38 Amazing Tap Rooms You Need to Check Out

Thirsty? We've re-vamped our 2013 list of tap rooms and added 17 hopping new spots for you to wet your whistle.

Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room

19 East Union Street, Burlington
Downtown Burlington got a much needed lift last October when the folks behind Asbury Park’s Brickwall transformed an 18th-century firehouse into this stylish (read: old brick walls painted aqua) tavern-cum-restaurant that’s equally serious about beer and executive chef Neil West’s carefully crafted comfort food. From eight resident taps flow standards like Yuengling and Miller Lite—but also beers from New Jersey’s Kane Brewing—while 16 more have a rotating selection of crafts. Any can be had in a flight, and tap takeovers, like a recent one that included Sixpoint Brewery’s super-rare Irish Hello, occur regularly. Weekday happy hour offers $3 domestic drafts and bottles, and $6 crafts on tap. “Welcome to Beerlington, Population Everyone” proclaims the sign outside.—PT

Carolina Blue Smokehouse & Taproom
692 Lambs Road, Pitman

Carolina emerged from a 2008 renovation and name change as one of the best Southern-style eateries in the area. A dozen taps (and more than 40 bottled choices) range from local favorites like Flying Fish and Victory to international rarities like Lion Lager from Sri Lanka. The outside deck features a bar and a stone fire pit.—ND

Cloverleaf Tavern
395 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell

This unpretentious, Irish-themed, family-oriented tavern has been woven into the neighborhood fabric for 80 years. The sports bar up front draws a vocal crowd, but relative quiet prevails in the separate dining areas and the open-air patio. Choose from a rotating selection of 24 drafts and more than 80 beers in the bottle. A new list is printed daily, with featured brews and themed flights (four 5-ounce servings) chosen by owner Ryan Dorchak. Every Monday through Thursday, one craft on draft is featured at $3. Cloverleaf courts enthusiasts with a beer-appreciation program and discounts on growler refills.—KS

The Dog & Cask
55 Route 17 South, Rochelle Park

“Local is better. Local is sustainable,” says Maria Constenla, general manager of the Dog & Cask. The philosophy shows in just about everything they’re doing. Of the 12 taps, at least six are typically dedicated to beers from New Jersey breweries like Carton, Bolero Snort, Kane and Magnify. The more than 50 bottles also showcase Jersey beers; when we visited there were even two cask-conditioned ales available, from Bolero Snort and Carton. Owner David Parker has created a true gastropub, featuring high-end food, craft beer and artisanal spirits in a casual setting. The space seats up to 165 patrons, and the inviting, industrial décor is warmed by reclaimed wood accents and a fireplace.—Bob Probert

Essex Junction Craft Kitchen & Bar
90 Washington Street, Bloomfield

The newset kid on the craft-beer block was just opening its doors at deadline. A high-ceilinged and airy space, this gastropub should benefit from a great location in the brand-new Avalon Apartments development, across the street from Bloomfield’s busy train station. The place was bustling—and loud—during opening week. The bar has 14 craft beers on tap—with four taps dedicated to Jersey brewers—and about 24 craft bottles. The kitchen was still working out the kinks, but the menu is creative and promising.—KS

Tropicana Casino, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City

Amid over-the-top Trop attractions like the Boogie Nights bar, Firewaters is an oasis of sanity—for beer lovers, at least. Behold 50 drafts and 101 bottled beers. Overwhelmed by the options? Four-ounce, four-beer samplers are just $8. The atmosphere is no-frills. It’s all about the beer, especially on weekends, when Firewaters stays open round the clock.—ND

Garden State Ale House
340 Paterson Avenue, East Rutherford

Opened in late December 2015 at the site of Jerry’s, a longstanding Italian restaurant, G.S. Ale House is an inviting, airy, contemporary gastropub already popular with the locals. “They keep coming back,” says owner Adam Zebib. Behind the 25-seat bar, there are 24 beers on tap and another 30 or so in bottles. Flights of four beers in generous 5-ounce “Belgian tasters” are $12. Open for lunch and dinner, the extensive menu features creative starters (we loved the autumn squash salad), tacos, quesadillas, wood-fired pizzas, exceptional burgers and plenty of entrées. Happy hour, with select craft drafts for $5, runs 3 to 7 pm Monday through Friday and 10 pm to close Sunday through Thursday. The similarly named original location opened in 2010 in New Brunswick.—KS

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  1. Con Rad

    What does the Stirling Hotel have to do to get some love. They have 3 bars, two outside, 24 taps and have been rated the best bar in NJ by NJ.com and the Star Ledger.

  2. Johnny

    i agree, The Stirling Hotel has the best selection and best beer events in the state. by far the greatest bar NJ has to offer. this selection of “tap rooms” is a sham and is obviously fueled my corruption.