About Us

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At The Shepherd & the Knucklehead, our commitment to great beer is legendary. Our 90 taps make us among the tops in microbrew selection in the nation. We have invested in the most expensive equipment available to provide the best possible beer-drinking experience. Our nitrogen and carbon dioxide system and our glycol machine are state-of-the art, mixing the gases perfectly, pumping your beer from our keg room to each of our 90 taps, and keeping each and every microbrew cold and fresh until the moment it hits your glass.

Recent accolades include:

 NJ.com’s Star-Ledger #1 Rated Craft Beer Bar in NJ: 90 taps (all microbrews, always rotating)
 CraftBeerMan.com: “Best Selection on the East Coast!”
 Thrillist’s 33 Best College Bars in America (William Paterson University)
 NJ Monthly: Top 26 Watering Holes for the Craft Beer Lover
 2013, 2014 NJ Monthly Critic’s Choice: Restaurant with Best Beer Selection

We have recently expanded and added a “classic and creative” pub menu: grilled Angus steaks butchered onsite, wings and giant German pretzels, fresh Polish kielbasa from a local butcher in Wallington, vegetable wraps, burgers, bisque, chili, mussels, shrimp kabobs, and fresh fish creations.

But our goal doesn’t end with great beer, food, and service. For eighteen years, our pub has been redistributing our profits to help clothe, feed, and house the poor—both locally and across the globe. We have fed 231 Jewish Ethiopian families, purchased an ambulance for a German Lutheran missionary, and provided ongoing support for Father McGhee’s food pantry on Montgomery St. in downtown Paterson. We have raised—and continue to raise—money for research into leukemia and testicular cancer. Every week, we donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a worldfamous charity dedicated to helping the poor. To continue this commitment to the poor, we have pledged $25,000 over the next five years to Project Faith, a charity run by the Diocese of Paterson, NJ.

Perhaps you’re asking: Where did our name come from? The Shepherd & the
Knucklehead is a novel published in 2001. It delves into the subject of the duality in man. The responsible (Shepherd) and the irresponsible (Knucklehead) represent the mental tug of war going on inside each of our minds, bodies, and souls. The main character, Oliver Wendell Tweed (a compilation of Oliver Wendell Holmes and Boss Tweed—in other words, a mix of purity and greed) is on a search for the meaning of this duality in each of us. Along for the journey is his sock monkey and constant companion, Francis Bacon. Interestingly enough, Oliver owns a pub near a university and implores emerging philosopher-students to develop both sides of their brain so they can ensure balance in their lives.


Est. July 3, 1998 (18 years)