Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Craft beer in LAKEHURST, NJ!? Yes @TipperaryPub

Let me admit up front that I am biased. I didn't write a book about Lakehurst because I'm impartial, after all. I love Lakehurst for all it is and all it is not.

One thing is has not been is destination for craft beer lovers.

But when I heard about a new tavern in town that had a good beer selection (not to mention a sweeping assortment of whiskey), I couldn't wait to take a look. After all, I never imagined I'd see a news story called Beer in the Barrens about a great pub in Lakehurst, of all places. The town I grew up in was a mecca of cheap, watery lager consumed in cheap, sweaty bars that catered to a locals-only crowd.

The Tipperary Pub in Lakehurst has changed all that.

 This is a bona fide damn good pub with great food, a good atmosphere, over 50 whiskeys (it's kind of their thing), and, surprise, a really nice beer selection! Being an Irish pub it should come as no surprise that they carry Killkenny, Smithwick's, and Guiness, but you'll also find an assortment of good American craft beers from folks like Oskar Blues, Dogfish Head, Samuel Adams, and others on their beer menu.

I think what I liked best about the Tipperary Pub's beer selection, however, is their support of New Jersey beers. Multiple taps are devoted to local brews, notably from Kane Brewing, a fantastic new brewery that is winning accolades despite only being open for a little over a year. (Their Three Hundred Sixty-Five is one of the best beers to come out of New Jersey.)

In fact, the Tipperary will be one of the few places that will be tapping Kane's new Morning Bell, an imperial milk porter they describe like this:
This is a 9.2% ABV beer is brewed with rook's sumatra dark roast coffee. We added a healthy amount of milk sugar to an already complex, dark malt bill to sweeten and balance the bold flavors and roasty bitterness of the coffee. The result of this collaboration is a full bodied porter with big bold flavors and remarkable smoothness.
Sounds intriguing! You can bet I'll be showing up for this one.

Overall, I was surprised and impressed at my experience at the Tipperary. It's not a craft beer mecca with dozens of taps, but it doesn't strive to be. It just strives to be a really good pub that serves something more than the usual garbage -- and it is. Good beer on tap, a nice staff, good food. Really makes me happy to see that my old hometown has someplace cool that actually feels welcoming to everyone and anyone, and with great beer on tap as an added bonus!

So yeah, Central NJ folks, this is a good beer destination. Cheers!

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