Where to drink this week: Craft beer hits the Financial District
Loosen your tie for these top-flight suds.
Fri Jan 21 2011
Photographs: Lizz Kuehl
Drinking in the Financial District often feels like an exercise in extremes: woe-is-me bingeing at whiskey-soaked saloons, or bull-market benders in "models and bottles" barrooms. Good beer has been largely left out of this boom-and-bust booze equation, but a pair of newcomers are bringing serious suds, and some much-needed balance, to this hops-starved 'hood.
The Porterhouse at Fraunces Tavern
After going dark for nearly a year, this Revolutionary-era tavern has been resurrected as the first stateside outpost of Dublin's Porterhouse Brewing Company. Tangles of filament bulbs above the bar and distressed mirrors on the walls smack of artificial ye-oldeness, but the real pedigree of the place still holds appeal for beer-swilling history buffs, who can geek out over the thought of George Washington quaffing ale here in the 1700s. Hoist imperial pints of Porterhouse's new-to-NYC brews ($8)—we like the smooth, slightly tangy Oyster Stout and the easy-drinking Porterhouse Red—or dig into the globe-trotting selection of guest brews (most $7), including Victory Prima Pils on tap and bottles of Schlenkerla smoked beer. 58 Pearl St between Broad St and Coenties Slip (212-968-1776)
Keg No. 229
Set back from the foot traffic of touristy South Street Seaport, this sleek watering hole is a beer lover's retort to the grapecentric Bin No. 220 across the road. Thankfully, fancy wallpaper and reclaimed-wood tables don't translate to inflated prices—most selections from the East Coast--leaning draft lineup (Flying Dog, Southern Tier) are fairly pegged at $6 each, while well-chosen craft cans (Oskar Blues Old Chub, 21st Amendment Back in Black) go for $5. It's all rather civilized, until you find yourself at one of the four pour-your-own stations in the back—high-top tables with two beer taps that allow you to top off freely and track your consumption via an LED screen. With a chalk leaderboard glorifying the biggest boozers, our better instincts couldn't save us from envying "Fernando and Greg," who managed 289 ounces in one sitting. 229 Front St between Beekman St and Peck Slip (212-566-2337)