Collingswood Food Swappers - Beer and Food Swap August Event

Loaded up my "Granny" Beach Cart to take to the swap
The 3rd Collingswood Food Swappers event was held on Tuesday, August 13th.  Officially, it was the 2nd event under our moniker - but my 3rd swap that I organized.  To say it was fun and successful is an understatement.  Add beer, bring in people from all over the Tri-State Area, and have men participate and you definitely have a great party.  The guys in attendance (I think we had 7 or 8 guys!) all agreed that including beer as part of the event made all the difference in wanting to join in on the fun.

I brought 3 kinds of beverages - a 12% beer; hard cider; and my favorite summer ale.
For this swap, I borrowed an idea from Casey at Salted Plates.  She had posted about attending a beer swap back in June, shortly after she attend my last swap at The American Table.  I've been wanting to find a way to do beer events, along the lines of my friends, Colleen and Brooke's Beer Ladies Societies (West Chester Beer Ladies and Media Beer Ladies).  I can't quite take on another foodie/beer project so this seemed like a great way to incorporate beer events into my food swapping events.    Much like the lightening in the bottle that I found with the food swapping in Collingswood, I've hit on something that people LOVE with adding the beer component to the swaps.  

Our swap registrations hit the max of 30 participants very quickly.  There were a few cancellations and a few last minute rsvps.  I lost count of the actual number of people who joined us - I think we had over 25 people altogether, maybe close to the 30 I was hoping!  
My versatile banana bread and the recipe
Jellies, Jams, Fruit Ketchups and Beer!
Ladies from the suburbs of Delaware County, PA, who are friends with, Casey, of Salted Plates, drove over.  The South Jersey Swappers, another food swap group, drove up from Mays Landing.  Ed, a young man from, Clementon, NJ, found us by googling food swaps and saw we were having our event this past week.  He brought gorgeous Eggs from his farm.  Local Collingswood dwellers, people I've met before, new folks and people from one or two towns over all came out to enjoy a perfect, humid-free, cool summer night at my friends' and neighbors', Robb and Eric, in their home.  

WHOOPIE! Pies and homemade chocolate bark bars
Blueberry Jam by Elizabeth
Among the many wonderful, kind, funny, and talented people I met, it turns out that one participant happens to be friends with a friend of mine from the Easton Area - connected to my Liz's family.  It's a small world!
Ed's beautiful Eggs and great signage
Banana Bread Beer - not too sweet and very tasty

Sweet, spicy and delicious - with beautiful labeling - tomato conserves.
Robb B's home-brewed Irish Red Ale.  I made a bee-line over to him and traded my big bottle of 12% alcohol beer for a bottle of this.  Can't wait to crack it open!
Our hosts, Robb and Eric - gracious, funny and perfect hosts - 
Collingswood's premier "power couple"!

Some people brought multiple goods - seasonings, dips, infused vodkas, hydroponic basil.  The choices were astounding and the packaging was top notch too!
A lovely selection of ales and beers.  I was lucky to trade for both of these brews!

Pickles!  Garlicky and spicy - I told Jodi, who made them that she needs to start a business!
I met Kate S., a woman who lives here in Collingswood.  She'll be joining us this week at Diner en Blanc (I'm sure I'll be writing lots more about her!).  She's fun, as chatty as me, and we hit it off immediately.  She bakes amazing treats and brought a bakeries worth of pastries and cakes, along with ginger and black pepper infused simple syrup, beers, and probably several other things that I can't even remember.  I can't wait to taste what she brings to Diner en Blanc 2013 for our desserts.
It was a great night to meet new people, socialize and share in each others' offerings.  So many people said they couldn't wait to join the event, but many were anxious about what to bring, how to package it or that they were nervous about sharing their goods.  My feeling is do what you do best and keep it simple.  What I took away from this swap was that if it becomes a competition, if people try to out do one another, I'm not interested in hosting or holding a swap.  There are way too many foodie competitions all around us.  To have this become a sport instead of fun would ruin the joy of these events.  Its' about sharing, having fun, meeting new people and getting new ideas.  

Food find! Husk Cherries aka ground cherries.  Like a sweet and sour cherry crossed with pineapple.  Brought by Shannon of Cheyenne Farms.
New friend, Lori, who came to my first swap, brought these jars of great vegetarian chili.  The jars reminded me of edible terrariums.  I pulled the jalapenos out of my chili so it wasn't too hot.  Had a very good lunch on Wednesday thanks to her!
South Jersey Food Swappers - Connie, and her daughter, Larissa, brought a lot of great things, in addition to beers.  Homemade pretzels, basil, farm fresh eggs and two kinds of homemade bug repellent.  These pretzels were even tastier than the photo makes them look.  I see another business in the making!
Beers, ginger punch, infused simple syrups - we had a huge variety of great food stuffs.

Here are the beers that I got to bring home after my trades.  I enjoyed the Hawaiian beer a lot - another great one for summer thirst quenching.
And a view of my food goodies.  So far we've devoured the eggs, husk cherries, Bon Temps bread pudding, whoopie pies and chocolate bark.  The canned goods that were put up for keeping are in the pantry.

Stay tuned, follow us on Facebook, ( and start canning your summer best for our next swap - to be announced for a September date!


  1. I love what you wrote about it not being a competition. I was intimated to come with just beer, felt like a beautifully packaged homemade something is in order to participate.

    Great post! Looks like a lot of fun was had. Were any of those men attendees single?


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