Cloverleaf Tavern

Not Rated.
Cloverleaf TavernCloverleaf Tavern

79 Ratings
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.31
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

Place added by: Dantes

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Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 48
Reviews by ummswimmin:
Photo of ummswimmin
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Let me start by saying that this would be my bar. I have had more beers there, than any other bar in New Jersey. That is saying something considering that this restaurant is about a half an hour from home.

Tavern is a good descriptor of the business on the whole. Many areas are darker and most ceilings are low in the bar area. The atrium area opens nicely... I recommend sitting there when you come in. There is also an outdoor area that they put good effort into, but it faces a parking lot.

Outside of the bar area, I would say that Cloverleaf supports families with family nights and a nice brunch on Sundays.

Service has always been good. The servers try to be helpful with beer, and if they don't know something; then they ask other staff. They know the food, and overall they show a lot of beer

CL works to put a plethora of items on the menu. They are not gourmet, and the prices reflect properly. Specials have always been interesting and unique.

For beer, this is the largest selection of beers on draught that I have seen for any bar in New Jersey. There is a regular trading out of taps, and they have a great relationship with local brewers.

There are regular special events that are well publicized by the bar. This includes use of the DFH Randall once or twice a month, firkins, hosted events by brewers, and holiday events (Father's day looks good).

Beyond that, they have a beer experience program that I would recommend for people newer to the craft beer experience. You complete a list of 45 beers over about a year to earn your MBA (Masters of Beer Appreciation). They even have a PHD program that is all seasonal selections.

I recommend this bar for people in Northern Jersey. They are a great family owned establishment.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jgido759
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of reds2harleys
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of J-Rye
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of Sad_Larry
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
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!

Photo of dank203
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of Jacobob10
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
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!

Photo of crenegar
3.63/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Photo of Hitmanoo
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

Forever rotating selection of great beers.
Nice bar setup, with plenty of seating.
Various dining areas, including a beautiful patio in warmer weather.
Pretty standard pub food, with a few wrinkles thrown in.
Friendly service that is good, though not outstanding.
Simply one of the finest beer bars in the area.

Photo of carlamariegiac
3.7/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Great selection of craft brews and food! A bit noisy and can get very crowded. Parking is also difficult on busy nights, especially the weekends. The food is decent. I mostly come here for my MBA card, which is an awesome membership that they have. The beers are always rotating, and their selection is usually on point with the seasonal brews as well.

Photo of NJBeer265
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

After living in Bloomfield for 2 and 1/2 years my wife and I found out about the Cloverleaf Tavern through the Craft Beer Newsletter when they were voted the best Craft Beer Bar in the Northeast and 3rd in the Country. The first time we went there we were amazed at the selection, attention to detail (correct glass for each type of beer which is a true test) and knowledgeable staff. We started our MBA (Masters of Beer Appreciation) which covers 45 beers in 9 categorizes. We are currently 30 deep and cannot wait to graduate and move on to the PHD program which is an additional 60 beers, broken out by Season. Not only do they have a great rotating draft and bottle selection, they have special events/beers often. Most are posted on their website (Pumpkin Tap Takeover, Founders Tap Takeover) but they often pull out specials on the spot. Two times ago they broke out a Carton Cask and it was first come, first serve until it was gone. It does get busy after 7 and on the weekends but just grab a seat at the bar early.

Photo of Bifpocaroba
3.81/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

I've been coming here for about 20 years now and it is very consistent. Plenty of choices on the menu and across the board the food is good. The beer selection is excellent and the bartenders seem to be knowledgeable with the products they serve. Bar is a bit cramped and it can get crowded especially on weekends when families pack the place. Overall , it's a good place and worth the visit if your in the area.

Photo of shueyy
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been here only twice so my review of the atmosphere may vary from others. Both times were during the week and I was able to get a seat at bar not busy so atmosphere was casual and laid back. The bar has about 10 stools and then high top tables right behind. A couple of flat screen TV on the corner of an old fashion wooden bar.
The quality of the beer is good when I was there nothing was over the top on draft Victory, Flying Fish, Sam Adams, Brooklyn, Stella Artois. The beer that was something to remember was Carton-Boat Beer a very hoppy west coast style IPA from NJ but a session beer at 4.2 abv. Looking at their website I think maybe I hit and off week with their selection of draft beers.
The first time I was there the bartenders were changing shift so I waited for 5 minutes before someone asked what I wanted second time there no problems.
The food was good I had a country bourbon burger and the sauce was made with Makers Mark.
Overall a good bar that I would try again if I'm in the area.

Photo of muskiesman
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Great staff and service very knowledgable and friendly that probably more than makes up for any shortcoming this place has. A very good selection of draft and bottles. They are great at bringing in new beers and highlighting local beer as well as their MBA and PHD programs.
Food is really good but stick to the bar and Irish menu, seafood is not their game. We have not tried the brunch.

Easily gets crowded on promo nights and evenings so we tend to go early leave early. Prices are very reasonable and place feels like a neighborly place. Others may have better beer selection but not the staff and organization that makes Cloverleaf stand out.

Photo of WhiskeyNinja
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is where I pray to the beer Gods. Extremely great selection of beers. Still working on my MBA (Master of Beer Appreciation) degree, 3 beers left. Waiting for a friend to catch up to graduate together. I want my name on the wall!!! Everytime I have eaten here, the food has been excellent. I have not had a bad dish yet. Also, their wings are pretty damn good too. Only complaint I have is that it does get a bit crowded at times, which I guess means they are doing something right. Just wish the bar area was bigger so it would be easier to get a table for when I do a "Scott's Beer Tour" with a larger group of friends. Staff is great also.

Photo of jjchristiano
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Went several times for Tuesday night MBA (Master of Beer Appreciation)night. Always have a good time with the great selection of new craft beers. Went this last Tuesday for a Belgian Beer Pairing Dinner with 4 course menu each course paired with a different belgian beer. The owner started going from the dining room into the bar and bringing out additional things to try. They even gave everyone in attendance an nice Duvell glass. The food is very average for a bar but the beer menu is as good as it gets and the staff really all know beer. I believe most Beer Advocates would find this place a great overall experience.

Photo of kennylopez
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I went to this place for the Founders Tap Takeover on a Tuesday after work. Got there 24 minutes after the KBS was tapped and still was too late. But besides the thick crowed there for the Randall IPA and KBS I really enjoyed myself and so did my girlfriend. The food was just as good as the brew. I could not help myself from ordering one more entree of ribs for the next day. I loved the entire place from the simple food and brew focus and customer service. I will make sure to make it a new spot considering the comfort and selection and don't let me forget the quality.

Photo of bogus564
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Last visit: 20 September 2011

This place is roughly 22 minutes from my home, so I'm there at least twice a month.

The review varies based on where you sit. If you are in the bar area, you have staff that's far more knowledgeable about beer than if you sit in the dining areas. I prefer to sit right at the bar, as do the majority of my friends who frequent the place.

The service varies depending on who you get as a waiter or waitress. Most of the staff at the bar is very good, and gets your order in and to to you promptly. If you find yourself in the small room adjacent to the bar area, expect to wait for everything. If you are in one of the outer areas, expect to wait even longer.

The food selection is good, and I'm rarely disappointed. The pulled pork sliders, fish 'n chips, flat iron steak, quesadillas, and club sandwich are really good. The beer selection is rather impressive, and they keep somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 beers in stock. There are two dozen on tap, and they rotate them frequently.

There's a loyalty program called MBA (Master of Beer Appreciation, which calls for the tasting of 45 different beers), which after completion, rewards you by giving you a t-shirt and the bonus of drinking from tap beer from a bigger pint glass. They also offer a PhD (Professor of Hops and Drafts, 60 different beers), which gets you another t-shirt, a hoodie, and tap beer from an even bigger glass. Great marketing ploy, in that you see at least one of your peers ebery time you walk in the joint.

You get a very decent bang for your buck as far as the beer and food pricing goes. I've been there enough that I have my name on two different plaques on the walls there, so I can say that it's one of my favorite venues.

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
5/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Bottom line up front: The best beer bar in New Jersey! Selection of beers on tap is out of this world. I have visited the Cloverleaf numerous times--the beer selection is outstanding and the selection of taps is changed out regularly providing a nice mix of quality staple beers as well as seasonal microbrews from the local area.

The food is great and service staff does a nice job of recommending beers to pair with different foods.

Atmosphere is really nice--cozy neighborhood bar with speacial rooms and dining areas. Weather permitting, the outside terrace is nice, if not the bar room has great views.

Cannot say enough good things about this establishment. If you have a love for beers, this is the place to go. if you want to know more about beers, talk to the General Manager. Great place and one of my favorite bars!!!!

Photo of buyBinboaVodka
3.63/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I stopped here Saturday night with my girlfriend because we wanted to try something different and I heard of this place being good and I really wanted to go here for a while now. My experiance was, well, lets just say a little below my expectations.

When you first walk in the bar is on the right and there are some tables to the left. Walk through the bar area and the hostess desk is towards the left. There is a seating area directly behind and then an outside patio.

They had some good beers there. I had some Brooklyn Concoction, some Allagash White, SN Southern Hemisphere and some Harpoon Rasberry Wheat. They have some Sam Adams, Cricket Hill, Yards, DFH 90, and mostly light summer brews.

The food was actualy really good. We split oysters, some ruben wrap finger sandwhiches, coconut shrimp, and a maryland crab special.

Here is where I thought they lacked a little bit. Our bill came just over $70, fine. But when we ordered the crab cake special, it was supposed to have 2, they only had one left and that was it. It was also supposed to come with a side and it didn't. So instead of taking half off the price of the plate, they only took %25. I felt that the oysters were a little pricey and small for 10.99 for 6. They also never refilled my water glass the entire time I was there even when I asked. And when we were waiting to leave, the waitress took the salt and pepper off the table but not the check with the CC sticking out. It was 20 minutes later and having to ask 2 other people before she took the check. I think a little more attention to service and I would have had no problem with this place.

EDIT: This place has made very good on keeping customers and I will go back and have been back. Just a top notch place.

Photo of 9InchNails
4.18/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

When I arrived I parked in the back of the building. The parking lot seemed kind of full but I did manage to get a spot. While walking toward the entrance vintage beer signs and emblems are hung up on the side of the building. Walking toward the bar they have growlers on display you can purchase. The growlers are really nice looking. They look like German style growlers that have the Cloverleaf logo on them with a swing handle.
My brother, my girlfriend and I decided to sit next to the bar. We didn't sit directly at the bar because it was kind of crowded so we sat at a table near the bar.
The waitress was really nice and she knew a decent amount about beer. She knew which beers would taste well after another, like a IPA wouldn't taste right after I had my Porter. She suggested a few beers I might be interested in.
The atmosphere is really nice; it has a really interesting Irish feel. They use their old bar tap handles as decorations along the wall, which is fun to look at.
My brother and I decided not to purchase any food but my girlfriend ordered some Casa Dias which were quite tasty. The beers on tap were a little pricey but not out-of-line, about five to six dollars a pint. It is worth it, they have about 22 beers on tap with maybe three being macro brews.
Some of the tasty beers my brother and I had on tap were: Cricket Hill's Colonel Blides, Dogfish Head's 90 Minute IPA, Rogue's Dead Guy Ale, Smuttynose Robust Porter, North Coasts' Old Rasputin and Weyerbacher's Old Heathen. I do believe a lot of the beers they rotate but this gives you the idea about the place and what types of beer they offer. It is definitely worth checking out and I know I will again.

Photo of stingrayvr6
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

First brought here by another beer geek at the end of the summer. I was very impressed by the selection, always rotating in quality brews, Founders, Palm, DFH World Wide Stout. Have everything from light lagers to barleywines. The service was great, even though we were there on a fairly crowded Friday night, never had to wait more than a minute or two for a beer. The food was great, as well. Had oysters on the half shell, and sampled a few other dishes which were all good. The MBA program (Master of Beer Appreciation) adds a bit of a game to the experience, and adds some incentive to keep coming back. Definitely a good place if you are local.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited on 9/21/2010 & 9/23/2010 during a recent trip to NJ for work. The look of the place is your typical Irish pub, which I like. There are also a couple of large dining areas set apart from the bar area. It's a nice relaxing atmosphere even when the crowd starts to get heavier unlike many other places. The beer selection is very good despite limitations on the number of taps available. While they feel they still need to keep the BMC beers, Guiness, Bass, Sam Adams & such on-tap, they make good use of the remaining taps by offering a diverse selection of quality beers, making it easy for someone to find a beer they like. While I was there they had Brooklyn Detonation, Founders Nemesis, Tremens, Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster & Harpoon 100BBL Series to name a few and they mixed in local seasonal beers from Flying Fish & Sly Fox among others along with a very good bottle selection. Service is friendly, no complaints there. I also talked with Scott one night who told me how hard he's trying to accelerate the craft beer push there and I applaud what he and the rest of those involved have done so far. The food is exactly what you would expect from this type of place. I'm not a harsh critic as far as food goes and enjoyed what I had both times. If I'm ever back in that area, I will make sure I stop by again.

Photo of Naugros
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I go here for the food and the beer and I go with friends as well as the occasional date night with the wife. One day we'll bring the kids as well for Sunday brunch since I've heard that it is awesome.

There are only 20 taps but in NJ that's quite a lot. Since most of the locals think of the place as an Irish bar many of the crap beers are represented, but they do pay the bills for the place due to volume. But that's part of the charm of this place: they cater to the beer geeks and the beer know-nothings. To make up for the "lack" of taps they have a really good list of bottled brews.

For the beer geeks they have two drinking programs: the MBA and the PhD. For each you drink beer they choose, get gift cards at certain tiers and upon completion get your name on the wall, a t-shirt, another gift card and the right to drink out of a larger drinking vessel when ordering a draft and paying the same as anyone else. Sweet. At one point in your PhD they even give you a free bottle of something for "home study". On the first Tuesday of each month they have MBA night. Sometimes they have breweries in or have special events with a beer release. There are usually give-aways and raffles for some pretty neat brewery swag. Even if they didn't have this you meet other beer geeks and I've made many friends there doing just that.

Many of the bartenders really know their beer and a few of them will talk beer with you all night if the place is quiet, but don't hold your breath...this place is rarely quiet. The bar is not that large and they can only seat about 20 or so people in the bar stools, but there are a lot of tables. The only issue is that the main entrance to the restaurant is through the bar area, so when it's crowded you need to push through everyone to get to the hostess desk to get a seat if you want to eat in the restaurant. I prefer to eat at the bar, but that's me.

Seating in the rest of the restaurant is either in the bar, the other front room (which I've never been in), the back room or outside at the back of the place. It's really nice out there on pleasant nights and even on nights when there's a little chill in the air they have heaters they can move around for your comfort.

The regular menu has many staples and all are good. I love the sliders and the fish and chips are not bad. The reuben is the only thing I found to be lacking when compared to other Irish pubs. Their weekly specials can be amazing and they have a special burger of the week which changes every week. Funny how that works out, huh? They even have a loyalty club where you can earn points that can be used to knock money off your bill.

Okay, this place isn't The Ginger Man in NYC or The Monk's Cafe in Philly, but it's one of the best places in New Jersey for great beer and real yummy food.

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Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ
95 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.