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Best beer stores in NYC

Where to pick up six-packs, growlers, kegs and more.

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Photograph: American Beer Distributing Company

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American Beer Distributing Company

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Photograph: Sam Horine

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Bierkraft

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Photograph: Allison Michael Orenstein

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Brouwerij Lane

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Photograph: David Rosenzweig

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Ginger Man

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Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

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Good Beer

American Beer Distributing Company
Though the craft-beer craze has picked up steam in recent years, stocking the brews locals want is just business as usual for the Marino family, who have adapted to the evolving tastes of the 'hood since opening their warehouse in 1948. The democratic stock satisfies tastes both lowbrow (36-packs of Coors $23.99) and high (Bruery Saison Rue, 25-ounce bottle $14.99), with 500 globe-trotting bottles. Prices are as fair as you'll find in these parts: 64-ounce growler fills from a rotating cast of ten craft breweries go for just $10. And if you're having a party, choose from the 25 different kegs—including Captain Lawrence Pale Ale ($139)—or set aside a selection of bottles and get them delivered almost anywhere in Brooklyn (delivery fee $7, with a $75 minimum). 256 Court St at Butler St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-875-0226)

Bierkraft
This hops emporium frequently offers brand-new brews from local up-and-comers such as Greenport Harbor, as well as obscure seasonal releases and hard-to-find vintages, like a 2007 Bare Tree Weiss Wine from Illinois's Two Brothers. The mind-boggling stock of 1,100 bottles is complemented by two sets of 14 draft lines: one specially designed to fill growlers without letting in any freshness-killing oxygen, and one set aside for pouring pints that patrons can enjoy in the homey 35-seat caf area. On Tuesdays, the place is packed for free 7pm tastings. 191 Fifth Ave at Berkeley Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-230-7600, bierkraft.com)

Brouwerij Lane
When this brew shop opened in 2009, it was a pioneer of the growler mania that has since swept the city. And while you can still top up your glass jug with one of 19 microbrews (20 on Fridays) and imports on tap, Brouwerij Lane is more than a filling station. It also offers one of the city's most intriguing bottle selections—recently we spotted Captain Lawrence's wine-barrel--aged Smoke from the Oak ($23) and Our Finest Regards Barleywine ($14) from Pretty Things—and it doubles as Greenpoint's best (and best-value) beer bar. A half pint of most beers costs $3; a full pint is $5. 78 Greenpoint Ave at Franklin St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (347-529-6133, brouwerijlane.com)

The Ginger Man
Growler service in midtown isn't as prevalent as it is in Brooklyn, where even Duane Reade is getting in on the act these days. But it's only fitting that the Ginger Man—a craft pioneer since 1996—would change that. Inside the 5,000-square-foot pub you can sample an international lineup of suds pouring from 70 taps and two casks, then cart off your favorite selections in a 64-ounce screw-top ($6) or porcelain flip-top ($25) growler. You can also fill mix-and-match six-packs with bottles ($6--$50) from the collection of 150 offeringss. All to-go beer orders are 15% off the regular price. 11 E 36th St between Fifth and Madison Aves (212-532-3740, gingerman-ny.com)

Good Beer
We love the community vibe of the city's newest caf-cum-beer-shop. You can pop in to fill your growler from the dozen draft lines or snag bottles from the geographically arranged, 600-deep selection, but you'll be tempted to hang out for a bit. Patrons gather around tables to down pints ($6) or sip flights (four four-ounce pours, $8) alongside grass-fed hot dogs and in-state cheeses. Every other week, expect a different brewery to come in and introduce its wares. Next up: a free tasting with Cobble Hill's Kelso Brewery on Tuesday 22. 422 E 9th St between First Ave and Ave A (212-677-4836, goodbeernyc.com)


 

New Beer Distributors
Despite being a stone's throw from the more heavily trafficked Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room, this place boasts its own formidable bounty (800-plus options), often at better prices than you'll find up the road. The shelves are organized regionally for American craft brewers, and by country for global picks ranging from France to Vietnam. Anglophiles can discover more than 40 British bottles, like the crisp, ciderlike Moorhouse's Pendle Witches Brew ($5.45) and a pitch-black Meantime Coffee Porter ($4.05). Meanwhile, six taps dispense beers from breweries such as Ithaca and Goose Island for your growler, and 15 different beers can be ordered by the keg. 167 Chrystie St between Delancey and Rivington Sts (212-473-8757)

Skibbo Discount Beer & Soda
It would be a mistake to judge this Bronx shop by its garish Corona banners. Alongside the requisite stacks of swill you'll find the borough's most comprehensive (and fairly priced) beer collection: 500 American craft and international bottles. Sniff out hits from domestic favorites like Lagunitas and Long Trail, plus European classics such as Saison Dupont. Eight taps are at the ready to fill your growler (buy one there that says "Da Bronx"), while kegs can be ordered with a week's notice. If you don't see what you're looking for, talk to jovial owner Tommy Altieri—he's happy to take requests for hard-to-find brews. 3156 E Tremont Ave between Lasalle and Waterbury Aves, Bronx (718-829-0956)

Spuyten Duyvil Grocery
Evangelists of Joe Carroll's nearby bar Spuyten Duyvil know what to expect at his artisanal minimarket. The same fiendish reverence for good beer is reflected in a 200-bottle array of esoteric American and European options, with a particular focus on regional Belgian breweries. On a recent visit, we spied rarities like a bottle-conditioned Gavroche French Red Ale ($11) and the Dugges' Double IPA ($8) from Sweden. While the pint-size shop is packed from wall to wall with clinking bottles, Carroll manages to squeeze in a few gourmet goods to go with your drinks, like brined cukes from Rick's Picks and Nunu chocolates. 218 Bedford Ave at North 5th St, store 1M, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-384-1520)

Tri-Boro Ice Co.
If you're a self-sufficient beer nerd, you'll feel like a kid in a candy shop here. The distributor is often busy loading trucks with suds destined for local bars and restaurants, so shoppers are left to wander the 4,400-square-foot retail maze at will. You'll find more than 400 bottles from around the world (Blue Point Rastafa Rye Ale, Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen), which you can snap up knowing you won't find better prices anywhere in town. Four recently installed tap lines fill growlers with American craft options, and the keg selection should suit any type of soiree, from a fratty blowout (Coors Light) to a locavore bash (Ommegang). 41-08 Astoria Blvd between 41st and 42nd Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-728-9462, tri-boroice.com)

Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room
You'll never look at a supermarket beer aisle the same way after seeing this full-service hops mecca, which has its own separate room removed from the rest of the store. While it's not the cheapest place to buy a six-pack, the attention to detail is second to none: The 1,000-plus picks are meticulously organized by geography and kept at the proper storing temperature, and a committed staff is happy to either geek out or educate you, depending what you're looking for. It's easy to lose an afternoon rifling through selections like the full range of Danish brewer Mikkeller's single-hop series, in which each beer highlights one distinct variety of hops. A horseshoe-shaped wooden bar hosts frequent tasting events and fills growlers with six mostly local taps. And if you'd rather just make your own, pick up everything you need to home brew, including grains, yeasts and bottles. 95 E Houston St between Bowery and Chrystie St (212-420-1320)

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