|Baker Street Brewery's founder and head brewer Art Hannemann takes you
on a journey to find the ales. Catch the train for Arty's ride to the New Jersey
suburbs in search of, what else, great beer!
It's going to be a fun trip as Arty reviews and rates a new stop each month
as he takes the rails to the ales.....and beyond!
Take The Rails to The Ales
South Orange, NJ
Cryan's Beef and Ale House
21 First Street South Orange
Cryan's is a little tricky to find. First Street is almost like a small alleyway across the open
area to the right as you exit the station. Although it looks small from the winding entrance,
when you get inside it opens into a large bar area. This is a typical Irish pub with plenty of
Guinness and corned beef to go around.
I love Irish Pubs, and as St Pattys day is coming up I recommend this place if you're in the
area. Now let's get down to what's flowing from the taps. It's not surprising to find Guinness,
Harp, Bass Ale and Smithwicks on tap and I'm sure we don't have to dwell on them. Also on
tap are Sam Adams Lager and the new Sam Adams Noble Pils. The Noble Pils is very
thirst quenching with a pretty malty body for the style. Generous hop flavor helps it go down
easy. Not bad at all.
Also on tap was a surprise from the past...Palm Ale. I remember this beer from when I worked
at a liquor store long ago (last century). Anyway, Palm Ale is an amber ale made by Belgiums
largest independently owned brewery. Typical of Belgian ales it's not very hoppy. This is not a
Trappist or Lambic ale, but it is full flavored and very drinkable. A good session beer.
To finish off the tap list we find Heinekin (yuck-my opinion), Blue Moon and Yuengling Lager.
Oh yeah, there was one more tap handle that I wasn't sure of at first...Almaden...a wine on tap!
Cryan's Pubs are a good chain of Irish Pubs with great food and fun times. I would have to rate
this as a pretty good place to party, so I'll give it a
Rating of 2 1/2 engines.
12 W South Orange Ave.
If you leave the train station and walk out to South Orange Ave and you turn left,walk under
the train bridge on your left will be Bunny's Pizza and Restaurant. Bunny's is a cool little
sports bar that probably gets a good rowdy college crowd of Seton Hall Pirates fans. The pizza
is good and they have a pretty big menu as well.
On tap there is not much to choose from. They pour a really nice Guinness Stout in a really big
glass. Very tasty indeed. Other taps are Yeungling Lager, Stella Artois, Bud and his little
brother Bud Lite.
That's it..Not much more to say, nothing special.
I rate Bunny's at one engine.
Gaslight Brewery and Restaraunt
15 South Orange Ave
If you leave the train station and cross South Orange Ave and walk to the right you will find
the Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant. In spring, summer and fall you will notice hops growing
outside the entrance. The bar is nice and big with many taps and bottles to choose from. This
place has it all, and does it all when it comes to beer.
First of all they brew their own beers, and there were eight different ones on tap to pick from.
Second they have a cask ale on whether it's their own or a guest cask.
Third they have a good line-up of guest beers on tap.
Fourth they have a quite extensive list of interesting craft beers available in bottles.
Fifth they sell a full line of brewing supplies from their U-Brew shop. See what I mean?
Sixth they have their own beer appreciation club, to which some of our beernexus writers
belong and is open to anyone.
The first beer I tried here was the 11 Pipers Scotch Ale. This is a very full flavored and well
balanced dark amber ale. A tasy treat to say the least.
Next up, a Vienna named after the famous Austrian Governor of California...The Governator.
A nice malty bock style ale.
The special holiday ale Satan Claws is a terrific strong ale served in a tulip shaped glass. This
is really nice so I had to have two. (That's the beauty of taking the train, if I'm not driving I
can drink my fill.)
B A Massive is my favorite here. A really hoppy IPA, so if you don't like hops don't try this
The Oatmeal Stout was well balanced, creamy and tastes great !
Other Gaslight brews on tap were the 1920's lager based on a pre-prohibition style, Pirate
Pale Ale referring to the Seton Hall Pirates and a seasonal Slalom Winter. And they have a
slate of guest taps too. Check the chalkboard for these.
The brew kettle is in the front of the building by the bar. On the way to the restrooms you will
pass fermenting tanks that usually have a blow-off hose running into a bubbling bucket of
water. Beer in the making.
As you can see, if you like beer this place has it all covered from A to Z. Well worth the trip !!!
Visit their website at www.gaslightbrewery.com.
I rate the Gaslight Brewery and Restaraunt at a full five engines with a sack of barley thrown
in for us homebrewers.
Here's some good info on planning your trip. First step go to www.njtransit.com web site. Then
click on train schedules. Next click on "use our map to plan your trip." Now select your train
station on the map. And next select your destination on the map. A new page appears and you
want to select weekday, holiday or weekend accordingly. A new page appears with your
schedule of departing times and length of travel time. Print this up and then go to the bottom of
the schedule and it will say click here for return schedule--click away. Now print this page up
as well and you have all the info you need to plan your trip. Remember to allow walking and
Gotta catch my train back-- see you at my next stop!
Remember to leave the car at home and......Take The Rails To The Ales !!!!!!
Rails to Ales........and beyond ////////////////////////////////
by Arty Hannemann
Five engines= the very best
Four engines= excellent
Two engines= fair
One engine= bad news
Zero engines=stay away