Poor Henry’s in Montville is an Unlikely Craft Beer Haven

Opened in 1975, the neighborhood bar is now known for its ever evolving tap list. But the kitchen hasn't strayed too far from its roots.

I hadn’t planned to go to Poor Henry’s Pub and Restaurant in Montville on a Monday, but once I found a seat at the bar, I was glad I did. I’d unknowingly stumbled into the bar’s best weeknight special: half-off craft beers on draft night.

In recent years, Poor Henry’s has earned a reputation for its craft beer list, which is one of the more exciting and most extensive in Morris County. But Poor Henry’s hasn’t always been known as a craft beer destination. It certainly wasn’t in 1975, the year it opened. For many years, Poor Henry’s was mostly known as a cozy neighborhood bar with a crowd-pleasing prime rib and salad bar. The vibe inside is still the same, with relics from another era, including an old cash register at the bar. And yes, the salad bar still lives on.

The draft list at Poor Henry’s. Photo courtesy of Poor Henry’s Pub and Restaurant.

Now it has a newer draw: an ever evolving tap list, with more than 20 drafts of craft beer (and cider) available and frequently rotated out, including ones from local breweries like Icarus, Kane, Brix City and Carton, as well as from popular breweries like Bruery and Mikkeller. On the Monday night that I visited, the bar was packed with groups of beer bros carefully studying the draft list for what to order next, tracking each of the beers they drank on their Untappd app.

The Drunken Burger. Photo by Shelby Vittek

I ordered a beer and then moved onto food, the real reason I had come to Poor Henry’s. The menu is extensive, with more than a dozen appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, and various seafood and steak entrées. We started with a small order of buffalo wings ($6.50 for 5), and a maple bacon pierogi dish on the specials list, which was just okay.

The Drunken Burger ($15), an Angus beef and wild boar patty topped with Havarti cheese, maple bacon and peach BBQ glaze, was hearty and juicy, and came with fries. Poor Henry’s frequently has a taco dish on its special list, such as chicken tacos with mango pico de gallo that hit the spot. If you want more than pub fare, the kitchen also serves more elegant entrées, like grilled Atlantic salmon or pan-seared scallops.

I’d return to try the classic chicken pot pie that I’ve heard patrons rave about—and of course, for the famous prime rib. Even after all these years, it’s still a crowd favorite. After Monday’s half-off craft beers on draft night, the second-best night to head to Poor Henry’s might be Wednesday, when bottles of wine are half priced, and the prime rib special only costs $18.

Poor Henry’s Pub and Restaurant, 8 Main Road, Montville; 973-335-1155. Open for lunch and dinner, daily.

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