Vikings march from old brewery to new site

Angry Erik's will be changing locations later this year

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  • Modern-day Vikings on the march from Lafayette to Hampton Phiotos provided

  • Angry Erik, aka Erik Hassing

  • King and queen of the hill, and owners of Angry Erik's, Erik and Heide Hassing

  • Peter Nikel and Maureen Hennessey, neo-Vikings and Angry Erik patrons.

By Rose Sgarlato

— Paying homage to Angry Erik’s Nordic theme, the brewing company hosted two Viking style groundbreaking celebrations on May 20 and May 26.

The orchestrated events attracted about 160 people in total who dressed as Vikings and carried a symbolic Angry Erik flag. The Vikings hiked from the existing Lafayette location on Millpond Road to the future brewery and brew pub on Camre Drive in Hampton, roughly a mile journey.

Owner Heide Hassing said the demand to participate was so great that attendees would not accept a rain date So in true “Don’t Get Mad, Get Angry” fashion, Hassing and her co-owner husband Erik hosted the event twice to please followers of the micro craft brewery.

“The scheduled date was May 20, but it was calling for thunderstorms. We had a rain date of May 26 and not everyone could make it because of the holiday weekend, so we did both days,” Heide Hassing said.

Since opening in 2014, Angry Erik has created 65 different styles of beers. The Lafayette location has a tasting room and also distributes the beer to restaurants and liquor stores locally and throughout New Jersey.

The new location is projected to be three times the size of the current brewery with space for outdoor seating and a tasting room with over 70 seats. The Hassings are looking at later this year for completion of the new, larger brewery,

“We have outgrown this location and maximized our production,” Heide said. “With construction already started, the building should be completed by the end of the year. The plan is to not have to close at all – just go from one spot to the other.”

And who are these Viking-like followers? Mostly customers, Heide said, but also those that engage in LARP –live action role play.

She described the scene:

“Vikings could be seen marching along Route 94 and 206 with shields and axes in the heat to show their dedication to the only production brewery in Sussex County which has been in operation since February 2014.”

To add to the role play, Heide Hassing addressed the crowd, taking words from a Nordic blessing and quoting Odin - a Nordic god.

“It gladdens me to know that Odin prepares for our arrival. Soon we shall be drinking ale from curved horns in this place. We shall not enter Odin’s Hall with fear, but with Angry Erik’s beer,” she declared.

Despite the rain on the first go-around and the high heat on the second one, the group, she said, enjoyed the journey.

“Having been a patron since the beginning, being a part of the march to the new location was a must do,”said Dan Holdt of Hampton. “Erik’s has been a place to meet friends old and new, and enjoy a pint with them. I really look forward to continuing the great times with the brew crew at the new location."

Angry Erik Brewing is located at 10 Millpond Drive in Lafayette.

Tasting room hours for tours, tastings, pints and growler fills are: Thursday, 5-8 PM; Friday, 4-8 PM; Saturday, 12-8 PM; and Sunday, 12-6 PM. Don’t Get Mad, Get Angry!

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