Where to Drink Right Now: Helmers

Dec 7, 2014 12:00 AM

When it comes to Happy Hours or just grabbing a drink with some friends, you might think those of us in Hoboken have it easy. After all, counting restaurants with bar areas we have more than 100 choices in a town that’s barely a mile square.

However, this can easily result in what scientists call Choice Paralysis – when you have so many choices you circle endlessly around the advantages and disadvantages of each, and before you know it three days have passed, you’ve been fired from your job, and you’re in jail on a vagrancy charge.

So, let’s throw out some suggestions for grabbing a drink in Hoboken. These might be based on a special deal, a certain ambiance, or, in the case of this week’s choice, an incredible region-specific beer selection. The region: Germany, and the place: Helmers.

Not the Obvious Choice

It might not be an obvious choice, and based on the crowd levels at Helmers most nights I doubt anyone is saying “Let’s hit up Helmers!” I can see why; it’s seen as more of a sit-down place, it definitely has a more mature and old-school vibe, and it’s not a place to order shots and get wild. But there is one very compelling reason the discerning Happy Hour enthusiast should consider heading uptown to Helmers: Beer.

To say Helmers has the best selection of German beer in Hoboken is like saying the sky is blue – this is obvious. Aside from the plentiful (and seasonally-rotated) options on tap, they also have a large selection of bottled beer. While their wines and spirits are pretty modest and expected, the beer selection is incredible – especially if you don’t know much about beer or German and Belgian beers.


And that’s another way Helmers shines – the bare staff know their beer. The bartenders, the waitresses – just grab anyone and ask a question, and they’ll be able to tell you everything about the beer your drinking, from its history to the specific flavors and ingredients that make it unique. This way, if you like something you’ve tried, you can walk away with the knowledge to find something similar at the next bar you go to. Assuming you can find a place with a beer list even close to what Helmers offers.

Helmers doesn’t have a splashy happy hour; just some specials on the draft beers. During the week, though, try the potato pancakes, which are only available Monday through Thursday, and are fabulous.

While Helmers may not be the traditional idea of a Happy Hour place, they offer a unique experience – so many bars in Hoboken are the same: The same beers, the same big-screen TVs, the same music. Helmers offers you something a little different, and a peek into a beer experience different from everyplace else in town with the possible exception of Pilsner Haus. Check it out.

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