King’s Road Brings First Microbrewery to Moorestown, New Brewing Science Degree Program to Rowan College


The partnership, which also involves the Community House of Moorestown, is intended to spur economic development, create jobs, and support the use of a local nonprofit asset.

By Matt Skoufalos | February 23, 2024

Rendering of the brewery area at King’s Road Moorestown. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

In 2017, King’s Road Brewing became the first brewery to operate in downtown Haddonfield in more than 150 years.

Pretty soon it will earn that same distinction in nearby Moorestown, thanks to a multi-partner agreement among the nonprofit Community House of Moorestown and Rowan College of Burlington County (RCBC).

In 2011, the historically dry community passed a referendum to end its 96-year-old ban on alcohol sales; 10 years later, its municipal government expanded local zoning law to provide for alcohol within the downtown business district.

But finding an existing storefront that could conceivably house a microbrewery could have effectively made the new laws irrelevant.

“We’ve been working with people to try to get breweries in here,” Moorestown Mayor Nicole Gillespie said. “But it’s hard because we’ve got older buildings; smaller buildings.”

At the same time, the Community House of Moorestown, a 100-year-old building erected by Victor Records owner Eldridge Johnson at the behest of the township women’s club, had been seeking opportunities to expand use of its facility.

“We’ve been working on this for four years conceptually; talking to the right people,” Community House Executive Director Karen Lynch said.

The disused Community House pool will be transformed into a microbrewery in Moorestown. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

However, the Community House charter obligates it to support nonprofit entities, which King’s Road Brewing is not. Enter RCBC, which will create an associate’s degree curriculum in brewing science, and designate classroom space in the building.

The program is believed to be the first of its type in New Jersey, only one of a handful in the country, and the first to be associated with a brewery being built from the ground up, RCBC President Mike Cioce said.

“Any time we can expand programmatic offerings without having to build new buildings, my attention is piqued,” Cioce said. “Our job as a community college is to be receptive to industry and community needs. They came back with a commitment from the board on the architect and structure.”

The brewery will itself be built on the site of a disused pool in the basement of the Community House, with the fermentation tanks housed inside the pool itself, and seating for 100 or so patrons around the elevated perimeter of the room, said King’s Road co-owner Bob Hochgertel.

Hochgertel said the partners are also looking into building out the exterior of the property to create outdoor seating.

The rear of the Community House will be modified to create access to the microbrewery in its lower level. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

King’s Road will become one among a number of businesses to operate multiple locations in both Haddonfield and Moorestown, including RunningCo, Oriental Pearl, Happy Hippo, and Passariello’s.

Hochgertel said the brewery had been seeking an opportunity to join Moorestown even before it opened its Medford location.

“Our desire to be here preceded the brewery ordinance,” he said.

“By the time the idea had been rekindled, RCBC had come aboard.”

“In Moorestown, the King’s Road for which we are named is Main Street,” Hochgertel said. “We want to embrace the history of the town; the history of the building.”

RCBC students can begin registering for components of the brewing program this fall, with full enrollment by fall 2025, Cioce said. The college is seeking around 20 students to participate in its first cohort.

“Our job is to make sure there’s students who can work on our side of the house,” he said; “curriculum will legitimize the program on the other side of the house.

Trench lines in the Community House locker rooms. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

“We’re building a robust associate’s degree program,” Cioce said.

“We’re going to cover the essentials, including the integration of career services to internships and degrees.

“This is employment that’s tied to a solid industry.”

Hochgertel believes in the opportunity of the program to deliver professional brewers into a workforce that can use their help.

“In the six years we’ve been in business, we hired three brewers who came from programs like this,” he said.

Anthony Wright, Chair of the RCBC Board of Trustees, believes the partnership will support “economic stability in the county and beyond,” as well as adding educational value to the college and its offerings.

“To bring this to the downtown corridor is important for the underlying community,” Wright said; “to bring life back into the community; to be a sustaining partner.”

Please support NJ Pen with a subscriptionGet e-mails, or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


Comments are closed.