|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 to
Best Places to Buy Beer in NJ
To kick start 2013 I though I'd respond to the many e-mails I've
received the past year asking me to pick the best stores in NJ to buy
craft beer. One caveat before we begin - there are many great places
that are not on the list simply because there isn't enough room or I
have not personally visited them. Don't worry, I'll do a few follow up
columns during the new year. By the way, if you have a personal
favorite please e-mail me and I'll visit there.
Liquor Outlet Wine Cellars
289 Myrtle Ave., Boonton, NJ
This is my go to place for craft beer though they sometimes fail to have that one special item
other places sometimes get. Still, with over 500 types of beers it's no wonder they are voted
best in the area in every poll. They feature a serious wall of 750ml bottles with many hard to
find Belgians. The staff is generally helpful and knowledgeable. You can buy sixtel kegs but
there are no taps for growler fills. Prices are good and the inventory is fresh.
I rate them 4 1/2 out of 5 engines.
853 State Route 35, Middletown, NJ
Another store that features a massive wall of 750 ml imports and domestic craft beers along
with several rows of craft mainly from the US. Especially welcoming is the Growler Station
with 6 rotating beer choices offered at fair prices. Solid staff though sometimes hard to find.
I give them 4 engines.
575 Manila Ave., Jersey City, New Jersey, 07310
This place is BIG. My favorite part is that there are several hundred beers available in singles
to go along with their wide selection of bombers. While the singles are pricey it's a great way to
sample beers you don't want to take a chance on buying in a 4 or 6 pack. This store also
gets a lot of the limited release beers. Staff, when you can find someone, is friendly but not
knowledgeable about beer. Some bottles dusty and out of date so be careful what you select.
I rate them three and 1/2 engines.
586 Morris Avenue
Springfield, New Jersey
Solid selection of many craft beers plus a few unusual ones not seen in other places. Overall the
number of offerings is decidedly less than the other places reviewed but nonetheless you are apt to
find an occasional home run just sitting on the shelf or stacked up at the end of their lone beer aisle.
No growler station but a knowledgeable helpful staff. Downside is that certain items seem
"reserved" for regular customers. That's how you don't make a casual buyer into a regular. Pricing
is fair with a few worth while sales. Take note of "staff recommendations" which are usually right on.
I hereby bestow on the Wine Library the rating of two and a half 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
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 !!!!
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 ....
Hat Tavern & St. James Gate
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
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
Manville, NJ - Northside
Off The Rails - Delicious Heights, Bedminister, NJ
Blind Tiger, New York City
The Office, Bridgewater, NJ
|For the complete
listing of all
Rails to Ales click