HILLSBOROUGH, NJ  - Flounder Brewing Company, a nanobrewery that grew from a hobby started by township resident Jeremy Lees, has been nominated to receive the 5th annual Salute to Tourism Award, sponsored by the Somerset County Business Partnership.

The awards honor employees and organizations throughout Somerset County in three categories: Economic Champion, Service Excellence and Tourism Champion. The program pays tribute to front line tourism staff and organizations that set the bar for the Somerset County Tourism industry.

Founded in 2013 by Lees, and later joined by his two brothers, Daniel, Michael, and a cousin, William Lees, Flounder Brewing is a limited production operation that brews 50 barrels per year, including Hill Street Honey Ale, Murky Brown and Saison du Flounder, in addition to seasonal brews like Floundering Pumpkin and Gingerbread Brown.

Sign Up for E-News

Flounder Brewing is one of the nominess in the Economic Champion category, which is for an individual or organization that has made a significant and direct impact on the Somerset County economy through visitor spend, job creation, or increased tax revenues. Other nominees are:

o   Franklin Day Festival, Franklin

o   Natirar Resort Development LLC, Peapack-Gladstone

The venerable Tour of Somerville Cycling Series, which has drawn hundreds of thousands of racers and spectators to Somerville over the Memorial Day weekend for the past 75 years, has also been nominated to receive the 5th annual Salute to Tourism Award.

The Tour of Somerville, an international sporting event recognized as "The Kentucky Derby of Cycling," is one of eight nominees in the Tourism Champion category, described as "an individual or organization that has promoted Somerset County’s attributes and resources to help establish the destination brand and draw more visitors."

Also nominated in that category is the Tapastre Restaurant & Bar in Somerville. Other nominees include:

o   Heritage Trail Association, Bridgewater

o   Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum, Bedminster

o   Jenna Intersimone, Journalist, USA Today Network

o   Somerset County 4-H Fair, Bridgewater

o   Somerset County Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge

o   Somerset Patriots, Bridgewater

The Service Excellence Category is for a Somerset County tourism professional who has demonstrated outstanding customer service at a county tourism asset. Nominees include:

o   Jill Cerchio, Hampton Inn & Suites Bridgewater

o   Fran Frederick, Homewood Suites Bridgewater/Branchburg

o   Monica Juhasz, Somerset County Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge

o   Lisa Sepulveda, Branchburg Sports Complex, Branchburg

The Salute to Tourism Awards event will be held on Friday, Jan.19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.at The Bernards Inn, 27 Mine Brook Road in Bernardsville. It will include the awards presentation and keynote luncheon with hospitality expert, writer, travel podcaster and consultant, Glenn Haussman. The awards selection committee comprises representatives from fellow New Jersey Destination Marketing Organizations.

Register for the Salute to Tourism online at bit.ly/salute2018.