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 serious, 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
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 always features co-owner Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø’s heady Evil Twin pours, alongside unique sips such as barley wine and smoked stout.
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. In late 2014, 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. The house double IPA packs a grassy wallop and is named accordingly: the Superf*ckingyawn might have you calling for an Uber earlier in the night than you expected.
Venue says: “Gold rush happy hour - Monday through Friday 4:20 - 7pm. Late night Happy Hour Sunday-Thursday 11pm - to close”
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 hard-to-find European imports. 28 taps dispense Old World classics such as Mahr’s, Massachussetts favorite High & Mighty, and Scandinavian suds from Norway’s Nøgne-Ø and Sweden’s Oppigårds.
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.
Of all the reasons to make the schlep up to the Boogie Down, perhaps the most compelling is this world-class beer bar, offering a finely curated selection of 16 domestic-leaning taps (Naked Flock cider, Allagash Tripel), one rotating cask and more than 30 bottles. Beer lovers who live in the ‘hood will want to take advantage of the Alehouse’s Beer Club: sample 100 different types of beer, and get your name added to the pub’s wall of fame, plus a 50 percent discount on all draft beers each Wednesday night.
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. Wrap salami-sticky fingers around a pint of smoky Dutch rauchbier or an obscure Irish stout, and revel in the Cannibal’s unabashed celebration of two primal pleasures.
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 such as meet-the-brewer nights, and Wednesday cheese nights, when a complimentary (!) selection of Murray’s cheeses and fresh baguettes is provided. Gourmands will appreciate the Tiger’s stellar bar menu, featuring tasty bites such as beer-braised chicken tacos and a spicy pork meatball sandwich with tomatillo vinaigrette.
Hell’s Kitchen bars historically tend toward the fratty, but sophisticated beer palates will find respite from the cold Coor’s Lights at this spacious, handsome paean to American microbrews. 20 taps dispense gentle brews like Shipyard’s Melonhead all the way up to potent, 9.0% ABV Victor from Allagash. When the munchies strike, commandeer a soft pretzel served with beer mustard (natch), or a hulking sirloin burger served atop a soft onion roll.
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, like a Swiss sour ale so strong—11.0% ABV—that it’s served in wee four-ounce pours, 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.
Operating on a “more is more” principle, this steadfast Herald Square beer geek destination boasts a full 70 beers on tap, ranging from a savory Salted Caramel Stout from Portland, Ore.’s Breakside Brewery to a light ‘n’ easy pilsner from Bavaria’s storied Weihenstephan. Dark wood, low lighting and handsome vintage posters make for a sophisticated drinking experience: bring your dad next time he’s in town.