New York has a long history of brewing, starting when immigrants moved to the United States and brought their appetite for beer with them. In the city that never sleeps, beer is the perfect addition to any event, celebration, festival or even just a mellow Friday night on the town. Brooklyn has especially started to make a name for itself with Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver having such a strong influence on the beer community. Of course, there are thousands of spots to sip a cold one throughout the five boroughs, and new ones open up almost every day of the week. Here are just five worth checking out.
Founded in 1988, Brooklyn Brewery has produced some of the area’s best beer, which is now distributed in 25 states and 20 countries making it one of the biggest exporters of American craft beer. Brewmaster Garrett Oliver published The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food, an influential book in the industry that highlights beer and food pairings. One of the best loved beers is the Brooklyn Blast!, an IPA made using hops from both England and the States. Guests can tour the brewery, which ends with a tasting of four of the brewery’s finest beers.
Radegast Hall & Biergarten features an authentic beer garden located in the heart of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg. Customers come for the beer, food and free live music every night of the week. The German-inspired restaurant is especially popular during Oktoberfest when traditional German music is played by musicians wearing Lederhosen and glass beer steins are filled to the brim. The German-inspired restaurant also offers special pairings Tuesdays through Fridays. On Thursdays, for instance, veal schnitzel is paired with Hofbrau Dunkel for a true German foodie experience.
Established in 1854, McSorley's Old Ale House is New York City's oldest continuously operated saloon and has been featured in several historical references in art, literature and even politics. The ale house only has one thing on the bar menu: ale created by Fidelio Brewery. As such, the bar has no cash register and no bar stools. Customers can purchase the rich, golden libation in kegs and bottles from the ale house itself, as well as from several retailers across the East Coast. The ale house's old wooden walls feature a variety of memorabilia from years gone by such as the scandalous portrait of a nude woman with her parrot. She was the only female regular in the place until 1970. A daily menu of pub fare is listed on the two chalk boards that hang on the walls.
Located on Pier 59 in Manhattan, Chelsea Brewing Company features a two-storey glass wall that overlooks a 60-slip marina on the Hudson River. The restaurant and microbrewery’s mahogany wood bars and cigar lounge are ideal spots to enjoy the house-made beers, as well as gourmet pizzas, pastas and pub fare. Manhattan’s largest microbrewery serves up to 20 handcrafted beers daily, made using purified water, yeast and high-quality malts and hops. The restaurant is also located next to the city’s only high-tech golf driving range to check out before and after drinking.
The Ginger Man has that classic New York bar feel with wooden booths and benches as well as a long wooden bar that people have been sitting at for years. The bar serves up beer from the 70 taps that dispense fresh ales and lagers. Plus, it also has a beer list of up to 160 beer bottles that pair perfectly with the gourmet soft pretzels served as an appetizer with signature sauces such as pesto, homemade beer cheese and house sauce, to name a few. The sausage and cheese platters are another perfect addition alongside a frosty, cold one.