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.

Mohawk House
3 Sparta Junction (Rt 517), Sparta

It sounds like faint praise to call Mohawk House one of the best restaurants in Sussex County, where there aren’t that many ambitious restaurants. But Mohawk’s food could hold its own on a wider stage, as could its massive, stone-and-wood lodge-like building—and its carefully curated craft-beer program. On a recent visit, 50 taps were flowing with a panoply of intriguing imports and domestics. (If you love German wheat beers, don’t miss the vivid and complex Ramstein Golden Blonde from High Point Brewing in Butler.) The best way to satisfy curiosity is with a flight of four 4-ounce pours (roughly $10-$13). Knowledgeable servers can help you choose. Or wing it—the whole list is fair game. Sundays and Mondays, growlers (32 and 64 ounces) are half price.—Eric Levin

Morris Tap & Grill
500 Route 10 West, Randolph

“People who know beer and like beer are going with the IPAs,” reports Craig Michaels, head bartender at this tastefully appointed, 8,000-square-foot bar and restaurant. Michaels always has plenty of hoppy IPAs among his 24 craft beers on tap and 75 in the bottle. The list changes twice weekly. MTG, which opened in July 2011 at the site of the old Stonefire Grill, holds monthly pairing dinners and themed beer days (such as a recent IPA day) and has a booming home brewers’ club. A recent stout week put 10 of the malty, mellow darks on tap. Chef Eric LeVine’s food is always special; don’t miss his signature short ribs, paired perhaps with a robust porter.—KS

Old Bay Restaurant
61-63 Church Street, New Brunswick

A pioneering promoter of craft beer, Old Bay has occupied the same converted 19th-century Bank of New Jersey building for 25 years. It’s an unusual space: a warren of small rooms on several levels, its lavender walls decorated with posters and Mardi Gras masks. The Cajun/Creole menu mates well with the 24 beers on tap, listed with descriptions on a sheet prepared each day by manager Pat Pipi. Favorites include Founders Breakfast Stout, a chocolaty brew from Michigan, and N’Ice Chouffe, a dark ale from Belgium. There’s live music on weekends and $3 drafts starting at 10 pm on Wednesdays.—Merrill Noden

Paragon Tap & Table
77 Central Avenue, Clark
You might not expect to find a sophisticated spot for good food and craft beer stashed away in the back of a Target shopping center. But Paragon, a spin-off from Morris Tap & Grill in Randolph, has hit the bullseye since opening in September 2014. Chef Eric LeVine’s menu includes MTG favorites like boneless short ribs and Paragon exclusives like an irresistible beer-braised cabbage pierogi appetizer. Jersey beers are well represented on the 20 taps and in the more than 40 bottles and cans—often limited releases. “We have something for virtually every taste,” says Bob Blackburn, manager of the beer program.—KS

Pilsener Haus & Biergarten
1422 Grand Street, Hoboken

With its suspender-wearing waitstaff lofting frothing steins to patrons at long communal tables, Pilsener Haus evokes an Eastern European brewpub. The two indoor halls and the outdoor biergarten occupy the ground floor of a 1920s brick industrial building that bolsters the retro atmosphere. Beers on tap, mostly German, include Belgian, Austrian and American brews. Half-liters are $7, pints, up to $20. American craft beers and a range of imports are available in bottles. Chef Martin Schaub serves burly Austro-Hungarian comfort foods like beef goulash ($15) and chicken paprikash ($15). At the large, open grill, people line up every day for kielbasa, bratwurst, frankfurters, rotisserie chicken and burgers. Saturdays are busiest but the most fun, thanks to the gregarious crowd.—AS

The Plank Pizza Company Beer Parlor
383 Market Street, Saddle Brook

The Plank is a real find—if you can find it. Hidden behind a BP station, the Plank, which opened in midsummer 2015, is an appealingly airy, rustic-style space designed by Ian Polanco, one of the three owners. (His partners also own the Heights Bar & Grill in Hasbrouck Heights.) The menu of eight appetizers and eight sourdough flatbread pizzas is limited, but everything we tasted was excellent, and there is no limit to the craft beers you’ll find here. The Plank has 41 rotating taps (in two neat lines on a subway-tiled wall) and about 300 different bottles in a mammoth fridge—including many  Jersey-made brews.—KS

The Pour House
124 Haddon Avenue, Westmont

Since opening in 2009, the Pour House has attracted attention for its 20 rotating drafts (plus one hand-pumped cask) and 140 varieties by the bottle. Spring favorites at this sprawling pub include Dogfish Head’s hoppy fruit beer, Aprihop, and Troegs’s Nugget Nectar. Local brewer Flying Fish always commands at least one tap, often more. According to general manager Remo Croce, Pour House sells more Flying Fish than any other bar. Stop by on Wednesdays for $3.50 drafts all day.—ND

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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.