Last night, my bud and I went to this place called Firewaters by my hospital in Hackensack, NJ. It is a chain of 4 restaurant/bars with other locations in Newark, DE and Atlantic City, NJ. The one by me is associated with a Hooters, with a contiguous space and open doorway between the two places. Their claim is 50 beers on tap and 100 in bottle. Now while they did have 50 beers on tap, unfortunately about 25% of them were the standards: Bud, Bud light, Yuengling, Coors, Blue Moon, etc. Then they had some next level beers like the Sierra Nevada Pale Ales and Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, etc.
I was not blown away by what else they offered. They listed the Rogue Chocolate Stout on tap, but was told they "just ran out" when I asked for it. They had replaced it with the Rogue Dead Guy Ale, which, I have to admit, was darned better on tap than out of the bottle. I followed that up with the Erie Rail Bender Scotch Ale, which, I have to say, was the first time I had had the Rail Bender, and, I really liked it. It definitely reminded me of the Oskar Blues Old Chub; it was so good, my friend drank it the rest of the night. (My friend, for the record, is a former Bud drinker whom I am slowly converting into a craft beer geek!) I then moved on to the Flying Fish Dubbel. I was pleasantly surprised: It reminded me a lot like the Hennepin. It was thoroughly enjoyable. With one beer left for the night, I decided to go for the Abita Purple Haze. Excited to try this wheat beer, I was once again told they were "out" but they did have the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. I started to feel like the Monty Python cheese shop sketch, and was ready to get really annoyed.
What stopped me? The bartender was a sweet young woman who looked great in a bustier. Her breasts were pretty much falling out of her top. She was very nice, and had absolutely no beer knowledge. Later on last night, two more bartenders came to work as the place got busier, both also looking quite nice in their bustiers, and also with little to no real beer knowledge. So..was I going to argue with that? Hells no! I just finished the night with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and called it a night.
Overall, I thought from a purely beer experience, I'd give it a B minus. The more exciting beers (to me) were out...all beers were served cold, all the beers were served in pint glasses (the dubbel should have been served in a chalice) and the bartenders had no beer knowledge. From the perspective of a dirty old man, it was very nice. The use of the Hooters formula really distracted me from the fact that these bartenders knew nothing. And, it was a real fun night out with my friend. So, overall, it was a really nice night out.