|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 and beyond 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 more!
|Take The Rails to The Ales to...
New Brunswick, NJ
Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe
392 George St.
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Some may call this place a brewpub, others a gastro pub, and others a college town sports bar.
Well, it's trying to be all three and for the most part it succeeds. As you walk in you'll pass the
brewing tanks right by entrance, then you'll be struck by the attractive brick and wood decor.
The bar itself is a stretched out U shape with chalkboards listing their offerings. In addition to
some tables around the bar there is a dining area upstairs. So bottom line, nice looking place.
But what about the beer? The beers I had were all solid but undistinguished, The Firehouse
Red was nicely balanced with an appropriate malty leaning, the Imperial Stout was chewy but
almost over spiced, and the Pale was solid with no flaws. All above average but no knockouts.
I did get a chance to eat their vegetarian chili and found it tasty and well made. Service was
weak at first as the bartender walked by me several times without acknowledging my
presence. However he was knowledgeable about the beer and gladly provided samples when
asked. This place seems worth a return visit when they have a few seasonals up.
I rate Harvest Moon 3 & 3/4 out of 5 engines.
61 Church St
New Brunswick, New Jersey,
The bar's theme is New Orleans, Marti Gras, and Cajun which brings a certain energy and
charm to the establishment. The bar itself is basic craft, with a few outstanding offerings that
will satisfy some experienced beer hunters. The Old Bay has a proud history of being one of
the pioneering craft beer bars in the state but now seems to be satisfied as a middle of the
pack player in the craft beer bar world. Nothing wrong with that of course especially with
taps pouring things like Tripel Karmeliet, Flying Dog Raging Bitch, and Morlad Old Speckled
Hen. The crowd on my visit skewed to college types that were there mainly for the band and
food so don't expect having a serious beer chat. Service was friendly and efficient. Good
place to stop if your in the area but one that could be so much more with effort. This would be
a3 star establishment but I'm giving them an extra 1/4 for their history.
I give Old Bay a total of 3&1/4 engines
Old Man Rafferty's
106 Albany St
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Nicely appointed restaurant/bar with an upscale feel. Large food menu with a few vegetarian options.
Fairly large bar that has 9 taps with multiple ones wasted on things like Coors Light, Yuengling, and
Blue Moon. In addition to Guinness, best beers available were Sam Adams seasonal, Sam Adams
lager, and North Coast IPA. Those plus a very weak bottle list are not enough to draw any craft beer
fan here. Bartenders didn't know much about beer but were friendly and efficient, at least
until it got crowded. Rafferty's seemed to be very popular with the college and business crowd.
Has to be due to the food, can't be for the craft beer selection.
I rate Old Man Rafferty's 1 &1/2 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. And of course if you
go off the rails like I often do but sure to have a designated driver!
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 the complete listing of all
Rails to Ales