Imbibing alfresco at one of New York’s best outdoor bars is one of our favorite things to do in summer, especially at a top-notch beer garden in NYC. Booze away a sunny day with cold brews and summer drinks, then cozy up inside spacious craft beer bars when it gets cold. 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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.