|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...
West Caldwell and Metuchen, NJ
131 Little Falls Rd,
From what I understand this place was flooded out by Hurricane Irene and then totally remodeled. The
fix up definitely worked as it has a clean, fresh look with wood dominating the decor while at the same
time still shouting this is a neighbor bar and we're proud of being just that. I had never beer to the old
Nekos but like the look and atmosphere of this new version. Still this is about the beer and there
Nekos has remained mired in it's earlier days. Here's their entire tap list: Guinness, Yuengling, Coors
Light and Budweiser. That's it. The bottle list was of the same quality. Clearly this is not a place for
craft beer fans. However it actually is worth a stop if you want a cold American lager on a hot day.
The food menu looked like one you might find in most neighborhood bars and that's not a bad thing at
all. The bartender was friendly and efficient making and seemed to enjoy actually serving those beer
offerings. Prices are most appealing if you are, let's say, a traditional drinker. Here's an example: a shot
of Seagram's 7 for $2.50, during happy hour, which is all the time with a combo price of $4.00
for a "shot and a beer".
For beer their rating would be 1 engine but I'm adding 3/4 engine
for the bartender, neighborhood feel, and low"gin mill" prices.
I rate Nikos Tavern 1 3/4 out of 5 engines
4 Little Falls Rd
This place is aptly named as copper dominates the decor. An it works as it blends with dark
woods to create an attractive restaurant and bar. The main restaurant is set apart from the
large bar area that features its own good amount of tables. The bar itself is, needless to say,
copper and quite attractive. It's an upscale place for sure which I've found means they really
don't know that much about craft beer but can't ignore its popularity. And that's the case
here. After one or two qick questions to the bartender he simply said "I don't really know
much about beer." At least he was honest and proved to be efficient and attentive. There
were twelve taps with a nearly half wasted on things like Bud Light, Coors Light,
Shock Top, and Stella. The others however were quite solid offerings including one from the
Cricket Hill Brewery down the road. Good touch to keep it local. Glasses were chilled but on
the plus side they might have been imperial pints. I say might because one savvy member of
our group insisted they were faux imperials. That could be sour gapes however since his beer
was poured into a standard shaker pint. Food menu looked good but pricey.
I rate Tierney's Copperhouse 2 and 3/4 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