Big beer news is brewing in the East Village this week. The Manhattan neighborhood — already home to beer bar hangouts like McSorley’s, Good Beer, and Alphabet City Beer Co. — is getting a taproom and micro-brewery from the Bronx Brewery. The bar, also home to a smash burger operation, opens at 64 Second Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets, on February 5.
At 3,000-square-feet, the 75-seat taproom is a far cry from the beer company’s massive indoor-outdoor brewery open since 2014 in the southern Bronx, but there’s still lots to love here. Up front, there’s a U-shaped bar, 14 beers on tap (pale ales are well-represented here, as are IPAs done up in sour, hazy, and West-Coast styles), and a refrigerator stocked with cans to-go.
In the back, a small brewing operation consisting of small, stainless steel beer kettles hangs out in the open. Bubbling inside of them are more experimental, limited-release beers, which have included seasonal pumpkin IPAs, spicy saisons, stouts made with cold brew, and mango lassi-flavored ales in the past.
Smash burgers — still up-and-coming in New York City — stand in for a traditional bar menu. They come from Bastard Burgers, a burger chain with more than 50 locations in Sweden that’s been making the thin, griddled patties since 2016. Here, their default burger comes with a single patty, cheese, pickles, and onion for $12, but variations can be ordered with red onion and dressing (the Luleå burger, named for the brand’s hometown in Sweden) or Haloumi and jalapeño (the Ayia Napa).
Fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and other sides can be added onto orders. Everything costs $15 or less, and the whole menu can be made vegan.
The Bronx Brewery ships its beers throughout New York state, but it’s the first time in the company’s decade-long history that it’s expanding outside of the northernmost borough. Co-founder Damian Brown launched the beer brand in 2011, and as the story goes, he only brewed a single style of beer — the American pale ale — in its first two years of business.
The team expanded its beer roster, and brewing operations, with the opening of its flagship brewery at 856 East 136th Street, near Walnut Avenue, in 2014. At the time, the borough’s only other brewery was Bronx micro-brewer Gun Hill Brewing Company, but the Bronx Brewery managed to stand out with its easy-drinking ales, which can now be found at bars and beer shops across the city.
The brewery’s East Village outpost is open Monday through Thursday, from 5 to 11 p.m., Friday from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 9 p.m.