|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
What's happening on the tracks- Thursday Feb 10th 6pm-10pm
Sierra Neveda Night at The Stirling Hotel, 227 Main Ave Stirling NJ 908-647-6919.
You can get to The Stirling Hotel on NJ Transit's Gladstone Branch wich runs
from Summit west toward Gladstone. Stirling Hotel is a short walk downhill from
the Stirling Train Station.
Sierra Night will feature all four of the anniversary special ales on tap
at one place and time ! They are....1) Fritz/Ken Pioneer Stout
2) Charlie/Fred/Ken Imperial Helles
3) Jack/Ken American Barleywine
4) Brewers Reserve Oak Aged Ale
I'm looking forward to this night, it's sure to be a great time !
Now hop aboard for my most recent trip....
Harvest Moon Brewey and Cafe
392 George St, New Brunswick NJ
Located near the Amtrack New Brunswick Station is the Harvest Moon Brewery and Cafe.
When I arrived the place was bustling with brewery activity. Many barrels of used grain were
being wheeled outside to an unknown destination. The smell of fresh grain adds to the brewpub
atmosphere, and makes you want a pint right away.
First up was a mild ale, wich is a style I have begun to see more often recently at brewpubs,
The Elmes' Mild Manor. Amber in color this is a roasty toasty full flavored ale. You get a nice
dosage of East Kent Goldings and Fuggle hops. This is one of the better ones that I have tried.
Next up was Jimmy D's Firehouse Red. Named in honor of hero firefighter James D'heron of
theNew Brunswick Fire Department. Harvest Moon donates a portion of every sale of this ale
to the Children's Burn Camp charity. This is as good as a red ale gets, full of flavor and just
Full Moon Pale Ale is simply loaded with Cascade Hops. This one reminds me of a west coast
style pale ale. Good for the style.
The food in this place is pretty good too. I had a big bowl of vegetarian chili and a grilled
veggie sandwich. It was a messy sandwich to eat, but a rule of thumb says the more messy the
sandwich the better it tastes.
Back to the beer. Next up was an unfiltered Hefeweizen that is simply delicious. Loaded with a
fruity maltiness from the wheat and a slight banana-ish taste, it is as good as any Hefeweizen I
have tried. I next had a sample of the Kolsch, a light German style. It was crisp and clean with
a very slight presence of Tettnanger hops. Not my kind of beer, but if you like the style it's
The British Nut Brown tasted more bold in flavor than I expected. It was more of a New
England amber than a British Nut Brown. But anyway it was good and that's what really
counts. Coming soon will be an Irish Oatmeal Stout, just in time for St Patty's Day.
Harvest Moon Brewery and Cafe is overall a great place to visit, with a good solid line-up of
beer to choose from.
I would rate the place at four out of five barley sacks.
(Note-Brewpubs get barely sacks; the engines are for
beer bars near railroad stations).
Long Valley Brewpub
1 Fairmount Road, Long Valley NJ
We had to go off the tracks to Long Valley Pub and Brewery due to the fact that there is no
train service in the area. When we sampled the beer we were plased to say it was worth the
trip. The brewery was built in a renovated barn and has a neat cozy atmosphere.
Hookermans Light is an American Wheat Ale with a light bodied, crisp flavor and a slight
hoppiness from the Tettnang hops. This is a pretty good Light having more flavor than I
German Valley Amber is named after the German population of Long Valley and is not really
like an amber German lager. It is more of a roasty amber ale with a slight bitterness from the
American Pale Ale- Typical of the style this is a light colored hoppy pale. Pretty good balance
not over hopped for a pale. Lazy Jake Porter is a robust style porter full of flavor from the
five varieties of malted barley and a good dose of hoppiness. This is really a great porter full
of flavor and aroma. No wonder it has won many awards for the style over the years. This beer
alone makes a visit worth the trip.
Oatmeal Stout is a very good, light and creamy stout. I think I was spoiled with the porter
being so good, it can be difficult to judge the stout afterward. All in all it's a good stout.
Celebration Ale. First of all when you say Celebration Ale, nine out of ten people think
immediately of the famous Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. This is not a guest beer, this is
their Celebration Ale and it is a great one. There is no fruit or spices in the recipe, it is just a
slightly stronger, hoppy amber brewed to be enjoyed during the colder months. A tasty treat !
Long Valley Brewpub is worth the trip.
I rate them at three and a half barley sacks out of five.
183 Riverside Ave, Red Bank NJ
Basil T's is a long walk from the station but it can be done. You need to look at a map and see
if you want to go the distance. Basil T's has really good food and excellent beer so you will be
glad you went.
First up was Rosies Tail Waggin Pale Ale. I geuss Rosie is a dog. Anyway this is a really good
pale ale pleasently hopped with Cascades. It's sure to make you wag your tail-if you were a
dog that is. Next was a really good Porter. Hoppy and full of chocolate flavor and dark
maltiness mmmm! I want one now but unfortunately I'm not anywhere near Red Bank.
Red Rocket Ale is a pretty good red style ale that gets it's hoppy profile from East Kent
Golding hops. It's like a red pale ale. Very sessionable.
I feel like I am repeating myself from the Long Valley visit but once again we have a really
good (in this case award winning) Oatmeal Stout that in my opinion is overshadowed by a great
porter. I really do love stouts it just seems at these two breweries the Porter stands out as my
Last on the list the obligatory Light Wheat Ale. Ms Lucy's Weimaraner wheat is a filtered
wheat lightly hopped with Saaz hops. Not bad, kind of like a pilsner.
I would rate Basil T's at
three and a half out of five barley sacks.
ATTENTION ALL RAILS TO ALES FANS
Sorry, we' still much delayed in planning our next Nexus Rails to Ales reader trip- did I hear someone
say too much snow?? But don't worry, we're now planning our next unorganized open invitation trip
so check back here soon. All are welcome. Meet beer lovers just like you and me, enjoy some great
beers, and have fun.
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
For Off The Rails it's
Barely Sacks instead of Engines