Jun 5, 2014
The A-Z Guide to Craft Beer in Brooklyn (And Slightly Beyond)
People still may not think about Brooklyn’s craft beer scene quite the same way they think about that of Portland (either one, take your pick), Seattle, San Diego or even Boston, but that’s all changing very quickly, and with very good reason. The number of beer-focused bars in Brooklyn has been on the rise for the past few years, and it’s practically impossible to find a place that doesn’t have at least one decent offering. But beyond the bar scene, there’s also a growing number of legitimately outstanding breweries operating within borough and city lines. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the local scene, plus interviews with some of the most influential people in it.
61 Local This industrial-chic bar, which sits right off the F/G, is as perfectly suited to an afternoon of working remotely as it is to a long night of drinking very good beers. Combine the two for the best day ever. 61 Bergen Street, Cobble Hill.
American Beer Distributors/Thrifty Beverage There are some dusty bottles, sure, but if you know what you’re looking for, this place is full of gems. They also have some of the best growler prices in town. 256 Court Street, Cobble Hill.
Banter 20 taps and TVs that only broadcast soccer games. Not a bad deal. 132 Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg.
Barcade A great place to hang out even if you don’t care about all the vintage video games. The owners are about to open their first Manhattan location (they already expanded to Jersey City and Philly), and there’s a second one on the way in the space formerly occupied by Mondo Kim’s. 388 Union Avenue, Williamsburg.
Paul Kermizian, Co-Owner of Barcade
Favorite Brooklyn beer bar (that you don’t own)?
Mugs Ale House.Favorite Brooklyn bottle shop?
Thrifty Beverage on Court Street in Cobble Hill.
Favorite locally made beer?
Sorry, I never name a favorite beer. There are too many great locals right now to choose, anyway… Captain Lawrence, Sixpoint, Brooklyn, Port Jeff, Barrier: all doing incredible stuff.
The beer that turned you on to craft beer in the first place?
I drank Saranac, Dundee’s, Pete’s and Sam Adams first… but probably Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, in 1994 was the beer that really impressed me. I liked it so much I bought a case. Quickly realized I didn’t need a case.Your biggest, whitest whale?
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot from 1983, the first year it was made.
Bar Great Harry One of four great bars from the Wiley Brothers, this intimate corner spot always has an admirable draft list. Bonus points for when the weather gets nice and they open up the huge full-length windows looking out onto Smith Street. 280 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens.
Barrier Brewing Company Run by two former Sixpoint employees, this Long Island brewery is making some of the best and most exciting beers in New York. From the unimpeachable west coast-style Money IPA to the hopped up Bulkhead Red ale, it makes beers you would happily drink every day if you could. Long Island.
Beast of Bourbon Don’t be fooled by the boozy Stones-inspired name. Beast boasts a lot of space and a ridiculous amount of beer. 710 Myrtle Avenue, Bed-Stuy.
Bed-Vyne Brew Another recent addition to the growing Bed-Stuy beer community, Bed-Vyne serves as both a wine shop and a fantastic beer bar with plenty of to-go options. 370 Tompkins Avenue, Bed-Stuy.
Beer Boutique This small bottle shop has become well-known for its state-of-the-art counter-fill draft system, but it doesn’t do traditional growlers. Instead, it provides PET-free plastic bottles free of charge. 497 Union Avenue, Williamsburg.
Beer Street Flights, growler-fills, and a solid seasonal lineup. Also, a great place for tobacco enthusiasts. 413 Graham Avenue, Williamsburg.
Berry Park With a 3,000-square-foot rooftop bar and a great view of the Manhattan skyline, there’s not a whole lot to complain about here, least of which the sizable selection of German beers. 4 Berry Street, Greenpoint.
Berg’n A newly minted beer garden from the folks behind Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg. The beer list is curated by none other than Garrett Oliver (see Brooklyn Brewery, obvs). 899 Bergen Street, Crown Heights.
Bierkraft Weekly tastings, reasonable growler prices, and a deep, deep cellar full of vintage bottles keep this Park Slope institution at the top of any self-respecting beer nerd’s list of places worth visiting. It’s brewing its own beer now, too, which is nice. 191 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope.
Joshua M. Bernstein, Author of The Complete Beer Course
Favorite Brooklyn beer bar?
The craft beer selection ain’t super deep, but currently I really dig the atmosphere at Williamsburg’s Skinny Dennis. Honky-tonk tunes, good beer and windows to watch life glide past. To geek out? Owl Farm is superb. And Tørst when I can get someone else to pick up the tab.Favorite Brooklyn bottle shop?
For growlers, I still find myself hitting up Bierkraft. They have the best prices on growlers, and you can drink them in the shop. For bottles, I’ll often check out Brouwerij Lane or, because I am so lazy, Crown Heights’ brand-new Covenhoven. It is literally one minute from my front door. Which makes it very dangerous. And so, so awesome.Favorite locally made beer?
Heavens, this is sort of like asking to name your favorite kid. Right now, I’m really jamming on Peekskill’s Eastern Standard IPA, SingleCut’s Kim Hibiscus Sour and the 1/2 Pils from Brooklyn Brewery.The beer that turned you on to craft beer in the first place?
Back when I was going to school at Ohio University, in Athens, there was a brewpub called O’Hooley’s. This was way back in the late ‘90s, when many craft beers were, by and large, brown and murky. But every weeknight, for one blessed hour, every house-brewed beer was $1—power hour. Oh, I drank so much power-hour beer. At first, it was a cheap highway to intoxication. But over time, I learned my way around the style spectrum, sparking a lifelong love affair. Some would call it drunkenness. I call it work.Most desired beer you haven’t tried yet?
There are two things I don’t like to wait for in life: brunch and beer. There are far too many eggs, and far too many delicious beers, to be hung up on a single brew.
Big Alice Brewing A homebrewing outfit turned nanobrewery on the Queens waterfront. Specializes in beer of 8% ABV or more. Long Island City.
Bitter & Esters Located a few blocks from Grand Army Plaza, this homebrewing shop regularly hosts introductory classes that could come in handy if you’re looking to explore another way to get drunk. 700 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights.
Black Forest Brooklyn This beer bar and coffeehouse features a wide selection of German beers on tap, all of which must abide by the German Beer Purity Law. 733 Fulton, Fort Greene.
The Black Swan From the owners of the aforementioned Beast of Bourbon, this English-style pub with the prison-like exterior features 24 drafts and a cask. 1048 Bedford Avenue, Bed-Stuy.
Blind Bat Brewery A small Long Island brewery that’s received much acclaim for smoked beers like Vlad the Inhaler, a Polish-style wheat beer that’s heavy on oak. A one-man garage-based operation until recently, the brewery is set to open a permanent location this year. Long Island.
Blue Point Brewing Company Roll your eyes at the ubiquitous Toasted Lager or the fact that the Long Island brewery is Anheuser Busch’s most recent acquisition, but it makes some very good beers. Keep an eye out for Toxic Sludge, an outstanding black IPA. Long Island.
BR Specialty Beer Store According to owner Dharmesh Chokshi, his bottle shop only features beers with a Beer Advocate rating of 95 percent or more, which is awesome, if also hard to believe. 7201 Third Avenue, Bay Ridge.
Braven Brewery Once this brewery is up and running, it will be the first to operate in Bushwick since the 1970s. Sample their Braven White at the Arrogant Swine on June 21. Bushwick.
The Brazen Head A no-nonsense Cobble Hill bar that features 15 craft beers on tap, plus one on cask. And they do growler fills. 228 Atlantic Avenue, Cobble Hill.
Breukelen Bier Merchants A small, expertly curated bar and bottle shop that invites patrons to stick around and play a board game or two while they drink. There are also small, locally sourced bites, too. Like chips! We love chips. 182 Grand Street, Williamsburg.
The Brew Inn 50-cent pierogies and 20 New York State beers on tap. We’re feeling like maybe we should introduce these guys to Blind Bat Brewery. You could do much worse than pierogies and a Vlad the Inhaler. 924 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint.
Brew York An indispensable resource for New York-based lovers of craft beer, complete with up-to-the-minute news, event listings and commentary on the local and national score. If you’ve ever been to a beer-related event in Brooklyn, chances are you’ve seen the site’s founder, Chris O’Leary, as dedicated a craft beer fan and booster as there is. brewyorknewyork.com
Chris O’Leary, Founder of Brew York New York
Favorite Brooklyn Beer Bar?
My local, The Bodega, in Bushwick. A couple years ago, the owner, Ben, flagged me down on the street just to tell me they added a second tap tower. These days, they have 12 rotating beers on tap, and I’m never disappointed.Favorite Brooklyn Bottle Shop?
Breukelen Bier Merchants has been a favorite of mine since they opened in 2011. Reasonable bottle prices, always a couple cheap growlers, and the ability to drink a beer while you shop, which often devolves into a night of drinking.Favorite Locally Made Beer?
Other Half has blown me away since they opened. I’m a sucker for a good West Coast hop bomb, and nobody really embraced it locally until now. Their Green Diamonds is Brooklyn’s answer to Russian River’s Pliny the Elder.Beer That Got You Into Craft Beer in the First Place?
Brooklyn Monster Ale in 2003. I remember having it on tap at Mugs Ale House and suddenly realizing there’s way more to beer than IPAs and light lagers. I also got really drunk that night because I didn’t know how to pace myself through a 10 percent Barleywine.Most desired beer you haven’t tried yet?
My white whale is the next beer I’ve never had. Don’t believe the hype—no beer is worth chasing after or standing in line for anymore. Some of my favorite beers have come to me by accident, and that’s mainly because my first choice at any bar is something I’ve never had.
Brooklyn Brew Shop Many aspiring home-brewers have gotten their start with this company’s kits, which are easy to use and come in lots of really good flavors. brooklynbrewshop.com
Brooklyn Brewery Lest anyone fall prey to the misplaced elitism that can take hold in craft beer circles: Brooklyn Brewery is a local treasure not to be taken for granted. Its beers are top-notch, especially their 750ml offerings, which are among the most underrated in all of craft beer, and there remains no more influential advocate for beer—or Brooklyn—than Garrett Oliver. 79 N. 11th Street, Williamsburg.
Brooklyn Homebrew In July, Brooklyn Homebrew will move to a new space that will allow the shop to provide more room for classes, equipment and, most importantly, beer-making ingredients. 164 20th Street, Gowanus.
Brooklyn Ice House A leader in the burgeoning Red Hook beer scene, this bar features more than 50 beers and a mouthwatering selection of BBQ plates. 318 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook.
Bronx Brewery These guys just opened up a proper brewing facility in the Bronx, and it’ll be exciting to see how they branch out from their solid if unassuming pale ale and its variants. 856 E. 136th Street, Bronx.
Brouwerij Lane This laid-back spot is all things to all Greenpointers: bar, bottle shop, growler-filling station and home to some of the coolest art you’ll see this side of the East River. Owned by the same folks behind Dirck the Norseman and Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. 78 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint.
Buschenschank German and Italian beers dominate the draft list while pizza and bratwurst dominate the menu. Domestic craft brews are tucked away on a small bottle list. 320 Court Street, Carroll Gardens.
Canal Bar A Chicago-themed dive bar that boasts a sizable backyard, a respectable draft list, and a friendly clientele. The kind of place you might want to take your parents, if your parents happen to be visiting from Chicago. 270 Third Avenue, Gowanus.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. Just a few hours north of the city, these guys do a lot of things very well. Their IPA is good, but the Kolsch is even better. And if you see any of its large-format bottles, buy ‘em without hesitation, especially if you happen to come across any from the Smoke from the Oak series. Elmsford, NY.
Catfish A Cajun-Creole eatery and bar featuring, strangely enough, a sizable selection of Belgian and German bottles and a draft list that’s heavy on Abita and Bayou Teche. 1433 Bedford Avenue, Crown Heights.
Covenhoven This bottle shop and small time beer garden features a good amount of local beers on tap and will fill growlers until midnight or 1am on weekends. 730 Classon Avenue, Crown Heights.
Crown Victoria Named after the police cars that were once repaired in this former auto shop, this bar has a massive 9000 square-foot backyard, an on-site taco truck and an uninspired, though reliable, lineup of beers. 60 S. 2nd Street, Williamsburg.
d.b.a. Brooklyn This NoLa export features two casks and a draft list with plenty of crowd pleasers. On top of that, Saints and Tigers fans have a permanent home here.
113 N. 7th Street, Williamsburg.
The Diamond This bar caters to beer lovers seeking the rare, the unusual, and the low ABV. A perfect place to take a brew-obsessed partner-in-crime for an afternoon of tastings. 43 Franklin Street, Greenpoint.
Die Koelner Bierhalle You’d be hard pressed to miss this outsized beer hall and its wood exterior. Drop in for a great selection of German brews and hug your waitress when she gleefully offers to split the check. 84 St. Marks Place, Park Slope.
Die Stammkneipe Located a few blocks away from Barclays, this beer garden (formerly Der Schwarze Kölner) is on the cutesy side, but it also features a well organized menu of German beers and all the heavy German food you could ask for. 710 Fulton Street, Fort Greene.
Dirck The Norseman This year, Dirck claimed the title of Brooklyn’s first brewpub, featuring beer brewed on-site by Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. and a menu heavy on meat. Beware the crowds, but be sure to check it out. 7 N. 15th Street, Greenpoint.
The Double Windsor Since 2009, this bar and kitchen has served underrepresented beers from well-known breweries like Allagash, Victory and Lagunitas. 210 Prospect Park West, Windsor Terrace.
Draft Barn This Hungarian beer bar features drafts from Germany, Belgium, the UK, France, Austria, the Czech Republic, even Sri Lanka! 530 Third Avenue, Gowanus.
Eagle Provisions To the uninitiated, this store may look like nothing more than a fancy gourmet market, but hidden inside is a truly impressive selection of international beers from the four corners of the world. The prices are occasionally offensive, but… well, welcome to this corner of the world. 628 Fifth Avenue, South Slope.
Eastern District Best known for its lineup of artisanal cheeses and meats, this small market fills growlers and sells bottles from cult breweries like Mikkeller, Crooked Stave and Dieu du Ciel. 1053 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint.
Fette Sau Owned by the folks behind Spuyten Duyvil, this spot has become popular for its mind-blowingly good BBQ, but beer nerds will also find themselves more than satisfied with their selection. 354 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg.
Finback Brewery One of the more buzzed-about names on the local scene of late, this brewery just opened up its 13,000-square-foot brewery in Glendale, Queens. They’ve got big things planned, from barrel-aging to sours. Glendale, Queens.
First Place Provisions If there’s ever a beer you’re looking to find, and you fear you’ve missed out on it at all the regular hotspots, check out First Place. There’s a good chance it’ll just be sitting right there on the shelf. 414 Court Street, Carroll Gardens.
Fourth Avenue Pub This exceedingly narrow but joyfully cozy bar with a back patio is the only thing keeping some of Park Slope’s stressed out parents from giving up altogether. 76 Fourth Avenue, Park Slope.
Garrett Oliver Yes, we’re going to give Mr. Oliver, Brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, his own entry here, mostly because he just won a fucking James Beard award. (Also, turn to page 42 to find out what he eats while on a five-day trip to Australia. Hint: it’s probably a lot better than what you ate during the same five-day period.)
The Gate This Fifth Avenue spot may not be as flashy or high-concept as some bars that have popped up in recent years, but it’s been in the craft beer game since way before it was cool. Much respect. 321 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope.
Glorietta Baldy Another spot from the owners of Mission Dolores, this small beer bar is an unfussy but perfect place to gather with a group of friends. 502 Franklin Avenue, Bed-Stuy.
Goldenrod From the owner of Buschenschank and South Brooklyn Pizza comes Goldenrod, named after a beer brewed by the building’s former occupant, the Otto Huber Brewery. 449 Court Street, Carroll Gardens.
Great South Bay Brewery Just recently starting to pop up in the city, this Long Island brewery is making some damn fine beer, from its Hopsy Dazy session IPA to its super limited Lethal Imperial Cupcake Porter. Long Island.
Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. The brewery counterpart to Dirck The Norseman, operated by former homebrewer Chris Prout, is set up to export its brews to local bars, so expect to see the name throughout Greenpoint. 7 North 15th Street, Greenpoint.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Company In addition to making one of our favorite winter beers, the rich, chocolatey but still dangerously drinkable Anti-Freeze, these guys are responsible for Otherside IPA, one of the best in the area. Long Island.
Greenwood Park Named after the adjacent cemetery, this bar takes up 13,000 square feet of space and rotates 60 beers, most of them high quality domestics. 555 Seventh Avenue, South Slope.
Grimm Artisanal Ales This husband-and-wife team brew test batches in their Gowanus kitchen, and then full batches for retail at various breweries around the country. They’ve already churned out some very good stuff, and they only seem to be getting better. Gowanus.
Heartland Brewery You’re not gonna go there, obviously, but you should recognize that they were making beer in the city at a time when almost no one else was. Various Locations, Manhattan.
Heavy Woods Another New Orleans-themed bar, this sunny hotspot errs on the side of safety, featuring brews from Smuttynose, Southern Tier and Bell’s, plus a $5 beer-and-shot special that won’t quit. 50 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick.
High Dive A handful of local brews on tap alongside plenty of big names like Goose Island and Stone. A dive bar done right. 243 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope.
Hops and Hocks One of the more welcome additions to Brooklyn’s beer scene, this place (from the owners of STNKY Brooklyn and Smith and Vine) combines a fine selection of upper-tier bottles, 12 draft lines for growler fills, and an especially impressive array of charcuterie. 2 Morgan Avenue, Bushwick.
Hot Bird This place just decided they’re not allowing kids in the bar anymore. So if that’s your thing (being joyless and maybe hateful) by all means enjoy. 546 Clinton Avenue, Clinton Hill.
Ithaca Beer Company A long ride from NYC, certainly, but worth a mention regardless. Its Flower Power IPA is widely adored, and its Excelsior big-bottle series is stellar. Ithaca, NY.
Keg & Lantern A neighborhood bar that flirts with destination spot-status thanks to its 32 taps and extensive selection of bottled imports. 95 Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint.
KelSo Brewing From its Pilsner and Nut Brown Lager (currently being canned) to its 10% ABV Industrial IPA (about to be canned) and Recessionator Doppelbock, KelSo is one of the best we’ve got. Clinton Hill.
Lock Yard A coworker recently opined that this bar is so far into Bay Ridge it’s basically in Staten Island, but she was just being joyless and maybe hateful. Fifteen taps and a ton of outdoor space make it worth the trip. 9221 Fifth Avenue, Bay Ridge.
Long Ireland Beer Co. Each year, on the day after Thanksgiving, it releases its Black Friday Imperial Stout, which is as close a match for Founders’ beloved Breakfast Stout as we’ve ever come across. It has a very good summer wheat ale making the rounds right now, too. Long Island.
Lucky Dog A very good tap list, very nice bartenders, and a backyard so wonderful it will make you cry. Dog-friendly. 308 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg.
Matt Torrey’s Relaxed spot featuring mostly regional selections and a kitchen that’s open late. 46 Bushwick Avenue, Williamsburg.
Mission Dolores Another bar from the Wiley Brothers, this self-described “weird beer bar” serves some of the more devout beer nerds in the whole borough, but it’s also unique and just spacious enough that you’ll want to bring your regular, non-nerd friends there as well. 247 Fourth Avenue, Park Slope.
Sam Richardson, Other Half Brewing Co.
Favorite Brooklyn beer bar?
I would say I have a few faves when it comes to bars. I’ve always worked or lived in Crown Heights, Clinton Hill and South Slope so the bars I have a soft spot for are all in those areas. I really like Double Windsor for snow days, Mission Dolores for summer days, and Fourth Avenue Pub because it’s a bar for bar lovers with a great beer list. For bottle shops, Bierkraft is a classic. We also have a new one in Crown Heights, Covenhoven. Really nice people and lots of local beer.Favorite Brooklyn bottle shop?
My favorite local beer is pretty much anything from Peekskill or Barrier. Brooklyn Brewery’s large-format bottles are usually a hit. KelSo is going to start canning Industrial IPA, which is going to be awesome.Beer that got you into craft beer in the first place?
The beer that changed things for me was Hair of the Dog Adam. I’m from Portland, Oregon, originally, and I was just old enough to drink beer legally when Hair of the Dog opened. There was already a lot of craft beer in Portland at that point but this beer was just out of left field for me. So big and good, something only an American brewer would do. Rooted in European tradition but just so much bigger. Still, a great beer.Most desired beer you haven’t tried yet?
So many. I’m way behind at this point. People always talk to me about beers I’ve never tried.
Mugs Ale House An outstanding selection of taps and one of the deepest cellars in all of Brooklyn (we know people who’ve downed Anchor Christmas Ales from the 90s here) combined with plentiful seating, a great backyard, and some surprisingly good food make this one of the most consistently great and overlooked beer bars in Brooklyn. 125 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg.
Oak & Iron A perfect neighborhood spot with lots of seating and a totally relaxed vibe. The beer selection features pretty standard stuff, but it’s good enough that if you lived near it, you’d happily be there every day. A good one to keep in mind should you find yourself in the area. 147 Franklin Avenue, Greenpoint.
One Stop Beer Shop The menu at this bar is carefully divided by beer type and features more bottles than is conceivable. For those who plan on coming back for more, feel free to join its Beer Society. 134 Kingsland Avenue, Williamsburg.
Other Half Brewing Co. Since moving into their new Gowanus space in December, Sam Richardson and Andrew Burman have had a hard time meeting demand for their excellent line of hopped-up beers, most notably Green Diamonds Imperial IPA. These guys aren’t going away any time soon. Gowanus.
Owl Farm Another Wiley Bros. outpost, this bar organizes its lineup by alcohol level, changing things up two or three times a week and hosting a weekly Vinyl Club that invites locals to spin their favorite records. 297 9th Street, Gowanus.
Ben Wiley, Owner of Mission Dolores, Bar Great Harry,
The Owl Farm, and Glorietta Baldy
Favorite beer bar?
Tough to answer since I own four of them.Favorite Brooklyn Bottle Shop?
Bierkraft. I have spent more dough there over the years than anywhere else.Favorite Locally Made Beer?
Other Half has made more beer that I really enjoy than probably any other local place, though Barrier and Peekskill are amazing, too.Beer that Turned You On to Craft Beer in the First Place?
Fourteen years ago I had my first Fin Du Monde in a bottle. Changed me forever. I thought it was a small bottle of champagne.Most desired beer you haven’t tried yet?
Death and Taxes.
Pacific Standard Every time someone asks us where they should go for a drink before or after going to something at Barclays Center, we tell them to hit up this welcoming, spacious spot. Lots of good beer, no bullshit. 82 Fourth Ave, Park Slope.
Peekskill Brewery Every single beer they make is worth trying, so by all means feel confident ordering them wherever they pop up. But also, the brewery’s an hour north of the city and offers some really great food. Poutine, even. Worth a day-trip, for sure. Peeksill, NY.
Pickle Shack A collaboration between Dogfish Head and Brooklyn Brine, where no fewer than eight Dogfish brews are on tap at any given time. Also: Fried hop pickles with lemon aioli? Yes. 256 Fourth Avenue, Park Slope.
Pine Box Rock Shop Vegan-friendly bar located in a former coffin factory. Lots of decent beer and a full calendar of events. Dog-friendly. 12 Grattan Street, Bushwick.
The Ploughman An artisanal cheese and meat shop that sells bottles and fills growlers from 11 taps. 438 Seventh Avenue, South Slope.
Port Jeff Brewing Company These guys, based way out on the east end of Long Island, were brewing porters with locally sourced honey long before Barack Obama was. Lots of other good stuff, too. Long Island.
Radegast A massive Austro-Hungarian beer hall featuring beers from Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, and the UK. And there’s a patio. 113 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg.
Rockaway Brewing Co. These guys won us over a couple years ago with their very good ESB and again recently with their British-style Old School IPA. It also doesn’t hurt that their logo’s so nice. Long Island City.
Rosamunde Sausage Grill Two words: growler delivery. (Two words: vegan sausages.) 258 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg.
The Sampler A newcomer to the local scene, this combo bar and bottle shop has made quite a splash with its outstanding selection, comfy vibes and beer-related events. 234 Starr Street, Bushwick.
Sixpoint Brewery One of the bigger players on the local scene, Sixpoint is ubiquitous in bodegas, bars and backyard BBQs. Look for its new 6-packs of 12oz. cans. We’ll miss the tall-boys, but it’s probably better this way. Red Hook.
Skinny Dennis Every craft beer on the menu is $5. All the time. Enough said. 152 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg.
Southern Tier Brewing Company A reliable brewery from Upstate best known for its imperial 2XIPA and outrageously sweet imperial stouts like Creme Brullee and Choklat. Lakewood, NY.
Spider Bite Beer Co. A small brewery that’s packing big flavor into its beers: Boris the Spider is an imperial stout that rivals any produced in the state, and its Egged Legged Rye IPA is as pleasantly spicy as it is hoppy. Long Island.
Spritzenhaus As far as full German/Belgian beer immersion goes, you can’t outdo this McCarren Park-adjacent beer hall. 33 Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint.
Spuyten Duyvil One of Williamsburg’s original beer bars, known for its excellent selection of rare beers from all over the world, especially Belgium. 359 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg.
St. Gambrinus Beer Shoppe Named after a famed beer-lover, this bottle shop and bar fills growlers from constantly rotating taps and openly caters to more… advanced drinkers. 533 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill.
Strong Place This bar features beers from great breweries throughout the US and boasts a great menu of well-prepared bites. Note: kid-friendly. 270 Court Street, Cobble Hill.
Tørst One of the few things on this list that would also be featured if we were doing an A-Z guide to craft beer all around the world. This bar is really that good. 615 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint.
Stephen Valand and Erica Shea,
Brooklyn Brew Shop and EST Brewing Co.
Your favorite Brooklyn beer bar?
Right now, it’s nearly impossible to beat Tørst. Jeppe from Evil Twin has somehow distilled the Danish goal of achieving maximum coziness while also on being the home to the borough’s most adventurous beer list. They always seem to have the best of whichever category they’re pouring—be it super funky sours, rich and decadent imperial anythings, or easy-drinking and wildly aromatic pale ales.Your favorite Brooklyn bottle shop?
It’s an amazing time for lovers of beer-to-go. Where there was not long ago just a handful of great choices, today every neighborhood has at least one shop with a far-reaching bottle list. Our current go-to is St. Gambrinus on Atlantic. It’s a fantastic shop run by major beer fans.Your favorite locally made beer?
Stephen’s a born-and-raised Brooklyner, which makes it somewhat difficult to admit that some of the best beer in the city right now is coming out of Queens’ Finback Brewery. Their IPAs are super-fresh and transport you to the middle of a hop farm somewhere in Oregon. It’s been fantastic seeing their dream become a reality.The beer that turned you on to craft in the first place?
Erica didn’t like beer before we started making it. The first one we brewed and loved was our Grapefruit Honey Ale. Packed with citrus, light-in-body, and a little spicy, it was a far cry from the red-solo cup introductions to beer we not-so-fondly look back on.
Transmitter Brewery A Queens brewery specializing in farmhouse ales produced with house-grown yeast. Turn to page 10 to read about their CSB program, which is like a CSA but for beer. Long Island City.
Untappd A social media app that allows you to “check in” and assign a grade to every beer you drink. It’s not the coolest thing in the world—unless you’re a very particular type of nerd, for whom it is definitely the coolest thing in the world. (1,383 total, and 721 distinct check-ins, you guys!) untappd.com
Washington Commons A dark, intimate bar that specializes in Belgian beers with selections from breweries like Smuttynose, Lagunitas and Founders. 434 Park Place, Prospect Heights.
Waterfront Ale House A real-deal, old-school craft beer bar that wouldn’t be worth a trip out of your way based on beer selection alone, but with the crazy delicious burger? Definitely. 155 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights
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