Fifth Hammer Brewing. Photo: Molly Flores
There’s no shortage of places to snag a cold brew in the City; better still, beer lovers can skip traditional bars and go sip straight from the source. A number of NYC breweries serve house-made beer on-site, ensuring its freshness and full flavor. You can often take a spin through the facilities to see the source of the suds before settling in at the taproom for a taste, too. Read on for our guide to what’s brewing in the five boroughs.
Note: Taprooms rotate their beers on draft regularly. If the recommendations below aren’t available, try whatever appeals.
Courtesy, Bronx Brewery
856 E. 136th St., 718-402-1000, Port Morris
On tap: This brewhouse has operated since 2011, striving to build community and do what they do right. In the beginning that focus was on pale ale, and you can try various examples of the style in the on-site taproom. Look for the Slow Your Roll IPA and the Now Youse Can’t Leave on tap year-round. They’ve branched out since, and you can sample from a rotation of seasonal and limited beers that expand the repertoire, including the World Gone Rosé and Smoked Porter
Courtesy, Gun Hill Brewery
3227 Laconia Ave., 718-881-0010, Williamsbridge
On tap: Stouts are the stars of the show at the microbrewery that brought beer-making back to the Bronx for the first time in 50 years. See if the complex Void of Light is as dark in color as its name suggests. Then sample the unique flavors of the Rockin’ the Bronx dry Irish stout or the Gun Hill IPA, brewed with Mosaic and Crystal hops.
Brooklyn Brewery. Photo: Malcolm Brown
79 N. 11th St., 718-486-7422, Williamsburg
On tap: Brooklyn Lager, the flagship beer of this brewhouse, is a bar staple all across NYC—and beyond. Head over to the Williamsburg brewery to try some lesser-known brews like the Swirling Rumors Barleywine or the Pulp Art Hazy IPA. The Brooklyn taproom is currently the only place to get the latter pour in the five boroughs.
1904 Surf Ave., 718-996-0019, Coney Island
On tap: Hit this beachside brewery to take a free tour and taste some of the house brews on the rotating menu. A few of the beers they produce riff on the theme park and boardwalk neighborhood, with names like Parachute Jump Pale Ale and The Plunge Witbier. In the taproom, the Merman NY IPA and the signature Mermaid Pilsner will get you ready.
Courtesy, Other Half Brewing
215 47th St., 718-355-8575, Sunset Park
On tap: This spot serves up flights and pours of both core creations and seasonal items in its taproom. Try the World’s Best Cup of Stout, a horchata- and coffee-inspired collaboration with City League Coffee Roasters, or grab a glass of Pigeon, a dry hop-forward double IPA originally made for NYC Beer Week.
195 Centre St., 347-987-3527, Carroll Gardens On tap: At this IPA-focused microbrewery, “double dry hopped” is a recurring description on the taproom menu. It means two rounds of dry hops steep in the beer as it brews, seriously amplifying hoppy flavor and aroma. Look for the fruity All Citra Everything or oat-infused Dream in Green, both in the DDH category and among the rotating beers on tap. Current drafts on the lighter side include the Crystal Waves Pilsner and Superfun! Pale Ale.
Courtesy, Sixpoint Brewery
40 Van Dyke St., Red Hook (taproom at City Point, 445 Gold St., Downtown Brooklyn)
On tap: This brewery has amassed a cult following since its 2004 beginnings in a massive waterfront warehouse—the initial draft-only offerings have since expanded to year-round core cans, seasonal small-batch creations and nanokegs. They refer to their brewing style as “Mad Science,” and with creations like Slice Sipper Ale brewed with Mike’s Hot Honey and lemon peel and Screamsickle Double IPA with orange and vanilla, you’ll believe it. They finally opened up a place of their own at City Point to sample the beers; you’ll find favorites like the Crisp on draft alongside limited runs.
Talea Beer Co. Photo:Molly Tavoletti
87 Richardson St., 347-799-1281, Williamsburg
On tap: This female-founded brewery is housed in a slick minimalist space that redefines what you’d expect of a taproom, as do its offerings—not only drafts and cans, but cocktails, coffee and tea. The focus is on “easy-drinking” beers that feel a bit like kicking back with a glass of wine—order a charcuterie board or Mediterranean plate alongside drafts like Sun Up Hazy IPA with notes of mango, Thin Mint Stout and Spicy Marg Smoky Sour Ale.
333 Douglass St., 718-568-9673, Gowanus
On tap: This versatile venue includes a coffee shop, kitchen and event space, but the main attractions are, of course, the brewery and bar. At the bar, you’ll find 24 tap lines with a selection of beers from Threes Brewing and a few other brewers. The names of the Threes quaffs sometimes underplay their bold flavors: Here Ya Go Pale Ale has fruity citrus notes, and you’ll taste guava and lemon balm in the Public Property IPA.
141 Flushing Ave., Building 77, 646-378-8529, Brooklyn Navy Yard
On tap: This brewery cranks out an impressive variety of beers, focusing on farmhouse ales and barrel-aged sours. Visit their taproom to sample stouts, sours and saisons, and be on the lookout for the unusual W4 Dry Hopped Gose, brewed with salt and coriander. Besides savoring the flavors, take a moment to admire the on the bottles’ labels.
200 Fifth Ave., 212-937-8910, Flatiron District
On tap: Admittedly “brewery” takes on a looser definition in Manhattan than in the rest of the City, where sprawling brewing equipment is generally easier to accommodate. However, Eataly’s rooftop brewpub SERRA Serra by Birreria steps up to the plate. Seasonal rustic Italian fare is served alongside house-made cask ales.
Courtesy, Torch and Crown
12 Vandam St., 212-228-7005, Hudson Square
On tap: It’s no easy task being Manhattan’s sole production craft brewery, and co-founders Joe Correia and John Dantzler wisely pull triple duty for the space by housing their facilities alongside a restaurant and taproom. Grab a bite and watch live sports on the plentiful TVs, or just kick back in the outdoor seating while sipping one of their year-round brews, like the fresh, malty Tenement Pilsner. You can also opt for a pick from their rotating seasonal menu, such as the juicy, subtly coconut-flavored Urban Refuge
116 Madison St., 646-669-7363, Two Bridges
On tap: This charming nanobrewery would earn our loyalty thank to its name alone, but its cozy tin-ceiling-accented facilities, unusual beers and insanely delicious snacks (think fried pickles, dumplings, fish cake skewers and cinnamon sugar biscuits) make it our new obsession. Try the Jack-O-Langka, a jackfruit-infused Kölsch, or the Coconut Potion, a porter with notes of coconut and dark chocolate malt.
Fifth Hammer Brewing. Photo: Molly Flores
41-11 39th St., 347-808-0484, Sunnyside
On tap: The founders of this craft brewery didn’t just stop at adding a taproom, they created a beer hall experience in a sprawling table-lined room flanked with pinball machines. Try their easy-drinking 7 Line Amber Ale with toasted chocolate and caramel malt notes, or their pineapple-forward Mind Mist Hazy IPA.
10-28 46th Ave., 718-663-2084, Long Island City
On tap: A dog- and food-truck-friendly entrant on LIC’s brewing scene, Fifth Hammer produces a diverse range of beer styles—from sour beers to stouts and saisons—thanks to a sizable 15-barrel brewing system on-site. Try the raspberry-and-lime-forward Neon Flamingo fruited sour, or the formidable Menace of the Deep double IPA.
39-28 23rd St., 917-832-6840, Long Island City
On tap: Echoing the industrial roots of its neighborhood, the LIC Beer Project converted a warehouse space into an inviting rustic brewery and taproom. It specializes in Belgian-style and mixed-fermentation brews; you’ll find an array of saisons, Kölsches and IPAs on tap. Sample Crispy Culture, a refreshing pilsner on draft now.
1539 Covert St., Ridgewood
On tap: This taproom has a full coffee bar and local bites from spots like Peter Pan Donuts and Howlin’ Taco; it also plays host to live shows, film screenings and holiday parties. Plus, they have drinking games on lock—try your hand at cornhole, giant bricks or mega Jenga while you sip. Order one of their staple three lagers—Lager, Blvd or Blau—or enjoy a limited offering like their Barrel Rager IPA.
Courtesy, Rockaway Brewing Company
46-01 5th St., 718-482-6528, Long Island City
415 Beach 72nd St., 718-474-2339, Rockaway Beach
On tap: In 2012, Rockaway and SingleCut (see below) brought production brewing back to the borough for the first time since Prohibition. There are two locations, so you can choose your backdrop based on your mood: graffiti-covered brick and plant-accented taproom or seaside warehouse space. At both you’ll enjoy drafts brewed at the Long Island City location, including easy-drinking customer favorite American Pils Pilsner and tropical-fruit-forward Rockaway IPA.
Courtesy, Singlecut Beersmiths
19-33 37th St., 718-606-0788, Astoria
On tap: This Queens microbrewery is a go-to for craft brews in the area. There’s an extensive draft list to explore and some house-canned beers to try too. The bright citrus notes of the 18-Watt IPA make for a good opener before venturing on to the brawny Heavy Boots of Lead Imperial Stout (11 percent ABV) or the tart, herbal Kim Hibiscus Sour Lager.
Photo: Jen Davis
40 Minthorne St., 718-448-5284, St. George
On tap: Hit up this brewpub for post-ferry-ride refreshment. There’s always a welcoming rotation of popular house beers ready to sample in the taproom. For a taste of the warmer season, go for the fruited Blood Orange IPA, or pay homage to a beloved NYC icon with a pint of dry-hopped Pizza Rats Pilsner.
60 Van Duzer St., 718-442-3433, Brighton Heights
On tap: Tradition is top of mind here: the name “kills” refers to what the area’s first Dutch residents called the island’s tidal straits, which were used as a beer-making component by German immigrants, and the company uses locally sourced ingredients. Take a seat in the taproom or beer garden and enjoy a glass of Padded Gloves, a double dry-hopped pale ale; or start with breakfast, of sorts, by sipping Packed Bowl Oatmeal Stout, which features flaked oats, several malts and notes of coffee and vanilla.