I am obsessed with Cloverleaf Tavern in West Caldwell, NJ. I love everything about the place: the location, the atmosphere, the employees, the food and of course the beer! It is a restaurant and bar that always has unique beers to try. Cloverleaf has about 25 beers on draft and more than 50 bottled beers at any given time. I truly feel like I’m in beer heaven when I go here. The owners offer a MBA, or Master of Beer Appreciation, program for guests to encourage customers to sample a variety of Cloverleaf’s beer. They also offer a discount program. Plus, you can fill up a growler on the way out!
In my opinion, Thursday nights are the best time to go to Cloverleaf. They offer beer flights, which is a sampling of four 5 oz. pours, for $2 off. They usually cost about $5 with the discount. The beers are served on trays shaped like a clover leaf! Cloverleaf is truly passionate about beer and the beer menu is constantly changing. They even offer gluten-free beers! On my last visit, I sampled the Early Spring Flight, which came with the following beers:
1. Victory Swing (4.5 % alcohol): Victory’s spring seasonal saison has a clear, golden color. It has a strong citrus aroma and a full-bodied spicy, citrus flavor. I think it is a great transition beer from the dark winter beers to the lighter spring beers. It is a bit lighter, but is still flavorful.
2. Newcastle Founders Ale (4.8% alcohol): I’ve had the traditional Newcastle Brown Ale, so I was expecting this beer to be similar. It has a chestnut color like an English Pale Ale should. However, it is lighter and smoother than the Brown Ale. It has a slight caramel malt smell. This beer is drinkable, but not necessarily memorable.
3. Troeg’s Nugget Nectar (7.5% alcohol): I’ve see this beer many times but have never had the opportunity to try it. It has a copper color and scents of floral, citrus and a hint of malt. Nugget Nectar has a bold, hoppy and refreshing flavor that is not over the top. This beer tastes like grapefruit along with some bitterness. Yet, it is still smooth. Not my favorite beer, but I can appreciate it.
4. Sam Adams Alpine Spring (5.5% alcohol): I think this was a nice beer to finish off the flight with. It is a lager and has different flavor notes than the previous beer. This beer is light, smooth and has high drinkability. You can taste the undertones of citrus in this beer, which make it quite refreshing. Out of the four beers in the flight, this was definitely the lightest and had the mildest flavor.
My boyfriend ordered the “Kane Last of Flight,”(On the right in photo) which included:
1. Kane Head High (6.5% alcohol): I would recommend this to people who love IPAs. This American IPA was the lightest beer of the four. It has a golden color. It smells sweet like hints of citrus. You taste this at first when you drink it, but it leaves bitter aftertaste with strong notes of hops.
2. BA Port Omna (6% alcohol): This stout has a strong coffee and chocolate smell. The coffee flavor slightly overpowers the chocolate. I was a bit intimidated by this beer’s thick, black color. It was much milder than I anticipated and not overbearing. If you enjoy coffee than you will love this beer or at least be able to enjoy one!
3. Malus (9.5% alcohol): This Belgian strong dark ale had the most interesting flavor profile of the flight. It has a dark, almost velvety black color. It smells like chocolate, coffee, malt and caramel like the others. However, it has a slightly sour, malty aftertaste. The fruit flavors taste “sour” when paired with the robust coffee flavor. This flavor combination took away from the bitterness and gives Malus an interesting flavor.
4. Quad (10.2% alcohol): This quadruple style beer is very dark. I didn’t taste this one at all, but It has a dark brown, almost black color and a coffee aroma.
Cloverleaf was running a special for Boulder Honey Saison (11.5% alcohol); a pint was only $3! I had to test it out. I thought it would be similar to the other honey beers I tried in Denver, but this was completely different. It is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and has an amber color. Honey and caramel flavors stand out with this brew, but a bitter taste comes out in the end. It was okay, but not a stand out beer in my mind. I am glad to have tried the limited edition brew, though!