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The Stirling Hotel

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

18 Ratings
Ratings: 18
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 10.07%
Taps: 17
Bottles: 26
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

227 Main Ave
Stirling, New Jersey, 07980-1446
United States
phone: (908) 647-6919

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Closed on Mondays.

(Place added by: NJbeerman)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Sunday dinner with honey bee, in lieu of Brooklyn, again. Naturally, I called Schnitzel boy as I was to be local to him, buy since he fathered a crazy kid, he’s become little to no fun. A few miles further out past the backup plan brewpub along the way, and now a right turn down Main Street holding a small strip of not too much going on. This would be the funny little saloon looking place off to the right some...

Street parked easily and into a tight little room with a step up booth in the corner near the entrance, and 3 tables off to one side. Wood plank walls done with license plates, brewery mirrors, moose & steer heads, a Jackson Hole, WY elevation sign, horse shoes, spurs & stirrups, and general wild westerny things. Slat wood floors, and a ceiling of particle board over dark slat framing with baby spots. A single wagon wheel chandelier over the bar center, and a bunch of mounted wall lanterns and others dangling above the adjacent seating, and small glass candles along the bar and on the tables.

On the far wall, seating for upwards of a dozen on a swirly brown laminate topped straight bar, with a wide lip and a foot box where my feet be. She commented that she felt like a kid at the bar, it being high for her. Barback is a wood framed unit split by shelving on 3 tiers, the middle one mirror back paneled. Booze across the top shelf, glassware of all sizes and shapes, and more booze counter topped and below the bar along with a wine rack. Small glass front cupboards on the end of the unit pasted with brewery stickers so heavily that you can’t see what’s in ‘em. Further out, there’s a larger cooler on one end with boxed shelving holding glassware and slight boozings, and a horizontal cooler on the other end, with more wine sitting above. Old rifles mounted on the overhang, and steins grouped atop the unit. Flatscreens above to both sides, currently showing Tennis and some other B list sport, and a draft board in the corner.

10 tap stainless steel box tower on the bar center (Victory Hop Devil & St. Boisterous, DogFishHead Indian Brown Ale, Bear Republic Wine Country Wheat, Summit Horizon Red, Left Hand Polestar Pils, Avery Karma, Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut Down Ale, Guinness, Miller Lite). I drank the DogfishHead Indian Brown and then doubled down.

And bottles, roughly a dozen American craft (Brooklyn Brown, Lager & EIPA, Victory Prima Pils, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Anchor Steam & Porter, Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Anderson Valley Boont Amber), a dozen decent imports, and then domestic macros, an N/A, a cider, and lemonadey things.

I started with a bowl of the black bean & vegetable soup. It was really good, chunky vegetable bits and all, and then had the (blackened chicken) taco of the day; 2 soft tortillas, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, red onion, jack & cheddar cheeses, and yeah, you can hold the nasty disgusting black olives, thank you very much. Good stuff, served with a green chili corn bread. She started with the spring salad; baby greens, arugula (it’s a veg-a-ta-ble), blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges & apples, tossed in pineapple vinaigrette and finished with gorgonzola cheese. It was a stellar goddamn salad, I would know, as I did a partial commandeering of (you are burned in my memory, spring salad, oh, that I may come to know you again). And she followed up with a grilled cheese sandwich, which she deemed a bit weak, but the scene saved by the onion rings we split. They were a fried thing, after all.

9 tables mix & match to the rear beyond a divider, and a dozen+ tables & booths collectively between the 2 small side rooms. The space decorated with more of the same, although the wall of plank wood are running diagonally, it’s kind of dizzying. There’s a large board back there listing events & featured beers (They’re doing a 16 tap Victory event on the 29th of what is now months ago). I comment that they only have 10 taps here, and the guy next to me with the unfortunate displeasure of sitting next to some loud asshole Lindsay Lohan type who just will not shut the fuck up, says they have another bar out back. So I ventured out back and found seating in a tented space with roll down walls, but no bar. I think we’re in the wrong place. Out, further on and around the bend, yep, there’s a little 2 sided tiki bar there holding the other 6 taps. Mind you, only 3 of them are up right now (Yards Saison, Long Trail IPA, Otter Creek Copper Ale). A center 2 sided bar counter adjacent with umbrella sprawling, a gazebo off of there, and 6 tables on bench seating. Light awnings, strung lantern lighting, wood burning stone fireplace and heaters.

Great tunes, lots of good 80’s & 90’s. Other than loud Lindsay barside, they seem to pull in a pretty good crowd. Caught a good meal, and the beer was fresh & clean. Solid rotating tap list, and it seems I’m now getting emails about events and special kegs there. Works for me.

slander, Dec 08, 2011
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Drew88, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of mikeburd1128
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%

I love the Stirling Hotel. Wonderful atmosphere in both the interior and exterior dining areas - with the exception of the cheesy plastic tables and chairs under the tent outside. Beer selection isn't huge - 12 taps inside and 5 outside (except for winter). Guiness and Miller Lite are constant on tap, but the rest are dedicated to craft. They are always updating their list on Beermenus.com as well as their own website, although a lot of times the days list doesn't even matter because of how fast they go through stuff.

The food is great. They have dinner specials every night of the week and are almost always tasty as hell. I really can't remember the last time I had something here that I was anything less than impressed by. The staff is very casual which really adds to the great atmosphere here. I don't think most of the wait staff are all THAT knowledgeable on beer, but certainly knowledgeable enough.

Long story short, if you're in the area and want a beer and some good food, go HERE. Don't even think about going anywhere else. I live about 20 minutes away and still go here probably 3-4 times a month. But keep in mind they are CLOSED on Mondays!

mikeburd1128, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of thedoubler55
5/5  rDev +14.4%

There is nothing else to say about The Stirling Hotel besides the fact that it is amazing. The atmosphere is fantastic, especially the outside area with the fire places. The food is exceptional and everytime I bring a new friend or family member here they fall in love with it on the spot. The beer selection is not crazy but they have enough to choose from and always good stuff available. The service is always top notch, and I will not stop going to the Stirling, actually making my way there tonight! CHEERS!!!

thedoubler55, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of buyBinboaVodka
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%

I went here for the Flying Fish release of Exit 8 and was pretty impressed. Now, I would not go here for the beer alone, but the food is great and it has a great atmosphere. There are not many taps, but they do have a quality selection. I heard they will be getting more soon, so that is a plus. As far as the overall place goes, it looks like a western saloon, and that is unique around here. I really enjoyed the atmosphere. The service was excellent and the food as awesome. I had a build-your-own burger and it was better than I had expected.
All in all, a great place for the area that I will visit again in warmer weather.

buyBinboaVodka, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of Globalcitizen
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Stirling Hotel offers patrons a variety of seating options. I have sat on the patio as well as in the bar area and was comfortable both times.

The beer selection is quite good. It's not that there are very many taps so much as what is on tap varies from one visit to the next. This summer, I have gone to Stirling Hotel twice in two months and had to study the chalk board both times to see what was available, which I think is a good thing.

The food that I had was perfectly acceptable for a bar, and I had no complaints about service.

Globalcitizen, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of mcgwire756
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%

This is one of the hidden gems of Central NJ. Their beer selection is great and always varied. You will always find a beer you will like and the staff is very knowledgeable of the beer. They also always seem to have a rarer beer on tap, that is hard to come by. Especially some of their seasonal beers that are always perfect to set the mood whether it is Oktoberfest of Christmas. However, the absolute best thing here are the burgers. Do yourself a favor and get one of their burgers medium rare with horseradish cheddar and bacon. It is heaven on a bun.

mcgwire756, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Stopped at this place for the first time today with a buddy who lives about 40 minutes away. The place has a large outdoor shaded seating area, several outdoor bars, huge tents for outdoor hanging / bands, etc. Inside, its a small dark relaxing pub with 12 taps and good food. Most of the dozen taps were different styles and only 3 of 12 were "macros" like smithwicks, guiness, and miller light. The craft choices I recall included Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin, Smuttynose Big A, Captain Lawrence Imperial IPA, Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza, Stone Levitation, Sly Fox Pilsner, etc. Food was really really good..I got the port cheddar burger and fries. Both were delicious. Service was fine and I'd be happy to return.

koopa, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of PudTinkler
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%

The port-cheddar burger is perhaps the greatest cheeseburger I've ever eaten. But you, the reader, are here for beer. If you wanted to know about food, you'd be at another website. The Stirling Hotel has a dark interior, and the place to be would be outside.

Probably 8 beers on tap, and nothing that will knock you out. (Unless, of course, you drank several of them.) I believe the choices were exclusively American. I've often found that they are "out" of my first choice whenever I go there, which is about 4x per year. That can't be coincidence.

You don't go here as a beer destination. You go here for food and are pleasantly surprised that you can wash it down with something of quality.

PudTinkler, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of Timmush
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

this place is local to me and I wouldn't go out of my way to visit, but... They do have good food and outside dining/drinking.
I was there around 1pm and saw that they had something i have never tried before "Boont' ESB and 'amber ale" so atleast they are trying to get new stuff in. I did order some left hand and the waiter came back and said it was tapped.. then I ordered the boont esb and the waiter came back 5 min later and sid it too was tapped. I was getting thirsty at this point. He did set up a new keg and pored my beer finally.

Timmush, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of brantadid
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%

This is a great place. Nice bar, great outside seating (that they tent and heat during the winter.)

The food is good, eclectic, and reasonably priced. The last time I was there the 4 people in my party only spent $50 on food. The beer was a different story.

The deal here is that they have their standard beers on tap and then 4 rotating seasonals. It is a new beer experience everytime I am their. Last drip included Brooklyner Schneider Weisse, Captain Lawrence Pale Ale, and Rouge's Hazelnut Brown Nectar. Well worth the trip.

The staff is friendly, even if the service can be a bit slow on refills.

I can't wait to go back.

brantadid, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of Nutleybeer
4/5  rDev -8.5%

The aged wooden exterior as you pull up may not look overly inviting, but this is a really cool place. The interior resembles something from a hunting lodge. The bar is not that big, but we were there early on a Saturday so we had no problems getting a seat.

The selection will not overwhelm you, but they did have Brooklyn's Blond Bock and Pennant Ale, Widmer's Heffe, and Stone's IPA on tap among other. Probably about 8-10 taps all together. A decent bottled selection, not huge, but decent. Aside from 1-2, nothing I haven't seen in too many other places. It was a really, hometown and friendly spot though. Nice staff. Very pleasant.

The food is bar grub....good and not expensive. Burgers, dogs, chili, etc....they do offer additional specials which are more upscale and pricier.

We left thru the back door and realized there is also a large outdoor dining area and a really cool looking outside bar area with heat lamps and some different styles on tap. It was raining out, though, so the outdoor bar was empty and the dining area was covered.

Will definately go back. For beer lovers, it is also only about 3 miles or so from Trap Rock.

Nutleybeer, Jun 04, 2006
Photo of kevin62
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%

The Stirling Hotel has an old and rustic look to it with very old fixtures and other decorations.The bar is not that big,it only seats about 10 or so,but there is ample seating elsewhere and they have seating outside (in the back) when the weather is nice.The beer selection is good,they have Harp,Smithwicks,Smuttynose,as well as a good selection in bottles.The staff is nice and pleasant and very helpful.The food is great with daily specials, and this place has been a great landmark for a long time.Highly recommended.

kevin62, Mar 11, 2006
The Stirling Hotel in Stirling, NJ
95 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.