|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...
643 Eagle Rock Ave
West Orange, NJ 07052
It was all I could do not to sit down at this modern, sleek, black bar and order a martini, not stirred of
course. However the name of the place I found out has nothing to do with the famous 007 spy but with
a long gone ice cream shop. The place is nicely designed with the bar on one side and a restaurant
accessed by a short corridor. It's compact but not small with around 30 seats in the bar making it more
than accommodating. Large TV's are situated behind the bar make this a good place to watch a game.
It has the feel of a neighborhood pub but it's modern in every way. But I'm sure you want to know
about the beers. They're mainly the usual craft suspects but there's more than a few surprises like
Shape of Hops to Come, Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion, and Three 3's Blueberry Saison. Prices
here are definitely drinker friendly with most pints going for $6 or $7. Even better their daily Happy
Hour is half off all craft. Their Saturday special is any 4 craft beers for $20. I found the beers to be
fresh and the lines clean. Bartenders were not overly knowledgeable about beer but made up for that
with their friendly efficiency. I didn't eat there but talked to several people who said the food was well
above average. Perhaps the best endorsement I can give this place is that after going there to write a
review I went back twice more just because I liked it. For overall beer selection and ambiance I give
Bonds 3 and 1/2 stars. I'm adding an half star for the fair prices and good Happy Hour.
I rate Bonds Tavern 4 out of 5 engines
58 Voorhis Lane
Hackensack, NJ 07601
This just might be my first review of a tasting room at a brewery. According to NJ state law a brewery
is allowed to sell beer to customers by the glass, growler, or more on site. That has led to an explosion
of "tasting room" which essentially serve as a bar but without and food, liquor, or beer other than what's
made on site. Most of these breweries are located in areas zoned for industry. Some of the tasting
rooms are just a no frills section of the brewery, dirty and disheveled, other are clean, modern,
and welcoming. That latter description fits Alementary perfectly from their long, bright wooden bar to
the incredibly informative computer screens listing everything you'd ever want to know about the beers
standouts. My two favorites of the day were their A-Game IPA and a wonderfully hoppy 95 Pale.
Kudos to Alementary for also having a dark mild on tap, Mr. Stevens. It was a bit thin for my tastes but
nonetheless a fine example of the style. Free pretzel sticks were on the bar which was a nice touch.
One of my bartenders was a partner in the brewery and he was knowledgeable and friendly. The other
bartender was a young lady who was gregarious, hard working, and knew a bit about beer. As is often
the case in tasting room there are no stools at the bar but there are tables and benches. Well worth a
visit if you like fresh, well made craft beer in a friendly, clean atmosphere.
I rate Alementary four and 1/2 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