Forget farm-to-table—we’ll take tank-to-tap. You can’t throw a bottle cap without hitting a beer bar in Brooklyn, but this Greenpoint suds depot from brew guru Ed Raven—behind bottle emporium Brouwerij Lane and beer importer Ravenbrands—one-ups the competition by crafting its beers on-site. A gleaming row of multibarrel fermenters lines the back of this mighty Germanic hall, inspired by the Scandinavian shipbuilder who first settled the neighborhood in 1645. Its starting point may be staunchly old-school, but Raven’s brewpub is just what present-day Brooklyn’s been waiting for.
ORDER THIS: The menu boasts a solid, selective lineup of Deutsch-proud beers (Jever, Gaffel), but the must-order is one of the nine proprietary blends cooked up by brewmaster Chris Prout under the imprint Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. The historically named beers ($6) include the citrus-and-clove Wallabout Wit, an easy-drinking white beer that nods to Fort Greene’s 17th-century moniker, and the assertive, smoke-nosed Helles Gate, dubbed for the East River tidal strait.
GOOD FOR: Casual pubgoers and beer diehards alike. The front garage doors—a leftover from the space’s previous life as a plastic-bag factory—open out onto the street, coaxing curious passersby to the behemoth 6,000-square-foot tavern. Communal tables fill with hops-heads dissecting the differences between Motueka and Simcoe buds, bumping pints with gym bunnies who’ve spontaneously wandered in on their way home, yoga mats in hand.
THE CLINCHER: The alehouse channels its namesake at every turn—a potbelly stove roars in the cold-weather months and reclaimed church pews serve as seating. Run-of-the-mill biergarten pretzels are passed over for 11-hour smoked brisket and kellerbier–braised pig knuckles, collapsing off the bone at the hint of a fork prong. If this is the new age of beer bars, we owe that Norseman a stein in thanks.—Christina Izzo