Food & Drink

Where to Drink Beer in NYC This Fall

Sometimes a PBR just won't cut it.

Proletariat
Proletariat | Ryan Cho
Proletariat | Ryan Cho

Six years can make a world of difference for a city’s bar scene. The Craft NY Act of 2014 made operating a brewery more profitable in New York state, sparking a chain reaction that sprouted hundreds of local microbreweries -- and plenty of NYC bars dedicated to showcasing them. Craft beer bars certainly aren’t a new phenomenon, but until recently, nobody would have foreseen the Big Apple becoming the small-batch beer hub that it is today.

So appropriately, there's no shortage of places to drink beer (yet). In addition to local breweries, we have spacious beer gardens, age-old dive bars, and now, countless taprooms dedicated to steering customers toward rare and refined microbrews -- some regional, some international. It's admittedly a strange time to drink beer, with many bars closed or running limited operations in the wake of COVID, but that just means our local bars need our business more than ever.

This summer, we were relegated to patios and gardens; this fall, indoor dining returns to NYC, just in time for cooler temperatures. Saison season is coming to a close, but that doesn't mean your curiosity should too -- the autumnal appetite for beer is just ramping up, Oktoberfest or not. Whether you're a craft lover or just hunting for new stomping grounds, we've got you covered with the best beer bars in NYC to visit this fall.

The Beer Garage
Courtesy of The Beer Garage

The Beer Garage

Park Slope

It's not just a beer bar… it's a beer garage. The Park Slope drink spot occupies a former auto garage beside its sister restaurant, WILD. The space features a skylight and a retro aesthetic inspired by the structure’s original garage-style doors, and the bar stools spill onto the patio for al fresco sipping. The Beer Garage offers 13 craft beer selections on tap along with clams, oysters, pizza, and small plates like smoked ribs and fried pickles. Consider this opening one of 2020's boozy redemptions for the stress it put New Yorkers through.
What they’re pouring: Pop in to see this week's assortment
How to order to-go: Stop by or call 718-576-3409 to place a takeout order

Harlem Hops
Courtesy of Harlem Hops

Harlem Hops

Harlem

It's a bar that everyone in NYC and beyond should know. Not only because it's Manhattan's first fully Black-owned craft beer bar, or because their vested interest in giving Harlem access to the best beer in the region all but guarantees an exemplary draft list, but also because they go the extra mile to support their community through their 501c3, Harlem Hopes, which raises scholarship funds to help send Harlem residents to college. Every purchase is a win -- for your tastebuds, for the staff, for their brewing partners, and for the community at large.
What they're pouring: Beer lists on their website, Untappd, and BeerMenus
How to order to-go: Call 646-998-3444 for takeout/delivery

Covenhoven
Covenhoven | Eric Carter

Covenhoven

Crown Heights

This Brooklyn beer destination has all the socially distant drinking options for whatever your comfort level might be this fall: Get a to-stay beer from one of their 16 rotating taps and then pick a to-go beer from their fridge wall, which houses more than 250 canned and bottled options. Now you have a pint to enjoy in their charming backyard garden plus a drink to take to your next plan. If you're the kind of beer lover who's always hunting for something obscure, you'll have a field day browsing their selection.
What they're pouring: Beer lists on Untappd and BeerMenus
How to order to-go: Counter service only

Solid State
Courtesy of Solid State

Solid State

Woodside

This relatively young pinball bar quickly became a community hotspot after opening in 2017, and not only because people liked having access to an impressive collection of pinball machines and board games. The bar works hard to boost local pride by almost exclusively offering New York beers -- including a handful from neighboring breweries in Queens -- and their recent menu additions further the mission, featuring Schaller & Weber sausages and a Bier Brat collaboration with Mikkeller NYC. Solid State's new patio space got people through the warm months, and they've already constructed socially distant booths to bring guests inside once the law allows.
What they're pouring: Beer lists on their website, Untappd, and BeerMenus
How to order to-go: Stop by or call 347-935-3042 to place a takeout order

Proletariat
Proletariat | Ryan Cho

Proletariat

East Village

Rare, new, or unusual: That's the rubric Proletariat follows when updating their draft list. The East Village might have a reputation for gritty dive bars (and visually, Proletariat's not too far off), but you'll be damned to find Blue Moon flowing out of the tap here. Instead, you'll discover local and international beers whose appeal goes beyond the branding. Owned by NYC bar veteran Ravi DeRossi, Proletariat’s accessible vibe makes you feel like small-batch beer isn’t just for beer nerds, welcoming every curious mind to the table to learn about the craft while they sip.
What they're pouring: Beer lists on Untappd and BeerMenus served at their outdoor tables
How to order to-go: Counter service only

Bronx Drafthouse
Courtesy of Bronx Drafthouse

Bronx Drafthouse

Concourse Village

It may technically live in Yankee Stadium's shadow, but Bronx Drafthouse is worthy of its own trip to the Concourse area of the Bronx. It's home to more than 50 beers, most of which are on draft, and a full kitchen that cranks out a variety of dishes to complement, like grilled shrimp mac & cheese, yucca fries, and their rendition of a chimi burger. Get a sudsy start to your weekends with their special brunch items available until 4pm on weekends.
What they're pouring: Beer list on Untappd
How to order to-go: Stop by to place a takeout order; select menu items available for takeout/delivery via Grubhub, Seamless

Craft Culture
Craft Culture | Julio Martinez

Craft Culture

Ridgewood

Craft Culture's taproom aims to teach every patron about, you guessed it, craft beer culture. With 16 taps and a fully stocked fridge, this Queens destination offers visitors a handpicked selection of unique beers, focusing primarily on local and domestic brews you maybe aren't too familiar with yet. Anything you can enjoy in-house, you can also enjoy to-go -- carry out single bottles and cans, four-packs, six-packs, draft beer in growlers or mason jars, and satisfying bites from their food menu.
What they're pouring: Beer lists on their website and Untappd
How to order to-go: Counter service only

Hogshead Tavern

Hamilton Heights

Hamilton Heights scored big time in 2014 when Hogshead Tavern moved in, gifting uptowners with an ultra-modern craft beer bar. Their impressively curated beer selection changes regularly, but always guarantees some combination of locally and internationally sourced brews. The drinks are only half the fun, though. Hogshead's elevated bar food -- think vegetarian-friendly flatbreads and varied shared plates -- makes it a one-stop destination.
What they're pouring: Beer list on their website
How to order to-go: Takeout/delivery via Grubhub, Seamless

Iona

Williamsburg

Irish pubs abound here in NYC, but their sister Scots have far less taproom representation around the five boroughs. This Williamsburg spot stands out by offering guests a sudsy immersion into Scottish culture. Located inside a former candy shop that's now one of the most charming indoor/outdoor spaces around -- think Scottish decor, dark wood furnishings, and handpicked ales, lagers, and stouts from trusted Western European brewers. There's more to Iona than its 16 taps and extensive bottle and can collection, though; they're also a local favorite for watching sports, be it soccer, rugby, baseball, cycling, or anything in a court. 
What they're pouring: Beer lists on their website, Untappd, and BeerMenus
How to order to-go: Counter service only

The Jeffrey Craft Beer & Bites

Upper East Side

This buoyant craft beer joint and eatery helps keep the neighborhood's sometimes stagnant going-out scene afloat. You'll find it down under the Queensboro Bridge overpass (DUQBO?) -- just look for the spot where hip people are congregating. With 30-plus taps, a packed menu of snacks/soups/salads/sandwiches, a sidewalk patio, and a backyard beer garden in the works, this craft beer destination is also a crowd pleaser. Taking beer to-go? Grab a branded stein from their shop to pour it in.
What they're pouring: Beer lists on their website, Untappd, and BeerMenus
How to order to-go: Takeout/delivery via Grubhub, Seamless

Bierwax
BierWax | Brian Casse

Bierwax

Prospect Heights

This stylish Vanderbilt Avenue destination takes as much pride in their playlist as they do their beer list. Over 5,000 vinyl records spin the soundtrack of your night out, best enjoyed with any of their dozen regional drafts and a seat in the back garden. In between visits, you can continue to support BierWax online by buying merch and vinyls from their online shop.
What they're pouring: Beer lists on their website and Untappd
How to order to-go: Order online for takeout

Brouwerij Lane

Greenpoint

Fill a growler, pick up a can, or lounge with a pint at one of the cutest craft beer stores in the area. Brouwerij means "brewery" in Dutch, and when you walk through their enormous collection of special and imported beers, you'll understand why "brewery lane" is fitting for the old-school beer emporium. If you want to make the most of your Greenpoint excursion, grab something to go and wander over to nearby Transmitter Park, one of NYC's most underrated waterfronts.
What they're pouring: Beer list on BeerMenus
How to order to-go: Counter service only

The Blind Tiger
Drew Swantak / Thrillist

The Blind Tiger

Greenwich Village

It's tempting to leave Blind Tiger out of the conversation, not because it's unworthy, but because it's expected. That said, it'd be irresponsible not to credit the craft beer bar that paved the way for all that followed. Since the late '90s, Blind Tiger has poured a stellar selection of microbrews in the Village, first on Hudson Street, now on Bleecker Street, and they show no sign of stopping now. Stop by the wooden bar room and its equally woody patio area and see for yourself what the buzz is about.
What they're pouring: Scan QR code on their website for daily beer list
How to order to-go: Counter service only

Bar Great Harry
Courtesy of Bar Great Harry

Bar Great Harry

Cobble Hill

Quality or quantity? Functionality or ambience? Classy or divey? If you want to open a spot like Bar Great Harry, the answer is always Why not both? At Bar Great Harry, the tap list is substantial, and top-notch. There's ample square footage and sidewalk space, yet the whole operation feels quaint. By day the space is tidy and full of natural light, but by night the holiday lights take over and pinball machines glow in the shadows. The beer-focused establishment accommodates every lovable bar trope without feeling confused, and for that, we must respect.
What they're pouring: Beer lists on their website and BeerMenus
How to order to-go: Counter service only

Tørst

Greenpoint

North Brooklyn has long mastered the beer bar concept, Tørst being a prime example. Twenty-one rotating draft beers share the spotlight, and that's nothing compared to the collection of over 250 bottles in the cellar. The bar counter can only be described as marble chic, lending to a larger modern aesthetic that looks nothing short of expensive. Beyond beverages, Tørst serves a small sampling of food that's worth the price tag.
What they're pouring: Beer lists on their website and Untappd
How to order to-go: Order online for takeout; select menu items available for takeout/delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub, Seamless

As Is NYC

Hell's Kitchen

Twenty carefully chosen taplines built the base of two hospitality alums’ business plan as they prepared to launch As Is in early 2016. The Hell’s Kitchen beer bar doesn’t stick to a genre -- you’ll find every flavor, brew, and hue, domestic and international -- as long as it’s high-quality and small-batch. In an industry where presentation and IG-worthiness are important considerations, As Is hits the nail on the head.
What they're pouring: Pop in to see their current assortment
How to order to-go: Counter service only

The Pony Bar

Lenox Hill

It’s the classic American beer bar. “Classic” as in 2009 -- a ripe old age in the world of craft taprooms -- and decidedly American after supposedly becoming the first bar in NYC to sell exclusively domestic brews. The original Hell’s Kitchen location is no more, but the UES rendition carries the same States-oriented mission that founder Dan McLaughlin envisioned after his time as a bartender at Blind Tiger. Neon in the bar reads “Stay Gold Pony,” a play off a line from classic ‘80’s film The Outsiders, and over a decade later, it's safe to say their shine hasn’t reached an end.
What they're pouring: Beer lists on their website, Untappd, and BeerMenus
How to order to-go: Counter service only

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