I usually just do a beer of the month, however I realized after a long hiking trip that resulted in a wonderful pub find at the end, that from time to time I should highlight those yummy beers you come across by accident. So today I will be spotlighting 3 or 4 beers that I had never tasted before. My boyfriend and I were out on an urban hiking trip (meaning we had a crazy taxi driver who dropped us off in the middle of jersey and wound up walking back to civilization) and well, when we finally made it back to town we came across a wonderful little bar called “Harp Pub” in a little town called Metuchen in NJ. Needless to say we were hot and tired and really just stopped in for a beer while we waited to decided if it was time to go home for a nap. We even stopped at a random Japanese restaurant that turned out to be the worst sushi I have ever experienced.
After noticing that they had a wonderful array of beers I had neither seen nor heard of I thought it a great opportunity for getting a wonderful midday buzz and also a great beer tasting adventure that would hopefully make up for the very strange day we had had. What I found was amazing!
So this beer has a wonderful smooth beginning. It’s lighter than you would think. I love IPA’s, they are my favorite so I am slightly bias but I always drink them with others in mind who may not be in love with the general hoppiness of an IPA. It actually wasn’t very hoppy tasting at first and had a beautiful amber color then there was lots of toasty, malty like flavor happening. This beer had the effervescent feel of a cold Bud-Light minus the gross taste of a Bud-Light. It’s quite a refreshing summer beer and super easy to drink, I think I happily had two or three of them. I noticed some notes of caramel every now and then as well. Available year round.
2. Troeggs Hop back Amber Ale.
This cask beer was slightly hoppy with a mild grainy flavor to it, meaning there is nothing plain or simple about the palate. It tastes slightly sweet and citrusy to me at times, almost with hints of honey and oranges. I’ve read other reviews of this beer and it was said to have a creamy body feeling on the tongue, perhaps because the carbonation is fairly low. It was so surprisingly good, as I don’t normally order amber ales. I loved it.
3. Schofferhoffer Grapefruit beer
This fruit beer is amazing. It tastes just like grapefruit. It’s a combination of Schofferhoffer Hefeweisen beer with grapefruit flavoring. It’s appropriately tangy on the tongue but light and refreshing. It’s lightly carbonated and is one of those beers you’d sip at the corner of your local pub hoping to catch a breeze out the open window. It’s so light the abv is less than 4 % and is closer to a spritzer or soda than a beer. You can easily drink many of them and won’t be staggering to the restroom. Wonderful for a light weight or just a light drinking time.
4. G’knight Red Ale
This imperial red/double IPA is very tart at first sip and there is a flavor that resonates with your long-lost 20 something year old self. It’s oddly reminiscent of a tangy rye like drink I had in my 20’s and a mature flavored ale of epic proportions. I thought at first it taste super similar to Smithwicks at first (Red drank that the whole time we were there, he loves Smithwicks.) then soon realized it is much more pungent . It was medium bodied with hints of cocoa and toasted grain maybe with light notes of fruit here and there. It’s very easy to drink so be ware, you may easily become intoxicated so order some yummy fried thing on the menu when you drink this. I loved it. It was a pleasant surprise.
Alc- 8.7 %
About the bar we were at:
I thought I would also highlight the pub we were at Hailey’s Harp and Pub http://haileysharpandpub.com/index.php for so many hours tasting and trying all the wonderful beers they had on tap. Mostly because of the people, all the way down from the owner to the servers, everyone was amazing and really catered to our love for beer. Their manager who goes by the name Mo is an outstanding 6 foot something tall and seemed to be himself, a beer connoisseur. The owner was amazing and was there the entire evening helping to serve food and stopping to say hi and welcome old and new friends throughout the place. It was amazing. We discovered they have a beer club that meets once a month and they have an extensive Calender that’s posted on their website filled with live jazz music earlier in the day on the weekends and bands that play a little of that middle-aged music we all can jam to after a few drinks and of course all the world cup games happening this summer. It’s a quaint little place, every person happily sitting or standing so very close to each other.The vibe and energy was that of a place you’ve been to before and had such a good time the details of the evening are blurry. Another one of the owners/managers, I am guessing, was a tall khaki wearing man with a wonderful neat appearance who had the jubilant and attentive energy of a teenager in an adult’s body. He was happy and spoke with everyone who came through, making sure everyone was enjoying themselves. Overall I loved the establishment, at first because of the beer and whiskey selection ( which we never got to) but we stayed because of the people.
Hope you enjoyed this beer spotlight