Cloverleaf Tavern

Not Rated.
Cloverleaf TavernCloverleaf Tavern
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

45 Reviews
Reviews: 45
Visits: 80
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: n/a
Taps: 23
Bottles: 62
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

395 Bloomfield Ave
Caldwell, New Jersey, 07006-4908
United States
phone: (973) 226-9812

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @cloverleafinfo

Notes:
Place added by: Dantes

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Visits: 80
Reviews by donniecuffs:
Photo of donniecuffs
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Atmosphere: A second-generation family-owned pub-style restaurant that's been around since the Great Depression, the Cloverleaf (or the 'Leaf as some of the locals refer to it), is a great old-school place, but the problem is that it is too popular, as the bar is consistently jammed, elbow to elbow. Furthermore, the local college kids and middle-age fratboys who show up in droves all too frequently get really annoying when you overhear them bragging incessantly about how they consider themselves "beer connoisseurs", just because they've tried not only Dogfish Head 60min, but also 90min and 120min. Wow. Oh, and another thing...sometimes it gets so loud that you can't hear yourself think.

Quality: The management does a great job of rotating in new micro taps, so freshness is not a concern. My only criticism is that they devote too more tap space to the macros, both domestic and foreign.

Service: The amazing thing about this place...and I stress amazing...is that no matter how crowded it gets, I never feel as if a bartender/server is inaccessible. Furthermore, they are always friendly, and are fans of good beer, if not exceedingly knowledgeable.

Selection: The selection is very good, but I have two criticisms. First, as I had mentioned earlier, way too much tap space is devoted to the macros. Second, while their clever good beer appreciation campaign (e.g. the M.B.A., masters of beer appreciation, and P.h.D., professor of hops and drafts) does get more people to try microbrewed beer, they have an inordinate focus on a handful of the 'large micros', like Dogfish Head and Brooklyn. Both of the aforementioned breweries are fantastic, but this place needs more of the 'micro micros', as diversity is key. That being said, selection diversity appears to be improving, as a recent visit yielded pints of Anderson Valley and Ommegang.

Food: The food offerings resemble a cross between that of an old-school Irish pub, and a standout chain restaurant. In short, it is a decent complement to a night of drinking some good beer. (2,048 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of MattDiGug
4.01/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of jgido759
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

First time there and enjoyed it very much. Wait staff and manager on duty were friendly and knowledgeable. (106 characters)

Photo of ohyeahitsmuff
4.01/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of reds2harleys
4.81/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Excellent Tavern. Huge selection of craft beers that is always changing. Great food at fair prices. Fun crowd, good bartenders. Highly recommend. (148 characters)

Photo of chupacabrablanco
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of J-Rye
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Great place. They always have some incredible beers on tap that you wouldn't expect to find. Some examples have included Clown Shoes' Ride the Lion, Firestone Walker's Opal, Brooklyn Brewery's Collaboration beer Wild Horse Porter, etc. The burger of the week is always exceptional, and I mean exceptional. The atmosphere is a little bland, generally, but they've had a cigar roller come in and do his thing at the outdoor patio. I mean, really, how much more can you ask for. I recommend this place, even if you need to make a day trip. (542 characters)

Photo of madmick104
4.76/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of stepherrs09
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Photo of starshockey9
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Sad_Larry
4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Excellent beer selection, great service, and pretty darn good food, too. One of my favorite spots! (98 characters)

Photo of johnpalisi
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of dank203
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

have been here a few times recently and can't wait to go back. great selection and service and good food. the only issue is having to wait to be seated, but the bar area is pretty efficient even at the busiest hours. (218 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went to Cloverleaf Tavern on a Thursday night with coworkers. It was my second time here, the first being about 5 years before. I found street parking right across the street (metered parking which runs til 6pm). We snagged a high-top table near the bar just before it started getting crowded. While not the largest you will ever see, the beer list is well curated and up to date, which I appreciate much more than having a copious amount of taps. Between 20-25 taps total, almost all American craft. They even have preset flights that rotate daily. I went with a Carton Orange Swisher first, followed by the "new beer" flight which consisted of a Founders Red's Rye IPA, Ramstein Imperial Pilsner, Stone Old Guardian Extra Hoppy, and Flying Fish Exit 3 Blueberry Braggot. Awesome! Our waitress was excellent, offering small tastes of any beer we wanted to try and even offered to replace one of the beers in any of preset flights if I didn't want one of them, which was very nice. The food was great as well. Betweent three of us, we ordered monterrey sticks, sliders, a black bean burger, and a salad. Everyone enjoyed what they had. Overall, this is one of, if not the best, beer bars in the area. They always get great stuff on tap and you're likely to find something there that you're not going to find anywhere else. Highly recommended! (1,342 characters)

Photo of crenegar
3.63/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I've been visiting this place for about 15 years, well before it became a "good beer bar". Was in yesterday for a couple beers and a light bite. As is common these days, even in the supposed good beer bars it seems too often the selection is dictated by the distributors and so you see a lot of the same beers at many different establishments. Cloverleaf has a decent selection that is heavy on the craft beers with a couple imports sprinkled in (nothing from Germany though, which always boggles my mind). Also a little heavy on the IPAs and high gravity stuff which really limits my choices since I don't like IPAs and had to drive. 20 taps is plenty of selection I just wish they were better thought out and a little more diversified. With all the beers around the $6-$7 mark prices are a little on the high side, food was pretty good as usual. The place is definitely worth a stop if you're in the area but it doesn't crack the list of NJ's top beer bars. (959 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

We had the opportunity to visit Cloverleaf Tavern twice in the recent past, both of which while visiting some good friends who reside in Montclair, New Jersey. Said friends, who are well aware of our penchant for good brews, had suggested this bar as a meeting place for us all to catch up at, while enjoying some new craft offerings. After researching Cloverleaf, we were excited to learn they had been rated the Northeast’s #1 beer bar the last two years in a row!!

After finding a parking space (parking is either on the street or in public lots), we approached Cloverleaf. The outside sports shaker shingles and a large green and white striped awning. A green and yellow sign uses old-timey font to clearly inform visitors that they are in the right place. Upon entering the establishment, we turned right, and were immediately greeted by a warm and welcoming bar area. The interior has an older tavern feel and is decorated almost entirely in a warm dark wood. Stained-glass chandeliers and recessed lighting create a cozy and glowing atmosphere. A large walnut bar sits against the right wall, and contains beautifully carved shelves filled with many top-shelf liquors. The seating space against the bar itself is large enough to accommodate at least twenty bar seats. The rest of the bar area is filled with a mixture of high top and regular tables, packed relatively close together. It’s a cozy atmosphere, which at times does feel a bit difficult to navigate because of the close proximity of the tables, but there is plenty of seating. We found seating during both visits without a wait; once at the bar and once at a table. On both occasions we stayed primarily in the bar area, however, there is a larger, more formal dining area wrapping towards the back of the restaurant.

The beer menu was perhaps on the smaller side when comparing to other beer bars we have been to. They had roughly twenty taps, and forty to fifty bottles and cans. This is to no detriment, however, as nearly every single tap is of immense quality and rarity. Offerings do vary in origin and style, but during both visits we were able to find something excellent, exciting, and new to us. In addition to supplying a terrific selection, it is a requirement that all members of the wait staff be certified cicerones, making nearly everyone you encounter knowledgeable and interesting to chat with. They are serious about customer “beerducation” as well, and offer a “beer MBA program”. The program is a free card on which approximately forty-five beers are listed. As you sample various selections from the card you earn “credits” toward your MBA. Forty-five credits earns your name on a plaque, free t-shirt, and a 20oz. pour for the price of 16oz. There are varying levels of degrees, ranging up to PhD. Once completed, they ring a large bell in the bar area, announcing your graduation loudly for all to admire. If you find yourself “studying” up an appetite, fairly standard bar food is available. We ordered the Monterey jack fried cheese sticks, sliders, and a chipotle black bean burger, and were satisfied with our selections.

Overall, this was a great find on a great recommendation!! We were able to relax and have some great beers in a warm, relatively quiet, and homey atmosphere, chat with knowledgeable staff, and enjoy some delicious bar food. I believe it is safe to say that this will become a regular meeting place for future trips to visit friends in New Jersey. (3,515 characters)

Photo of Toasty
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Photo of njcraft07
3/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of ChadwickHines
4.76/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of Antc2382
3/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of JackNip
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Vivs85
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of rzanders
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%

Photo of Alissa2579
5/5  rDev +18.5%

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Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ
93 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.