New York City might be the center of the universe, but it’s not exactly the center of craft beer. With limited open space, and the costs to run a business at a premium, the city that never sleeps spent the early stages of the craft beer boom in the shallow end of the pool. But like all things in NYC, when something is done, it’s taken to the next level, and that’s no different with craft beer. Over the last few years, there has been an influx of craft beer through distribution as well as breweries opening throughout the five boroughs. Today you can stop in at just about any local bar and find some of the country’s best brews. While the options are endless, there are some spots you should have on your radar while drinking your way through the Big Apple.
Other Half Brewing Company
Started by Andrew Burman, Matt Monahan, and Sam Richardson, Other Half been bursting onto the beer scene with their hoppy offerings over the last few years. After time in Portland, Oregon, brewmaster Sam Richardson has been providing locals with styles that represent the best from both coasts.
While Other Half has become known for beers like Green Diamonds and All Green Everything, the trio doesn’t want to be pigeonholed by their flagship beer. Instead they want locals to look forward to new offerings, many of which are collaborations with other breweries. If you’re here on a weekend, make sure to check out their Facebook page as every other Saturday are can-release days.
While in Brooklyn, stop at Threes Brewing, blocks away from the Barclays Center. Threes possesses the ultimate triple play of brewery, restaurant, and espresso bar all within one incredible space. Whether you’re a beer nerd looking to sip on a cold beverage while watching the maestro Greg Doroski at work, or you’re craving a tasty cocktail, or you’re looking for a bite to eat at their current partner restaurant Meat Hook, Threes is the place for you.
“In both lines of our business, manufacturing and hospitality, we take our craft very seriously. Ourselves, not so much,” says co-owner Josh Stylman. “We think it’s important to remember that beer is something that should be a fun thing you consume while you’re enjoying your life. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Since being founded in 1988, Brooklyn Brewery, led by celebrity brewmaster Garrett Oliver, has ushered in the craft beer era to locals of NYC. While visiting Brooklyn Brewery, patrons can sit back and chat with the staff while putting-back a few of their flagship Brooklyn Lagers. For those looking to learn more about the history of the brewery, small batch tours are available during the week. Make sure to book your tour in advance, as they do require a month’s notice.
If you’re a beer nerd with a passion for music, look into Singlecut in Astoria. Of the brewery focused on music, general manager Dan Bronson says, “punk rock didn’t reinvent rock and roll, and we aren’t reinventing the wheel (or the IPA) here, but we feel confident we have our distinct tone that you don’t hear at other places.” Singlecut is certainly living up to that tone with hoppy favorites such as Softly Spoken Magic Spells and Mo’ Shuggie Soulbender. With a massive taproom, Singlecut allows you to flip through vinyl while sipping on their regular offerings and if you’re lucky, a few taproom-only surprises.
What started in 2005 as a beer between two strangers has quickly blossomed into one of the most unique brewery experiences you can find in NYC. Transmitter, which focuses on developing Belgian and French Country ales, naturally carbonates all of their beers, which take anywhere from six to 10 weeks to develop.
Located under the Pulaski Bridge, a short walk from Astoria and Greenpoint, Transmitter transmits a sense of community. Founders Anthony Accardi and Rob Kolb invite visitors to sample some of their mixed fermentation offerings and purchase a number of corked and caged bottles to enjoy at one of their picnic tables or at home with friends.
LIC Beer Project
One of the newer breweries making a big splash is the LIC Beer Project. Fresh off their first can release, Daniel Acosta and Damon Oscarson are looking to bring beer lovers to their beautiful facility in Long Island City with an interesting lineup of Belgian inspired ales and sour beers. LIC aims to push creativity and techniques to make exceedingly aromatic and flavorful hoppy beer. On top of that, LIC is NYC’s first brewery with a coolship to allow for spontaneously fermented sour ales which they age in oak barrels.
Keep reading for the city’s best beer bars and bottle shops.