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
             Muddy Creek, Pearl River (NY) or Ireland?

                 Pearl River New York is a small town along the New Jersey Transit Pascack
 Valley Line. When you arrive here don't be surprised to meet some very friendly Irish-
 American folk. In fact almost everyone I encountered was of Irish heritage. This is the
 first time Arny Lands tagged along and he tends to get lively early. First of all Arny (like
 me) is an Irish-American and felt very welcome in this lovely town.

                                        The Southbound Cafe and Bar
                                         Inside the Pearl River Train Station
Arny was like a kid on a class trip, and he kept reminding me how we weren't
 driving home so we could have a few more than usual. He spied Defiant Brewing Co. and
 two other bars from the platform and wanted to set off right away. I told him to hold his
 horses for a minute we were already at a bar. Much to his delight we grabbed a Guiness
 right away at this cool little bar located right inside the train station.

                   Guinness was the only beer on tap at the bar. They do offer up a wide varietyof food. If
you have a few extra minutes while you are waiting on your train be sure to stop in for a pint.

        Rating - One Engine


Pearl River Hotel
                                                 #4 South Main Street

Arny wanted to race off to Defiant Brewery, but I reminded him about our
   duty to the readers. We had to go to whatever bars we could easily walk to and review
   their beer selection if it killed us. It's a tough job and we had to carry on with our mission.

                     The Pearl River Hotel is a really cool bar with a regular crowd that seems
   very tight knit. When we walked in we recognized that everyone turned to see who we
   were, and when they didn't recognize us they went right back to there business. Arny
   ordered up a Guinness right away thinking that was his safest bet. While the lady was
   pouring his pint I informed him that they had a Defiant Beer tap handle as one of their
   offerings. I found out was the Muddy Creek Lager and ordered a pint right away. Not
   wanting to miss out, Arny drank a pint of Guinness in two gulps and in forty five seconds
   he was on his second beer. I think he earned the respect of the regulars when they saw
   him down 22 oz in under a minute !!

                       Also on tap was Pabst Blue Ribbon, Sam Adams Lager, Magic Hat #9,
   Newcastle, Smithwicks, Rolling Rock($1.00/mug), Stella Artois, Heinekin and Budweiser.
   There is a pool table and a few televisions showing Yankee Baseball and Soccer from
   Europe. A pretty cool place to hang out.

                       Rating 2 1/2 Engines.


Parkside Tavern
                                                       East Central Ave

Bud, Bud Lite, Coors Lite----Enough said. After waiting a very long ninety
     seconds without the bartenderess acknowledging us, and before Arny mouthed off in
     a biker bar that had only five customers,of whom we were two,I decide we should exit
     stage left.
                           This place makes the Main Tavern in Woodbridge NJ look good !!!

   Rating--My first ever rating of........Train Wreck !!!


Murtys Publick House
                                                    East Central Ave

Murtys Publick House is a really nice Irish Pub on East Central just
      down the hill from the Parkside Tavern. We realized that it was Kentucky Derby day
      and saw many people betting each other on who would win in the mud.

                            This time it was Arny who pointed out the Defiant Tap handle and he
      was quick to ask what type of beer it was. The man proudly informed us that it was
      brewed right across the street, and was there interpretation of an English style pale
      ale. We ordered up two and watched some of the pre-race show on t.v.

                             Also on tap was Guinness, Bass, Harp, Sams Noble Pils, Blue Moon,
      Heinekin, Stella Artois, Yeungling, Magness Cider and Smithwicks.

                             I had about three pretzels and Arny ate the rest  of the bowl when all
      of the sudden about thirty college kids stumbled in. The place became so busy we
      decided to pay our tab and move on with our journey.

Murtys was a fun place and I rate it at 2 1/2 engines.


Horse and Jockey
                                                       next door to Muty's

     Right next door to Murtys you will find a really cool bar/restaraunt
        named Horse and Jockey. Remember it was Kentucky Derby day and in a place
        with a name like Horse and Jockey the crowd was into pre-race drinking mode.
        We were informed that there was an OTB on the corner and we still had time to
        place bets if we wanted to.

                              In this town almost every pub is an Irish pub so the description is
        not applicable. Anyway, Me and Arny agree this place was alot of fun with alot
        of really friendly regulars.

                              We both saw the Defiant tap handle and found out it was the Muddy
        Creek Lager we had tried at the Pearl River Hotel. We quickly ordered up and were
        glad to see it poured in the larger Guinness pint glass. Unfortunately we had to see
        the end of the Yankees game and they had lost by one to Chicago. Also the Mets,
        who were somehow on a roll lately were being reminded who the Phillies are and
        losing 8-0.
                              We had at least one more bar to visit before Defiant Brewery so we
        paid up our tab and headed a few doors down to Saloon.

Horse and Jockey was alot of fun and I rate it at 3 engines.


                                       A few doors down from Horse and Jockey

                              Morristown move over, this town has more bars in one block than any
         town so far. Anyway when Arny and I entered Saloon we were under the impression
         that there were no beers on tap. No tap handles at the bar. Everyone was drinking
         bottled swill and so we walked right out.

                               We were later informed that there is also a bar downstairs and another
         upstairs with beers on tap, so we really have to go back on a return trip. Oh well my
         mistake but this does give me a reason to return to Pearl River!!

                               The place was full of people and the dining area was packed. The food
         must be good.

               I'll have to leave this place unrated until I return.


                                                  Defiant Brewing Co.
                                        Across tracks from Southbound Cafe
                                      (also across East Central from Murty's)   

  I knew that Defiant Brewing Co. was right at the train station when
        I visited their web-site, and so I knew if Arny came there would at least be one sure
        to be interesting place to visit on this trip. I didn't realize what a fun town Pearl River
        was going to be until we arrived on the scene ready to down some good brew. I love
        this town,and highly recommend it to anyone who would like to visit there.

                                 Now this place is very interesting. The bar is built right along a row
        of serving tanks, fermented mash tuns lauter tuns etc. You are actually drinking the
        beer a few feet from where it was made ( lets not say born).

                                 I started off with a Defiant Porter that was very nice. A little chocolaty
        and easy drinking. Arny went for the O'Defiant Stout which is made with Irish oats,
        American hops and pride. Anyway, Arny made the stout sound so good it was my next
        choice. I was not disappointed, very roasty and flavorful.

                                 Our next choice was the Little Thumper which is brewed with only one
        malt, Canadian Barley and one hop, US grown Fuggles. As a brewer it can be hard
        to make a good brew with only one malt and one hop but these guys got it right. As
        Arny said," it was balanced well."

                                 We already had a few Muddy Creek Lagers,so we passed on them
        here so we could try some of the others. However it was interesting to learn from the
        chalkboard on the serving tank that Pearl River was once known as Muddy Creek
        until somebody found a pearl in it and the creek became a river...Pearl River. I don't
        know if this is a true story but come on.. would a sign on a serving tank lie to you ??

                                  The Belgian Spring Ale had just been released so we both went
        for one next. Wow this one is good. Very tasty and slightly hoppy this was a really
        fresh tasting ale. It was pretty potent,I think around 10% abv so we moved to a lighter
        one next.
                                   Prohibition Lager was a lighter style, but not too light in taste. In fact
        it was very full flavored. Arny reminded me we had been drinking dark, strong and
        hoppy before we got to this one so it may be hard to judge in comparison. Once again
        I will quote Arny on this one..."well balanced".

                                   Now back to the hoppiness we both decided on the Medusa IPA. It's
        funny how Arny and I think so much alike. I geuss it's because we are both brewers.
        Anyway, this is a wonderfully hoppy full flavored and need I say "well balanced" IPA.

                                   Now something we both noticed was while we were there we saw at
        least thirty to forty growlers being filled for locals who drank a few while they waited.
        I have never been to a place that filled so many growlers. There seems to be a never
        ending line of patrons with growlers in their hands.

                                   We decided growlers would be a pain in the neck to carry out the
        train but we did decide a few 750ml bottles would be manageable. First choice was
        the resolution #3.
                                    Resolution #3 was described to us as a New Years Eve ale made
        with grapes and Champagne yeast. We were warned that it is very lively so don't
        joke around when you open it or you will look like Derek Jeter in the dugout when
        the Yankees won the World Series. I warned Arny not to open it on the train, it may
        cause an embarrassing scene.

                                    The other 750ml bottle available was the Defiant Belgian Triple,
        or as Arny likes to pronounce it TRIP-EL. Whatever you call it it is delicious and
        expertly crafted.

                                    Arny Introduced me to his friend Jay on the Gaslight Brewery
       Trip to Tap New York at Hunter Mountain (great time). Anyway Jay is the proud
       owner of a Kegerator and was telling me about the great beers he has had on tap
       in his living room. I want one for my living room. So here is the info on various sizes
       of kegs available (prices may vary by style I'm sure).

                                     1/6 --$47.00   1/4--$65.00  50 liter--$115  1/2--$130
                                      keg deposit--$40.00  tap deposit--$35.00
                                      All keg orders at least 24 hour notice required
Defiant Brewing Co makes very good ales and is worth the trip to Pearl River (Muddy Creek).  

     I rate their brewpub at the highest 5 engines !!


                  Pearl Creek is a wonderful place to visit and I highly recommend
       the trip to anyone interested in a good day of responsible, sociable enjoyment of
                                          Gods greatest beverage Beer!

Look for me (and maybe Arny) at the next stop...


Here's some good info on planning your trip. First step go to 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
drinking time.        

                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 !!!!!!

             Arty Hanneman
Rails to Ales........and beyond ////////////////////////////////
    by Arty Hannemann
Arty's  Ratings
Five engines= the very best
Four engines= excellent
Three engines=good
Two engines= fair
One engine= bad news
Zero engines=stay away
Read more Rails to the Ales.....
Hop on board and join Arty at the
Gladstone Tavern
Stirling Hotel
Morristown - Land of Many Taverns
Off The Rails--A Few Days In Pennsylvania
"More-Isstown", Metuchen
Summit, N.J
Woodbridge, NJ
Off The Rails - The Tap Room

Contact Arty HERE