Brewer’s Towne Tavern
239 Haddon Ave., Haddon Township, NJ 08109
Hours: 11 AM – 2 AM
The magic of wing night is that it brings out divers from every corner of the sudsy sea. Brewer’s wing night is on Thursday, filling a crucial gap in the weekly wing night rotation. On this trip to the Towne Tavern, we parked in the PATCO lot (which is generally the easiest option here), took a couple seats at the bar, and checked the place out. This location has been a bar for 75+ years, and it shows. The walls are covered in an impressive collection of dive decor, including an awesome collection of old NJ license plates. Brewer’s has 5 or 6 TVs, a jukebox, a pool table, and a few arcade games, including a retro Golden Tee. We were in the early stages of the over-hyped Hurricane Joaquin, so instead of the rained-out Phillies game, the TVs on the opposite wall showed The Weather Channel and some muted 80’s movie. Why these choices instead of a college football game, or an out-of-town baseball game? Because the bartender has been slinging suds here for 22 years, and he’ll do whatever the hell he wants! More on this bartender later, but for now lets get to the consumables:
In classic Camden County fashion, food and drinks are ordered and paid for separately. Brewer’s has about 15 taps of mostly domestic beer. The beer can be a little pricey, but dirt cheap food makes up for it. The food isn’t dirt flavored though! Plenty of locals come to Brewer’s just for the food. Highlights include daily chef’s specials, sandwiches on pretzel buns, jalapeño coins (my personal favorite) and of course, the wings. Various combinations add up to 10 different sauces for you naked or breaded wings. You really can’t go wrong with the sauce choice since they are all good when the wings are perfectly cooked.
One of the defining characteristics of a dive bar is the clientele. Brewer’s lies at the crossroads of South Jersey, and it pulls in a pretty eclectic group of divers on any given night. Wing night is the best example of this harmonious congregation. And despite the rain, this particular wing night did not disappoint. Of course, you had your regulars in the dark corner by the door. A group divorced dads loosened their ties, threw back their favorite light lagers, and worked together to drunkenly recreate the dialogue of that muted 80’s movie. A group of scene kids played pool and made awful choices on the jukebox, which the bartender promptly turned down. But the real story on this wing night? You guess it: the motorcycle meth heads.
Near the beginning of my Yueng-wing binge, I overheard a couple of tweakers down the bar talking about their latest mushroom trips, and discussing the legal nuances of their ongoing drug operation. Throughout the night, this group grew from just a pair of guys in camo pants to a bonafide crew of South Jersey trash. The first addition was the pierced-face biker (of course he rode his motorcycle there in a thunderstorm), proudly boasting about his ability to tell customers to “get the fuck out” at his new “job”. Two beer later, they were joined by a couple girls with hoodies just short enough to expose their tramp stamps. And you better believe that their Deep South Jersey grew deeper and deeper with every PBR.
All in all, Brewer’s Towne Tavern is a great local bar. The staff is friendly, the food is good, and every once in a while, you’ll leave with a story or two.
Brewer’s is a classic, no-frills, blue collar dive. Yuppies need not apply.
I can’t finish this review without giving you this little nugget. Remember that bartender that does whatever he wants? When one of the regulars ordered a Coors Light and the keg was kicked, the bartender put on his shiftiest eyes, and pulled the old switcharoo. The guy never realized he was served a Miller Lite. The bartender thus proved that he is the man, and that adjunct lagers are all exactly the same.
Happy Hour Daily 11 am- 6 pm: $1 off drinks and beers
Monday – Friday, 11 am – 2 pm: $2.50 Lunch Specials
Thursday: 50¢ wings (10 wing minimum), $1 off Sam Adams ($3.25 / pint for Lager, Seasonal)
Daily rotating chef’s choice food specials
Specials during Philly sports broadcasts