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Nov 16, 2008 08:02 PM

My Beer Haul- An unabashed, unfrugal, shameless middle finger salute to the current global economy

The other day I paid an expensive visit to Oak Tree Discount Wines & Spirits in South Plainfield, New Jersey. Rate Beer has given them a "Gold Medal" as one of top retail beer stores in the country. I can see why. They seem to go six or seven beers deep into many, many craft beer lines. The service was excellent. And the entire back wall of the rather large store (it's a liquor and beverage store as well) is dedicated to import brews. (Slight NYC tangent: I haven't been to Skibbo's, but I'm a regular at New Beer Dist. This place is better than New Beer, American, and easily, Whole Foods Bowery.)

My game plan was really to try to come out with some stuff I hadn't tried and perhaps, could not easily acquire. Other than that, I wasn't really looking for anything in particular, except that I wanted my purchase to be an ostentatious display of no-holds-barred, I don't give a flunk what you charge me, I'm shopping for craft beer with a full shopping cart, middle finger salute to the global economy. Here are the highlights of my haul, which I post simply out of giddy excitement.

Looking to give Aventinus, my standard dark beer, a worthy smackdown, I picked up these two:

Moonglow Weizenbock- Victory

Weihenstephaner Vitus

Easy to get in NYC at least and I've had it before, but somehow got talked into it:

Hoptimus Prime- Legacy

Looking to expand into more rye beers after falling in love with (edit) Bear Republic's Hop Head Rye, I reached out for the following two- the second of which begins a small streak of "flavored" beers.

He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.- Schmaltz

Route Des Épices- Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Three flavor or spiced beers that were recommended as interesting:

Tröegs Mad Elf

Avatar Jasmine IPA- Elysian

Pannepot - Old Fisherman's Ale- De Struise Brouwers

I know these are well-known, but I haven't had them yet:

Tripel Karmeliet- Brouwerij Bosteels

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel- Brasserie d'Achouffe

I've had this, can easily get it, but just love it-

Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - Grand Cru Of The Emperor

Guy at the shop says that this is very popular and going fast. BA brothers give it an A+.

Founders Breakfast Stout (4-pack

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  1. Nice score! That Pannepot is wonderful. One question, you mentioned Rogue's Hop Head Rye. I'm pretty familiar with most of their offerings but have never come across that one. Did you mean this instead from the folks at Bear Republic? : If so, yup that's a pretty nice beer.

    1. Fantastic. I used to frequent this store when I lived closer to that area and since it's been a while I'd forgotten just how well stocked they were. Looks like I'll be paying a visit soon.
      While you were in the neighborhood I hope you took advantage of the incredible food available there in "Little Bombay"

      1. outstanding haul, Dan is a great guy and Id be shocked if you didnt come out of there with a glass.

        I have on several occassions stopped at Oak Tree for a "couple things" and left with a huge cc bill and boxes and boxes of great beer.

        there are some tremendous selections on there and I think you showed some restraint given the other offerings that Im sure were staring at you.

        there is no better than Oak Tree.

        2 Replies
        1. re: yankeefan

          What did you pay for the 4 pack of Founders Breakfast Stout? We are paying around $14 in Boston and the stores are blaming the distributors while I've read that in your area some people are paying $10.00 a 4. I too am a huge fan of Tripel Karmeliet but have had some issues with bad bottles over the years.

          1. re: mkel34

            It's going for $10 a 4-pack at a few places in NJ. Here in northeast PA, a store near me has it for $3.75 / single, $14.95 a 4-pack (tax incl.). I've seen it going for $14ish at a few places in Ohio as well.

        2. Can you tell me exactly where this Oak Tree store is? I'm from that area originally -- my parents still live up there -- but I googled it and couldn't find any info on the location. Thanks!

          2 Replies
          1. Thanks for posting about this wonderful store Silverjay. I'm in the area often, and never knew about it. I went the next day after reading the post. Dan was extremely helpful, highly recomending Troegs Mad Elf, Founders Breakfast Stout, Lagunitas Espresso Stout, as well as a few others. Unfortunately they were out Founders.(another trip will definately be in order) I loved the Troegs, Mad Elf, as well as thier Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale . Also picked up 6 different styles from Rogue, as well as a six of Pork Slap Pale Ale in cans, which I though was ok, not a big fan of pale ales though. Thanks again.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DrewBB

              Check that, Lagunitas CAPPUCCINO Stout. I just cracked one open, and I'm glad I bought two!