Bar Review: Cloverleaf Tavern – Caldwell NJ

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven by the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell and never stopped in.  I have some friends who had been there years ago (probably over a decade) and they described it as just another bar, nothing special.  It is apparent they haven’t been back, with 25 taps and a whole lot of bottled beer; it is no longer just your typical ho-hum bar.

Cloverleaf Tavern Beer Menu

Cloverleaf Tavern Beer Menu

My first trip here was with my wife and we sat in the restaurant area (not at the bar) had a couple appetizers and a couple of drinks.  First, We enjoyed some cheese nachos with a side of Chili.  It may be me, but having the chili on the side of the nachos is just so much easier to eat and doesn’t soften up the tortilla chips.  With the nachos I had a draft of the Guinness 250th Anniversary Stout, I was less then impressed with this beer.  It had that familiar Guinness aroma along with faint cherry and licorice notes.  This stout was malty and sweet with a touch of bitter cherry and a hint of coffee.  Basically, I will not order this beer again.  I guess it was the novelty of this beer that made me pick it over the 24 other taps.

This was the fist place I’ve been to where the nacho plate didn’t require a forklift to get it to the table.  I love nachos and don’t normally order them because I can’t finish them, but here we were able to order something else after the nachos & chili, BUFFALO WINGS!  My Monday health plan…  With the wings I wanted something that would be able to cut through the spice, so I gave the Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale a try.  The wings were good and spicy, but thankfully not melt your lips off strong.  The Doggie Style Pale Ale was a good choice to go with these wings; it had a nice hoppy and citrusy aroma that initially allowed the beer to stand up.  Its flavor was also able to stand up to the wings with an enjoyable flowery bitterness that was rounded by a citrus orange sweet flavor with a hint of cherry. Excellent Pale Ale (out of the bottle) and all the flavors help up with the spice of the wings.

I’m not a big desert guy, the beer belly may tell you otherwise, but my wife is, so we split the brownie sunday.  I couldn’t just have the sunday I needed a beer to go with it.  The Southern Tier Jah*va was probably the close daft that would do with the brownie sunday.  The Beer worked with the brownie, but not  the ice cream,  nonetheless, I was extremely happy that the beer came out in the proper glass.  I can tell a good bar by several things, one being the appropriate glass for the beer.  The Jah*va stout was severed in a snifter glass, bravo! (mug and oversize wine glass are also acceptable)  The beer was just as I remembered it; see my previous review for notes.

Overall, I can’t wait to get back to the Cloverleaf Tavern to explore more taps and see how often they rotate.


3 Responses to “Bar Review: Cloverleaf Tavern – Caldwell NJ”

  1. mike Says:

    I think you mean Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale, right? The Cloverleaf is not bad overall, but Andy’s is still the best!

    MODERATOR: You are correct, It was Flying Dog… The review has been updated.

  2. Peter Culos Says:

    The Cloverleaf has been on my list too. There’s a new place in Matawan called Maloney’s that has a respectable 20+ tap selection and an awesome bottle list.

  3. mike Says:

    Have you guys seen it’s pretty good and the NNJ is expanding but I’ve been using it for NYC since it’s inception

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