- Written by Nate Monk
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This review is a continuation from the Blind Tiger Alehouse review.
This brand new beer hall has been talked about for the last few months by "all-things-beer" lovers in the tri-state area, supposedly sporting 144 taps upon opening, has unfortunately been pushed off a few months past the original planned opening.
Located on the first and basement levels of a new multi-purpose building, just a five minute walk from the Grove St. PATH stop is where you'll find it. This brand new beer hall wouldn't give you the initial impression that 72 taps of pleasure lay waiting for you just inside the door. Once inside, things start to take shape; through the entrance you'll find an L bar with roughly a dozen or so traditional wood picnic-style tables, nothing fancy, it's like a newly remodeled old country. Up past the bar you enter a much larger sitting/standing area with a walk up bar, more tables, and a spot where a band could play.
My first impression regarding the look of this establishment is that it got mangled in the Disney machine, but under the circumstances, it made it out intact with plenty of room to spare. Maybe it's just the fact that it's a brand new building and that's not what comes to mind when I hear "German Bier Haus". I'm sure some time and wear will break it in nicely. Walking up to the second bar I see two multi-tap systems with about 12-14 lines each; unfortunately the taps are, with the exception of a few extras, repeats of one another on each system.
The first liter here should be a Weihanstephaner, don't have it, ok, Paulaner, guess not, how about Augustiner, no, this is a representative of Germany no? This is my main issue, they should have more German beers, but again I'm sure there are extenuating circumstances related to the business probably related to a distributor or lack-there-of, so rock on. HofBrau, Hacker Pschorr, Spaten, Franziskaner, Radeberger, DAB, and best of all Celebrator Doppelbock, they do have some fine German selections. The back area is a fenced in bier garten stocked with plenty of picnic style tables, a walk up food area, and another bar. This really is a great area to hang out, people watch, drink good beer and converse with others. The NJ Light Rail train runs right behind the back fence, which elicits cheers from the late night crowd. One thing we agreed on was that they need some food servers, traditionally dressed of course; everything was self serve as far as well could see. In most bier gartens I've been to, tables without tablecloths are self service, while those with a tablecloth are fitted with a server.
Overall, I have to say that this is a really cool place to hit whether be it for a relaxing midday lunch outside with some good beer and brats, or a night out with friends. The crowd was a really nice mix of the young "let's go drink until 4 am crowd", as well as middle aged and older groups of friends and couples. I'll definitely be setting up a return trip, and I suggest you plan your maiden voyage. Prost!