|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 to
Off the Tracks....
100 Brooks Blvd
Actually if you took the train to the Sommerville Station you could easily get a cab to take
you to Northside Lounge. It is way beyond walking distance, but well worth a visit. Several
readers wrote me about this bar so I finally decided to make a trip to investigate.
Northside Lounge is a small freindly neighborhood bar with a juke box, pool table, open
mike night, Karaoke night etc. The best part though are the fourteen taps and incredible bottle
Our bartender Matt knows his beer facts, nd is also in charge of the ordering of the
excellent draft selection. When I heard they had some craft beer on tap I was expecting one or
two good ones. What I found is that there were nine or ten really good ones.
Accompanying me on my trip was Kevin "the Linguist" Torpe. I started with a New
Holland Dragons Milk that is simply a delicious treat. I also oredered a pizza to hold me over.
Kevin went with an Epic Brainless On Peaches (Belgin style) and some wings.
Next up for me was the Brainless after hearing how good it was from Kevin. went for the
Lagunitas Lil Sumpin Sumpin wich is one of my favorites. From Dodfish Head there was Sah
Tea soon to be followed by the Theobroma. I can't wait to go back in a few days for one of
Now it was time to get the Flying Fish Abbey Double wich is hard to find in the
summer months. What a great beer this is. I hadn't had one in quite a while. Kevin opted
for the Maredsou Brune, an excellent fruity Belgian often on tap at theTap Room (Warren,
I finished up with a Maredsous and Kevin went for the Stoudts Scarlet Lady. Also on tap
were Palm Ale, Ommegang Hennepin, Orginal Sin Cider, Guinness Stout, Stella Artois and
You can't help but notice the book like menu sitting on the bar. On the cover are all the
Chimay lineup in bottles. When you open the book there is a little history note about the
Chimay Brewery and a breif description of each beer they make. Also on the back is some
helpful advice about storing and aging the different Chimays. The best tip I noted was that the
Grand Reserve is said to go through a transformation if stored and aged properly revealing a
very complex flavor profile.
Anyway, between the covers is a bottle list that exceeded my expectations. There
are many offerings from Green Flash, Lagunitas, New Holland, Stone, and lots of other
My advice is that if you want to visit go on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Be sure to tell
Matt you read about the place on Beer Nexus. He can tell you alot about the tap and bottle
selection and the canned beer list (yes, good craft beer is now available in cans.)
The Northside Lounge is a great little bar to visit. If it were within walking distance
to a train station I would rate it at 5 engines. But it's so good I'm going to give it 5 engines
anyway and let you mentally deduct from there depending on you train needs.
Here's some good info on planning your own Railes To Ales 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 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 !!!!
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
|Read more Rails to the Ales
Hop on board and join Arty at ....
Red Bank, New Brunswick, Long Valley, NJ
The Ginger Man, NYC
Rattle 'N' Hum / Copper Mine
Somerset Hills, NJ
Pearl River, NY
South Orange, NJ
Morristown - Land of Many Taverns
Off The Rails--A Few Days In Pennsylvania
Off The Rails - The Ship Inn & Cloverleaf Tavern
Pony Bar, New York City
Berkeley Heights, NJ
Jack's Goal Line Stand