Gloucester County’s first brewery, Kelly Green Brewing in Pitman NJ, has announced that they are closing their doors at the end of March.
Kelly Green opened in May of 2016 in Pitman’s Uptown main street commercial district.
For the last few weeks of being open, they are offering merchandise at discounts and the weekend of March 24-26 will feature music all weekend long.
Kelly Green Brewing – A Thankful Goodbye
In the Facebook post written by lifelong Pitman resident and brewery owner Justin, he states the reason for closing was the balancing act of having time to keep the brewery successfully operating, while also being focused on his family life as a father and husband.
“As a husband and a father of three beautiful girls, my time now is going to my family. As our children get older, it has pulled us more and more away from the taproom.”
The post goes on to thank supporters, friends and family.
“With that being said, we can not thank all of the New Jersey craft beer drinkers (enough) for their support. The list of friends we have made over the years is too long to list, a lot of which we consider family now. I can’t thank my core group of support enough including my beautiful wife and our amazing group of beertenders”
The brewery has seen plenty of success within the town, which is evidenced by the fact that just three years after opening they moved to a new Pitman location (2019) basically across the street… which was three times larger than their first location.
Kelly Green had become not only a destination stop for beer lovers and visitors, but also a meeting place for locals who would walk over to enjoy a delicious beer, and chat with friends.. old and new.
Last November I “stopped in for one” at Kelly Green… and I was enjoying my visit drinking delicious beer and talking to locals at the bar so much, that I stayed for three and even got invited to a private birthday party someone was planning at the brewery (my apologies for not making it to the party!)
Several local breweries have commented on the Facebook post, offering praise and support:
Kelly Green Brewery – Pitman
Of course any new brewery opening in South Jersey is big news, but what made the Kelly green story even more interesting is at the time of their opening, not only were they the first brewery in Gloucester County… Pitman was a dry town at the time!
The opened in May of 2016, and quickly developed a strong following as a destination brewery…. a business which brought new people to Pitman’s thriving “Uptown” retail and restaurant district.
In 2019 they were awarded Best New Brewery by South Jersey Magazine!
Kelly Green brought an innovative approach to their beer styles and flavors…. “pushing the envelope” is how they described it!
They created a jelly series of beers… heavily fruited smoothie sour ales, as well as hoppy IPAS and inventive dark beers, stouts and porters.
Pitman is an awesome small town shopping and restaurant destination for South Jersey. The transformation over the last 15 years or so is simply amazing.
I literally believe urban planners and Professors should study how this “main street” section of town not only became reborn… but is fully thriving.
Today, numerous local restaurants, cafes, bakeries, shops and galleries draw in thousands of visitors each week.
It’s that perfect eclectic mix of shopping experiences that every small town in America craves, and what developers who try to build their own small town street, hope to be.
And for most of that rebirth period, Pitman was a completely dry town, even when Kelly Green Brewing opened!
Kelly Green was approved as a brewery in town because in New Jersey the granting of brewery licenses are handled mostly by the State… but absolutely Pitman had to approve the project, which they happily did.
Soon after Kelly Green opened in 2016, Human Village Brewing also opened just a few doors down (from the original Kelly Green) and Pitman became a brewery lover’s destination stop. Unfortunately Human Village closed in 2021.
In 2016, with foot traffic up and new businesses opening in town… Pitman choose to take their success up one more big step.
The November election that year saw the town put alcohol sales up to a vote, and the residents legalized full alcohol sales.
The advantage to the town would be that with a couple restaurants offering full alcohol service, it would be another reason for area residents to visit Pitman… as well as generate income for the town via the sale of licenses.
Today, Merryman’s Pub and Martini’s On Broadway both operate as full bars and restaurants… which I would think if anything, brought more people into town… and more folks to stop over and check out Kelly Green!
That being said, I completely understand the “Family First” aspect for closing the brewery.
While I do not know Justin’s exact scenario, I’ve learned that a challenge of smaller breweries is while they can be successful and profitable, many owners still have to keep their day jobs to pay the family’s bills. It just becomes too much of a demand.
Westville Brewery’s original founders/owners cited the exact same reason for selling their brewery last fall.
Kelly Green Brewing – Last Two Weeks
For the last two weeks, Kelly Brewing is inviting folks to “Come celebrate with us as we say goodbye to our little brewery”.
They will have live music the weekend of the 24th-26th every day.
Starting today when they open at 4pm, all merchandise will be 50% off, and all saison in the fridge is $5.
The full text of the Facebook post is below (Facebook)
Seven years ago I never would have imagined I would be writing this post. As of the end of March, we will be closing our doors for good in the state of New Jersey. It’s a difficult thing to process from being the first brewery in Gloucester County. The emotions are high and so is the stress level. As a husband and a father of three beautiful girls, my time now is going to my family. As our children get older, it has pulled us more and more away from the taproom. With that being said, we can not thank all of the New Jersey craft beer drinkers for their support. The list of friends we have made over the years is too long to list, a lot of which we consider family now. I can’t thank my core group of support enough including my beautiful wife and our amazing group of beertenders. We will be having live music the weekend of the 24th,25th and 26th every day. Come celebrate with us as we say goodbye to our little brewery. It was a hell of a run……..Kelly Green Brewing Pitman – Full text of “Closing” announcement
From here on out we will be “liquidating” our inventory. Starting tomorrow when we open, grab any bottle of saison in our fridge for 5$ and our merch has been reduced to 50% off. Say goodbye to your local neighborhood brewery.
Links and Location
Kelly Green Brewery
101 W Jersey Ave
Pitman, NJ 08071