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 rails to
Morris Plains & Denville, NJ

Hoover's Tavern
960 Tabor Rd
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
(973) 455-9633

One of my favorite shows on the Food Network is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives so after
watching a couple of episodes I headed out to a "dive" to see if the real thing was as much fun
as the ones they showed on TV.  The answer in the case of Hoover's is "yes".

The term "dive bar" goes back to the 1880s when it referred to an illegal drinking den
where the patrons on occasion had to dive under tables when trouble broke out,
particularly gun play.  Today it simply means a place with a relaxed and informal
atmosphere—a classic neighborhood bars.  That description fits Hoover's perfectly.  The
drinks are inexpensive, the bartender was friendly, the dart boards were in good shape, and
the bar pie was good.  As for the beer, well, you can't have everything.  The taps ranged from
Bud to Coors Light with a Yuengling in between so don't go for the beer.

Still, every once in a while it's fun to get an ice cold macro lager in a ten ounce mug for $3 and
enjoy a bit of that dwindling Americana - the dive bar.   Keep'em cold and keep'em coming!

This is a tough place to rate since the beer would get zero engines but the overall experience
(and prices) would get three engines.  Lets just semi-compromise and go with 2 engines!



Thatcher McGhee's
53 Broadway, Denville, NJ

Thatch can be defined as any vegetation used to roof a structure. The vegetation is gathered, bundled
and secured to the framework on top of a building.  So it's the unique roof that gives this place it's
name - and it is a real thached one.  The decor, atmosphere, and food is Irish to its core with even the
bartenders speaking with a noticeable brogues.  But it's the beer that I'm here for and nothing else.  
In a word - fair.  There solid are offerings from Sam Adams, Hoegaarden, Cricket Hill,  and Goose
Island but nothing to draw any experienced craft beer hunter.  Unless of course you count my favorite
Irish stout, Murphy's which is not often seen on tap.  The bottle list is decidedly weak featuring 4
types of Bud and 2 Coronas.  The best of the bottle bunch is Guinness Black Lager.

The bar can get noisy and the service a bit rushed.  Don't expect to be able to chat about craft beer
with anyone behind the bar or seated next to you.  It bills itself as "a taste of Ireland" which isn't far
off the mark.  It does seem to believe it's a beer haven too and that is just a bit off the mark.

I hereby bestow on Thatcher McGhee's the rating of three Engines .


  Hope you get a chance to stop in at my new restaurant in the Bradley Gardens section
of Bridgewater NJ.  Bring your own great beer and enjoy my great food!

Neil's All American Grill,  
85 Old York Road Bridgewater NJ. 908-300-8658.
  Chicken Specialties, Sloppy Joes, Subs, Falafels, Burgers
Cheesesteaks, Salads, Vegetarian Menu, Italian Specialties and
All kinds of crazy stuff.  BYOB !

Stop in if you are in the area and mention you read my column!


Here's some good info on planning your own Rails To Ales 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 Hannemann
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

Off The Rails it's
Barely Sacks instead of Engine
Read more Rails to the Ales
Hop on board and join Arty at ....

The Auld Shebeen, Whippany NJ
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
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 Ship Inn & Cloverleaf Tavern
Matawan, NJ
Pony Bar, New York City
Berkeley Heights, NJ
Jack's Goal Line Stand
Manville, NJ - Northside
Off The Rails - Delicious Heights, Bedminister,  NJ
Blind Tiger, New York City
Madison, NJ
The Office, Bridgewater, NJ
Contact Arty HERE