Best beer in New York City: 2014’s top brew bars and events

Get the lowdown on the best beer bars to open within the past year, tastings and other boozy happenings, and more

Good news, beer lovers: NYC’s craft-beer scene is as strong as ever. Check out our city-spanning guide to the best beer bars, sudsy soirees for novices and vets alike, and the best bets for New York City Beer Week.

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NYC's best beer guide for 2014

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The best summer beer to drink before Labor Day

At the end of the season it’s every hops-head for themselves. Grab limited-time-only summer beer in bottle, can or growler before they’re long gone. With only a few weeks left to summer and craft brewers eager to stay ahead of the curve, the supply of cooler-friendly beer cans is dwindling fast. Don’t waste time glugging any old brew. Instead, stockpile the best summer beer—or at least add them to your summer bucket list—before the pumpkin ales invade.RECOMMENDED: This year's guide to the best beer in NYC Most popular in Food & Drink 100 best New York restaurants From unimpeachable classics to buzzy newcomers courting the food-world cognoscenti, these are the 100 best New York restaurants you need to know about right now. Most popular in Restaurants Where are you eating tonight? With hot new venues opening each week, it’s tough to keep track of the best New York restaurants—the impeccable landmarks that never disappoint, the divey honky tonks serving life-changing brisket, and the sexy upstarts everyone who’s anyone is clamoring to try. Whether you’re craving an artful tasting menu, a soul-satisfying platter of crackling fried chicken or simply a great bloody steak, there’s a New York restaurant that will satisfy. Here are the best of them: The 100 places that Time Out New York’s food editors can’t do without. Did we miss your favorite New York restaurant? Join the conversation in the comments. Time Out Offers & Experiences New American restaurants The best New York rest

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2014 beer events calendar

Map out the year's best beer events in New York with this handy guide Wondering where you can sip on your favorite craft beers while listening to live music or chowing down on artisanal foods? Have a pint at a tap takeover event in the city, or discover boozy festivities in Beacon, NY or at Uniondale's Nassau Coliseum. Plan your year out with our hoppy events calendar for the beer enthusiast. RECOMMENDED: This year’s guide to the best beer in NYC January Jan 25, Feb 10, Mar 18: Tröegs tap takeovers This English-style brewery (troegs.com) is seizing spigots all over NYC this winter—at Valhalla (815 Ninth Ave at 54th St; Feb 10 6–8pm), at the Jeffrey (311 E 60th St between First and Second Aves; Mar 18 6–9pm) and with a growler tasting at the Ploughman (438 Seventh Ave between 14th and 15th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn; Jan 25 4–7pm). February Feb 1-28: Bell’s tap takeover at Idle Hands Bar New Yorkers will soon find out that Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery, which concocts two dozen of the Midwest’s most sought-after seasonal and year-round beers, freakin’ rules. Many of its offerings, otherwise unavailable in NYC, will be on tap all month at this Alphabet City joint (we recommend the robust, IPA-style Two Hearted Ale). Visit on Wednesdays to take advantage of $10 tastings (7–9pm, must R.S.V.P. at bit.ly/bellsnyc). 25 Ave B between 2nd and 3rd Sts, downstairs (917-338-7090, idlehandsbar.com) Feb 8: Big Brew NY Beer Festival A trip to White Plains will earn you unlimited

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Ten best new beer bars

Here are the sudsy best beer standouts—from the Bronx to Bed-Stuy—that every in-the-know hops-head needs to try More best beer articles The new Queens suds buzz Brooklyn, watch your back. New beer bars, shops and makers are popping up in Queens. And the easternmost borough—a brewery hub before Prohibition—is roaring back. Queens is giving its fellow boroughs some serious craft-beer competition. Adding to the surge in the past years of suds-focused joints like Sunswick 35/35 and Alewife Queens, the city’s east-of-the-river enclaves have become home to new beer bars, microbreweries and specialty stores. From Rockaway Brewing Co. to Astoria Bier and Cheese, Queens is the new poster child of New York’s beer revolution. RECOMMENDED: This year’s guide to the best beer in NYC The beach-bum brewers: Rockaway Brewing Company After three-and-a-half years of home-brewing in their Rockaway Beach bungalows, Ethan Long and Marcus Burnett—a set designer and an Emmy-nominated cinematographer, respectively— decided to go pro, naming their new business after their summmer-home locale. Their first beer, the mellow English ale ESB got a bump from the community last June when Rockaway Taco and Caracas Arepa started pouring the easy-drinking sipper to shaggy-haired day-trippers at their boardwalk stands. Since moving their workplace off the sandy shoreline, Long and Burnett have gotten plenty of love from their new ’hood: Their creations are in the tap rotation at Long Island City’s Alobar and As

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New breweries

The spring, a whole host of new breweries will open in the other four boroughs. Meet the newest crop of New York City hops-pushers. New York City is experiencing an outer-borough brewing boom: In the next few months, no fewer than five breweries will open in neighborhoods as diverse as Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; Glendale, Queens; and Tompkinsville, Staten Island. And while you can find their creations at bars throughout NYC, most of these new breweries will also have taprooms where you can sample the goods and talk to the folks behind the beer. And what’s better in the spring than hanging out with some friends, drinking some good beers? (Nothing, that’s what.) Read on to find out where you’ll be drinking this season.​​​ RECOMMENDED: This year’s guide to the best beer in NYC Most popular in Bars Ten best bourbons: Top bottles of the all-American whiskey Got a taste for the brown stuff? TONY’s got you covered with our list of the country’s best bourbons. More best BBQ articles Best new BBQ restaurants New York’s reigning pit masters A guide to regional and international BBQ styles DIY grilling essentials Ten best bourbons Snout-to-Tail BBQ pork map 15 best BBQ restaurants Smoked meats glossary BBQ food porn (slide show) Stylish barbecue accessories These stylish BBQ accessories will add personality to your next grilling party—and many items double for indoor use. If you plan on hitting one of the city’s park barbecues this summer, you’ll want to be prepared with

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Beer Week events in New York City

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Beer-and-shot combos

Beer-and-shot combos are a dime a dozen in this town—TONY searched out NYC’s ten best pairings, from salt-of-the-earth dive-bar selections to top-shelf craft variations. TONY Beer Offers Tapas-and-beer pairing at MyMoon Craft-beer-tasting on a sailing boat Craft beer, food and more at Gin Mill Sometimes, you just need a beer and a shot of whiskey—no questions asked. Whether you’re looking to cheer up or dial down, the time-honored combo offers a one-two punch that a glass of wine or a cocktail just can’t match. We rounded up the best the city had to offer—both lowbrow and high-end, from the original pickleback to a classy, European-inspired pairing—for your hard-drinking pleasure. RECOMMENDED: This year’s guide to the best beer in NYC More best beer articles The new Queens suds buzz Brooklyn, watch your back. New beer bars, shops and makers are popping up in Queens. And the easternmost borough—a brewery hub before Prohibition—is roaring back. Queens is giving its fellow boroughs some serious craft-beer competition. Adding to the surge in the past years of suds-focused joints like Sunswick 35/35 and Alewife Queens, the city’s east-of-the-river enclaves have become home to new beer bars, microbreweries and specialty stores. From Rockaway Brewing Co. to Astoria Bier and Cheese, Queens is the new poster child of New York’s beer revolution. RECOMMENDED: This year’s guide to the best beer in NYC The beach-bum brewers: Rockaway Brewing Company After three-and-a-half years

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Hopped cocktails

Sample a new breed of beer-based tipples. The beer-cocktail trend has been simmering for years, but lately, we've spotted a surge of boundary-pushing quaffs that integrate hopped ingredients in innovative ways. The Tippler (425 W 15th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves, 212-206-0000) offers the boldest application in its Gin and Chronic (pictured, $11). Riffing on the classic two-ingredient highball, bartenders combine herbaceous Plymouth gin, pimento-dram--spiced lime juice, and a house-made tincture crafted from grain alcohol and a mixture of pelletized hops. A splash of tonic water and a whole-leaf hops garnish—an in-your-face touch—reinforce the nip's earthy profile. Barkeep Michael Klein, a fixture at PDT (113 St. Marks Pl between First Ave and Ave A, 212-614-0386), has also been dabbling in the bitter buds. For his  Ace in the Hole ($15), he revises the classic Vesper cocktail: Employing an iSi canister (the same type of metal charger used for whipping cream), Klein forces the lemony flavor of Japanese Sorachi Ace hops into Purity Vodka, in a speedy process known as a nitrogen infusion. To the resulting elixir, he adds citrusy Lillet Blanc and Hitachino beer schnapps to give it a malty backbone. A more subtle deployment of hops can be found in the tiki-leaning R.M. Grog ($16) from Eben Freeman and Michael Longshore at Ai Fiori (400 Fifth Ave between 36th and 37th Sts, 212-613-8660). The barmen speckle their mix of rich Ron Zacapa Solera rum, raisiny Cocchi Vermouth di Tor

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The brew lover's pantry

Beer-based snacks, condiments and unusual quaffs. See more in Restaurants + Bars

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Top-notch beer cans

Upgrade your beer cooler with these picnic-friendly craft-beer cans, including session beers, easy-swilling lagers, IPAs, pils and more. It’s been happening for a while now: Craft-beer producers have been opting for beer cans over bottles. Back in 2011, when Sixpoint first launched its “nanokegs” (beer cans, for the uninitiated), brewery founder Shane Welch explained to TONY the environmental benefits of canning and noted that because they are sealed without any trapped air, the contents are less likely to go stale. Either way, it doesn’t hurt that beer cans are easier to toss into a beer cooler filled with ice or tuck into a brown paper bag. Here are our favorite ten beer cans to tote to a picnic, barbecue or rooftop party this summer. You might also like Shop and drink at these new-breed beer stores Find these beer cans at NYC's best beer stores Read a Q&A with Sixpoint founder Shane Welch on Sixpoint's beer cans Learn about New York's boozy history with beer at the New-York Historical Society's new exhibit Read more about NYC's beer sceneSee the best bars in New York for summer drinks See more in bars

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Weird beer ingredients

Get funky with one of these experimental brews, which highlight unusual beer ingredients (oysters, doughnuts) for a surprising but satisfying sip. More best beer articles The new Queens suds buzz Brooklyn, watch your back. New beer bars, shops and makers are popping up in Queens. And the easternmost borough—a brewery hub before Prohibition—is roaring back. Queens is giving its fellow boroughs some serious craft-beer competition. Adding to the surge in the past years of suds-focused joints like Sunswick 35/35 and Alewife Queens, the city’s east-of-the-river enclaves have become home to new beer bars, microbreweries and specialty stores. From Rockaway Brewing Co. to Astoria Bier and Cheese, Queens is the new poster child of New York’s beer revolution. RECOMMENDED: This year’s guide to the best beer in NYC The beach-bum brewers: Rockaway Brewing Company After three-and-a-half years of home-brewing in their Rockaway Beach bungalows, Ethan Long and Marcus Burnett—a set designer and an Emmy-nominated cinematographer, respectively— decided to go pro, naming their new business after their summmer-home locale. Their first beer, the mellow English ale ESB got a bump from the community last June when Rockaway Taco and Caracas Arepa started pouring the easy-drinking sipper to shaggy-haired day-trippers at their boardwalk stands. Since moving their workplace off the sandy shoreline, Long and Burnett have gotten plenty of love from their new ’hood: Their creations are in the tap rotat

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The brewmaster's bookshelf

Boost your suds IQ with these standout tomes. For the trend-seeker Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World's Craft Brewing Revolution (Sterling Epicure, $24.95) By Joshua M. BernsteinWhile countless authors are content to rehash the same old style guidelines and tasting notes, beer scribe and TONY contributor Joshua M. Bernstein builds on his reporting to dig deep into the current craft-brew zeitgeist. His energetic debut takes the form of a scrapbook, making it easy to flip between snappy essays on new trends (single-hop beers, barrel-aging), profiles of boundary-pushing brewers (Norway's Ngne , Mexico's Cucap) and roundups of quaffs to try in every imaginable category—from ten gluten-free brews to three examples that use Citra hops.Beer wisdom: "Consider the black IPA a seasonal chameleon: crisp and bracing enough to slake thirst on all but the hottest days, while malty enough for a breezy eve by a lake." For the thirsty traveler The Great American Ale Trail (Running Press, $20) By Christian DeBenedettiYou'll be planning a road trip—and looking for a designated driver to drag along—as soon as you dive into this hops-inspired travelogue. DeBenedetti, who has written about food and travel for The New York Times and Food & Wine, spent a year sniffing out the best pints across the country, and he boils down his findings into snapshots of the finest breweries, beer bars and food stops in more than 40 states. The result is an essential

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Gifts for the beer nerd

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My beer makeover (VIDEO)

Watch the owner of the Beer Table, Justin Philips, take a beer novice through a tasting of craft brews. See more in Bars

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NYC’s best beer guide for 2013

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The new Queens suds buzz

Brooklyn, watch your back. New beer bars, shops and makers are popping up in Queens. And the easternmost borough—a brewery hub before Prohibition—is roaring back. Queens is giving its fellow boroughs some serious craft-beer competition. Adding to the surge in the past years of suds-focused joints like Sunswick 35/35 and Alewife Queens, the city’s east-of-the-river enclaves have become home to new beer bars, microbreweries and specialty stores. From Rockaway Brewing Co. to Astoria Bier and Cheese, Queens is the new poster child of New York’s beer revolution. RECOMMENDED: This year’s guide to the best beer in NYC The beach-bum brewers: Rockaway Brewing Company After three-and-a-half years of home-brewing in their Rockaway Beach bungalows, Ethan Long and Marcus Burnett—a set designer and an Emmy-nominated cinematographer, respectively— decided to go pro, naming their new business after their summmer-home locale. Their first beer, the mellow English ale ESB got a bump from the community last June when Rockaway Taco and Caracas Arepa started pouring the easy-drinking sipper to shaggy-haired day-trippers at their boardwalk stands. Since moving their workplace off the sandy shoreline, Long and Burnett have gotten plenty of love from their new ’hood: Their creations are in the tap rotation at Long Island City’s Alobar and Astoria’s Sunswick 35/35, as well as other locations throughout the city. With the September opening of their commercial brewery, the duo now pumps out 24 bar

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Ten best new beer bars

Every month brings a new beer bar to New York City’s growing ranks—here are the best newcomers for hops heads. Everyone has their favorite neighborhood joint, but which of this year’s crop of new beer bars should you try? TONY trekked all over town to find the best craft-beer drinkeries. From beer gardens to tiny craft-suds shrines, these hops-heavy watering holes are the ones to visit now. RECOMMENDED: This year’s guide to the best beer in NYC Proletariat Bucking the behemoth craft-beer-hall trend, this hideaway gem—specializing in “rare, new and unusual” brews—brings a boutique approach to the alehouse. Its quarters may be tight, but the narrow sliver of a bar—lined with 12 stools and old-timey tattoo flash art—flaunts an all-star roster of 11 rotating drafts ($7–$11) from cult brewers (Germany’s Freigeist Bierkultur, Kentucky’s Against the Grain). Patrons can also feed their inner tech geek: View the superb 60-item bottle list by scanning a QR code on your smartphone or scoping it on the barkeep’s iPad. Recent  selections included the blended “grand cru” Leelanau’s Petoskey pale ale, aged in French oak barrels (25oz $32), and the rich To Øl’s Mochaccino Messiah, a lactose-brewed Danish brown ale that drinks like a White Russian (12oz $28). Prices are steep and pours are short—$11 for eight ounces of Ölvisholt’s Lava stout is hardly proletariat—but the choice obscure brews and intimate atmosphere, mercifully free of high-fiving sports fans and sloppy EV swiggers, keep

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Beer-and-shot combos

Beer-and-shot combos are a dime a dozen in this town—TONY searched out NYC’s ten best pairings, from salt-of-the-earth dive-bar selections to top-shelf craft variations. Sometimes, you just need a beer and a shot of whiskey—no questions asked. Whether you’re looking to cheer up or dial down, the time-honored combo offers a one-two punch that a glass of wine or a cocktail just can’t match. We rounded up the best the city had to offer—both lowbrow and high-end, from the original pickleback to a classy, European-inspired pairing—for your hard-drinking pleasure. RECOMMENDED: This year’s guide to the best beer in NYC The Pop-In at the Dead Rabbit Before there was the boilermaker, there was the “pop-in,” a beloved 17th-century English libation that flavored (often unpalatable) medieval ales with a bitter or fruit-based tincture. In this modern re-creation, a shot of the Italian artichoke liqueur Cynar lends a vegetal sweetness to a pour of the light, faintly sour ale Leipziger Gose—combining the refreshing effervescence of a beer with an amaro’s bright flavor. $9. The Killer B at Alobar Get a triple blast of bourbon with this liquid trifecta, which matches a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel ale—the beer aged in the spirit’s cask—with two shots of the corn-based whiskey. Each one brings a different facet of the beer to light: A dram of Buffalo Trace emphasizes vanilla, while Bulleit accents oak. $15. Olde Saratoga lager and Olde Pogue Master’s Select at Tooker Alley Wily barman Del Pedr

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Out with the old, in with the brew

Use this handy chart to check the beer trends of tomorrow against the fads of yesteryear. RECOMMENDED: This year’s guide to the best beer in NYC From Williamsburg lounges (Donna) to East Village bistros (Calliope), this classic New England lager is the nouveau brew of choice for penny-pinching twentysomethings. Clean and well-balanced, the $4 tall boy is cheap enough to have supplanted the watery, tired hipster icon—a fact we expect few to shed tears over. Toss that oversize glass jug in the recycling bin. Top craft breweries like 21st Amendment and Oskar Blues have anointed the humble aluminum can as their favored modern beer receptacle, prized for its ease of production (meaning brewers can experiment with more small-batch lines) and freshness (the metal is ideal for blocking light and oxygen). With the explosion of beers on the market—and so many of them carrying fearsome ABVs—the 16-ounce pour can prove unduly limiting. At suds destinations like Proletariat and the Pony, the eight-ounce version has gained ascendance among in-the-know drinkers, who favor the new serving size for encouraging a wider sampling of drafts and being easier on the wallet and liver. Gluten-free beer is the new organic beer With the diet-conscious customer in mind, dozens of brewers have begun attacking the challenge of making a beer without staples like barley and wheat—just as organic beer eschewed conventional fertilizers and pesticides. For proof of their success, look no further than

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New York's brewing revolution

A fresh crop of hyperlocal breweries stake their claim on the city's taps. Bronx BreweryIt's about time another borough gave Brooklyn some craft-beer competition. With Kelso, Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint leading a resurgence in local brewing, Kings County has been hogging the hometown spotlight. But now, a new brewery—and, more specifically, a new beer—has made the Bronx a contender. While many DIY upstarts focus on innovation rather than consistency, the Bronx Brewery set out with one mission: to perfect its initial offering, a well-balanced pale ale with a lovely amber hue. Part-owners Stephen O'Sullivan and Niall Henry, both proud Bronx natives, hired a crack U.K. design firm and tapped brewer Damian Brown (a graduate of the Master Brewers Program at the University of California--Davis) and sales/marketing/development pro Chris Gallant (he spent time working for Heineken in South America) to run their business. After a full year of recipe tweaking, they launched the Bronx Pale Ale in September. Since then, it's been steadily colonizing city taps, becoming a regular fixture at craft-brew haunts like Taproom No. 307 and, of course, Bronx Alehouse. Brown and Gallant brew and ferment just 70 kegs a month at Cottrell Brewing Co. in Connecticut, then drive it down to the South Bronx for distribution. (They hope to ramp up output to 210 kegs by sometime in March.) The goal, says Gallant, is to win over local drinkers and enough investors to build the borough's first complete br

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Comments

1 comments
Matt Sabella
Matt Sabella

Hey I read the guide and loved it. However, i didn't see the 2013 Staten Island Brewfest listed in the events section....anyway we can add it to the list? 20% of proceeds are being donated to Sandy Victims. Our website is sibrewfest.com with more details. Look forward to speaking with you in the future.