15 Breweries Making the Best Beer in NYC
Industrial taprooms, rooftop bars, and beer gardens in all five boroughs.
New York City has been brewing beer since 1632 when North America’s first commercial brewery was built on what is now Manhattan’s Stone Street—and we’re not stopping anytime soon.
The city hit an industry peak in the late 19th century, when Brooklyn alone supported 48 breweries (and that was only half of the Big Apple’s total). But in part to bad crops, decreased demand, the growing popularity of national companies, and, ya know, prohibition, we stopped brewing all together by the 1970s. It took more than 10 years for us to get our mojo back and slowly start up again, but today, local breweries have returned in a big way.
Classics like Brooklyn Brewery and Threes Brewing remain iconic drinking spots, and exciting new debuts continue to add to the city’s beer landscape every year. Thanks to our storied tap water and innovative brewers stationed in all five boroughs, you can try local beer practically anywhere, but here are a few top picks to get you started.
This growing Brooklyn brewery has locations in Williamsburg and DUMBO that offer more than just locally made brews. Randolph Beer’s two locations serve about 30 beers on tap at any given time including house-made hard seltzers, plus brunch and all-day food menus. The DUMBO locale also has a seasonal rooftop patio with sprawling views of the city skyline, and both taprooms feature games like pinball and featherbowl, a Belgian pastime akin to shuffleboard.
After getting its start in Long Island City, this Queens favorite relocated to a new, larger taproom in Sunnyside where it has rotating food options from neighborhood concepts alongside funky local art on the walls (and the cans!). With pilsners, IPAs, and even goses on the menu, Alewife Brewing has something for everyone.
Big Alice Brewing
With ingredients like lemongrass, jalapeño, and juicy grapefruit cycling through the beers on tap, Big aLICe Brewing showcases the best local produce that the State of New York has to offer. It's a certified farm brewery, so the brewers work with local hops farmers to fuel IPAs and pilsners. Plus, they also tap fellow Queens businesses for other specialty ingredients like the coffee from Native Coffee Roasters in its Date Night, Bro? Stout.
The Bronx Brewery
The Bronx Brewery’s core seven beers cover pilsners, pale ales, and a few IPA variations, and they regularly tweak seasonal favorites like the Summer Pale Ale with rotating ingredients like citrusy hops and lemon peel. As a cornerstone of its South Bronx community for more than a decade, the brewery is doubling down on its commitment to supporting the neighborhood with an internship program aimed to foster more industry inclusivity. And despite the borough-centric name, they recently expanded their reach to Manhattan with an East Village location.
Coney Island Brewing Co.
EBBS Brewing Co.
After years of being brewed in stainless tanks at Citi Field and distributed to bars across the city, EBBS Brewing Co. just opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Williamsburg last year. This brewer is on a mission to keep it simple with “beer that tastes like beer” to contrast the over-the-top names, labels, and flavor combinations that have taken over the craft beer world. So you’ll see cans with stark white labels and names like Lager No. 1 and Lager No. 2, plus a handful of IPAs numbered one through seven. Their Williamsburg taproom also carries hard seltzer from local Fountain Beverage Co. and a snack menu sourced from local shops like Schaller & Weber, Murray’s Cheese, and more.
Evil Twin Brewing
Perhaps most well-known for smoothie-style sours and other fruity blends, Evil Twin Brewing has a wide portfolio that also includes oak-aged lagers, stouts, and IPAs—each with comical and long-winded names like a zesty triple IPA called “Real New Yorkers Would Never Live in A Neighborhood Called “Dumb” So They Added The O.” Also included in their lineup is a handful of ever-popular hard seltzers, dubbed Evil Water, in flavors like mimosa, watermelon granita, and lemon meringue pie. The original Ridgewood location has a dreamy greenhouse feel, and the brewer added a second outpost in DUMBO last year.
Grimm Artisanal Ales
Grimm Artisanal Ales was once known as a brewery without a brick-and-mortar location of its own, but now, its sleek East Williamsburg home continues its on-trend design both inside the minimalist space and emblazoned on the side of cans. Make a visit and you’ll find sours, farmhouse ales, and funky lambics all bottled up alongside canned IPAs and ales that are sippable on-site or taken to go.
As Brooklyn’s only hybrid brewery and distillery, Interboro could stock your entire at-home bar with beers, spirits, and canned cocktails—and you should let them. Bushburg, an ode to its East Williamsburg locale, is a bright pilsner that’s great to have on hand, and IPAs, sours, and stouts round out the other current beer options. But don’t leave without ordering a cocktail or picking up some of the distillery’s gin, amaro, and canned G&Ts to fuel your stronger drinking needs.
Kills Boro Brewing Co
Brewed in New York City’s southernmost borough, the three brewers behind Kills Boro began mastering their craft through home brewing and came onto the growing scene in Staten Island in 2017. They’ve been making experimental sours and fruity IPAs ever since, and recently began offering outdoor seating at their Kills Boro Brewpub.
Other Half Brewing
This brewery launched on a quest to make beers for the “other half” of the industry, and since opening, they’ve put that mission to work. Other Half Brewing’s well-crafted hazy IPAs, pastry stouts, and creative sours were once only available at their Carroll Gardens taproom, but can now be found at two additional locations: one at Domino Park in Williamsburg and another by Rockefeller Center.
Talea Beer Company
Every brewery has a specialty, but it’s rare to find a spot that’s dialed into a particular brew as much as Talea Beer Company. This relative newcomer opened with a lineup of Hazy IPAs, sours, and other “easy-to-love” pours geared toward beer skeptics. You can order individual glasses or flights of fruity options like the Power Couple, a double IPA that blends strata and riwaka hops, and the Mixed Berry Tart Deco, a sour IPA that tastes like passion fruit gelato and raspberry glacé; or purchase beers to go from the Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, and Grand Central outposts. Plus, with Tara Hankinson and LeAnn Darland at the helm, it’s one of the few breweries in the country run by women—even more reason to pay it a visit.
Threes Brewing is as well known for its gorgeous back patio in Gowanus as it is for its brews. Decked out in string lights and greenery-covered walls, it’s a dreamy place to drink, day or night. But whether you grab a seat in the garden or visit new locations in Greenpoint and on Governors Island, you’re never too far from Threes’ hoppy ales, lagers, and mixed culture brews.
After plenty of pandemic-related delays, Torch and Crown finally opened its three-story, airy space in the heart of Manhattan, making it the borough’s only operating brewery. Expect lots of IPA variations and a beer, wine, and spirits list all sourced from New York state. On the food side, the on-site restaurant serves everything from bar snacks and brunch to a large-format pig feast that feeds 10, so there are plenty of options to fuel an entire afternoon or evening visit.
This Long Island City-born craft brewery may have relocated across the bridge to Brooklyn, but its top-notch farmhouse ales haven’t changed. The styles in stock are always rotating at Transmitter Brewing, and making an order for pickup or planning a visit to the beer garden is a great excuse to hop on the ferry and breathe in some East River air.