Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Better Beering Through "Chemistry"--and Clean Lines

Chemistry works for Florin and Meghan

What kind of chemistry do you get when you pair up a Romanian Greco-Roman wrestler (who holds a degree in robotics engineering) with a beer-savvy Irish lass from Rutgers?

123 spanking clean craft beer taps (with room for 37 more), all efficiently dispensing some of the finest beers from around the globe is all. I'd call that damned fine chemistry.

Not bad for being the result of a blind date. (Florin claims Meghan was "the blind one.")

But if you're not blind and you want to see what a real beer bar looks like, head to Maloney's Pub in Matawan, NJ. That's where owners Florin Lupu and his wife Meghan proffer beers to delight every palate, no matter how seasoned.

Of course that many fine brews did not appear all at the same time. Maloney's has been a work in progress for five years. Roger the barman took my buddy Mark Adamonis and me on a tour of the basement, and it was in the 220-year old "Belly of the Beast" that we saw what an engineering mind can do to store and deliver perfect beer through perpetually cleaned stainless steel lines. Roger even had a sample of one of those lines in his pocket, which he proudly brought out for us to examine.

Roger and his Line

While pictures are allowed anywhere upstairs in this comfortably decorated, deceptively spacious, yet cozy pub, they are not permitted downstairs. But if you visit--and you should--take the tour if offered. The setup will boggle your mind--as it should, given its price tag of nearly $300K. But you will definitely be impressed by the care that has been taken to take care of the beer, to which Florin and Meghan are both devoted. I even saw the last keg of Fruli in the state down there.

Sit at the bar or one of the nearby stool tables and marvel at the draft lines--a two-row system in one section of the bar with taps in front and back. And that's not counting the many taps on the back wall under the TV's. If your eye is sharp (and not dulled like ours were from a glass of Harviestoune Ola Duhb) you might notice the absence of spill trays under the spigots.That's because the beer is designed to flow perfectly--for a perfect pour every time.

No spills!
The Romanian lad and his Irish lass nurture their beers from their keg to your palate, insisting that the beer be fresh and the lines clean; and it's clear that they are on a mission to become one of the top beer bars in the state.

But there's more. Sticklers for freshness in their food as well as in their beer, Maloney's menu also will please a discriminating palate. My Maloney's Burger, accompanied by a Big Muddy Vanilla Stout, was a perfectly done medium rare and absolutely huge.

I found it strange that, although I had heard various solid reports about Maloney's, I had not visited, even though it's a scant 20 minutes from my home. And, because there's no sign that juts out onto Main St., I rode right past it on my first visit. You might, too. But I guarantee you that once you learn where it is, you'll never miss it again.

Meghan allowed that they used to have a sign out, and it was blown down in a windstorm not named Sandy. But they weren't really enamored of the sign and will likely get a new one soon, even though Florin believes that "if your product is good, you don't need to advertise."

Maybe. But folks have to be able to find your product before they can praise it. That --and columns like this--are how "word of mouth" gets spread.

The PubScout was thoroughly impressed with Maloney's and will definitely be back.

Sign or not.

The PubScout

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