For May we’re headed North, well, North Jersey that is to the Hackettstown/Long Valley area of New Jersey.
May’s Beer Crawl takes you to not 1 but 2 NEW NJ Breweries plus a long standing Brewpub. First stop Jersey Girl Brewing Company this brewery is brand spankin’ new – it just opened April 15th! They currently offer 4 beers on tap and this Gal has heard good things about the brewery and the beers they are brewing. Second stop is another relative newbie to the NJ brewery scene – Man Skirt Brewing opened since October 2015 and serving up their 3 flagship ales plus a seasonal. After visiting the latest additions to the New Jersey Brewing scene take a short ride over to the third and final stop of the May Beer Crawl, Long Valley Pub & Brewery, for some grub and, of course, beer. Hopefully you chose a nice day for you beer crawl so you can enjoy the outside patio at Long Valley. They offer a full food menu and have 5 to 6 of their own award winning beers on tap. Enjoy and let this Gal know what you think of May’s Beer Crawl.
A bit of background before jumping into the review of Bar Hygee. This Gal is a long time fan of Tom Baker’s brewing skills and I was heartbroken when he and Peggy closed Heavyweight Brewing. (I still have a bottle of Old Salty in my beer cellar) Them opening Earth, Bread & Brewery helped ease the pain but with the opening Bar Hygge I’m much happier and the lost of Heavyweight has subsided.
Bar Hygee is located on Fairmount Avenue in one of my all time favorite Philly neighborhoods. It’s off street parking but with just a few circles of the block I secured a space right out front. Once you walk in you know you are some place special. Bar Hygge has taken brewpubs to a new level. It’s sophisticated without being pretentious. The decor is rustically upscale yet comfortable. The bar is beautifully crafted reclaimed wood and has the feel of relaxing at a friends cabin. There’s a room off to the left of the entrance that provides laid back seating and space for private events. On this particular night there was a wine tasting happening in the room. Yes, this is a full service brewpub/bar with 7 house and 2 guest beers along with 5 wines and 1 cocktail all on tap. Various other wines (impressive wine list) and cocktails available as well.
My companion and I took residence at the bar where Rose provided outstanding service. With 7 of Tom’s amazing beers on tap and appropriate planning I was able to try them all and still drink responsibly. Stop – let me make sure I’m making myself clear The Tap List Floored Me. A brown, Scottish-style, Dopplebock, DIPA, Farmhouse and Stout all on the list! Choosing where to start was difficult. Now let’s continue on…
The beers on tap are available as half and whole pours and reasonably priced $4/$6*. Flights aren’t available but tastes are. I started with a half pour of Grinding Grooves and stole a taste of my friends Exaggerator Dopplebock both were outstanding. Continuing on we decided to order some food to accompany the next round of beers.
Not only does Bar Hygge offer a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy great beer in but they offer amazing food as well. I was truly impressed with the offerings from the kitchen. We started with a Hygge Board (choice of 1, 3 or 5 items). For our board we picked the Drunken Goat Cheese, Lamb Kabobs and Miso Sunchokes. Sunchokes just may be my new favorite food! Prior to the Board being served Bar Hygge likes to entice your pallet with an Amour-bouche which on this particular evening was a roasted kale and white bean salad. Goal met our appetites were enticed! Too accompany our beautifully presented board we selected the Doon The Watter (Scottish Style!) and IZZI Brown Ale beer – both paired wonderfully with the board offerings. The combination of the earthy miso and rich malty mouthfeel of the scottish ale blended together perfectly.
The next course consisted of Phoebe Bier de Garde, Ripsnorter DIPA and the La Vache Noire Stout along with Waffle Wings (with pickled watermelon) and Sunflower-crusted Cauliflower. One most simply try pickled watermelon at least once in their life – amazing. Our taste buds were were being spoiled by the different spectrums of flavors going on with each bite of food and sip of beer.
Do your self a favor and treat yourself to Bar Hygge. After all you deserve the best life has to offer.
Ripsnorter Double IPA 8.2% (centennial, simcoe, bravo and amarillo hops) It’s getting to the point if I know simcoe hops are involved I need to try it. Being a DIPA the hops were front and center but didn’t leave your mouth/taste buds numb with overkill.
Exaggerator German-style Dopplebock 7.2%
Cheers to having a Dopplebock on tap. One of my favorite styles and this one didn’t disappoint. Full-bodied maltiness with a slight roasty chocolate ending.
IZZI Brown Ale Saison Brune with rye and caraway 5.6%
The rye and caraway are there but in a subtle complementing way. The combination of a brown and Saison melds together to make for a very enjoyable beer.
La Vache Noire Belgian Milk Stout 5.6%
Milk stout – need I say more? Rich and complex with a silky smooth mouthfeel.
Grinding Grooves Gotlandsdricka 6.8%
Farmhouse ale with a slight smokey taste that helps to calm the tartness of the juniper.
Doon the Watter Scottish-style Export 6.2%
I was truly delighted to see a Scottish style ale on tap. Full-bodied and loaded with with malty/caramel goodness.
“Phoebe” Biere de Garde 6.2%
A great beer on it’s own or with food. The slight malt and hops along with the black pepper and orange are all enhanced when paired with food.
*Prices overall at Bar Hygge are very reasonable especially for the quality of beer and food being served. Menu is both vegetarian and meatarian friendly.
This month’s beer crawl is smaller/shorter than the last couple but guaranteed to be just as much fun and there’s a big bonus – PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!
That’s right folks for April’s Beer Crawl you can take the Riverline from various points in NJ and not have to drive from one stop to the next. (Please still drink responsibly.) April’s beer crawl takes us to Burlington, NJ with 3 powerhouse stops conveniently located within easy walking distance from to Burlington Town Center Riverline stop. First stop – Geraghty’s Pub where you can enjoy a beer from their extensive bottle list or from one of their many tap selections. If you need to fuel up with an appetizer this is a good place to do so. Second stop – Third State Brewing. I for one am super excited to finally be visiting this brewery. I’ve heard some amazing things about Third State. Kick back and enjoy a variety of fresh brewed beers before heading out to the third and final stop. Final stop – Brickwall Tavern finish up with a beer from their stellar tap list and some lunch or dinner for the appetite you worked up tasting beers.
Not only is it pretty darn cool that public transportation is available but it’s cool that you can easily reverse the order of the crawl and start at Brickwall and end at Geraghty’s or mix it up however you want since the total distance is only .4 miles!