FLEMINGTON, NJ – It’s official. The Lone Eagle has taken flight.
Lone Eagle Brewery on Stangl Road here held its grand opening this afternoon. Owners Todd Becker and Bob King were all smiles and proud to show off their spanking-new facility.
The brewery was named in honor of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, who’d been nicknamed The Lone Eagle after his first-ever solo airplane flight across the Atlantic in 1927.
The brewery was originally to be named Conspiracy Brewing, which was chosen after an online campaign to find a name. And although Conspiracy was trademark-free when the owners first announced the name last year, a subsequent research revealed that someone in Massachusetts filed paperwork to secure the trademark.
An unofficial opening was held last night. The brewery filled to capacity, but eager visitors happily waited in line to enter.
On entering the brewery, many visitors are struck by the wooden eagle that graces the main room. It’s the creation of Robert King, who is founder Bob King’s dad. The unusual creation looks like it’s been stained, but all the wood is actually unstained; its colors are natural.
Robert King was as impressed as anyone with the facility. “It looks like you’ve done ok,” he said to his son, as he shook his hand before leaving.
Flemington Mayor Phil Greiner was also impressed. Before cutting the ribbon, Greiner remarked that – although the brewery’s owners had planned a late-summer opening – he figured it would be late-fall before they actually opened. That wasn’t a reflection of any lack of confidence in the founders, but recognition of strict state regulations governing breweries.
Those attending the event included Freeholder John King, who is no relationship to the brewery’s founders.
Lone Eagle is able to produce about 35,000 gallons of beer per year — or about 280,000 pints. The newly constructed 5,400-square-foot building features almost 2,000 square feet of loft space that offers a commanding view overlooking the brewing operations and serving area.
Although visitors today included such notables as Freeholder King, Freeholder Director Suzanne Lagay. Freeholder Rob Walton, Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce President Chris Phelan, County Clerk Mary Melfi, Rob Bell of PANJ Radio and Judy Goodwin and Dr. Paul Marciano of the Flemington Community Partnership, others traveled to get to the brewery.
Jack Finch made the trip from Philadelphia. He said he visits his sister here in Hunterdon periodically and when she told him last month about the brewery, he immediately reserved the date.
"I have a feeling I'll be visiting her more often now," he said.
Goodwin said she's typically not an especially enthusiastic beer drinker. However, she has quickly developed a taste for Lone Eagle's creation "Dave's Cream Ale."
"It's delicious," she explained. "You might want to try it."
The brewery will be open daily from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday hours are noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday hours are noon to 6 p.m. It is closed on Tuesdays.