Interboro Spirits & Ales
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New York City’s craft-brewing and distilling scenes are getting crowded. For suds, there are city stalwarts (Sixpoint, Brooklyn) and growing smaller-batch operations (Threes, Gun Hill); on the distilleries side, there are spirit makers producing everything from gin (Breuckelen) to Sorel liqueur (Jack from Brooklyn). Housed on a warehouse-dense strip of East Williamsburg’s Grand Street, the newest of the bunch hasn’t set itself apart physically—Interboro’s storefront, which opened in September, blends into the surrounding beverage distributors and tortilla factories—but the overachieving team stands out from the single-focus pack by brewing and distilling under the same roof. This is one brewery taproom that even the most hard-and-fast cocktail fans can hang at.
ORDER THIS: With a rotating cast of beer and spirits, ordering can be simplified with one word: flights. (Four-ounce pours go for $3 each, and yes, that includes the distillery’s hard stuff as well.) Interboro’s hops-forward IPAs have gained a following since the brewery opened, but be sure to taste special collaboration editions: A relationship with upstate’s Indian Ladder Farmstead has yielded a guest tap of its dry hard cider, a harvest ale made with hops and malt grown on its farm, and an applejack that’s featured in the bar’s old-fashioned ($10).
GOOD FOR: Catching up with beer-geek friends over a few pints. Long wooden tables and benches fill up fast, but the barstools are where the real hops-heads sit so they can chat with the staff (and, usually, the owners, too) about the beer, the history of distilling in New York City and the sourcing of the hops. After sampling your way through flights, choose a favorite pint or cocktail, and order a snack off the chalkboard menu to soak it up. Working with a small burner and an oven, one cook works to crank out cheese boards ($10) and creamy macaroni and cheese ($8)—the kind of comfort foods designed to satisfy those booze-induced cravings.
THE CLINCHER: Liquor improves with age—so will Interboro. Used whiskey barrels from High West and Heaven Hill distilleries will soon produce barrel-aged beers for the lineup, and eventually brown spirits will join the already stellar offerings.
942 Grand St
|Cross street:||between Morgan Ave and Waterbury St|
|Price:||Average pint: $7|
|Opening hours:||Thu, Fri 5–11pm; Sat noon–11pm; Sun 1–8pm|
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