From growler-fillers to unfiltered cask, New York has it all on tap.
by Ingrid Skjong
FROM LEFT: Rose Bar; Bierkraft.
When it comes to beer, Brooklyn is where it’s at—and Beer Table is one of the undisputed favorites. Faced with a rotating daily roster of 25 bottles and three specialty drafts you’ve probably never heard of (Italian Birra del Borgo Re Ale? Belgian ’t Smisje Catherine the Great? Danish Bøgedal No. 127?), you’re sure to ferret out a new find in no time. The tiny space also has an inventive food menu and hosts a variety of brewmasters for tasting flights. 427B Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-965-1196.
Blind Tiger Ale House
Known for celebrating the craft-beer movement, the Blind Tiger Ale House offers a rotating menu of 28 draught beers (among them selections like Left Hand Milk Stout, Avery Maharaj and Southampton Imperial Porter) and more than 50 bottles, including Flying Dog Gonzo and Brooklyn Local 1. It also stocks cask varieties—unfiltered, unpasteurized “real ales” served out of a cask—and vintage brews. The vibe? As welcoming as the décor, which is mostly salvaged wood from a 19th-century farmhouse. 281 Bleecker Street, 212-462-4682.
An avid home-brewer, Richard Scholz and his wife, Daphne, forewent a brewpub and opened a craft-beer store in Park Slope instead. With more than 1,100 beers to choose from, including 13 rotating brews on tap for growler-filling, it’s easy to find your favorite porter, lager, stout, IPA or APA. The bonus? The store offers nearly 50 artisanal cheeses, an abundance of chocolate (including six beer-flavored options) and gourmet sandwiches made with house-roasted meats. 191 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-230-7600.
Beer importer Ed Raven, who’s been pulling in obscure, intriguing beers for nearly a decade through his Raven Import Company (and running the operation, for the most part, out of his home), opened a store this spring, much to the delight of his following. Brouwerij Lane features more than 200 beers, including 10 selections on tap. For $10, fill a 64-ounce growler with Magic Hat Wacko, Gruut Amber or Tröegs Pale Ale, or Raven’s exclusive imports, which include Gaffel Kölsch, Jever Pilsener and Gösser. 78 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn, 917-750-1541.
TAKE ME OUT
These exclusive (if not elusive) hot boîtes beckon a choice crowd.
ABOVE ALLEN (AA)
Aptly named, considering that the establishment was built to jut out over Allen Street, the Thompson LES hot spot is chichi indeed. Select scenesters receive AA membership cards, ensuring speedy admission by the tough doormen. 190 Allen Street, 212-460- 5300; thompsonles.com.
The Lower East Side meets Soho-chic at this hipster enclave in Little Italy. Throngs of sexy young things gyrate to funky music during the infamous Sunday-night festivities, with celeb fans like Lenny Kravitz and John Mayer occasionally slipping into the mix. 389 Broome Street, 212-274-1568; goldbarnewyork.com.
THE ROSE BAR
The überstrict door means that only beautiful women, power suits and boldfaced names gain admittance to Nur Kahn’s candlelit venue in the Gramercy Park Hotel. Take a break from playing pool with the likes of Clive Owen, Jude Law and Kanye West to soak in the museum-caliber art collection on the walls. 2 Lexington Avenue, 212-920-3300; gramercyparkhotel.com.—SEAN EVANS
EAST MEETS YEAST
Japanese beers step it up. Here are three of our favorites.
Sapporo exclusively uses two-row barley, prized for its sweetness, and prime yeast. Most recently issued is the Sapporo Reserve, which rounds out the brewery’s lineup of Sapporo Premium and Premium Light. Available at liquor stores citywide.
Established in 1892, Asahi is the maker of Japan’s number-one beer—the crisp Super Dry. Also worth trying: Kuronama Black (slightly sweet with honey overtones) and the mellow Select Amber. Available at liquor stores citywide.
The owl on Hitachino Nest’s labels is endearing. But the brews in Kiuchi Brewery’s series—including a pleasantly sweet and faintly bitter Japanese Classic Ale and a sake-spiked Red Rice Ale—speak for themselves. Available at liquor stores citywide.
photographs by Sapporo USA Inc. (SAPPORO); courtesy of The Gramercy Park Hotel (ROSE BAR)