A Beginners Guide To Finding Craft Beer In NYC!

So on April 1st this article was  written by “Hoppy Boston” and I had to ask if it was an April Fools joke.  I found out that it wasn’t but there were some well written points that I have been through and agree with:


When I first moved to Boston (over ten years ago, damn that makes me feel a little old) this city had a similar issue. There were a few craft beer bars, and majority of other bars had a pretty standard selection. You would get some macro-lagers (Bud, Miller), some big beer imports (Guinness, Bass, Harp), some crafty beers (like Blue Moon) along with Sam Adams and Harpoon, which were the major craft beers on the market. A good bar might have Long Trail or Smuttynose, along with Sierra Nevada in bottles.

This resonates with me because it was the Boston I had met nine years ago.  Yesterday was a glorious day because Slumbrew announced that they were opening a tasting room and brewery in Somerville Ma.

To relate Somerville to New York here is how it would play out of Boston and its suburbs were to be cast in the similar roles:

Boston Proper would play Manhattan.

Cambridge would play Brooklyn.

Somerville would play Queens.

To not have Slumbrew on tap in Somerville is like a place in Queens not carrying Singlecut (Although I didn’t see it on tap at Alewife and that place is 110% legit).  It denies you  cred for knowing your beer.  Truth of the matter is that on a 1.6 mile stretch on Broadway Ave in Somerville there are three bars that carry zero Slumbrew. This is a sad state of affairs:

broadwaysomerville copy

My sadness is evident on this trail. Must detour off of it. I should have stopped at East End Grille!

I do see this as being an out of towners lost cause on finding good beer if they were subjected to the wrong places in Boston in the year 2014.

All of the bars I visited in Manhattan had the type of selection you would find in Boston a decade ago (macro lagers, crafty beers and big beer imports). One place had Dogfishhead 60 Minute on draft and I was pleasantly surprised. We didn’t find a single local beer on draft or in bottles at any of the places we went. New York (city and state) has some great breweries including Brooklyn, Sixpoint, Ommegang, Ithaca and Southern Tier. I am sure there are dozens of others that have more limited distribution. I really wonder why the bars in the city haven’t embraced the craft beer revolution. Are people in Manhattan less interested in craft beer? Are the bars unwilling to step outside the box? Did I just get unlucky and hit a bunch of places with a crappy beer selection?

I will say yes and it is like the Broadway story above.  If you are not familiar with an area you can find yourself in a bit of trouble. I’m always glad to help though.

My story starts in August of last year when I had went down and saw that there was an Untappd badge for drinking at the Pony Bar!


What I really like about the Pony Bar is that their craft beer selection is always changing and their website is always up to date!

While doing research on the Pony Bar I also found an awesome website that should be used in every city and which for the most part has been missed out on by Boston:


Beermenus.com was the key to finding just about anything I wanted in the City. Look up a certain beer? Check! See what about 80+% of the bars are carrying? Check! If you are not using BeerMenus.com then you might just end up drinking Corona at the Sabarro in Times Square.


If you want to go to the end of the One line in NYC it will lead you to The Bronx Alehouse. The Bronx Alehouse is pretty awesome and they give you updates via twitter of what  beers have kicked and what they are being replaced with:

They even have an occasional sense of humor every once in a while:


Also they have an awesome electronic menu of what is on tap, live social media feeds, what kind of beer it is,  and how much beer is left in the keg with color and serving glass type too:

electronic beer menu

Not the actual menu but one just like it. Exactly like it.  Also that Ghost Runners 10k IPA looks good (not available at Bronx Ale House). 

If you are looking to explore a brewery then there is no better brewery to explore than Singlecut Beersmiths! Rulpsen will guide you to the home of some of NYC’s best IPAs and Pale Ales!


Rulpsen is one sexy beast!

If you are near Times Square then it would be good to check out Rattle N Hum and Beer Authority. There are always 50+ awesome beers on tap at each and an awesome selection of bottles as well!

What about beer stores? Well Alphabet Beer Co., Good Beer, and Top Hops have you covered.  And on another note you can also drink beer at the store!


I really do and if anyone has suggestions feel free to email me or even better leave a comment!  I also hope this is helpful to anyone out there looking for a beer in NYC!




One thought on “A Beginners Guide To Finding Craft Beer In NYC!

  1. Great article. I had a pretty good idea that there were many great beer bars in the city and I just got really unlucky in my selections. Next time I visit I’ll do a lot more research beforehand and try to steer the group in the right direction. I’ll also make sure to refer back to this article for suggestions!


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