Best beer bars

Hoist a pint of the good stuff at these craft-beer meccas.

  • d.b.a.

  • The Ginger Man

  • Jimmy's No. 43

  • The Gate

  • Barcade

  • Brouwerij Lane

  • Rattle N Hum


Praise the genius who realized that old-school video games and craft beers make the perfect pair. At this grown-up arcade, you can find both at the right price. A lineup of more than 30 classic quarter machines, including Donkey Kong, Contra and Arkanoid, keeps the crowd occupied, but the list of 20-plus microbrews is equally worthy of concentration. American breweries dominate the taps, and excellent cask beers (unpasteurized, hand-pumped ales) often go for just five bucks a pop. 388 Union Ave between Ainslie and Powers Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-302-6464,

Blind Tiger Ale House
Brew geeks descend upon this hops heaven, winner of the 2008 Eat Out Award for Best Beer Bar, for boutique ales and 28 hard-to-find drafts. The clubby room features windows that open onto bustling Bleecker Street. Late afternoons and early evenings are ideal for serious sippers enjoying plates of Murray's Cheese, while the after-dark set veers dangerously close to Phi Kappa territory. 281 Bleecker St at Jones St (212-462-4682,

Brouwerij Lane
When this suds shop opened last spring, it became the neighborhood's go-to venue for filling growlers with any of the 19 marvelous microbrews and imports on tap. But Brouwerij Lane also doubles as Greenpoint's best—and best-value—beer bar. A half pint of most beers costs $3; a full pint is $5. Sample to your heart's content. 78 Greenpoint Ave at Franklin St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (347-529-6133)
See also: I'm officially obsessed

Though B&T types hold this East Village bar hostage on weekends, there's plenty of elbow room among the locals during the week. It's a beer lover's mecca—250 brews (20 on tap), many of which go down well with a pour from the equally impressive whiskey lineup. Paralyzed by indecision? Think it over in the back garden. 41 First Ave between 2nd and 3rd Sts (212-475-5097,
See also: Outdoor bar crawl

The Diamond
Bring a thirst for superior tipples to this Greenpoint alehouse, outfitted with retro details (see the cassette tapes lining the bathroom walls). The stellar eight-tap array is curated by ex--Spuyten Duyvil bartender Dave Pollack and his wife, Alex, with an eye toward lower-alcohol session beers that encourage drinkers to stick around. 43 Franklin St between Calyer and Quay Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-383-5030,
See also: Bars with games

The Gate
How good is this place? Beer just seems to taste better here, especially on the huge street-level deck. There's a good chance your favorite brew will be on tap; there are always additions to the standby Brooklyn Lager and Guinness. This is a relaxed, bring-your-pet kinda joint, where conviviality reigns. 321 Fifth Ave at 3rd St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-768-4329)

The Ginger Man
Don't mind the after-work crowds who filter in from their midtown offices: Bona fide beer geeks come to this deep Herald Square bar for the dozens of drafts and the bar's serious approach to beer. Knowledgeable bartenders can help you navigate the choices, which are organized by country. With 70 taps and countless bottles, Ginger Man remains one of the best places in the city to explore the wide world of beer. 11 E 36th St between Fifth and Madison Aves (212-532-3740,

Easily overlooked in its location beneath Belgian beer bar Burp Castle and domestic-leaning Standings, Jimmy's is the heart of the best suds trifecta in the city. It's also a hub of the broader beer community: In addition to offering one rotating cask and a dozen international drafts, garrulous owner Jimmy Carbone hosts frequent beer-related events, including themed $10 tasting sessions most Tuesday nights. 43 E 7th St between Second and Third Aves (212-982-3006,

Rattle N Hum
This craft-beer haven has 40 taps dispensing suds from many of the United State's top breweries. The blatantly anti-big-brewery stance can feel a little didactic (you won't find any Bud Lights here), but the bar follows through on its commitment to smaller producers, with cask-ale festivals and frequent brewery nights, where guest producers often pour brews that aren't otherwise available in New York. 14 E 33rd St between Fifth and Madison Aves (212-481-1586,

Spuyten Duyvil
Don't arrive thirsty. It takes at least ten minutes to choose from roughly 150 quaffs, a list that impresses even microbrew mavens. Most selections are middle-European regionals, and bartenders are eager to explain the differences among them. The cozy interior is chock-full of flea market finds, most of which are for sale. There's also a tasty bar menu of smoked meats, pts, cheeses and terrines. 359 Metropolitan Ave at Havemeyer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-963-4140,

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