Love Han­dles

Hale­don and Hobo­ken, New Jersey Fam­ily-owned business at its best

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Contents -

What it is: With two lo­ca­tions about twenty miles apart in north­east­ern New Jersey, The Shep­herd & the Knuck­le­head is the place to go for beer. The orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion in Hale­don, now ap­proach­ing its twen­ti­eth an­niver­sary, of­fers a homey, cozy vibe, while the Hobo­ken lo­ca­tion, opened in 2016, brings a trendier sports-bar vibe. Both lo­ca­tions daz­zle with ninety taps in Hale­don and sixty in Hobo­ken fea­tur­ing a ro­tat­ing mix of lo­cal, re­gional, and in­ter­na­tional brews.

Why it’s great: This fa­ther-son business is a peo­ple-pleaser that leaves pre­ten­sion be­hind. The Hale­don lo­ca­tion at­tracts a melt­ing pot of bar go­ers—pro­fes­sors and re­searchers from nearby Wil­liam Pater­son Univer­sity, youths bel­ly­ing up to the bar to see their fa­vorite bar­tenders, and el­ders look­ing to try their next NJ pint (at least twenty of the taps pour some­thing lo­cal). The Hobo­ken lo­ca­tion caters more to the “go­ing out” scene, while both lo­ca­tions of­fer plenty of lo­cal brews (Brick City, Car­ton, Kane). Then, there’s the food—you won’t go hun­gry here, as the Shep also slings one of the most ro­bust menus for a metropoli­tan beer bar, with stand­outs in­clud­ing steaks butchered on site, Asian-style wings, and a mean pou­tine. —Cat Wolin­ski

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