Maloney's Pub & Grill - Matawan, NJ
One does not simply have a blog about beer and food and not mention Maloney's in Matawan, NJ. It's been long overdue for a visit here in an "official" capacity. Maloney's has long been a mecca for craft beer drinkers because of the numerous amounts of beer on tap. This establishment boasts more than 100 lines dedicated just to craft beer. To say that you'll come to Maloney's and will be overwhelmed by the insurmountable amount of choices is quite the understatement. I used to frequent this wonderful beer bar a lot more than I do now, because of the wide availability of anything craft beer when it comes to local New Jersey beer. Now, I come here once in a while as a reminder of the place that is still a haven of beer.
Coming to Maloney's is like walking into a beer sanctuary - it does us the favor of having to travel an hour or so to visit New York City or Philly and have bountiful amount of choices. When you compare the average craft beer bar in tap quantities, all of them will always fall short to Maloney's. 100+ taps is an INSANE amount of taps, but luckily, I came with a mission!
It's been a while since I've visited Magnify Brewing and when I saw the event pop up for a tap takeover in Matawan, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to merge both things into a beautiful and delicious Friday night outing. The tap takeover was no joke. With 13 beers from Magnify hitting taps, I knew I'd have a chance to try out all of the new stuff that came out since my last visit in August.
Doing the tap takeover completely removed the anxiety from having to look at the two page menu dedicated JUST to beer. Looking at the tap lines still sends shivers down my spine just because I want to try one of everything. Luckily, if you need help deciding what you want, my experience with the bartenders has been that they are pretty knowledgeable of what's on tap and what you might want to try or pass up on. There's plenty of local options like Carton and Kane as well as options from out of the state... it seriously is taps on taps on taps.
Because the bar was packed, a nearby bar table would be the site of this fiesta of Magnify beer and food. Casey, our bartender, was nothing short of excellent and was very attentive to our needs. Upon sitting down, the Magnify list was surveyed with the utmost attention and the first two beers were ordered - Peak Oil and Smell Ya Later.
- Peak Oil: (Pictured above on the left) This is a 9.0% ABV Imperial IPA brewed with Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops. There are additional treatments to the beer to give it a taste that sets it aside from some of the other Magnify Brewing IPA's, but with enough citrus and lemon to reign it back in. I enjoyed this one and it was an excellent way to begin the evening.
- Smell Ya Later: (Pictured above on the right) This was a beer made in collaboration with Finback Brewery from Queens, NY. This clocks in at 9.0% ABV and was brewed with honey. The citrusy flavors are present but the sweetness of the honey blends in perfectly overall with the beer. This was one of the favorites of the night and made me harken and desire the golden age of Pollinator.
Casey returned knowing that 9% beers would demand food, and so I indulged. Taking into consideration that more beers were to be consumed, an order of onion rings, wings, and french onion soup took place soon after. I'm not a giant fan of onion rings because some restaurants will make them in a way that when you take your first bite - the whole onion string comes out and you're left with a handful of batter. This did not happen here and I loved the onion rings. They are battered in a double beer batter and come with ranch dip. The combination of everything is a very nice flavor explosion without all the mess that comes with onion rings at other places.
I don't know what my obsession with wings is, but I just know that it exists. I'd never had wings at Maloney's though and given the choices of Buffalo, BBQ, or Blazin' Asian, I was unsure of which one to pick. Luckily, Casey came to my rescue and suggested the Blazin' Asian sauce... and now, I will too. Thank you Casey, you "da real MVP". The sauce was on point. The wings were good, but the sauce was the star of the show. Combining these wings with an IPA from Magnify Brewing was the definitely the way to go. I was still sipping the Peak Oil while having these and the mix and mingle of the sauce and the hops were an engaging experience.
The French Onion Soup was the last thing I tried from the menu and this bowl is absolutely delicious. The amount of cheese in it was beyond generous and you seriously want nothing more than to finish the entire thing... which happened. The soup is on point, the cheese is perfect, along with the crouton and onions. Feeling like something a little less solid to go with your beer? I definitely recommend this.
Along with the soup, two more beers came up for the taste testing:
- Hype Train: A Triple IPA brewed with passion fruit and guava was right up my tropical alley. The guava is vastly present in this beer and the 10.5 ABV kicked it up a notch. The sweet and tart taste of the beer complemented the french onion soup to perfection. But, by the end of this Simcoe hopped beer, I was absolutely ready to slow down the train... and was ready for a porter.
- Unchartered Territory - Baltic Porter: Oh my god, this beer was fantastic! An 8% ABV porter fermented in oak with cocoa nibs, this version of a porter was rich, decadent and better than dessert. The chocolate notes just flew out of the glass, as the aroma just absolutely toyed with my sense of smell. The malts are perfectly balanced. This is the kind of porter that you just don't want to stop having after a nice meal. I wish I had eaten less so I could have drank more of this.
I had allowed too much time to go by since my last visit. I'm very happy with having combined the best of two worlds in one night. I'll be back to Maloney's sooner than the last time. I'm definitely revisiting Magnify Brewing within the next month or so. As far as the Magnify beers are concerned, my favorite of the night was the Baltic Porter with Smell Ya Later being a close second.
The food at Maloney's is better than what you would expect for a beer bar and there's every style of beer that could go with anything on the menu, so choices abound. My only complaint is that I believe Maloney's does not do flight - but I can certainly understand the logic as to why. With so many rotating beers of differing quality, a price range for it can be hard to dictate. And if Maloney's does do flights, bully on me for never really asking again. If you consider yourself a beer aficionado and need a destination to visit, Maloney's Pub & Grill has you covered 100 times over. Whether it's a tap takeover, a casual visit for dinner or happy hour, if you love beer, you'll love this magnificent place in Matawan. Salud!