NYC Beer Tour

NYC Beer Tour

There are many great places to drink in New York City. Still, discerning connoisseurs are likely to find themselves awash in a sea of mediocre beer without first gaining a proper lay of the beer land. For those whose curiosity and taste buds urge them to venture beyond ubiquitious draft staples like Guiness or Stella Artois hop aboard, this tour is for you!
Image Courtesy of: Santi

1. Brouwerij Lane

Brouwerij Lane
Brouwerij Lane is something of a cross between a beer bar and a retail beer distributor. Inside you'll find large glass doored refrigerators stocked with good, though not exactly rare, bottles. You can find a far wider selection, at lower prices, at elite distributors such as New Beer Distributors on the Lower East Side. Go to Brouwerij for the 20 beers it stocks on a wall mounted line of taps. It's probably the best place in the city to go for growler fills, though if you don't feel like lugging around a big bottle of beer for the rest of the tour don't worry, like any bar, Brouwerij sells by the cup. Visit during a weekend night and you're bound to find locals piled in drinking from Brouwerij's typically well-selected draught menu. These gatherings are fun if you don't mind a slightly college party feel and disposable plastic cups. One huge difference of course is that you'll be drinking something much better than Coors Light.
Where to find it:
78 Greenpoint Avenue, New York, NY, USA

Working Hours:
Mon-Thu: 02:00pm-10:00pm
Fri-Sun: 12:00pm-10:00pm

2. The Diamond

The Diamond
The Diamond was started by David Pollack, a proprietor with some impressive credentials; he was bartender for none other than Spuyten Duyvil, an excellent bar we'll get to soon enough. With a wall installation of multicolored light bulbs and a cutout of Michael Landon from Little House on the Prairie, the place will prepare you for Williamsburg’s vibe of weirdness. Remember, we’re here for the brew. Pollack has attached a mandate to his selection, more session-oriented varities that feature manageable alcohol levels. In another bar this might mean a disappointing menu heavy on weak tasting pilsners or golden ales or stacked too heavily with IPAs. As you might expect from someone who knows how high the bar for quality has been set by rivals like Spuyten Duyvil, Pollack still features excellent beers and rarities; but ones without the knockout power of heavy duty Belgian ales and other strong brews.
Where to find it:
43 Franklin Street, Greenpoint, New York, NY, USA

Working Hours:
Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu: 05:00pm–01:00am
Fri: 05:00pm–02:30am
Sat: 02:00pm–02:30am
Sun: 02:00pm–01:00am

3. Mug's Alehouse

Mug's Alehouse
Situated on Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg's bustling central artery, Mug's Alehouse's deep selection of taps is worth a look. Its menu isn't likely to blow the mind of a true beer veteran, but its grungy, blue collar atmosphere is fun and even connoisseurs are likely to find at least something interesting to try among its many draught lines.
Where to find it:
125 Bedford Avenue, New York, NY, USA

Working Hours:
Mon-Thu,Sun: 02:00pm–02:00am
Fri-Sat: 11:00am-04:00am

4. Barcade

Barcade
Given the surge of artisanal craftsmanship in Brooklyn, it’s not a surprise that the borough is home to some of New York City’s best craft beer. This is a good spot to immerse yourself in Williamsburg’s hipster culture. Post industrial, ironically nostalgic, do-it-yourself. As the name suggests, this former warehouse space, which the proprietors renovated themselves, is a bar and arcade combined with a long row of old-school video game terminals. Gimmicks aside, it features an impressive 25 taps.
Where to find it:
388 Union Avenue, New York, NY, USA

Working Hours:
Mon-Thu: 04:00pm-04:00am
Fri: 02:00pm-04:00am
Sat-Sun: 12:00pm-04:00am

5. Spuyten Duyvil

Spuyten Duyvil
If you have time to travel to just one beer bar in the city this just might have to be the place. With a red gated storefront and no sign out front, passersby could easily confuse Spuyten Duyvil for say a lawnmower repair shop or old book store rather than a beer mecca. Inside, its rather rustic looking hardwood bar and tap handles and heavily hipster-inflected décor (check out the strange endocrine system anatomy chart hanging inexplicably on the wall near the front) aren’t likely to immediately impress either. Although it has only six draft lines, most if not all are usually dedicated to a line up even beer-geeks are likely to have never heard of or at least not tried on tap. While many bars lean heavily on IPAs and other low to medium alcohol beer styles to encourage session drinking, Spuyten Duyvil doesn’t back away from richer and more complex styles such as strong stouts and Belgian quads and triples. Although I typically try to sample a bar’s taps, Spuyten Duyvil’s bottle menu is labyrinthine, with an unrivaled variety of hard to find beer varieties such as krieks and lambics from Belgium’s Wallonian and Flanders regions. Head to the rear during summer months to hang out in a surprisingly spacious outdoor backyard area with tables and chairs.
Where to find it:
359 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, New York, NY, USA

Working Hours:
Mon-Fri:Open 05:00pm
Sat-Sun: 12:00pm
Garden Open Year Round till 11:30pm

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