywhere - CemeteryThe Princeton Cemetery is a unique burial ground.  It is the final resting place for a President and a Vice President of the United States, most of the Presidents of the College of New Jersey/Princeton University and the Princeton Theological Seminary.  Scattered throughout the cemetery are the graves of soldiers beginning with the Revolutionary War, professors, politicians, musicians, scientists, business executives, writers, a Nobel Laureate, a winner of Pulitzer Prizes as well as those who have called the Princeton area home.  Take your time and enjoy the rich history of America captured here, and a small town’s place in that history. Click here to learn more…


8.) McCARTER THEATER (1056 steps)

Everywhere - McCarter TheaterMcCarter Theatre Center for the Performing Arts – the region’s leading performing arts center – has a rich history of artists who have graced its stage for over 80 years. Built as a permanent home for the Princeton University Triangle Club (who continue to perform at McCarter to this day) with funds from Thomas N. McCarter, class of 1888, the theater opened its doors on February 21, 1930 with a special performance of the 40th annual Triangle show, The Golden Dog. One of its stars was Joshua Logan, a junior and a sophomore named James Stewart was in the chorus. Click here to learn more…


9.) ALBERT EINSTEIN HOUSE (1267 steps)

Everywhere -The Albert Einstein House at 112 Mercer Street in Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey was the home of Albert Einstein from 1936 until his death in 1955.

The house is a simple pattern-book cottage and in itself is of no particular architectural significance”.

Albert Einstein reportedly requested that this house not be made a museum, and the family did not want it to be recognized as such. Nonetheless it was added to the National Register of Historic Places and further designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1976. Click here to learn more…


 10.) CLEVELAND TOWER (1900 steps)

Everywhere - Cleveland TowerIts beauty often compared to that of Oxford University’s Magdalen Tower, the 173-foot Cleveland Tower flanks the main entrance to Princeton’s Graduate College. One of the principal structures of the Graduate College when it was dedicated in 1913, the tower was erected as a memorial to President Grover Cleveland, who, following his retirement from public life, was a trustee of Princeton University and chaired the trustees’ graduate school committee. Funds for the construction of the tower were raised by public subscription from “citizens of all parties in all walks of life from all parts of the United States.”  Click here to learn more…


 

 

 

 

A Closer Look at the Princeton Alumni Wall of Fame: Samuel A. Alito, Jr.

Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.
Class of 1972
alito 4
Born: April 1, 1950     Hometown: Hamilton, NJ
alito 8
Alito is best known for being the 110th Supreme Court Justice of the United States. Alito was nominated by George W. Bush in 2005 and sworn into office on January 31st, 2006.


EDUCATION
Alito attended Steinert High School in Hamilton Township, where he excelled academically. He was active in more than 10 clubs, including the debate team, band, track, and the honor society. He also served as president of the student council and graduated as class valedictorian.

After high school, Alito attended Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

While at Princeton he captained the Princeton Debate Panel and joined the ROTC.

Alito set his course for the Supreme Court early on as indicated in the 1972 Nassau Hall Yearbook, which read, “Sam intends to go to law school and eventually warm a seat on the Supreme Court”.


Alito 6

UPBRINGING
Alito’s parents grew up in poor families where little English was spoken, but they both went to college and became teachers. They believed anything was possible with hard work, and they particularly stressed the importance of education.

A colleague described Alito’s upbringing as “Go do your homework now and, after you do it, go find some other way to improve yourself.”

 


CAREER
Alito’s commitment to achieving goals is reflected in his impressive resume. Alito began
his career working as an assistant U.S. attorney in the district of New Jersey before transferring to the solicitor general’s office. He then spent time working at the Office of Legal Counsel before returning to New Jersey as the U.S. Attorney for the district of New Jersey.

As a Supreme Court Justice, it has been said that his jurisprudence has been methodical, cautious, respectful of precedent and solidly conservative.

alito 3 - Copy

April in Bloom

flowersCommunity Spotlight

April was another incredible month for downtown Princeton. The entire town literally exploded with color in a matter of weeks as our natural surroundings quickly transitioned from bare, bleak, and brittle to robust, bright, and in bloom. The much welcomed spring weather provided ideal conditions for al fresco dining, window shopping, outdoor sports, and community events such as the Princeton University Farmers’ Market and Communiversity.


Yankee Doodle Tap RoomYDTR Sign w Flowers

The opening of our outdoor patio and the release of our Spring Menu has made for an outstanding month at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room. The fresh air and fine fare motivated many to ditch the indoors and dine with us. The interior of the Tap Room continues to see an abundance of activity too. In addition to our regular business, tour groups have been piling in to enjoy a beautiful buffet and an anecdotal history of our property.

If you like to unwind after work, our Happy Hour Specials and promotions may be just what you need. Monster Mug Mondays were made to quench your thirst while “I Made History” and “Beers Around the World” give you the opportunity to drink outside your comfort zone and win cool prizes. Live music on our patio is also on its way starting May 14.

Most importantly, however, we need to talk about Mom. Her special day is racing towards us. To celebrate, we’re holding our annual Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, May 10th.  There’s no better way to remind Mom how amazing she is by treating her to a delicious meal with us. Click here for more information.

Nassau Inn Ext Summer - 3.5 wNassau Inn

The picturesque purlieu of downtown Princeton in the spring attracts an abundance of visitors from all around. Although the nearby Route 1 Corridor offers a cornucopia of shiny, brand name hotels to meet their lodging needs, it is at the independently owned Nassau Inn that travelers aim to book first. That’s because when you’re at the Nassau Inn, you’re already here, in the heart of downtown Princeton. Our iconic red door opens up to a lush green square, not a parking lot. The scent in the air is of efflorescence, not exhaust fumes. The distance to restaurants, entertainment, shopping and the arts is measured in steps, not miles.

Then there’s our history, which dates all the way back to the 18th century. Since opening our doors in 1756, we’ve prided ourselves on offering our guests the most neoteric amenities of the day. Whether you were to stay with us in the 1700’s, 1800’s, or 1900’s, you could expect to find available all the latest comforts and technology at the Nassau Inn. The same still rings true today. We continue to expertly exist as a historical landmark and a state-of-the-art, full service hotel and conference center.

It’s all of these inimitable attributes, and many more, that have made our property a target destination for tourism, corporate functions, and celebratory life events.. With 188 guest rooms and 13 beautiful conference/banquet options, our savvy coordinators can skillfully design and deliver a personalized experience sure to delight you and everyone in your party. To schedule a tour or to request more information about planning an event, please contact us at sales@nassauinn.com.

The Selfie Appeal of the Nassau Inn

With a dynamic history, brilliant architecture, and an extensive catalog of distinguished guests, the Nassau Inn has developed a solid reputation for its Selfie Appeal. If you’re visiting downtown Princeton, here are FIVE incredible selfie opportunities on the Nassau Inn property that you won’t want to miss.

THE ICONIC RED DOOR
The inviting bright red door of the Nassau Inn is as illustrious as the many historic figures that once walked through it. Between its curious colonial flair and enduring history, the Red Door has become both a popular tourist attraction and a backdrop for countless celebratory life events. Local legend has it that couples who wed before the red door will be endowed with a long, happy, and healthy marriage.

selfie station - iconic red door

THE LOBBY FIREPLACE
The warming flames of the upper lobby fireplace and comfy red leather chairs have long brought repose to enervated travelers. Some of the world’s finest leaders and innovators, past and present, have relaxed before the calm blaze discussing local, national, and world affairs. If you listen close enough on a quiet day, you can hear the whisper of conversations past within the soothing snap and crackle of the dancing flames.

selfie station - L2

PRINCETON ALUMNI WALL OF FAME
If you’re entering the Yankee Doodle Tap Room from the Nassau Inn’s main lobby, it’s likely your attention will be briefly redirected from joyful thoughts of food and drink, to the allure of the Princeton Alumni Wall of Fame. The tributary wall showcases many young faces of Princeton graduates that went on to become prominent public figures of the past and present.

Selfie Station - Wall of FameDR. EINSTEIN’S SIGNATURE CARVED INTO TABLE
Since as far back as the day the Yankee Doodle Tap Room first opened its doors, Princetonians have long enjoyed the practice of carving their names and initials into the restaurant’s thick oak tabletops. Among these Princetonians, the world’s most famous scientist, Albert Einstein, also etched his signature distinctly into one of the many hardwood slabs. If you look close enough, perhaps you can find it. If not, just ask one of our helpful staff to point it out. 

selfie station - Einstein

ROCKWELL PAINTING
Illuminating brilliantly behind the bar of the Yankee Doodle Tap Room hangs the centerpiece and namesake of the historic restaurant: Norman Rockwell’s Yankee Doodle Dandy. In 1936, the Nassau Inn commissioned Rockwell to paint what would be his only mural, a 13 foot long detailed historical vignette of Yankee Doodle. Rockwell completed the work in 1937, and it was prominently put on display at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room ever since.

selfie station - Rockwell

 

Pi Day of the Century

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Pi Day of the Century

For the 6th year in a row, there will be much ado in downtown Princeton about the number  einstein Pi (3.14) and Albert Einstein’s 136th birthday. People gather from near and far to partake in this eccentric annual celebration of math, science, and education. But, you don’t have to be a genius to enjoy this jam packed day of fun-filled, family friendly festivities. Everyone is an Einstein on Pi Day – even if you don’t know what Pi is.

This is year is a very special Pi Day. It’s actually so special that it is heralded as the Pi Day of the Century! Here’s why:

Normally, Pi Day falls on any old March 14, which is exciting because when written numerically, it follows the first three digits of the mathematical constant π that allows us to work out the circumference, area, and volume around objects. This year, however, Pi Day will give us 10 digits when we reach 3.14.15 at 9:26.53 AM! And, this only takes place once every century!

Pi Day of the Century will take place on Saturday, March 14, or simply 3.14, or even more simply π.  Check out this years’ schedule of events below or click here to visit the official Pi Day Princeton website for more detailed information:

3.14

7:00 AM: Walk a Pi Event

9:00 AM: Pie Eating Contest

9:26:53 AM: My Once in a Lifetime Teacher Contest

9:30 AM: Westminster Conservatory of Music

10:00 AM: Kids of All Ages Violin Exhibition

10:00 AM:- 11:00 AM: KENKEN Lecture and Demo

11:00 AM: – 12:00 PM: KENKEN Tournament for Teens

11:00 AM: Happy Birthday, Albert!

11:00 AM: Einstein Look-A-Like Contest

11:00 AM: Pi X Pi(e) Bike Tour

12:00 PM: Miss Amy “Fitness Rock & Roll” Interactive Concert

12:00 PM: Dinky Train Rides with Einstein

12:00 PM: Nerd Herd Smart Phone Pub Crawl

12:00 PM: 15 Minute Mini Production of the Steve Martin Play “Picasso at Lapin Agile”     pie eating

1:00 PM: Pi Recitation Contest

1:00 PM: Serious Inventors Only Cocktail Making Class

1:30 PM – 1:59 PM: Hands-On Interactive Event for Children

1:59 PM:- Princeton Pirade by Kids’ Music Round

1:59 PM: Pi Pizza Competition

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: He’s Got a Theremin and He’s Not Afraid to Use It! Where Music and Physics Meet

2:00 PM: 15 Minute Mini Production of the Steve Martin Play “Picasso at Lapin Agile”

2:30 PM: Where’s the Pi: A Physics Demonstration Show

2:45 PM: Best Apple Pi in Princeton Contest

3:14 PM: Pie Throwing Event                                          pie throwing

3:14 PM: Guided Einstein Tour

4:00 PM: Happy Birthday, Albert! Happy Birthday, Albert!

4:00 PM: Mega Chess Free Style Play

4:00 PM: Celebrating New Jersey’s Inventors: Understanding Their Contributions to Electromagnetism and Interactive Exhibits

5:00 PM: Nerd Herd Smart Phone Pub Crawl

7:30 PM:  The Arts Council of Princeton presents RatioActivity: A Pi Day Concert
featuring Stop Correcting Me

9:26 PM: Last stop on the Smart Phone Self Guided Pub Crawl

pub crawl

Let’s Make History

blog joeBy Joe Bergin

Picture this: You have just finished chatting with a friend you haven’t been able to spend time with for a little while.  It is brought up in the conversation that you’d like to plan a day or night to go out, kick back, and try to catch up.  There was even some talk about inviting a few more of your friends to tag along.  It sounded great, and you were excited for it. You were really just tangled up in the moment.

Until the conversation ended, and the phones were put down, you hadn’t really thought about HOW you were going to actually spend the night.  In a way, you seem to expect the perfect plans to just fall into your lap. Continue reading

Proud To Be An American Beer Drinker: Summer Kickoff

John Ryan
By John Ryan Fry Bartender

Happy summer friends! I hope everyone was able to make it through that frosty and harsh winter!  Now that the weather is really starting to heat up, I’m sure all of you, like me, are ready to kick back, relax, and pick up a frosty pint to cool off.  After getting in the spirit over the weekend with Independence Day, I couldn’t be more excited to announce that we will be celebrating American beers this month down at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room!  And what better way to kick things off then to reflect on why beer is such a part of America’s pastime. Continue reading