If you happen to driving around Central Jersey do yourself a favor and head over to Bordentown, NJ. Bordentown is a gem of a small town with a cute and very walkable Main Street (Farnsworth Avenue). There are plenty of shops, restaurants and beer establishments to visit including Tindall Road Brewing Company, Old Town Pub & the HOB Tavern all within easy walking distance to each other. I had previously visited the both the brewery and pub and had been wanting to check out the HOB.
THE HOB sits in the Heart of Bordentown (HOB) and is a great local bar with a nice tap list and a small but might food menu serving both meat, vegan and vegetarian options! I stopped in on a weekday night for a beer, quick bite and to catch up with a dear friend. We both opted for The Jersey Devil fried cauliflower stead sandwich that was amazing! Truly one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in a very long time. I chose The Shed Mountain Ale to accompany it and what a great pairing. The Shed is a Brown Ale from Middlebury, Vermont that comes in at 7.4%. I love a good brown ale and this was a tasty one with notes of caramel, toffee balanced by hop bitterness.
This was my third visit to the Brickwall Tavern in Burlington thanks to Girls Pint Out and their monthly meetings at the Brickwall Tavern. (FYI GPO is a great beer club for the ladies!) The Brickwall has plenty of free parking out back if you’re not taking the Riverline which drops you off a mere 2 minute walk from the Tavern and a mere 1 minute walk from Third State Brewing
The Brickwall is large and offers two bars and plenty of dining room space with an open raw bar and a large garage door that opens up in the nice weather plus there is some outdoor seating. The food is very good and plentiful with both vegetarian and meatarian options. There are 15 beers on tap plus 1 on the engine. The tap turnover is quick so beers are fresh! On this particular visit I enjoyed the Founder’s Mosaic Promise 5.5% which is quickly becoming a favorite of this Gal.
Third State Brewing FacebookTwitter @3rdstatebrewing
Third State is a nice addition to Burlington and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. They have 10 beers on tap with something for everyone. It only cost us $13 for a pint and taster round so beer is reasonably priced. You’re welcome to bring food in from one of the local businesses as well. I look forward to another visit.
Peanut Butter Stout 8.5% – yum! Chocolate and peanut butter is classic combo that never disappoints
Boris The Younger Black Eye Rye IPA 7.2%
Rye, malts and hops what’s not to love?!
Sooo Big 2X IPA 11%
Big hop presents without leaving your mouth puckered
Dry Stout on Nitro 4.3%
Scary how easy this beer goes down
Wood Street Blonde 5.2%
Nice easy drinking beer with hints of citrus
Geraghty’s Pub is certainly an unique place and I mean that in a good way. Inside is a large bar area with a dining room in the back and off that a nice size outdoor patio area. Nothing fancy folks just good beer, sports on the tv and incredible beer prices. A pint of Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel 7.2% was $2.50! Yes, just $2.50! We happen to be there for happy hour but even their regular prices are excellent. Also, a full food menu is available as well.
This Gal was fortunate enough to travel around the coast of Ireland for 8 action packed wonderful days. Ireland is a very clean and beautiful country, the people are friendly and, of course, there’s lots of beer. Now I know the first beer that comes to mind when one thinks of Ireland is Guinness…they go hand in hand. However, I quickly discovered there really is so much other wonderfully crafted local beer available.
On our first day my companion and I had a bit of free time before the tour group was gathering so we started walking towards the Guinness store. We walked and walked and walked…our free time was dwindling and then I saw it! The sign for J.W. Sweetman Craft Brewery. Heck, one can get a Guinness ANYWHERE in Ireland (really it’s everywhere) but I knew I couldn’t get J. W. Sweetman beer everywhere. Seeing the brewery sign prompted me to develop a new beer plan for the trip – drink local. No worries I had a Guinness – actually 2 during my 8 days in Ireland but for the most part I sought out what was local to the area we were visiting and since we were in a new area almost daily I tried a nice variety of local beers. Craft beer is still a relatively new thing in Ireland and the bartenders almost seem apologetic when saying something is a craft beer. At each place if something didn’t stand out as local I would ask what was available from the area. Several times bartenders answered with – “…. but it’s a craft, is that OK?” YES!
J.W. Sweetman– Dublin
Amazing historic building with a beautifully ornate staircase, several small private seating areas and multiple levels. Service was superb and the prices very reasonable. The offered 7 beers on tap and this Gal had the pleasure of trying 5 of them. Full service food menu that is veg, meat and gluten free friendly.
Blonde 4.3% – Hints of hops with citrus and subtle malts.
Weiss 5% – Had the cloves and banana that I’ve come to associate with a weiss along with a delightful tangy finish.
Red Ale 4.8% – A true Irish Red Ale – Yippy! This is an easy drinking beer that offers sweet malts, caramel and just a tinge of cocoa.
Pale Ale 4.5% – West Coast Hops and dry hopped at that. Underneath the hops is a layer of malts citrus that combine for a medium mouth feel.
Porter 4.8% – So happy to have a porter and a good one at that. All the beers were great but this was my favorite from the taster round. First up is the rich roasted bitter coffee and chocolate with a smokey smooth finish. This a full-bodied beer.
That night I had to stop at the little pub down the street from our hotel – The Ferryman. It’s a traditional Irish Pub overlooking the water that provides old world charm and a wide selection of brews. For my local selection I went with the McGargles IPA.
McGargles IPA – Hello West Coast hops! It’s hops alright but there’s enough tropical flavors going on to help tone down the hops and end on a refreshing note.
The next town we stayed overnight at was Waterford. Yes, the home of Waterford Crystal. Also, home to Downes of Waterford Pub. Where they mix their own whiskey Henry Downes No. 9 Irish Whiskey. Now this Gal is not a whiskey drinker but I felt I must try the No. 9 since it’s not available anywhere else. Along with the whiskey I had a half pour of Metalman IPA from Metalman Brewing.
Downes Whiskey No. 9 – please keep in mind I know NOTHING about whiskey – all I can say is this was smooth.
Metalman IPA 4.3% – The citrus and floral announce themselves first followed by the hops adding up to a refreshing beer.
Killarney was up next. This town is so quaint and easy to get around. If you have the chance to visit Ireland make sure Killarney is on your list of towns to stay over in. I requested a local brew from the bar I was at and was poured a half pint of Cute Hoor Irish Pale Ale which I later found out was not local by indeed brewed by Heineken. As much as I wanted to keep it local it wasn’t always possible. I also wanted to make sure and try the OTHER Irish Stout Murphy’s which I prefer over Guinness. I later found out Killarney Brewing is in town but unfortunately time did not permit a visit.
Cute Hoor Irish Pale Ale 5% – Mild hops accented by pine overall the taste fades quickly
Murphy’s Irish Stout 4% – Much smoother than Guinness with a slightly
The town of Galway was the next chance for me to try a local brew and that I did with Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale (yes, it’s mostly Irish Pale Ale’s that are available).
Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale 4.4% – Similar to an
American Pale Ale but with a bit more malts. Nice citrus aftertaste that tames the bitterness.
My final local brew was from a brewery in the town of Derry in Northern Ireland – Northbound Brewery No. 8 Kolsch Style. I enjoyed all the beers that I had the opportunity to try but the No. 8 was by far my favorite beer of the trip.
No. 8 Kolsch – The brewery makes of point of saying this beer is inspired by the German Kolsch which it cleary is but with a twist – a very smooth twist. Another words this has to be the smoothest Kolsch I’ve ever tried. The hops giveaway to the malts with a silky mouthfeel.
This particular tour has you on the go so not a lot of down time but made the most of time I had and enjoyed sampling the brews of Ireland. I hope to one day return and see what’s the Emerald Isle has brewing.
Small tasting room in the front and a much larger tasting room on the brewing floor. Kane is a bustling place on the weekend but the line for pours movies quickly. Love the use of barrels & old wood throughout the brewery. There are 17 beers on tap and they are available in as a 40z taste or full pour and responsibly priced.
Enjoyed taster pours of: Single Fin Belgian Blonde 4.8%
Citrus, tropical fruits and earthy goodness – very fresh
Port Omna – all wonderful
1 with Cacao Nibs
1 with Mocha
1 with Milk Chocolate
Hop Lab 5.4%
Easy drinking citrus, pine and malts
Silent Night Imperial Stout 12% Excellent – rich, silky and smooth
Something about this place really appealed to me. I loved all the wood and it just had an easy laid back feel to it. When you enter there is a long L shaped bar and plenty of seating along the glass wall overlooking the street. They offer 12 beers on tap available as full pours or a sample flight of 4. Only opened since January and doing things right.
Bond Street Brownie 4.8%
Great malts (had 2 Browns on tap – Go Dark City!)
What a wonderful little brewery is. Don’t let the size fool you great beer is being brewed at at Little Dog. Even though it was a busy afternoon at the brewery Gretchen (owner/brewer) took the time out of her day to chat with me and show me around the brewery. The beers are wonderful as is the atmosphere – a place where friends come to hang out. Speaking of friends Gretchen’s childhood friend works behind the tasting bar pouring beers for the patrons part of what gives Little Dog a quaint homey feel.
Brown Porter brewed with chocolate & toasted coconut
Duck Boy Pale Ale 5.25%
fresh and nice balance of local hops
Gesundheit! Altbier 5%
Classic German-style amber ale
Paulaner Salvator 7.9%
Always a favorite even though it was served in a frosted glass.
Was curious how it would stand up to the various German Beer Halls I visited in Germany. Definitely an americanized version but still a lot of fun. Like the German Halls there’s community tables, it’s loud and crowded but the atmosphere isn’t German nor is the music. I was pretty disappointment that my beer was served in a frosted glass. However, the food was very good. We enjoyed the potato pancakes, Blumenkohl & Hungarian Beef Goulash.
If I had to pick just one word to describe Beach Haus it would be – FUN. This place just has a cool fun vibe to that makes you gather with a group of friends and spend the day enjoying each others company and good beer. Oh and they provide a true tour (love the various creative ways NJ Breweries find to get around the tour law).
The tap room upstairs is very large with lots of windows and light. There’s a glass wall that over looks an Italian restaurant, with wood burning pizza oven, next door. You can bring food into the tap room from the restaurant. Unfortunately, I was so full from the day that I only had room to do two tastings of beer.
Herb’s Rye American Wheat Beer 6.5%
very refreshing, easy drinking beer
Toast Black IPA 7.5%
Love black IPA’s and this one is wonderful
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.
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!
March 2016 – Jersey Shore
5 Stops Totaling 18 minutes travel time and covering a mere 6.5 miles.
For March we’re headed to the shore. I’m a Jersey Gal so it’s shore not beach. I love the shore in the Spring before the crowds start swarming so it’s a perfect time to visit for a beer crawl. Stop one is Kane Brewing – Kane happens to be not only one of this Gal’s favorite NJ Breweries but is working it’s way up the list of favorite national breweries. I have yet to have a beer I didn’t like from them.
Then it’s onto Little Dog Brewing – by now you know how this Gal feels about anything to do with dogs & beer. Gretchen is always brewing up something fabulous and what better way to place to follow up a German beer hall than a brewery that brews great German style beers?! The fifth and finial stop is Beach Haus Brewery which I’ve heard is a fun place to hang out.
This gal has been trying for some time to check out Interstate Drafthouse to no avail. I was beginning to think it wasn’t meant to be but indeed it was! I had added Interstate Drafthouse to my Philly Pub Crawl list (posted 12/13) fully trusting my Philly connection with the worthiness of the establishment to the list. Worthiness confirmed.
Located just a hop, skip and jump off Interstate 95 via the Gerard Avenue exit in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia, Interstate Drafthouse is a neighborhood bar that is also a destination spot. It really is smack in the middle of a neighborhood with easy off street parking. I would say from the looks of the building it was somebodies home in a prior life but fortunately for craft beer lovers it’s been converted into a great bar.
Upon entrance to the Drafthouse one is immediately standing in the bar area. The bar is to the right and few high top tables to the left. Walk back a little further and a step up to the dining area that consist of about 12 or so tables. Off the dining area is a cute little patio. Unfortunately, there was a summer rain storm taking place so a seat at the bar is where my companion and I found beer happiness.
Interstate offers a warm, cozy environment with a good bar vibe feeling with an old style tin ceiling, lots of dark wood, holiday twinkle lights and hooks under the bar for umbrellas, purses etc., always a nice touch. Overall the place is a little kitchy but in a fun way. It reminded me of some of the neighborhood bars I’ve visited in New Orleans. It’s also a wee bit dark inside which can make reading the menu a tad difficult at times. (flashlight app to the rescue). The owner is very welcoming and friendly as is the staff. They are also generous with beer tastings which is always a plus.
Not only does Interstate Drafthouse have a nice tap list, with a style for everyone, but they’re also very reasonably priced with great weekly deals! Happy Hour is offered Monday – Friday 4:30-6:30 with $4 Draft Beers. We happened to be there for Taco Tuesday $1 Tacos and $4 Beers ALL NIGHT – Sweet! Wednesday they offer a Beer and Meal for $10!
The food menu is pretty diverse with everything from gator to seitan on it. Another words both meat and vegetarian friendly with a fun Cajun/Creole influence to it. We started with the homemade guacamole which was spot on. My companion enjoyed a tasty brisket sandwich and this gal opted for a nicely done veggie “steak” sandwich. I hear the mac & cheese is lip smacking good.
As tasty as the food was the beer was even better…
As soon as I spotted an offering from Bullfrog Brewing I knew what my first beer of the night would be. Bullfrog Brewing holds a special place in this Gal’s heart. I use to visit it many moons ago on the way to and from vacationing in Western Pennsylvania. If you ever happen to be near Williamsport, PA (home of the Little League World Series) I strongly recommend, heck I insist you stop at Bullfrog Brewery for some beer and food. I’ve never had a bad experience there. Their beer put a smile on my face each and every visit.
Saison – Bullfrog Brewing
Blond Ale meets Farmhouse Ale. Classic Saison cloudy appearance with citrus, floral and enough tartness that it makes your mouthwater at the end but makes you want to go back for more
Next up… Arcadia London Porter – Arcadia Brewing Company 7.2%
Well done English porter with a pleasant smokey nose. The flavor is a mix of roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and just a touch of hops. A good true-to-style English Porter that ends with a slightly bitter finish. (favorite of the night)
Finished with the Summer Solstice – Anderson Valley Brewing Company 5.% (cream ale)
Had I known it was a cream ale I probably wouldn’t have ordered it since I’m not a big fan of the style. However, the Summer Solstice has changed my opinion of cream ales. It’s as good blend of spices, malt and caramel that make it an enjoyable summer beer.
Sips of: Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale – Flying Dog 5.6%
This ale is brewed with Old Bay Seasoning which intrigued me but sadly the taste did not appeal to me at all. It was just odd. I would be willing to try a small taster of it with some food. That combo may work but on it’s on just not for me.
Pynk – Yards Brewing 5.5%
I was super excited when I saw the tap handle go on for this beer. It’s a delightful berry beer. I wasn’t in the mood for a full pint on this visit but could envision myself enjoying this little tart beauty on my deck one warm evening. I also could see myself mixing it with a chocolate stout since it’s so lambic like. Don’t forget Yards donates $1 from each case sold to the Tyanna Foundation, which provides support for the care and treatment of breast cancer patients.
Galatica IPA – Clown Shoes 8%
This Imperial IPA smells and taste very floral so much so I felt I was sipping on perfume. It was a bit much for me to handle. A true love for hops is necessary to enjoy this beer. That being said my companion enjoyed it.
Sapient Triple -Dark Horse Brewing Company 9.5%
Crazy smooth, easy to drink without the high alcohol feeling. Delightful banana and coriander flavors. Would have loved a glass but no triples on this visit since I still had to get myself home.
This Gal was very happy to finally be able to try Interstate Drafthouse and looks forward to returning for $4 Beers!
Looking to spend a day or two checking out the beer scene in the city of Brotherly Beer? Following is a list of suggested Pub Crawl destinations for Philadelphia broken up by neighborhoods. This is just Geeky Beer Gals suggestions for possible Philly Pub Crawls. YES, there are a lot of good beer bars in Philly but I tried to keep the list to exceptional beer places. So if you don’t see one on the list it could mean:
a. I didn’t know about it or
b. it’s good but not exceptional
I haven’t tried each place personally, a number of them but not all of them. However, I trust my beer team with their recommendations.
Have fun tasting your way through the city of Brotherly Beer.