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Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant

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Gaslight Brewery & RestaurantGaslight Brewery & Restaurant
37 Ratings
Gaslight Brewery & RestaurantGaslight Brewery & Restaurant

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Homebrew, Beer-to-go

15 South Orange Ave.
South Orange, New Jersey, 07079
United States

(973) 762-7077 | map

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Ratings: 47 |  Reviews: 38
Reviews by jwc215:
Photo of jwc215
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

As my friends and I entered, there was a mob of people around a very loud, noisy bar. We waited for quite some time, even though it was around dinner time, before noticing someone towards the back who sat us. The back room had a much different atmosphere, it seemed to try to be more classy, but it was a small, crowded (not by people - but the tables and decor) atmostphere and the loud area of the bar interfered with the dining experience. I was impressed, however, with the beer decorations - though it was a bit too much in one small area.
The menu offered a wide, and somewhat exotic line of choices. The food was very fresh - I ordered the blueberry bbq chicken - it was moist. The spices helped the beer, well, as much as it could given that the beer was terrible.
The young waitress, who seemed to be the only friendly worker in the place, excitedly asked us if we wanted a sample, as we showed interest in their beers. Oddly, you could only select up to five of the seven beers that they had, though all were available.
By the way, their beer selection was quite extensive, including other craft/regional beers and imports, including all three Chimays. I was surprised that a brewpub offered so many other choices. When I sampled the beers, it dawned on me why that was so.
Bottom line - the beers were not good at all. Most of them had a strong medicinal taste, and none of them seemed to fit the style. Now, I understand that there are interpretations. But, making unbalanced, medicinal beers that tasted like cologne or perfume is not interpretation, it's just bad beer. The porter was very sweet, the stout woody and smoky, and the others, especially the wit and, worse, the brown, were too far off the style to be considered those styles.
I asked the hostess (I presumed) where the bathroom was, and she was not polite. She seemed bothered by the question. I also asked if the brewmaster was there, and again, she seemed like it was trouble to respond, but she did answer me.
The growlers were inexpensive, so I bought one, just to add to my collection.
Overall, it seemed like they didn't know where they were going. It was a beer bar that brewed terrible beer, but had a decent selection of other beers. Outside of the waitress they did not seem friendly. The bar area ruined the atmosphere. This place could be improved in so many ways. It's not worth another trip there though.

Edit on 5/10/07: I have been back a couple of times, and have been more impressed. Both times the beer was much better. I did notice a nice variety of their own beers. Some of the beers were quite good - the others decent or better. Maybe I caught it on an "off" time the first time I went. On the last visit, the person working the bar was very friendly and knowledgeable about the brewpub scene here in NJ and about beer in general. I was able to have a few samples - some without asking. It is unusual, I still think, for a brewpub to have other beers - but, hey, the guest beers are very good, so no complaints! I've changed my opinion substantially since the first visit, and now recommend the place - especially on "non-peek" hours!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Urk1127
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Photo of mikerems
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of RexBanner
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of mk_ultra
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Smiles72
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of NYRfan4ever
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 2.25

I definitely think this place needs significant improvement.

I went here for a long time and lost respect for them bc of the freshness of beers i.e. ipa and stagnant selection.

After going there last night and it was more of the same. I asked to see a bottle of Stone Ruination to check the date. He had no clue as to why I would do that, he was kinda put off by it. The date was best by 10/27/13, which means it was put in the bottle in July. I told the bartender that its not fresh anymore and I don't want it. He was upset. I think this is because his craft beer knowledge is minimal. Then I asked if the Stone IRS was from this year and he had no clue. He gave it to me and sarcastically asked if this was ok. I was like yeah, and then thought ok I'm done with this place and I'm never going back unless the rest of the people I'm with insist on it, and even then I would try to deter them from going there.

In conclusion, I am not going back there ever.

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Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Varkias41
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Paul68
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of metter98
3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Vibe: The front of this place is set up like a bar with pub-style seating and a bunch of TVs; the back room is quite large and quieter and is more like a sit-down restaurant. They have chalkboards posted in multiple locations that list the beers currently available on-tap from the brewery. It's located a block away from the NJ Transit train station.

Quality: Beers were served at the proper temperature in a variety of glassware. I was impressed to receive their dubbel served in a Westmalle chalice.

Service: Service was relatively quick, and the waiter demonstrated some knowledge about charestics of the beers currently available on-tap.

Food: The restaurant offers a large menu with lots of selection. I chose their short ribs of beef special for a dinner entree and it was an absolutely huge portion size. The food was good, and served as a nice accompaniment to the beer.

Selection: A total of seven beers were available on-tap when I went, including 1920s Lager, Abbey Normal, Bulldog Blonde, FX Stout, IPA, MyGarden Wit, and Pirate Pale Ale.

 1,059 characters

Photo of muskiesman
3.9/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The home beers were worth the trip but nothing to go way out of your way for, I cant say much about them that has not already being posted and reviewed. The highlight here at the Gaslight is the guest taps almost any day of the week. The line up some good regional beers as well as national craft beers.

Great atmosphere around the bar and plenty of tvs for watching the game. Football day every game is on and it a good place for that and some cold drafts. Service was okay but could be more attentive.

They do fill growlers and this is my biggest bone to pick with them. They do not fill growlers that were not purchased from them. The ones they offer are the cheap clear glass screw tops.

Food, we stuck with appetizers and pub fare which was perfect for late lunch.

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Photo of SMBSLT32
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

I go to this brewpub once every few months when I'm in NJ visiting family. Each time I go there I have a mixed experience. The beers they brew themselves are mediocre at best. As an experienced homebrewer I sometimes wish the the brewer was there when I am so I can give him some advice on improving his beers. Their bottle selection is decent, since they don't have the best turnover the hoppier styles and at times other styles are left in their fridge too long and don't taste fresh when you order them.

On the positive side they usually have a few good guest taps which are fresh and tasty. On my most recent trip I had Keegan Ales Joe Mama's Stout and SN Celebration. Both were great! Also, if you do get a good bottle then you'll have a good time there.

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Photo of brew4health
2.17/5  rDev -37.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3 | food: 1.5

We visited on a Friday night and it wasn’t very crowded. That should have been our tip-off as to the quality of the beer and food.

The atmosphere is good, with a large oval-shaped wood bar and plenty of seating. The brew system is on display up front. There are also tables in the bar area. The dining area is in the back and also has plenty of tables. It smelled a bit musty back there.

The menu is more than adequate with appetizers, burgers, sandwiches and dinner selections. I had a burger (dry, ordered medium to rare), my wife ordered a pastrami sandwich (good, lean, but a bit over spiced), and my daughter ordered ravioli (too much garlic and little other flavor). The pastrami and ravioli were made fresh in-house. The only standout were the waffle fries which were great. All in all, we didn’t enjoy our meals. Service was poor, with an impatient waiter who was rarely present.

The beer was pretty ordinary. My wife and I ordered the IPA which we both considered under-hopped. My daughter ordered the porter which tasted a little like dishwater.

The price was okay, but we won’t be back.

 1,107 characters

Photo of BeerdedEric
2.63/5  rDev -23.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

This was my first brew pub experience and I must say it was a very pleasant one. As soon as you walk in, you can literally smell the hops in the air! My buddy and I decided to sit at the bar rather than at a table. I'm glad we did.

They must have had 22 or more beers on draft; a bunch of Microbreweries such as, Arrogant Bastard and Double Bastard by the Stone Brewing Company in California, among many others. They had quite a few of their own brewed beers. My buddy and I tried the sampler of eight beers by the Gaslight Brewery. All the brews were delicious! Here are the name of the ones the both of us tried:
Bison Brown Ale, Enkel Biter, Jack-o-Lanter, Bulldog Blonde, Pin Head Pilsner, Perfect Stout, Prince of Darkness and Bam Bam Bitter.

My favorite was the Bison Brown Ale and Bam Bam Bitter.

The bartender really had alot of beer knowledge. He wasn't there just to pour the
Beer, I could tell he liked it and enjoyed different types of beer. He was very polite and I didn't feel rushed by him in anyway.

As for the food, one word, excellent. I had a chicken burger that was very delicious and satisfying. I was a little disappointed that they didn't have my first choice, Ostrich Burger but it was quite okay since my second choice made up for it.

The prices are reasonable. I didn't feel like I was paying too much for anything. I would definitely check this place out again and I look forward to.


Let me start off by saying I'm never going to the Gaslight Brewery ever again. I really enjoyed the times I have gone prior.

My girlfriend and I called the Gaslight Brewery to order food and to ensure we would be able to eat there before the kitchen closed. Somehow the order was confused by the bartender who took our order. He never double checked the order over the phone; oh well, shit happens, I guess.

When we arrived, the food was ready but there was too much food; there was one more item than what we had ordered. I can see where things got confusing and went wrong but the bartender made no effort to fix things. My girlfriend asked if we could get the item we didn't intend to have, removed. The bartender went back and "asked" the manager; when he came back he basically said it was our fault we have to pay for it. We asked to speak to the manager directly. He came out, we explained the situation, with a attitude the manger just grabbed the food and said something along the lines, okay you don't want it I'll take it off then. But there were no apologies, nothing. Then the manager decided to yell and ridicule his bartender, making a scene in front of every customer at the bar saying he had to pay for his screw up.

After this mishap, I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I brought my growler, looking forward to getting some tasty brews but I didn't even order a beer. We just ate the mediocre food and left. What a shame, they made a scene over a nine dollar plate of food and completely lost me as a frequent customer. If that's how management treats customers and their own employees, thanks but no thanks; I'd will just go to another brewpub.

 3,112 characters

Photo of LucienDeRubempre
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Decided to stop in while doing a gig at Seton Hall and was pleasantly surprised that this place was much better than many of the reviews led me to believe. Classic dive bar vibe, brick walls and beer signs abound, along with the brewkettles proudly displayed in the front window. We stuck with the bar food which turned out to be quite decent and reasonable. The house beers are also very solid, I had the Oud Bruin and my wife had a double maibock. The servers were amusing, a sloppy college kid with a ponytail muttered something and threw some menus at us, but the guy who took our orders and generally looked after us was attentive and acceptably knowledgeable about the beer. Don't know how it stacks up to the other bars/restaraunts in the area but I assume they have the best selection when it comes to beer between the nice variety of styles in the house brews and the 6 or 7 guest taps (Left Hand, Lindemans, Brooklyn), they also offer mead (!) by the glass. Nice place, give it a go.

 993 characters

Photo of arghbowl
4/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Overall, this is a pretty decent place to grab a pint or two and a bit of grub. That being said, keep in mind that they use the term "Restaurant" rather loosely; the pub fare is far better than the actual "restaurant" fare, and you're much more likely to have a good time sitting at the bar than you will sitting at a booth.

That being said, your experience at the bar will completely depend on who's bartending. The younger guy doesn't have the most polished customer service skills (has a perpetual bad attitude), but he still knows his beer. If you're lucky enough to get either of the older gentlemen, I can guarantee you'll have an enjoyable time. Very knowledgeable, don't rush you, but still have quick service.

As mentioned in other reviews, to see the selection of beers you'll need to look at the chalkboards. If you ask what they have, be prepared for a terse response along the lines of "look at the boards." That being said, they also have a pretty good selection of guest bottles, including some West Coast brews you wouldn't expect to see.

All in all, nice place, friendly customers, and you'll also avoid the Seton Hall crowd. For the most part they tend to stick to Cryan's down the street.

 1,211 characters

Photo of mgbickel
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Weekday lunch destination while driving through the Garden State.

The first room you enter into has a large horseshoe shaped bar. The main seating area is off to the left. The whole place has a sports bar feel...lots of TVs on the walls as well as memorabilia (including in the bathroom).

The in house beer selection is noted on a chalk board...probably about 7 different beers at the time of my visit. The food was tasty...the overall menu has a slight German flair...

Our waiter was also the bartender...he knew his stuff, but was pretty much absent throughout our meal...

Worth a stop for sure, but I would go with a different look/feel for the place...especially since it is situated in the middle of a quaint, gaslight district.

 738 characters

Photo of 86sportster883
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I was staying up in Fairfield, NJ and looking for a good brewpub or beer bar in the surrounding area to go to for dinner and decided to visit the Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant. After snaking my way through various North Jersey towns I eventually found the place and didn't have a problem parking as it was a Tuesday evening. As I walked in, past the copper kettle and mash tun in the front window, my senses were immediately assaulted by a foul fishy smell. Also, the place was freezing cold (despite being late August) and, for the most part empty. Yankee's and Mets' games split the TV real estate around the bar where, despite the smell, I chose to sit.

I started with the house IPA, which had an oddly sour smell and slightly funky taste. I thought I'd ask the barkeep about the IPA, but he seemed mostly aloof and disinterested, and the slight sourness somehow seemed to work for this IPA, although it was an IPA like no other I had ever had. I decided to pair it w/ the Rheinischer Sauerbraten and wasn't disappointed. The food came out quickly and seemed pretty good, but I'm no connoisseur of German fare.

Since I was driving, and limited as to how much I wanted to drink, I opted for the Harpoon Land Bier as my second draft. I'm a big fan of this beer out of the bottle, and was interested in how it would taste on tap. It was very good but once again, I detected some off aromas and flavors that led me to think that maybe the place either needed to clean its lines or do a better job washing its glassware. I guess I'll find out for sure tomorrow if I wind up spending half the day on the crapper.

In bottles: Corsendonk Brown, Belhaven Wee Heavy, Westmalles, Duvel, Orval, Celebrator Dopplebock, a few popular Schneiders, a collection of Sam Smiths, the Bayerischer Berliner Weiss, Chimay's Red, White and Blue, an extensive offering from Stone, a few Sierra Nevadas, Rogue XS Imperial Stout, Lagunitas, Founders Breakfast Stout and Flying Fish's Exits 1 and 16.

House Beers on tap: Perfect Stout, Pirate Pale, Bison Brown, IPA, Enkel Biter, Bulldog Blond, My Garden Wit and Abbey Normal.

Guest Beers on tap: Ramstein Blond, Harpoon's Potts Land bier, Boulder's Hazed and Infused, Sierra Nevada's Summer Fest, Steven's Point Cascade Pale Ale, Longtrail's Coffee Stout and Lindeman's Peche.

One hand pump pouring Blue Point's Pale Ale.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed. Thank God for the Yankee game, or I would have been bored to death. Not sure that I'd go out of my way to go back.

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Photo of glennl
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I stopped in here for a business lunch and got a pleasant surprise when i realized it was a brewpub! Since it was work hours, I explained to the (knowledgeable and friendly) waiter that as much as I'd like to have a beer, I was working. He was quick to provide multiple samples without ever pushing that I buy a pint. He seemed enthused that I was knowledgeable about beer. I sampled "Satans Claws" which was very good and "Warrior ESB" which was good enough that I left with a growler of it. I would definitely go back and try their other varieties. As a BA, I felt like i was with friends here.

I can only comment on the food i had, the "hobgobbler" turkey sandwich, but it was really good.

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Photo of fyrespritetryst
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 1.5

The first time I went to Gaslight I had high expectations of the place. It's not often that you find a brewery so close to home, with what seemed like a large range of different beer styles. Needless to say, I was sorely disappointed in the quality of their beer. The bottle selection is pretty decent, though instead of keeping the breweries diverse, they usually have two to five different beers made by the same breweries. Which could also be regarded as a good thing, encouraging people to try different beers by the same companies. I've been here 5 times to eat, and each time the food just leaves me feeling "eh." Tough meat in the steak sandwiches, bland burgers that are cooked dry, even my fries were burnt twice. But who are we kidding, I didn't come to Gaslight for the food, I came to try their beer. And as I said earlier, it's completely undrinkable. Each one is flavorless, overly carbonated, and finishes like club soda. Just awful. Easily the worst beer I've had in NJ, and I've been to every brewery here aside from Tun Tavern. From what I've heard from the grapevine, DJ doesn't take a lot of effort to sanitize his equipment, killing any potential goodness in fermentation. The service has been hit or miss. Sometimes I'll get a waiter that is just as passionate about beer as I am, and sometimes I'll be heckled by the old lady sitting by the fish tank counting receipts. One time when nobody seated me for a good ten minutes, I took the liberty of seating myself in a completely empty area. The woman actually had the nerve to ask me to leave the table and wait to be seated! Incredibly rude. One of the redeeming factors of this place is U-Brew. I've gotten my homebrew kit from there, along with ingredients. Even though the supply room is a little on the small side, it has everything you need to start your journey in homebrewing. South Orange is far closer to me than Corrado's in Clifton, and the U-Brew staff is pretty helpful and very encouraging. Overall I'd say don't waste your time, but U-Brew is one of the few homebrewing options we have in North Jersey, so it's worth a visit.

 2,113 characters

Photo of donniecuffs
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Everyone's friendly in this place, evoking memories of the 'Cheers' tv show, and while the food menu is huge and eclectic, every single meal that I have had there, from the wurst platter to the cornbeef to the buffalo chicken, has been very tasty, and borderline excellent. For a diverse menu, that's not an easy task. Their in-house brews are mostly average (although the Pirate Pale Ale is certainly a standout), but they do a good job of experimenting and rotating in certain styles. Furthermore, they add to the pleasant experience by having great guest taps, e.g. Ramstein, et al. A down-to-earth, diverse crowd is the perfect complement. In summary, their proprietary brews are not the best in NJ, but the crowd, the service, and the food quality more than make up for it, and once in while you'll be pleasantly surprised by a new addition to their rotation.

 864 characters

Photo of unbalancedbuds
4.28/5  rDev +24.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

only recently have i started going to gaslight. dj and tony are great guys, and the bartender brian with the pony tails a funny dood.
the beer here is pretty good. they make an oatmeal stout that i like and their santa claws was enjoyable too.
really enjoy the food here. if your into corned beef and pastrami its a reason to go here alone. they brine their own here and the pastrami, they smoke in hickory. great stuff. also while we're on the subject of brining they make their own pickles here too.
the atmosphere is cool with they tanks, the giant fish tanks, the shuffle board table then theres the old bar when u walk right in.
also there they always have 4 guest beers and a nice bottle selection.
good spot

 718 characters

Photo of stingrayvr6
4.3/5  rDev +24.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Very good selection of beers, including Orval and Duvel, and Celebrator. Their in-house brews were quite good, I would avoid the Bulldog Blonde but their Porter was very good. Good old fashioned bar feel, with a decent amount of beer geeks frequenting. Knowledgable bartenders on what they are serving and some of them are experienced home brewers themselves. Great place, definitely worth a trip, Prices are reasonable, $4 for most of their own stuff, the Celebrator was $6. Great atmosphere, killer beer list, and great people, whats not to like?

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Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant in South Orange, NJ
Brewery rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 37 ratings
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