A special someone surprised me with a afternoon drive and a pit stop at The Claremont Tavern in Bernardsville, NJ. It was pretty drive and the little town the Tavern is located in is down right cute. It’s plopped in the middle of a residential area and has the old tavern coziness to it with smaller rooms and lots of dark wood. To be able to walk across the street for a beer on snowy evening would make for a wonderful winter night.
The Claremont Tavern isn’t a beer destination but if you’re up that way it’s worth stopping in for a bite and a beer. It offers a nice tap list although a bit small with only seven craft beers on tap. I could see it expanding over time and there is talk about them hosting some beer dinners in the future.I decided to go for a 4 pour taster round. I was a little disappointed to find that out of the seven craft beers offered all but one was either an IPA or Pale Ale. A bit more diversity in styles would have been welcomed. (there are 5 other beers on tap as well but not crafts) That being said there were definitely going to be some hops in the taster round along with one of my favorite porters – Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. The waiter tried to discourage me from ordering the porter – stating it was a dessert beer since it had a coffee taste to it. I assured him I was fine with it accompanying my meal.
To go with the beer I ordered the Veggie and Hummus Club Sandwich which consisted of fresh summer veggies paired with roasted pepper hummus – delish and enjoyable. My companion went with the personal pizza. The menu is diverse, reasonably priced and the portions large enough that we got both had lunch and dinner out of our selections.
Castaway IPA – Kona Brewing Company, HW 6%
Pretty hoppy so much so really couldn’t taste anything else going on with the beer except the hops. Not doing it for this Gal.
Edmund Fitzgerald Porter – Great Lakes Brewing, OH 5.8%
A rich black body with a tan head. Wonderful aromas rise up from this porter and the taste doesn’t disappoint. Roasted malt with a very slight burnt/smokiness to it that compliments the roasted coffee and nuttiness that leads to a bittersweet finish. Went back for seconds and ordered a full pint of this gem.
Evil Eye IPA – Evil Genius Beer Company, PA 6%
I found this IPA enjoyable and not overly hoppy with a mix of grapefruit, pine and undertones of malts that finished very smooth. I wouldn’t hesitate to order a pint of this IPA.
Terrapin Hopsecutioner – Terrapin Beer Company, Georgia 7.3%
Fruit, malt and hops contribute to this being a well done medium body, easy drinking beer. Terrapin is working it’s way of my list of favorite breweries – they really just do it right.