Imbibing alfresco at one of New York’s best outdoor bars is one of our favorite things to do in summer, especially at a craft beer hall or beer garden in NYC. We're excited that there's a growing emphasis on experimentation, sour ales, and lower ABV booze in New York right now. And what's better than a sunny day with cold brews and summer drinks? A growing number of beer halls in New York are becoming breweries, too. And if you like what you taste, many are not only taprooms, but sell the beer for take-home, when you want to savor a sip of summer later on.
For every type of brew lover out there, here are the best beer gardens and beer halls in New York City.
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Every beer garden NYC has to offer
Think of the Grimm team as the mad scientists of beer. Inside the Bushwick brewery, you'll find experimental flavors like their recent "Butterfly Door," a double IPA with gummy bear hops and flavors of pineapple, guava, lime, coconut, orange blossoms, mango, gumdrops, and creamsicle. 160 oak barrels—one-fourth of the brewery’s space—is for aging sour beer, unheard of in NYC. They also have some of my favorite graphic design, with an ever-changing roster of artists making one-off editions for their cans. The best part? Middle eastern spot, Samesa does the taproom's food programming.
Berg'n is more than a beer hall: In addition to their international roster of beers, The Crown Heights favorite has food stands by King David Tacos, Pizza by Charlie, Mighty Quinn's, Landhaus, and Jianbig, a to-go coffee stand, and a projector where movies and games are played.
After years spent manning the tanks at Greenpoint Beerworks, head brewer Sam Richardson strikes out on his own with this IPA-driven brewery. The 4,000-square-foot operation—not to be confused with Chicago's Better Half Brewing—turns out five hops-forward beers, including a West Coast–style IPA, a cask-conditioned Motueka pale ale and a black ale brewed with winter barley. Heavier selections include an imperial stout and sour beers. The factory is open for hops-head visits on weekends, while a next-door tap room—rigged with a cherrywood bar and exposed lightbulbs—pours out pints and offers mix-and-match six-packs to go.
With its top-flight sound system, sophisticated menu and deeply chill vibes, Nowadays is a slice of Neverland for club kids. Opened by Mister Saturday Night cofounders Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter, Nowadays’ ample outdoor space is the home of its day-party incarnation Mister Sunday and the Ridgewood Market as well as a regular slate of readings and discussions. More recently, a 5,000-square-foot indoor venue was unveiled, so now DJs can spin harder stuff into the wee hours for those who still haven’t adopted grown-up schedules.
Instead of ordering a sit-down meal of schnitzel under the retractable roof, hit up the grill guy for a fat kielbasa loaded with kraut and steer your brood toward one of the wood tables in the rustic hall. Imaginative youngsters just might believe they’re in Bavaria rather than Brooklyn. On a weekend afternoon, savor any of the Czech and German draft beers, but you’ll want to leave by early evening, before the bar is infiltrated by revelers chugging mammoth steins.
This 5,000-square-foot bar/brewery does double and triple duty, boasting a coffeeshop and an event space to go along with the suds operation. The rotating tap list has included Wandering Bine, a melon-infused saison and Unintentional Fallacy, an IPA brewed with with Mountain Dew and White Mystery Airheads, dispensed from 30-keg tanks behind a bar that's built atop reclaimed rolling library ladders.
The rustic interior at this resto gives way to a spacious deck and patio where a fire pit and projected movies and visual art entertain drinkers when the weather’s mild. Choose from the rotating selection of five drafts or from a handful of bottles and cans. A seat inside near the open doors gives you the best of both worlds.
Beer lovers and German expats from all over the city flock to this Bavarian party house, where the most hotly contested seats are out on the sidewalk under blue umbrellas. This prime people-watching spot—smack in the middle of Alphabet City—is tough to beat, especially when you’ve got a liter stein of beer in hand. Choose from a dozen German brews on tap plus more than ten bottles. After knocking back a few, you too will be shaking a tail feather.
This authentic Czech beer garden offers plenty of mingle-friendly picnic tables, where you can sit while you sample cheap platters of sausage and a solid lineup of European and domestic beers. Though the huge, tree-canopied garden is open year-round, summer is the prime time to soak up some rays over a pint. Prost!
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 summer-home locale. Their first beer, the mellow English ale ESB, got a bump from the community when Rockaway Taco and Caracas Arepa Bar started pouring the easy-drinking sipper to shaggy-haired day-trippers at their boardwalk stands.
Bringing theme-park magnitude to the historic 'hood, the 7,000-square-foot venue seats 350 and boasts dozens of different beers. Gather your crew for a guzzling session around the umbrella-shaded tables on the patio or at one of the communal wood tables inside. Both beer nerds and casual drinkers will find quaffs to their liking among the local suds , everyday bottles and international selections.
In the late 1800s, Bushwick was known as Brewer’s Row, thanks to its 14 local breweries and thriving beer scene. Kings County Brewers Collective hopes to bring that back. The first to set up shop in the neighborhood since Schaefer closed in 1976, this brewery, warehouse and taproom brews all its suds on the premises.
Venue says Our brewery + taproom is located in a 5,000 sq. ft warehouse in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Come visit us today! Taproom open Tuesday - Sunday!
One hundred taps dispense craft brews at this massive Greenpoint gastropub, from owner Robert Shamlian (Spitzer's Corner, Fat Baby). The 6,000-square-foot beer hall features a wood-burning oven and a marble bar. Hopped up drinkers can line their bellies with salty snacks, like sausages and pretzels, from a German-focused menu.
Copenhagen's favorite beer brand planted roots in Queens with a 10,000-square-foot brewery. It's right in Citi Field so it's the perfect beer hall help you either celebrate the Mets wins or drown your sorrows in their losses. If you're like me, and know nothing about sports, it's even a fun spot to convince that one friend with a car to drive you in the warmer months (permitted there's a designated driver among you).
Although this bi-level bar is only a few blocks from Brooklyn Brewery, the suds here are decidedly overseas-centric. Opt for a half-liter of the refreshing German pilsners and lagers; both pair well with a sausage platter and other beer-hall fare.
In a beer scene dominated by hoppy, high-alcohol brews, credit this madcap watering hole for championing session beers, a family of brews whose lower booze content makes them ideal for extended drinking. Unlikely picks can include the four-percent-ABV Baba Black Beer (Budweiser, by comparison, is 5 percent), which will keep you buzzed but standing through an evening of rubber ring quoits in the back garden.
Located across the street from the Greenwood cemetery, this beer spot may not may not be haunted. The team behind this 13,000-square-foot juggernaut didn’t search far for inspiration, utilizing cinder blocks, a car lift and other discards from the previous tenant—an auto repair shop—to decorate the space. A similarly local bent appears in the suds selection: The 60 taps and 20 bottles and cans span domestic and international makers.
The rotating list of more than 100 mostly European quaffs here could confound even the nerdiest of microbrew mavens. Flag down a bartender to help you navigate the menu, then take your brew—and a charcuterie snack—to the lush back garden.
The owner of Heartland Brewery and Houston Hall expanded his sudsy holdings with a retro-style beer hall in NoMad. Beyond the reclaimed St. Paul's church signage in front—still bearing the name of Reverend W.H.A. Booker—find Greenpoint Beer Works brews at the dark-wood bar, such as an apricot ale, an oatmeal stout and a red lager. Bar bites are of the fusion variety, while entrées skew more traditional.
The hulking, stainless-steel fermentation tanks that are showcased at the entrance of this microbrewery from Gerry Rooney (Putnam’s Pub & Cooker) are more savvy than steampunk. Add the blue-and-white bunting strung alongside dangling Edison bulbs and the salumi pizza served with grilled cauliflower steak, throw in a shuffleboard table, and you’re in hipster Brooklyn’s industrial version of a German biergarten. (Brookgarten has got to be a thing, right?) It makes for a bar that’s, well, wunderbar.
Fort Greene’s first German beer garden has the essentials in order. There are 18 brews on tap (crisp Krombacher Pilsner, easygoing Hofbräu Lager) and many more by the bottle. There are plenty of affordable, satisfying small plates to soak it all up, like Berlin’s classic currywurst, plus sidewalk seating.
Wait, a desolate stretch of Fourth Avenue isn’t your ideal location for a gorgeous, alcohol-soaked afternoon? It doesn’t matter; after a few pints at this airy converted auto shop, you won’t want to leave. Canines and smokers are welcome in the courtyard. And the craft-beer labels—primarily American, with some European cameos—are uniformly excellent.
Don’t let the Standard Hotel’s chic pedigree fool you. Everything on the menu here—from traditional German brews to brats, currywurst and pretzels—usually clocks in under a Hamilton. Claim a picnic table or set up camp by the ping pong tables and get to work.
A stone's throw from its 19th-century namesake, Castle Clinton—America's first beer garden—the folks behind Watermark Bar honor the storied nabe with a 4,000-square-foot Battery Park beer hall of their own. At the marble bar, 20 taps rotate selections of hard-to-find brews: Erdinger Hefe Weizen, Urban Chestnut Dorfbier and Pipeworks Blood of the Unicorn Strong Ale, available in pints, half pints or third pints. A flux capacitor behind the bar controls the carbonation and temperature of each tap, ensuring that pints are served at an optimal 34 degrees.
This rustic, 200-seat tavern is fitted with the requisite communal tables, a roaring fireplace and brick-painted murals by Colombian artist Brian Boerner. A rotating selection of 20 beers is tapped through an on-site flux capacitor to balance the ratio of nitrogen and carbon dioxide in each pour. Throw back drafts both local and far-flung.