Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe

Not Rated.
Harvest Moon Brewery & CafeHarvest Moon Brewery & Cafe
BEER AVG
3.8/5
Based on:
58 Beers
311 Ratings
Place Score: 88
Ratings: 91
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

392 George St.
New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901
United States
phone: (732) 249-6666

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 91 | Reviews: 66
Reviews by donniecuffs:
Photo of donniecuffs
2.98/5  rDev -23.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

This place is right off of Rutgers' campus, so expect the college student crowd. The decor is stereotypical brewpub bricks with brewery equipment in full display, but it's very clean. The food is standard pub grub (think TGIF's), but it's cheap. I wasn't impressed by the hired help's knowledge of beer either, but at least they were courteous. The only beers worthy of mention were the Full Moon Pale Ale (B+), McCord's Scotch Lager (B+), and O'Leary's Irish Stout (A-). I have a tough time believing that this place would still be in business if it wasn't in such a slam dunk location.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jaiden0
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Good food, good beer,will eat again

Photo of TrackcoachLVPA
4.85/5  rDev +24%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Great atmosphere. Waitress was accommodating and very good. Beer was stellar as was the food. Can't wait to go back

Photo of HopsnMalts_NJ
3/5  rDev -23.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 3

Overall: we were here a Mon. afternoon so we bellied up no problem. Place was clean, our bartender was attentive and knowledgeable about the beers (offered free small samples when we inquired about beers). As for the beers: witbier reminded me (fondly) of Avery White Rascal. Black IPA was good but stood in the shadow of my latest crush (dark penance by Founders). The nose on the sour reminded me of a resiling, decent flavor (passion fruit). My dude drank the Gose but it was too salty for my palate. We would stop in again if we were in the area but wouldn't drive there specifically for the pours or food.

Photo of jwruhe
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Very good food. Very good beer. The Simcoe Double IPA, outstanding. Not quit Maharaja, but well on the road there. Come here! The afternoon delight is a relatively mild IPA, but very nice. The American Joe Schwarzbier is really good. A lager yeast, but not at all thin.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

My second time here and the first time I review this place. About the only thing I remember from the Harvest is how delicious their DIPA is! Lucky me they had it on tap during my second visit...

It is a cool-looking place, with tanks right by entrance and brick and wood aplenty. A zig-zagging copper bar and a cozy, quiet ambience on a lazy Sunday night.

Unfortunately there was a tapping going on for a local theater group and most of the joint was taken. This also affected service.

I was tempted by the barrel-aged beers but was one week too early for the release. Eight house beers on tap, including the Cluster DIPA (had, damn good!) and The Dark Side of the Moon (Black IPA, a tad too hoppy perhaps but good)

Of the food menu, we had a correct miso soup and a rather nice and filling veggie chili.

Service was crappy from a kind-of clueless bartender, but it is true he was busy with the filming crew.

I would come back, but not on purpose and without great expectations.

Photo of Sammy
2.79/5  rDev -28.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3 | selection: 2.75

A college bar. Satisfactory bar, basic service. Beer is passable. Loud, boisterous crowd, swearing, about sports. Loud TVs. Flight decks. Would be willing to try their barrel aged beers. Maybe quieter late afternoon. Prices are reasonable, and after all it is New jersey. Parking easy to find.

Photo of KDawg
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Harvest Moon has been a staple in New Brunswick for a good while. It had been a long time since I had left Rutgers until the other day.

Harvest Moon hasn't changed all too much and the set up is still exactly the same as when I had been here years ago. It's a real good atmosphere that belies it's being in a college town. It's a very laid back atmosphere with a nice bar area.

The quality of the brews is still pretty good. They aren't amazing, but on the whole pretty good. The service was usually on point and it was never too much of a problem to get a beer or some food.

The selection is mostly focused on their brews as would be expected. They aren't that deep in other brews but have a good amount of whiskey and some wine selections as well.

The food is also very solid. The fries were on the smaller side, but the wrap that I got was very good.

Harvest Moon was enjoyable to stop in and remember all the times I had come here when I was in college. It is certainly different from a lot of other rutgers bars, which is not a bad thing at all

Photo of LethalChickens
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

They always seem to have a decent selection of beer to cater to everyone's taste buds. They do brew imperial beers which is nice. I like it when the brewer gets creative. Recently they had a Bourbon Barrel aged Barley Wine. I was pretty impressed to see the Moon jumping on the barrel aging wagon. I would like to see more of that. Perhaps a bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout for the winter time?
The food is pretty good and the menu has a decent selection. The staff are all really nice people.

Photo of maniacal82
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I've visited Harvest Moon many times as it is only about five to ten minutes from my house. When it comes to brewpubs, I'm not about to drive an hour to find one. If there's one nearby I'll stop in, but anything more than about a half hour away is probably too far for me to bother.

Overall, their beers are kind of just average. I wouldn't call any of their beers bad, but most likely nothing is going to wow you. Most are $4 to $5 a pint. They have a handful of year round beers and many seasonals. A pretty decent offering for a small brewpub.

They serve food which is actually very good. They don't have a huge menu, but there's usually something for everyone, regardless what type of food you like. I wouldn't call their food cheap by any means, but if you're just looking for a good burger and a couple pints, it's not a bad place to go.

Harvest Moon is in downtown New Brunswick, NJ which is right in the middle of Rutgers territory. When school is in session it can get pretty packed in this place. It's not terribly large to begin with, although there is additional table seating on the second floor.

If you're local or traveling in the area, I suppose it's not a bad place to stop, but not somewhere you'd travel great distances to visit.

Photo of OddNotion
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere: Nice setting. Some tv's and music. Nothing too loud on most nights. Medium lighting. Clean and kept neat.

Quality: Very good beer, very good food, very good service.

Service: Waitstaff and bartenders are very nice and talkutive, however not overly so. The waitstaff are attentive with regards to the food service and are even knowledgable about the beers they serve. I have even been asked by my waitress if I wanted my growler filled at the end of my meal (Very nice considering she could have just assumed I would go on my own downstairs to do so). Bartenders never leave you waiting too long for service and alway make you feel like a priority.

Selection: I love what they do with the beers they brew. They have a few that are always on the menu along with a few experimentals and seasonals. Some of the beers they have are mediocre but others are great and very creative. I am a firm believer that they brew the best beer in NJ (in terms of retailers). I really wish they would put some of their beers on cask, that would put this place over the top.

Food: Food is great and pairs well with their beers. Everything is full of flavor and always cooked correctly. From the appetizers to the main courses to the deserts I have yet to run into a dish I did not like.

Photo of LucienDeRubempre
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

The beers here are quite good if a little on the safe side. I had the Cluster IPA, English Barleywine, Kolsch and some samples of the other stuff and I can vouch for all of them, just wish they would try doing some sours or big stouts for variety. They also have a very decent selection of aged single malts (i.e. Lagavulin 15, Talisker 10, Laphroig 12 double cask, etc) for reasonable prices per glass ($10-15).The atmosphere is really gorgeous, especially the upstairs dinning room with the hippie/arts-and-crafts woodwork and the beautiful pressed tin ceiling and old-fashioned skylight. The food was a bit of a disappointment, i.e. my wifes caprese pizza combined fresh mozarella and very decent crust with canned black olives, and the chips in my fish and chips were frozen french fries dusted with corn starch. Points for having malt vinegar tho.

Photo of Rifugium
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Nice little place in the university district of New Brunswick. A decent sized bar, and plenty of table space. College-kid atmosphere, hence kind of annoying and semi-hipster, but if you can phase out the clientele, it's not so bad a place. The beer wasn't tremendous--except for the pumpkin ale, which I loved; probably the best pumpkin ale I've ever had. The food menu has a lot of great stuff on there. I had the tenderloin and wasabi potatoes...good stuff. And the fried pudding balls for dessert...forget about it. Probably gained a good 5 pounds at that visit. Prices and service are decent.

Basically, I will go here to pre-game for shows at the Starland Ballroom, as it's [as far as I know] the best bar in the area.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Came in here on New Years Eve Eve (Jan. 30th) and boy did it fill up.
Upon walking in the tanks are on your right and the bar with a small dining area on the left. Staircase takes you upstairs to more tables and booths. My party were here for a few drinks and food and we stayed to enjoy the entertainment.( Golden Boyz, a live Karaokye band) We drank the Kolsch and Mild's all night which we all enjoyed. The fish & chips were some of the best I ever had but the rest of my party thought their chicken, and hamburgers were on par at best. The waitress was very busy so service was painfully slow and pints were $5 with food being around $15 a plate. Not terribly expensive but on the tip of the high side.
Overall- Had an enjoyable evening with good beer and food in a fun atmosphere. A definite must visit if you're near Rutgers Campus.

Photo of Jiggamyte
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Stopped in on a small pub crawl this past weekend with a few buddies. Not a bad little place, we got there around 5 pm so the place had yet to fill up. As a matter of fact there were six other people in the place.

The bar snakes around the wall and sits maybe fifteen to twenty people. This is not your typical New Brunswick bar because all the college kids are out looking for BMC cheap deals all around and tend to miss out on a nice little treasure of home brews. Because of the lack of BMC, the crowd tends to be a little bit older or maybe a little more refined in tasting beer.

Of their seven beers, I tried their Kolschbier and their Schwarzbier. Two very good beers. The Kolsch style is a style that I have never tried before. It was light and refreshing. The Schwarzbier I thought was going to be a bit heavier than it was, by its looks, but was also very good.

I have been to the Harvest Moon once previously and several years ago. The last time I remember having a bigger crowd and it was also a Friday night. The service was good then as it was this past trip and the beers having always been satisfying. The prices were reasonable considering New Brunswick bars are trying to outdo each other for a bigger share of the college kids wallets. A

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have been on hiatus from brewpubs for a while. I got to get the belly down. Anyway the wife and I came up on a Saturday afternoon on a beatiful day.

As you walk in you are greeted by the host(ess) and the mash tun. The bar is in front of you which kind of snakes around like a funky L shape. Smaller tables on your left surrounded by flat screens mounted on the wall and some high top tables on your right side as you walk in.There is a starcase off to the far right but we did not venture upstairs(don't even know if your allowed to.

As for the beers they were big and plentiful. I bought a sampler and all of them tasted amazing. So many high ABV's on the list usually there are a few that have a lower ABV but these were all above 5%. Anyway very good stuff.

Our waitress was very nice but the service was a little slower than expected for an empty bar.

All and all a great place to visit was a bit of a hike for the wife (pregnant) but she is a trooper and we had a great time.

Photo of BigIrishman
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Like others mentioned, this place is right in the heart of New Brunswick and just off the Rutgers College Ave campus. The place looks great, there's a nice big bar directly to the right when you walk in. There are a bunch of tables on the first floor and if you go upstairs there are a bunch more. The vaulted ceilings are awesome and if you're lucky you can sit upstairs and have a direct view of the bar through a cutout in the floor. The beer is great, they always have at least 8 beers on tap and sometimes have more. All beer is always fresh and you can occasionally get served by the brewer, who you can start up a conversation with pretty easily. The food is great, definitely try the more eclectic entrees and you won't be let down. The prices are reasonable, the growlers are pretty cheap and good. If you are in the area and it's not after 9 pm while school is in session definitely stop in.

Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My daughter Caitlin and I stopped in here on 16APR10, while on our way for a Wild Bill Guarnere dinner in Philly. Wasn't too hard to find in central New Brunswick, just down from a convenient parking garage. It is found on the ground floor of a large, faded-tan colored building. There are 4 large, ground to ceiling windows, and to their right is the entrance. Once through the foyer, you'll be in a cavernous place, with the tinny ceiling perhaps 20' up there. On the immediate front-right are top-to-bottom windows, behind which can be seen brewing/fermenting vessels, with more espied down in the basement below. Beyond that, to the right, are 4-5 tables along a worn brick wall, with a stairway (to where?) and the WCs in the rear. From the foyer, going left, are about 6 tables, three at the window front, the rest in the middle, between the window seats and a bar. The dark wooded bar runs from the left wall behind said tables and then angles 90° left back to the rear, near the WCs. The barback is also dark wood, with mucho glassware and assorted liquors, blackboards with available drafts, and further above that a few large TVs. Again, this place has a high ceiling, and way up there are lots of exposed pipes and ductwork. The place had a decent level of comfort, which was augmented by classic rock filling the air. Our waittress, Annette, did a decent job, but she was running solo on about 8 or 9 tables throughout the whole pub (hence the benefit on their service rating). I found 9 biers here on tap, with a hefeweizen, oatmeal stout, DIPA and barleywine among them. A nice range, and they were well-made, too. They should lose they orange-wedge in the hefe, though. Caitlin immediately yanked it (I've trained her well!). Our food was fairly-sized and tasty, with a nacho appetizer followed by a pulled-pork sammich (me) and a turkey club (Caitlin). A solid place, and about 10-15 minutes from the NJ Tpke, if you're travelling. I'd stop by again, if in the area. Prosit!!

4
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 $$

201

Photo of bob3701
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Mixed crowd depending when you go. At times you get the college crowd from Rutgers and other time you get the after work corprate crowd. Good selection of food from typical pub grub to more ecclectic. Alway a large selection of brews on tap alway 8-9. There is a rather long L-shaped bar on the first floor with a few tables too. On nice days they open up these big sliding doors to almost bring the street into the bar. There is a second floor that holds tables only. Overall the place is not that big and gets very crowded during peak hours.
Only drawback is I feel it is a bit pricey.

Photo of claspada
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Went on Halloween of this year.
Let's start with the bad, service, but probably because this is located on a college campus so employees are all probably students who are just working for some extra cash and don't actually give a cr@p.
Parking is also a nightmare but that is New Brunswick...
Food- Awesome. Had a chicken wrap with this homemade beer infused spicy mustard which was out of this world. I actually emailed the restaurant for the recipe and they surprisingly provided it, can't wait to make it. Also had choice of sweet potato fries which is always a plus in my book.
Beer- From what I sampled I was very very pleased. Had the Seasonal Pumpkin ale which was perfect, not too spicy like many if this style. The Mild was also delicious, almost ESB in hop character. The Firehouse red was good, but not spectacular, I am very critical of this style though. One of my friends had a strong Belgian style (Don't remember which one, but he is a big Belgian guy and he was pleased so that's a positive rating in my book).

Photo of leanne
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Like everybody else has mentioned, this place is right on the Rutgers campus and so has a primo location that most likely keeps them in business. I had their IPA and an Oatmeal Stout, both of which were good and drinkable, but not great.
I sat at the bar, and the bartender serving us kept letting out these exasperated sighs like being behind the bar was the last place in the world he wanted to be. He also talked to himself quite a bit, which would have been fine except it was loud enough that I kept thinking he was talking to me. Sort of distracting.

I had a BLT and potato soup. The soup was good (but really how can you screw up potato soup?) but the BLT was really dry. The best part of the meal was their french fries - very crispy! I think stick with the appetizers/bar food here and you'd be better off.

The plus side here is that it is inexpensive. If I were a nearby college student I would probably frequent this place all the time - but overall, pretty mediocre.

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Looks like a pretty stereotypical brewpub inside and out, nothing bad just pretty standard.

I sat at the bar on a Monday night, bartenders were very attentive and offered samples of whatever I wanted. So service was very good.

Beer selection: All brewed in house, no guest taps. Standouts were the Saison and the Double IPA, the rest were basics (Red, Hefe, Stout etc). The dIPA was very good and quite drinkable and I really enjoyed the saison.

Foodwise this place does some "upscale" pub grub, I had a seared tuna salad and an awesome order of BBQ Calamari (I highly recomment that).

Overall, the decor and comfort of the place is lacking as is the highly original beer selection BUT they are probably playing it safe in a college town and what they do brew is quite good. Food was great. Check it out if you're at Rutgers or in the area.

Photo of Keith238
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I was told about this place by a co-worker who went to college in the area and stopped in for a few yesterday (6/11/09) at about 4 pm. All but empty at this hour, pre-happy hour crowd, it made it very easy to get a few beers. Decent line up with a pale ale, double IPA, Irish Red, hefeweizen, stout, saison and kolsch. I didn't eat and sorry to report that I didn't even bother to check out the menu for the sake of this post. The chalk board left room for 3 or 4 more beers to be added and I over heard one of the brewers talking about releasing a pilsner next.

I tried the double IPA which was very good. Nice and fresh as I would expect when the brewery was only 15 feet behind me. Very bright and crisp, I'd guess about 70 ibu. Very floral and citrusy like a good DIPA should be.

I also had the saison and thought it was fantastic. Lots of flavor of wet hay and banana. Had 2 pints of that and bought a growler for home. I'll crack that open tonight after work.

They've been in operation for about 13 yrs now according to the bartender, his name escapes me. I just wish I didn't live over 2 hours away. I could very easily make this a regular spot. Ridiculously high ceilings in the bar that wraps around the building, second floor for dining. The only commercial beer that they serve is Coors Light to placate the college crowd but they aren't giving those away. $5 a bottle for Coors Light or $5 a pint of fresh brewed beer, your choice. $4 a pint during happy hour.

Keep up the good work. I hope to get my growler refilled sooner than later!!

Photo of bonbini26
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went in for dinner on a Thursday night. There is an upstairs with seating for dinner and a downstairs with the brew kettles, bar, and smaller tables. It got pretty crowded downstairs by the time we left. All the beer seemed fresh with a wide variety of selections with everything from a DIPA, oatmeal stout, belgian dark ale, and hefeweizen and more, probably about 10 selections in total. I thought the beer prices were a little high ($5-6) for a beer. Dinner for 4 came to just over $110, the appitizers were great and the main course wasn't bad Overall a great place n the Brunsiwck area

Photo of magnj
3.4/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I'm updating my review as I have been back half a dozen times since my first review:

I typically go on Thursday evenings, downstairs is often pretty busy, upstairs is hit and miss. Upstairs is a nice atmosphere, generally staying pretty quiet. New Brunswick is half College town, half Up-scale dining, half Slummy neighborhood. Parking is around the corner, $3 safe walk. The crowd is generally more grad student age than undergrad...not one of the top bars, which is good if you want the College atmosphere without the bar fights.

I usually have the Jimmy D's Firehouse and Elmes Mild Manor which are easy drinkers. Their seasonals are usually good, right now they have a Winter Warmer which was very nice.
A Sampler will get you everything they have on tap in small 5oz? glasses for $10, pints are $5+.

Burgers are average at best and the rest of the selection is small and pricey. At $9 the burgers leave something to be desired.

Service has been hit or miss, some of the staff are a little off and sometimes forgetful others a little better...none of them have been particularly knowledgeable about the beers though, you might try the bar if your looking to talk shop.

I used to love it, now I only like it. I won't be going back for burgers anymore but I might start bringing home a growler once in a while to support the local scene.

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Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe in New Brunswick, NJ
88 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.