I live in NYC, I only talk about it, I don’t know….all the time? That’s because I love it! These are my tippy top very best of the list beer spots in NYC for both locals and visitors. There are so many cool, unique, crazy, places in the city that this list could be 500 items, so like I said these are my favorites.
There is a full map of all of the locations listed here at the bottom of the page (and here!).
SingleCut – Astoria, Queens
This is my favorite brewery in NYC to hang around at for an afternoon, especially when the weather is nice so they can open the big garage doors and let that sunshine in. There are tons of board games, often live music, and a menu that changes frequently (I’ve been there for both tacos and brats!). I live for the Eric More Cowbell milk stout but Softly Spoken Magic Spells is likely their most popular beer.
Threes Brewing – Gowanus, Brooklyn
Come for the non-IPA beers (Pilsner! Saison! Sours!) stay for the awesome burgers and the outdoor patio area. I also like Threes because they have five or guest taps so if you’re visiting from out of town you can get a taste of other east coast breweries. The Gowanus location is the largest and the only one I’ve been to, but I hear lovely things about the other outposts.
One Mile House – Lower East Side
A rarity in NYC: This bar has a ton of space. A large two-sided bar, a big backroom, and even an outdoor space it’s one of the few bars you won’t feel crowded at even when it is busy. The tap list here is really well curated and they also have a solid selection of bottles. For the Heady Topper chasers: this is a solid bet. The vibe of a dive bar, the beer selection of a hipster spot, probably my favorite bar in the city.
As Is – Hell’s Kitchen
Subway title, neon signs, and dark corners this space has a ~vibe~ but it also has a great beer list and knowledgeable bartenders. The food is hit or miss, I would say tacos are your best bet, or go eat at Gotham Market a few blocks away. If you don’t know what to get ask a (not toooo busy) bartender they always have great recs!
Porterhouse Brew Co – Financial District
Great bottle list of international beers with lots of indoor and outdoor space plus occasional live music. Possibly my favorite place in the city to sip an Orval. If you’re looking for a spot to please both the beer nerds and the refined cocktail drinker, this is it. Absolutely avoid the food if you can, if you must eat do not be fooled, the cheese plate is not safe. Stick to fish and chips or a burger.
BierWax – Brooklyn
A really well curated selection of beers on tap plus a paradise for music lovers! They have an outdoor area which is the perfect spot to enjoy some pints.
Local – SoHo
Cute spot with a small but well curated list and non-SoHo prices. I’m also a total sucker for a bar snack and the popcorn here is top notch. All of the cheese plates are fresh and delicious too. A great place to duck into after a day of shopping or for a pre-dinner drink. Totally underrated.
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Stumbled into the coziest little place yesterday! @local_soho is a charming little bar with a really carefully curated tap list and….FREE POPCORN! Had a sour from Grimm and a robust porter from Port City and got some comfy note taking done at a little table by the window. If you’re in Soho I def recommend stopping by 🥰 Also Craig is a lovely bartender and keeps the samples flowing so try a few of the weirder options before you pick one thing 🍻🍻 Maybe I’ll see you there this winter 👯♀️
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Beer Bars for a Meal
Fools Gold – Bowery
My first favorite bar in NYC. The tap list descriptions are written by someone who cares about beer instead of the typical marketing jargon that comes from the breweries. The food is really really really really good bar food. It’s that good. The “Irish Nachos” aka waffle fries with nacho toppings are maybe the best drinking food I’ve ever been served? The brunch menu is decadent but delicious. Always a reliable spot for East Coast staples like Hill Farmstead, Other Half and Suarez Family. If you have a sour beer fan with you, grab a bottle list.
Randolph Beer – Various Locations
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A few weeks ago I visited @randolphbeer’s Williamsburg location to check out their new #microbrewery and taste some beers. 🍻 @flint_ferments was brewing a pumpkin spiced latte beer (with real pumpkin! spices! cold brew! the whole thing) ➡️ for a shot of him in action 🍻 The cool part of having a microbrewery in a bar/restaurant is that they were able to make bread out of the spent pumpkin from the mash 😍 I love the idea of having a small 1 barrel system to do more experimental beers on…tbh I was about to bust out the measuring tape to see if I could fit one in my apartment 😈😈 (that’s before I heard the price 🥴) That pumpkin spice beer is done fermenting and on tap now! 🍻 Have you seen any of these small systems pop up in unexpected places? (Places other than as a pilot system at an actual #brewery?)
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Every Randolph beer location is a little different. The one in lower east side is essentially a restaurant with a great beer list (also bottomless brunch with Pivo Pils is both a steal and dangerous at this location). The one in Williamsburg has really creative beers made on a tiny in-house nano-brewing system. The one in Dumbo is giant, has skeeball, and also a large production brewery you can stare at an post on Instagram if you’re into that. Every location will have good food and a mix of house beer, local beer, and a few stellar selections from a little further away.
Torst – Greenpoint
I came to an event at this bar while I was looking for my apartment in NYC and I’ll never forget it. The interior is sleek and clean (a few years ahead of the Nordic trend) with 21 taps arranged by color. Formerly the bar in front of a Michelin Starred restaurant now it also serves gourmet food including an ever changing lineup of specials. A really special place that cares about beer. Get the bottle list, hang out, if you’re not craving fancy food walk over to Five Leaves for a burger, makes for a great afternoon.
Top Hops Beer Shop – Bowery
There is a huge variety of to-go bottles at Top Hops all stored in refrigerators. From the newest Prairie Artisan Ales stouts to pretty fresh London Pride there is a beer or two that will interest anyone that walks in!
Greats of Craft – Midtown East
International and local bottles plus beer pairing items like cured meats, honey, and chocolate. They also sell stylish glassware and ship to all of NY state!
Carmine Street Beers – SoHo
There are always several solid local beers on tap here but the best part of Carmine Street Beers is the vast selection of imported beer. It’s probably the most variety from England I’ve ever seen at a bottle shop. They also have top U.S. brands for the “whale hunters” of the world. There is one drawback, many of the bottles are stored at room temperature, so pick your styles carefully!
All Whole Foods Locations
It’s true! The coldest beers and really pretty good selection can be found at Whole Foods. They also sell all their beers individually (though you will pay a premium) which is perfect for visitors that can only fit a few in their suitcase.
Beer with a View
Manhatta – Financial District
Do not. DO NOT pay to go up One World Trade Center to be herded onto a series of three elevators and crammed in with children. No, get *almost* as good of a view at Manhatta all for the price of a beer…honestly, I don’t even think they would make you buy a beer. But you should. They have great beer!
Pier A – Battery Park
The beer selection here isn’t great but the only better view of the Statue of Liberty is on a packed tourist boat. Get yourself the fish n’ chips and Guiness and watch the boats float by and parents try to wrangle their kids as they run through Battery Park. The outdoor porch is great for some sun, but all the tables also have umbrellas.
The Loeb Boathouse – Central Park
This is on the list of my top five favorite places to bring people visiting from out of town. You get to stroll through Central Park to an outdoor patio on the edge of the water. There you get to sit and sip a Hoegaarden (or your beer of choice) and watch other…less informed…tourists attempt to row rental boats out onto the lake. It’s like watching a mix of a romantic comedy and children at a carnival in bumper cars. Endless entertainment, uniquely New York.
Bitter & Esters – Brooklyn
There’s only one spot in NYC for homebrew supplies, and it was recently named the best homebrew shop in the country! Bitter & Esters has all the hops, yeast, malt and other basics as well as equipment pieces, books, and my favorite CO2 tanks!