|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...
Montville, Rockaway, and Jersey City
14 1/2 Washington St
Let's cut to the chase - this is without doubt the best beer bar in Morristown! Hop's high
quality 14 craft beer taps simply blows away the tired usual suspects at their pretentious
competitor, The Office, down the street. Fourteen taps seem like so many more when every
one is good and they constantly rotate. To make things even better, this place has the most
beer savvy and friendly bartenders in town. Although I didn't eat there the menu looked
innovative and tasty. I took a quick poll of those around me with food and got a unanimous
thumbs up. By the way, they also had an extensive wine and cocktail list. I was tempted to try
one but come on, I'm a beer guy. Besides that night they were serving the elusive but oh so
great Kentucky Bourbon Stout. After a couple of KBS glasses, 8 oz. size, I also enjoyed
several pints of the outstanding Founder's Pale Ale which in this instance had been dry
hopped with cascades and served on nitro. What more could any beer fan want?
This place is a hidden gem. That's true in several ways, including literally. Walk down
Washington Street all you'll see a small sign hanging from a building. Go through two large
doors then head down a long hallway. Go through another set of doors, follow a sign, and
you're there. Oh, you can also access Hops through it's sports bar parent with whom it
shares the building, The Famished Frog.
Hops has an attractive, modern, comfortable look with an elongated rectangular bar, comfy
couches, big screen TVs, and a more adult feel (at least when I was there) than most places in
a town where bars seem geared for the barely legal crowd. I might even head back there
again tonight. And I'll go by rail since Hops is within walking distance of the Morristown
train station. This place is a winner all around!
I rate Hop's 5 out of 5 engines!!
Three Wise Monks
142 Outwater Ln
I visited there about 10 days ago (late July, 2014) so decided to check their website for the
current beer lineup. Ouch, the last update was 10/29/13. Their last update on a beer menu
site was two weeks ago. I'm not going to look up their Facebook page - I think you get the
message. Anyway, on to my visit. This is a neighborhood bar gone craft and it has potential.
A large chalkboard, taking up most of a wall, listed 14 beers, three of which were crossed out
on my visit. The bartender did not know when they'd be replaced. I went with an Ommegang
Belgium Independence Day which was good. Other beers were all solid with no junk at all.
The bartender was friendly but not beer savvy. Decor was worn out dive bar.
The single large room was bar dominated by the straight bar with a few tables scattered
around. There was a most interesting shot menu ($6 each) that seemed more appropriate
for a non craft centric establishment as did the loud jukebox. I didn't eat there but noticed
that the menu was basic bar fare, not a bad thing at all. Overall decent place that seems to
have visions of being a player in the craft game despite having a neighborhood location
(think Copper Mine in North Arlington, NJ - the best of that type in the state) but hasn't
quite done it. Still, it has potential.
I give Three Wise Monks 2 out of 5 engines.
Hope you get a chance to stop in at my new location
The Northside Lounge
100 Brooks Blvd, Manville, NJ 08835
A great menu and some of the finest craft beer anywhere!
Stop in if you are in the area and look for me in the kitchen or behind the taps
and please 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