While New York has historically been home to a fertile bespoke cocktail scene, it’s typically lagged Pacific Northwest cities like Portland and Seattle when it comes to craft beer bars. Luckily for lovers of a good pint, the times they are a’changing, with more and more dedicated beer bars opening their doors city-wide. From a Scandinavian-inflected Greenpoint drinkery to a microbrew-focused Hell’s Kitchen pub, these are the best craft beer bars in NYC.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best beer in NYC
Best craft beer bars in NYC
The spot is full of happy dudes drinking beer from large wineglasses while surrounded by Scandinavian decor, potted succulents and iPad Square Stands. There’s a reason everyone’s euphoria levels are so turnt up: The taproom finally allows Grimm’s followers to sample new flavors and buy freshly canned brews from the ex-nomadic beer darlings. Not only that, but the husband-and-wife owners allocate 160 oak barrels—one-fourth of the brewery’s space—toward aging sour beer, unheard of in NYC.
Since its arrival to Manhattan Avenue in early 2013, this sleek beer bar has been mobbed by suds fanatics willing to shell out a few extra bucks for rare, varied brews from across Europe and North America. The rotating, 21-tap draft menu features heady Evil Twin pours, alongside unique sips such as barley wine and smoked stout.
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.
The hybrid food court–biergarten (a “cafebeeria,” if you will) is decked out with rows of wooden tables, stalls of booze-sopping grub and enough beer to extend sustain your day of feasting. The 12-tap lineup ranges from hyperlocal brews to international picks, with food vendors also on-site to make you never want to leave.
Over the past few years, Superfund site-adjacent Gowanus has overcome its primary association with pollution as it’s welcomed an ever-growing number of hip eateries and drinkeries. And noshing and sipping in the area became even easier with the arrival of Threes, a 5,000-square-foot brewery, cafe and event space serving its own excellent craft brews.
Named after a family farm that once grew on Park Place, this local-focused taproom is festooned with decorative plates from old-school NYC breweries like Piels and Schaefer. On the menu, find 16 craft beers, including Other Half's Forever Simcoe DIPA and Kent Falls Apricot Gose, as well as soft pretzels and loaded grilled cheese sandwiches.
This Long Island City charmer is a destination for beer lovers across the boroughs willing to make the trek to the industrial ‘hood to sample a well-balanced selection of serious American brews and Old World classics.
While plenty of serious pint-pourers opt for a “the more the merrier” approach to their tap lines, this Williamsburg classic prunes its selection to just six drafts and one cask, so that no brew goes stale. There’s plenty more variety to be found by the bottle, though: more than 100 choices, with a focus on European microbrews. Grab your quaff and settle with friends in the spacious, leafy backyard.
Appealing to two of mankind’s most deep-seated cravings, this Flatiron retail-restaurant hybrid serves a drool-worthy combo of beer and meat. The latter, in the form of heaping platters of terrines, pates, and cured cold cuts, go down easy when chased by suds from eight draft lines and 350 different bottles.
One of the world’s most mysterious brewers set up shop in Queens, bringing a Euro influence to the city’s beer scene. It's the East Coast taproom debut of the lauded, Denmark-based beer with a 10,000-square-foot brewery and a restaurant.
This snug barroom fits just 10 stools and is half hidden away amidst the craziness of St. Marks Place, but it’s worth seeking out for its eccentric menu of brews from across the country and the world. Belly up to the tiny bar for one of ten rotating drafts, or share one of about 30 bottles with friends. A nice selection of ciders from Normandy, the Basque Country and New Hampshire rounds out the beverage menu nicely.
This West Village mainstay is one of the OGs of the craft beer bar scene, serving up sudsy pints of Lagunitas, Founders and 26 other on-tap domestic microbrews since way back in 1995. The cozy pub is still a favorite among hopheads, who come out for fun weekly events and the stellar bar menu.