|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
Summit is a town that you can get to easily by train from many locations. To the west is the
Gladstone Branch. To the north is the Morristown line, up to Denville. And to the east isthe
line all the way into Hoboken. You may find yourself waiting in Summit to transfer trains,
orjust want to take the ride there for some good beers and shopping. Either way there are two
pretty good bars within a block of the station. You will want to exit the station and cross Union
Place to get to both.
Beacon Hill Tavern And Restaurant
The Beacon Hill Tavern And REstaurant is located about five doors down on
Beechwood Drive. You'll actually want to pass the front of the restaurant and walk to the side
door down the alleyway to the right of the building. It's a nice little horseshoe shaped bar with
nine beers on tap to choose from. I like the setup, because the bar is totally separated from
the restaurant area--No screaming kids running back and forth to bother you!!
I started with a Guinness while I defrosted from the twenty degree, thirty mile
an hour wind-gusty kind of day. It was served perfectly in the 22 oz glass just as it should be.
Looking at the Tap selection I decided to have a Sierra Nevada Pale ale next. Very clean
tasting and hoppy, you can tell they clean the lines well here.
Next up, from Erie Brewing, was Railbender Ale. This was a pretty good reddish
ale, but not hoppy enough for my tastes. Also on tap was Sam Adams Winter Lager, Magic
Hat #9, Smithwicks, Yeungling Lager, Blue Moon and Coors Light. I'm glad I stopped in here,
it turned out to be a pretty nice shot and a beer place.
There are quite a few scotches and whiskeys etc. to choose from. There was sort of a deja vu
feeling when I first walked in the place, and as I sat there pondering I remembered why. It was
twenty three years ago when a girl brought me there to introduce me to Jose Cuervo. After
five shots of the stuff we drove back home and she turned into an octopus. I barely escaped
her clutches. Ahh, the good old days.
I would rate The Beacon Hill Tavern and Restaurant at 2 1/2 engines.
The Office is located directly across the street from the train station on Union
Place. Even though the office is a chain restaurant, each one is a little different on its own.
This one has an exceptionally good line up of tap beers. If you look around and see what
seems to be a man with a beard sitting alone at one of the tables, and then he mysteriously
vanishes you probably had too many beers. Just kidding you, but there are rumors of a
bearded ghost who frequents this place. If you see him, offer to buy him a beer.
I decided to go for a strong one right from the start so I ordered a pint of Troegs Mad Elf.
This stuff is good ! Hints of cherry, chocolate and hefty alcohol warm you up quick.
Next up Stone Arrogant Bastard, also strong and very hoppy with a catchy name. Not
as good as the oak aged version, but it still is a great beer on it's own. Third choice an
excellent Six Point Cream Ale. This is a very full tasting ale with a
good hoppiness to it. Not what you would expect from a cream ale.
I had to leave to catch my train, so here is a listing of the other taps : Troegs Hop
Back, Victory Prima Pils, Rogue Dead Guy, Brooklyn IPA, Ramstein Octoberfest, Sam
Adams Lager and Winter Lager, Yeungling, Guinness, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Blue Moon and
Docs Hard Cider.
This place really does a good job with their selection, and service was great. If you have 15
minutes to kill waiting for a train, run across the street, pay cash and you can easily
down a quick one in time.
I rate the Summit Office at 3 1/2 engines.
Here's some good info on planning your 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 !!!!!!
Rails to Ales........and beyond ////////////////////////////////
by Arty Hannemann
Five engines= the very best
Four engines= excellent
Two engines= fair
One engine= bad news
Zero engines=stay away