Northside Festival kicks off this week, and with more than 400 bands taking the stage across north Brooklyn, you probably already have your schedule handily mapped out. But what about your drinking plans? Sure, many of the venues hosting 2015’s musical acts offer the right stuff to wet your whistle, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change of scenery (or at least tap list) during those four days of sonic glory. So, here, we gathered the best bars nearest each of Northside Festival’s 20-plus venues, so you don’t have to worry about a little thing like “hydration” distracting you from seeing and hearing everything the fest has to offer.
50 Kent Ave — The Tasting Room at Brooklyn Brewery
Stop in early to snag a table for your crew, grab a pint of Sorachi Ace, and have a pizza delivered before trekking all of a block and a half to see acts like Majical Cloudz and Built to Spill at 50 Kent Ave. (Note: Tasting Room hours vary, so be sure to check the Brooklyn Brewery website .)
Brooklyn Brewery, 79 North 11th Street
Alphaville — Tandem
Neighborhood bar in the front, dance party in the back, with a solid selection of beers (and beer-and-shot combos) and an A+ food menu perfect for some pre- or post-show noshing: perfection.
Tandem, 235 Troutman Street
AVIV — One Stop Beer Shop
Happy hour at One Stop runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., which means you can swing by before Nonsense’s set for a $5 pickle back or borsch back and a black truffle grilled cheese.
One Stop Beer Shop, 134 Kingsland Avenue
Baby’s All Right — Dram
If you’re lucky, you might catch a movie screening at this spot helmed by industry vet and star bartender Tonia Guffey, whose menu offers classic-leaning options as well as a monthly tiki selection. Even better, the bar’s playlist is always on point.
Dram, 177 South 4th Street
Black Bear Bar — Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern
Swing by between shows for a $5 32-ounce Bud Light (served in a Styrofoam cup) at what is arguably the area’s most beloved dive.
Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern, 188 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn Bowl — The Counting Room
Looking for something boozy to break up a day of beers? Head to The Counting Room, where you can sample inspired cocktails while nibbling on the spot’s selection of high-quality snacks and bites.
The Counting Room, 44 Berry Street
Cameo — The Charleston
The free-pizza-with-drink concept isn’t new or rare, but a full day of music and boozing makes a gratis pie look awful nice. Bonus: The Charleston’s happy hour runs through 8 p.m., so you can wash down that pepperoni-and-mushroom with a $5 beer and shot.
The Charleston, 174 Bedford Avenue
House of Vans — Beloved
Classic cocktails (made by industry heavyweights from spots like Milk & Honey and Dutch Kills) with a neighborhood-bar vibe. Plus, this Greenpoint spot typically offers $8 daily cocktail specials — think Vieux Carrés, piña coladas, or pineapple daiquiris.
Beloved, 674 Manhattan Avenue
King’s County Saloon — The Narrows
A spacious backyard, incredible food, 4 a.m. bar close, and a solid cocktail selection — including a frozen Negroni! — make this Flushing Avenue watering hole a must-visit. Be warned, though: The Narrows is cash-only.
The Narrows, 1037 Flushing Avenue
Knitting Factory — Spuyten Duyvil
Spuyten Duyvil has one of the best beer menus in the ‘hood, so don’t waste the opportunity to pop in (The Knitting Factory is literally next door). Our recommendation? Blow off some steam with a cheese board and an obscure sour ale.
Spuyten Duyvil, 359 Metropolitan Avenue
Manhattan Inn — Nights and Weekends
The original cocktails here are Latin-American and tiki-leaning–and some come frozen–but classics like the Singapore Sling and the Painkiller are also thrown into the mix. Swing by after your shows (the kitchen closes at 2 a.m.) for chips and salsa and an order of fish tacos.
Nights and Weekends, 1 Bedford Avenue
Matchless — Tørst
Two words: Flux Capacitor. In short, this system allows the establishment to control factors like carbonation and temperature for individual tap lines, meaning you’re served the best beer possible. The pub leans heavily on brews from Evil Twin, which is really just more incentive for you to belly up.
Tørst, 615 Manhattan Avenue
McCarren Park — Mug’s Ale House
Staff at Mug’s are always friendly and knowledgeable–which helps when you’re dealing with its lengthy tap list. Also friendly? The regulars, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the person next to you. (Want to drink in McCarren Park? Check out the beers being poured during the showcases.)
Mug’s Ale House, 125 Bedford Avenue
Muchmore’s — The Exley
If it’s a low-key drinking atmosphere you seek, The Exley’s your post-show go-to. The space is spare but still comfortable, and drinks are tasty and well made.
The Exley, 1 Jackson Street
Music Hall of Williamsburg — Croxley’s Abbey
Maybe you need a break from your day of music. Sports, anyone? While Croxley’s Abbey’s scores of TVs offer perfect viewing for your athletic event of choice, the spot’s giant tap list provides options for every kind of beer drinker.
Croxley’s Abbey, 63 Grand Street
Palisades — duckduck
Tap, bottled, and canned beer options are plentiful at this East Williamsburg mainstay, and cocktails won’t run you more than $10–and that’s on the high end. Crowds here tend to be young and lively, which is the perfect bookend on a day of tunes at Palisades.
duckduck, 161 Montrose Avenue
Passenger Bar — Post Office
The space may be small, but the drinks are spot-on at the Post Office, which mixes classics with classic-leaning originals. Still, you also can’t go wrong with a neat pour of one of the bar’s many whiskeys.
Post Office, 188 Havemeyer Street
Pet Rescue — Basik
Sure, Basik may be a schlep from (or to) Pet Rescue, but it’s a worthwhile walk. Cocktails are straightforward and affordable, the food options are many and delicious, and the backyard is large yet comfortable.
Basik, 323 Graham Avenue
Pete’s Candy Store — the Shanty
Operated by the folks who own New York Distilling Co., the Shanty’s well-balanced drinks put the distillers’ mastery on full display. The atmosphere here skews industrial, but it’s cozy nonetheless.
The Shanty, 79 Richardson Street
Polish National Church and Warsaw — The Richardson
Large enough to accommodate you and your crew but cozy enough for you to belly up solo, The Richardson serves up well-mixed cocktails, expertly curated drafts, and some of the best deviled eggs in the borough.
The Richardson, 451 Graham Avenue
Rough Trade — The Ides
You’ll probably have to wait in line to enter this bar atop the Wythe Hotel, but it’s worth it. Aside from the outstanding libations, here you’ll also get one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline.
The Ides, 80 Wythe Avenue
Saint Vitus — Achilles Heel
No frills, no fuss — Achilles Heel is a cozy neighborhood joint with an intriguing bottled beer list, delicious bites, and a gorgeous back bar.
Achilles Heel, 180 West Street
Shea Stadium — The Well
The size of this spot is only bested by The Well’s monster beer selection: 60 taps and 100 bottled options, which should be enough to satisfy your thirst after a day of tunes.
The Well, 272 Meserole Street
The Acheron — The Tradesman
Happy hour ($4 drafts, $5 wells, $6 specialty drinks) runs until 9 p.m. at this industrial-seeming East Williamsburg locale, but you’ll want to stay later for the lively–but still comfortable–scene.
The Tradesman, 222 Bushwick Avenue
The Grand Victory — Extra Fancy
The excellent late-night food menu (the patty melt and smoked trout are both spot-on) and top-notch cocktails have made Extra Fancy a regular after-hours industry stop–also reasons why you should swing by after a night of shows.
Extra Fancy, 302 Metropolitan Avenue
The Gutter — Berry Park
Head up to the rooftop for a frozen drink, or grab a spot indoors and choose from one of Berry Park’s mostly German or Belgian beer offerings — both winning options.
Berry Park, 4 Berry Street
The Living Room — The Levee
The prices are right at The Levee, and so are the cheese puffs. Tuck into a bowl and throw back a beer and a shot, which won’t run you more than a fiver.
The Levee, 212 Berry Street
Trash Bar — Clem’s
Venture from Dive A to Dive B–because a change of scenery can be nice, right?
Clem’s, 264 Grand Street
Union Pool — Barcade
The taps at Barcade are just as diverse as the video games that line the space’s interior. Due to the bar’s popularity, though, finding a seat can be a challenge, but who needs to sit when there’s Pac-Man to be played?
Barcade, 388 Union Avenue
UO Live Stage at Williamsburg Walks — Crown Victoria
The big draw at Crown Victoria is the spot’s absolutely massive backyard, but it doesn’t hurt that the bartenders are extremely accommodating and the draft selection–which includes everything from Pacifico to Uinta Hop Nosh–is vast.
Crown Victoria, 60 South 2nd Street