My apologies for not being with you Monday morning! It was unavoidable as Sunday night, traveling south on 87 and 287, my Jeep decided to stop working. Right before the awful 287 merge before you enter Mahwah.

It's a spot we are always extra careful as you have to cut across lanes to stay right to hit 287 South toward Morristown. And there's a roadway merging with fast traffic entering on the right. It's especially challenging when traveling 60-70 mph in the left lane when the vehicle stops working!

RPMs went through the roof and our speed went from 65 to 40 in seconds. Thankfully I was able to guide the disabled truck to the narrow shoulder and coast along slowly, coming to a stop where the shoulder was wide enough to be able to safely exit.

Of course, it was Super Bowl Sunday so we prepared for a long night ahead. I first tried the online feature with AAA but got bounced out because there were two of us in the car and COVID protocols only allow for one person to be taken by the responding tow truck.

After a bit of a rant on that issue, while on hold trying to reach a person, I was connected. I went through the Q&A process and after nearly 10 minutes on the phone, the call dropped.

The next attempt was successful, but the operator told me it would be a few hours before anyone could get to us.

I started running through my options of who to call in the middle of the Big Game for a ride and contemplating the issue of just leaving the jeep on the side of the highway.

Thankfully, that decision was postponed when the tow driver Allen from Tire Tech & Auto Repair in Oakland called to say he was headed our way. It was cold and late but we knew we'd get home before dawn!

I texted my friend Damon who owns the Jiffy Lube on Route 1 in Lawrenceville and confirmed it was OK to drop the Jeep there for his mechanics to check it out in the AM. All good.

En route on the 90-minute journey, Allen got a call that a motorist needed a flat tire changed. He asked if we were OK with him stopping, which we said of course. Hated to think that someone else would be stuck without a ride for what would have been at least three hours if we didn't divert.

Allen was kind enough to stop by my house on the way so I could pick up the truck to follow him to the shop and unload our bags and cooler from the Jeep. This avoided the need for a late-night rideshare and further delays to getting home.

I spoke to Damon in the morning and learned that it was the clutch that was shot. Since he doesn't do that work at the local shop, I went to my friend John who manages Hyundai of Trenton. Within an hour, John had the car towed and was scheduling the service. John is also arranging the shipment to my son in San Diego as he needs the car for his job.

Thankfully I purposefully took the car this weekend to make sure it was running right. Got my answer! Relieved it happened while I was driving instead of my son on a California freeway.

I want to thank Dave from Jeep of Princeton, who I met at the annual firefighters Cooked and Uncorked event a few years ago, for offering to fix the jeep. Another thank you to Nick who owns the Aamco Transmissions Total Car Care Center in Hightstown for offering the same.

Appreciate all the small business owners stepping up to help. We have a great state, filled with great people. I'm looking forward to working with everyone across the state to fix what is clearly broken at so many levels of our government. Stay tuned for my "Small Business Bill of Rights" coming soon...

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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The Ultimate Guide to New Jersey Brewpubs

From the website that gave you the "Friendliest bars" and places to watch the game, comes the ultimate guide to New Jersey brewpubs.

So what's a "brew pub"?

According to Thompson Island's Article on the differences between a craft brewery, microbrewery, brewpub & gastropub, it says:
 
"A brewpub is a hybrid between a restaurant and a brewery. It sells at least 25% of its beer on-site in combination with significant food services. At a brewpub, the beer is primarily brewed for sale inside the restaurant or bar. Where it's legally allowed, brewpubs may sell beer to go or distribute it to some offsite destinations."

New Jersey has tons of Brewpubs, some of which have been around for years and some that have just opened in the past year.

Here is a full list of the 21 brewpubs in New Jersey according to New Jersey Craft Beer:

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