Support These 15 Great Local Breweries in NYC
When it comes to summer drinking, buy local.
New York City has been brewing up beer since 1632 when North America’s first commercial brewery was built on what is now Manhattan’s Stone Street. The city hit a brewing peak in the late 19th century, when Brooklyn alone supported 48 breweries, and that was only half the city’s total. Then beer hit a steady decline thanks to bad crops, decreased demand, the growing popularity of national companies like Anheuser-Busch and, ya know, Prohibition. By the 1970s, we stopped brewing all together, and it took more than 10 years after that for us to get our mojo back and slowly start up again.
Today, with bars in a precarious state, drinking at home while supporting local breweries is always a safe bet -- and as the number of breweries in New York City continues to explode with new spots opening up every year, the brews we are producing are better than ever. “The brewers in the city are not only making great beer, but they are transforming neighborhoods and bringing back the brewing scene to what it once was before Prohibition,” says Paul Leone, Executive Director of the New York State Brewers Association.
Thanks to our storied NYC water and innovative brewers stationed in all five boroughs, you can try local brews practically anywhere, but here are a few of our personal favorites to get you started.
Long Island City
With ingredients like lemongrass, jalapeño, and juicy grapefruit cycling through the beers on tap, Big aLICe Brewing showcases the best local produce that New York state has to offer. It's a certified farm brewery, so the brewers work with local hops farmers to fuel IPAs and pilsners, and they also tap fellow Queens businesses for other specialty ingredients like the coffee from Native Coffee Roasters in its Date Night, Bro? stout.
How to order: Pickup at the brewery, delivery via Caviar, and outdoor dining at the taproom
This craft brewery channels its no-nonsense borough and partners with community organizations that support the arts and improve the environment locally. The Bronx Brewery’s core eight beers cover pilsners, pale ales, and a few IPA variations, and they swap in seasonal favorites like the Summer Pale Ale with citrusy hops and lemon peel. While you can’t grab a table inside the taproom right now, you can make a reservation to sip canned beer in the backyard.
How to order: Pre-order pickup and delivery via website
The Brooklyn Lager is pretty iconic at this point. It’s probably the most recognized beer coming out of New York City right now, so if you’ve had any New York beer, chances are you’ve sipped this. But Brooklyn Brewery’s Williamsburg brewhouse has so much more to offer like a snappy classic pilsner, a non-alcoholic Special Effects, and their brewer’s perfect take on summer hard seltzer, Brooklyn Spritz.
How to order:Pre-order or stop by the brewery
Coney Island Brewing Company’s well-known Mermaid Pilsner is available in many neighborhood bars and bodegas, but it’s worth a trip to the end of the B, D, F, and N lines to sample some of their limited release brews that are available only on-site. You can’t sit and enjoy them at this seaside brewer right now, but you can still try the classics and a taproom favorite, the Dreamland Session Sour, which is available in cans for the first time.
How to order: Pre-order pickup via website
At Grimm’s sleek brewery in East Williamsburg you will find sours, farmhouse ales, and funky lambics all bottled up alongside canned IPAs and ales. Grimm was once known as a brewery without a brick and mortar location of its own, but now they’re known for on-trend design both inside its minimalist space and emblazoned on the side of cans.
How to order: Pickup at the brewery, delivery via GrubHub and Caviar, or shipping across New York state via website
We once called Gun Hill the most underrated brewery in all of New York state, and that sentiment still rings true. Gun Hill has been around for nearly a decade, and the microbrewery’s beer is worth tracking down a local bar or restaurant or visiting its taproom in The Bronx. Its diverse portfolio includes a crowd-pleasing Spirit 76 pilsner and an award-winning Void of Light stout, and you can get them all canned up to go.
How to order: Stop by the brewery for pickup or get delivery via website
Less than one percent of breweries in the US are Black-owned so if you haven’t tried this one, a taste is long overdue. Harlem Brewing Company’s very own Brewery and Pub will be opening soon, but for now you can try beers that celebrate the brewer’s neighborhood like the 125th Street IPA, Sugar Hill Golden Ale, and Renaissance Wit at home.
How to order: Pickup at these local stores
Brooklyn’s only brewery and distillery 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 you’ll always want to have on hand, and India Pale Ales round out the other current beer options. But don’t leave without grabbing the distillery side’s gin, amaro, and canned G&Ts to fuel your stronger drinking needs.
How to order: Stop by the brewery for pickup or get delivery via website
Brewed in NYC’s southernmost borough of Staten Island, Kills Boro’s three brewers began mastering their craft by home brewing and then came onto the growing scene in Staten Island in 2017. They’ve been killin’ it and making experimental sours and fruity IPAs ever since, and recently began offering outdoor seating through their Kills Boro Brewpub.
How to order: Pre-order pickup, delivery, and shipping across New York state via website, and outdoor dining available
KCBG sits inside a warehouse in Bushwick like all good things do, and, wow, are they making good things. A few years ago this spot was named the best brewery in all five boroughs in a city-wide competition hosted by Thrillist, and since then they’ve continued churning out a wide array of unique beers. Plus, the “collective” in their name isn’t just hipster lip service -- one of the draft lines in their taproom is exclusively reserved as a “Local Talent Tap” for beer brewed in collaboration with nearby industry friends.
How to order: Stop by the brewery for pickup or get delivery via Caviar
The Danish brewer opened its first east coast outpost just outside Citi Field two years ago to huge fanfare. That makes sense because the world-renowned brewery’s lineup spans every possible style, and each one is a home run. You can’t currently sample from the 60 beers on tap, but you can still get cans and bottles adorned with the brand’s signature illustrations.
How to order:Pre-order pickup or get shipping across New York state via website
This brewery began 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 recently launched All Together, a worldwide beer collaboration with nearly 1,000 breweries making beer to benefit the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation. The social mission is enough to make you love this brewery, so the well crafted hazy IPAs, pastry stouts, and creative sours are a bonus.
How to order: Pre-order contactless pickup and delivery via website
The only thing Threes Brewing is more synonymous with than chuggable beers is a gorgeous patio. String lights, greenery-covered walls, and small pebbles come together to create a space you could easily waste every weekend away in. While that is currently on hold, you can still try Threes’ hoppy ales, lagers, and mixed culture brews at home. The standbys are standbys for a reason, but the latest People Power dry-hopped pilsner is worth a try and the nationwide collaboration with more than 80 breweries supports the ACLU.
How to order: Pre-order pickup, local delivery, or shipping to New York and DC via website
This three-story, airy brewery was slated to open this summer, but those plans were put on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions. When the brewery finally opens, it’ll be the only one in Manhattan -- but until then Torch and Crown Brewery is stocking New Yorkers with plenty of refreshing drink options for even the hottest of summer days.
How to order: Pickup, delivery, and shipping across New York state via website
Brooklyn Navy Yard
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, and making an order for pickup is a great reason to hop on the ferry and breath in some East River air through your mask.
How to order: Pickup via pre-order or at the brewery, delivery via Caviar, and shipping via website
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