Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by donniecuffs:
4.9/5 rDev +11.1%
So I crack open the most recent issue of the Ale Street News, flip to the NJ section, and lo and behold, a 'new' beer bar has opened in Sparta, Sussex County. Since I am 20min away and have been itching for a new place, of course I hit it with my wife the next evening (which was a saturday night).
The first impression as I pulled up was that of a beautiful, rustic lodge/farmhouse structure, but I was a little surprised to find valet parking greeting me at the door. This immediately did not leave me optimistic, but I later found out that valet parking only occurs on friday and saturday nights, simply out of necessity due to the crowds (which we witnessed first-hand), not due to the image typically associated with it.
Upon entering, we went straight to the bar area on the right, as the dining room on the left, complete with white linens and fireplaces, seemed quite fancy for the way we were dressed...and we were primarily concerned with the beer anyway. Upon entering the bar area, I was shocked by the large chalkboard staring back at me, about 32 taps strong, of some excellent and hard-to-find offerings, including Founders Backwoods Bastard, Stone Double Bastard, DFH Worldwide Stout, Sierra Nevada Estate, Boaks Wood Beanie, New Holland Imperial Hatter, Founders KBS, Troegs Mad Elf, Victory Yakima Twilight, La Chouffe, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Terrapin So Fresh So Green, Rogue John John Hazelnut, etc. Now, I'm a fan of the Coppermine, Tap Room, Andy's, etc, but I must admit that the draft list put some of theirs to shame. And after speaking with our waittress, who by the way was both beer-knowledgeable and super-friendly, we found out that Mohawk had only recently really stepped up their game in the beer arena, despite having been built about 5yrs ago, so it made the quality and selection available even more surprising. Wow. I guess I'm glad I picked up that copy of Ale Street.
The prices were reasonable ($5-6 range), and both sampler flights (either 4 or 6) and take-home growlers were available. As I mentioned earlier, the dining room was very chic, and the prices on the dining room menu reflected that ($$$$). However the bar menu was certainly reasonable ($$), and the food was outstanding: everything locally-made/grown to match the local beer/wine scene. Bratwurst, fish/chips, lobster/shortrib sliders, locally made cheese paddle, etc..it was all good, and it didn't break my wallet. I made it a point to get as much information about the ownership/mission/background of the place as possible, compliment them profusely, and say that we'd be back soon.
We did go back on tuesday, and I was able to meet Steve, the co-owner (with his wife) of the establishment. What a gentleman. After speaking at length for what seemed like an hour, he offered my wife and I complimentary desserts (which were fabulous), which I must say was much appreciated, as my wife had just had a rough day at the hospital, and it hit the spot. And some of the stories he had told me...like throwing out some macro beer distributors from his restaurant...showed me that he was indeed serious about making Mohawk a prime beer lovers' destination.
In a nutshell, I am so excited that FINALLY NJ has a beer bar that gets the beer/food quality balance right (see my other reviews), and I am even more excited that it is only 20min from me. Bravo, Mohawk House...get used to seeing my face, because you will be seeing it A LOT.
11-19-2010 22:04:15 | More by donniecuffs
More User Reviews:
4.78/5 rDev +8.4%
Ill just start by saying I love this place and it is my favorite place in the area to go too! The service is great and all of the bartenders know exactly what they are talking about and they all know their beers very well. They have happy hour every single day 2-6pm, with $2 off every draft beer which is great because all their beers at normal price are $6-$12. 50 taps and the selection is always amazing, different styles to keep everyone happy. They do get a lot of limited beers on tap and their bottle selection is also very nice. Overall a great place to go for any beer lover and if you are in the area it is deffinitly worth a trip!
07-15-2014 22:53:25 | More by Tobes181
4.55/5 rDev +3.2%
50 taps here...and they typically only waste 2 or 3 on coors light, blue moon, etc. outstanding selection on any given day, really the best i've seen in NJ. the fact that they serve paddles of 4 five oz samples comes in very handy because they do an excellent job on the seasonals. they might have up to 10 pumpkin options in sept, 12 christmas beers in dec, etc. when i have an opportunity to cut out of the office early, this is my favorite spot at which to kill an hour before heading home to the family.
the only downside to this place for me is the food. its priced at the high end but the results are almost always just ok. the pizzas are boring, the tuna tartar is average. the burger is quite good though.
overall, this place ranks as my favorite beer destination in NJ.
02-06-2013 17:33:54 | More by krs0123
4.33/5 rDev -1.8%
A beautiful stone mansion with easily the best beer selection in north jersey. The space is grand with outside grounds and several rooms and spaces for private events but the highlight is the drafts. They are up to 42 taps now and have plans for 8 more. Great local craft beer representation with Ramstein High Point, Flying Fish, Cricket Hill, Brooklyn, Victory, Boaks, Weyerbacher and more.
The food is very good but we stick to the pub fare and usually hit the happy hour from 2-6. They have some great offers. You can flight their beers but the flights seem to be especially pricey.
Every time we visit we have a great time they just need to work on the details. They have great pizza, calamari, wings and mussels all half price for happy hour!
Two pet peeves please do not serve some of the finest beers available on a paper napkin, get some coasters already and the servers while attentive most still need a solid education in the beer basics and need to keep up with the ever changing drafts. While we have seen great improvements since we started visiting they have a way to go yet.
02-04-2012 15:44:42 | More by muskiesman
4.5/5 rDev +2%
So, I’ve heard some things. Good things. In that corner of New Jersey where not much else happens beerwise. And that’s about all I needed to hear just blindly trudge out to Sparta looking to magically stumble onto it, which of course, I did…
Stone house looking place on a hill looking like someone would be living there. But no, ‘cause beer lives there. Enter, dodge reception, fake straight, veer right to the bar (I shouldn’t be able to fool anyone with that play). A-frame room, with a white angled ceiling to a point holding large crossbeams running along and across. Spinny fans from the center beam and single big round bulb copper looking drop lamps tracing the bar. Plank wood floorings, a sizable brick wall on the end, and the other walls painted deep burgundy over wood panel lowers here and into the room to the rear. Sunken spots throughout.
Large “U” shaped wide plank bar with a wood base and foot rest; seating for nearly 2 dozen on sturdy leather bound wood chairs set 3 sides around. In the center, a copper topped center bar island with 14 taps on a bar tower showing on the outer end and another with 8 on the back side. Tiered booze in between, wines displayed up front, house growlers behind the taps, and glass front cooler space below. Another tower of 12 on the barback wall, glassware shelving racks to both sides, and mounted above, long horizontal blackboards listing tap selections and ‘on deck’ & specials in colored chalk. A large ‘temperance’ sign sits mockingly atop prominently. Colorful retro signage, TV’s in the corner of the bar, mounted baby wall lamps and curtained windows. Something of a rear room back past the bar. First, a few long tables and 8 hightop roundies, and a small stage to the rear of the rear, fronting panel windows beneath a ‘prohibition’ sign. Raised wood plank ceiling back there with baby shade chandeliers & spinnys, and a little fireplace all bricky.
So, we’re here for lunch. Started with the tuna tartar taco trio (wonton crisp, seaweed salad, avocado puree, harissa mayo), served on a rack created for a taco trio if ever there was one. She said they looked disgusting (hey thanx, I’m only eating that), but she was wrong as they were in fact, quite good. And then I moved to the Asian grilled chicken breast salad (baby spinach, shitake, roasted pinenuts, scallion vinaigrette), served in an oddly shaped bowl. It was a killer salad; you know how I feel about pinenuts & scallions. She had them take the fish & chips down to a sandwich format, which she cited as being soggy and sad, like the clown. I violated her fries but avoided the carrot remoulade.
And drink. 34 taps (I’ve heard there are now 42), ½ of which are local/regional craft selections (Ramstein Double Platinum Blonde, Cricket Hill Belgian Dubbel, Weyerbacher Sixteen & PAPA, Victory Headwaters Pale Ale & Hop Devil IPA, Troegs Flying Mouflan, Brooklyn The Concoction, Blue Point Toxic Sludge, Ommegang 2011 Belgian Independence Day Saison & Hennepin, Southern Tier Mokah & Farmer’s Tan Imperial Pale Lager, Sam Adams Oak Aged Porter & Wee Heavy, Magic Hat Blind Faith, Allagash White). What remains is mostly craft afar (Founders Blushing Monk, Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale, Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale, Salvation, The Reverend & Out of Bounds Stout, Firestone Walker Reserve Porter & Double Jack, Anderson Valley Brother David’s Double, Green Flash Hop Head Red, Lagunitas Lucky 13 Alt, Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale), with a handful of imports (De Ranke XX, Maredsous 8, Schneider Weisse, Guinness), and a crap mac (Coors Light).
I started with an Ommegang 2011 Belgian Independence Day Saison (for try) and then had a De Ranke XX (for tried and true). Hey, they do samplers of 4 on little baby paddles. So we will, collectively between the 2 of us; Maredsous 8 (does not suck), Firestone Reserve Porter (win), Sam Adams Wee Heavy (band aid awful), Sam Adams Oak Porter (better) Cricket Hill Dubbel (very good), Founders Blushing Monk (big berry smash but really good), Firestone Double Jack (on accident, but quite nice).
And with beer in hand, I went on walkabout. Through to the main dining room; a beautiful space with high vaulted ceilings and a wall climbing fireplace; stone with brick inlay. 2 dozen tables here and a loft to the rear with another 8 tables, plus private rooms of awesome (wine room & study; the latter an old screened in porch space renovated). Also, a rear garden room with upwards of a dozen tables, and out back, a dozen+ round tables and a small bar, looking over a pair of bocce courts where goodness happens.
Nice upscale place, built from nothing up. Probably too good for the likes of unshowered unkempt you, (but certainly not me). We don’t love the music they’re playing here, someone should be parking lot beaten for it. Seriously. Intentionally inconveniently located to me but worth the drive. I’ve had a few very nice meals, albethey pricey as fuck. Good beer things happen here. I like.
01-23-2012 03:29:51 | More by slander
4.78/5 rDev +8.4%
The Mohawk House is a beautiful slightly rustic / craftsman / colonial stone-faced restaurant just off Route 15 in Sparta. Soft lighting, fireplaces, exposed wood beams, and lots of wood all reminds me of an upscale ski-lodge. Certainly a comfortable place to spend an afternoon (30+ beer taps also helps!)
My wife took me for an afternoon of appetizers and drinks at the bar. Happy hour is 2-6 every day, with 1/2 price pizzas, mussels and wings, and $2 off draught beers. The tap selection is really nice, broad range of styles, and some hard-to-find selections. I opted for a paddle, with four 4-oz samples - Defiant Christmas, Kane IPA, Green Flash Double Stout and Rogue Chocolate Stout) followed by a second paddle (21st Amendment Fireside, Liefmans Oud Bruin, River Horse Oatmeal Stout and Left Hand Pepper Porter). Our bartender didn't write anything down, yet got each order perfect. I love being able to try so many different beers, and with the great selection, it's easy to find plenty to try.
We split a pizza, mussels, pulled pork sliders and a cheese plate. The mussels were the best of the bunch: simply sauteed in wine, garlic and leeks, and perfectly cooked tender and fresh. The cheese plate was really nice, with plenty of options to choose from for our three cheese. The sliders and pizza were o.k. ... nothing to complain about, but nothing amazing, though the sweet potato fries with the sliders were really, really good. The dining room dinner menu looked amazing... upscale and moderately expensive, but the descriptions were mouth-watering. Certainly a special occasion type dining experience, and we will have to return for such an occasion.
Overall, the bar & tavern menu are a great deal at happy hour, and by far the best beer selection in Sussex County, and on-par with or maybe even above the the best beer bars in North Jersey.
12-12-2011 02:01:13 | More by apintofknowledge
Mohawk House in Sparta, NJ
95 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.