Not since Hill Country has an indie business cut so ably through Downtown’s glut of fast food franchises and interchangeable big box stores, to take thorough advantage of the neighborhood’s high rise offices, court room crowds, subway hub traffic and of course, newly installed condominiums.
And though the signage is modest for such an imposing (read: 6,000-square foot) space, Circa Brewing Co.’s focus is completely self-evident, thanks to series of stainless steel fermenting tanks visible through the glassed-in entrance, and conveniently positioned directly next to the bar.
Lovingly tended by Sixpoint vet Danny Bruckert and denoted by ABV and SRM (a system used to identify beers by color) on the menu, barrels brim with everything from spicy Gose, sour Berliner Weisse and citrusy Belgian Wit, to malty Pilsner, piney IPA, loamy, foam-capped Nitro Pale Ale and toasty and chocolatey Nitro Stout, which clocks in at merely 4% when it comes to alcohol content, but tips the scale at 28 on the shade range.
Not only is Circa a welcome asylum of hyperlocal brews, they also specialize in pizza— Brooklyn’s other staff of life. Bruckert’s twin brother, Luke, oversees a different type of fermentation in back, packing a duo of wood-stoked ovens with nouveau Neapolitan pies like The Choke (marinated artichokes, sweet drop peppers, hazelnut pesto, rogue blue cheese), ’62 Hawaii (bourbon ham, pineapple, black salt, provolone), and the limited availability Big Dipper: a mass of wild mushrooms and pork shank inundated with truffle béchamel, gruyere and melted leeks, and paired with a dunkable side of pork jus.
Co-designed by owner Gerry Rooney (Putnam’s Cooker and Lounge), Circa has been smartly realized to suit gatherings of all sorts—from anxious first daters, converging over charcuterie and glasses of Rooftop Reds, to rowdy parties gathered round communal tables or engaged in games of shufflepuck, to solo diners and imbibers seeking to swap iPhone scrolling for a show; whether via the open, flame-engulfed kitchen (grills sizzle with cauliflower steaks, bone-in ribeye and burgers, from executive chef Bruce Dillon), or installed at a stool by the 70-foot-long bar, for a glimpse into the brewing room, and easy access to flights and pints.
Good thing a network of subways are merely a sudsy stumble away.
Photos by Alex Welsh
141 Lawrence St, (718) 858-0055, Downtown Brooklyn