Some of the best beer in New York City is found at craft beer bars — specialty shops that import cans from upstate breweries and companies in other states. Still, there’s something special about grabbing a pint at the source: The bartenders at breweries are often more informed, and the beer is as fresh as it gets. Plus, there’s no better way to get to know a brewer’s style than sitting down with a flight. This guide to the city’s local breweries includes newcomers, like Talea in Williamsburg, and a handful of established spots in Gowanus — Brooklyn’s best neighborhood for drinking beer right now.Read More
The Best Breweries in New York City
Where to find the best beer in NYC
The Bronx Brewery
Anchoring the northernmost borough’s beer scene is the Bronx Brewery. This decade-old brewer sells its most popular beers across the city, but the taproom is worth a visit for its seasonal releases and big backyard, open seven days a week. The brewery has a second location in the East Village with a smash burger counter.
Big aLICe Brewing
Named after its home neighborhood, Long Island City, Big aLICe distinguishes itself with beers made from New York state ingredients: Its rye beer is brewed with local jalapenos, and the cream ale is made using honey from bees in Queens. The brewery has a taproom at Industry City in Sunset Park.
Alewife earned its following as a small operation in Long Island City, where its rare, small-batch beers turned the brewery into a citywide destination. It’s since relocated to this larger outpost in Queens, where the company has more space for on-premise brewing. There are around 16 beers on tap, including fruited sours and its popular Death to Ego IPA.
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Torch & Crown Brewing Company
Torch and Crown, which started in the Bronx, is the only large-scale brewery in lower Manhattan right now. As a result, the indoor and outdoor seating areas are packed on weekends. The brewery is known for its easy-to-drink beers served in cute cans. On the rotating list of seasonal beers: tart apricot sours, hazy IPAs, and summer ales.
Talea Beer Co.
Talea is one of New York’s only women-owned breweries. The company’s mission: to win back beer lovers who were scared off by bitter IPAs — and the bros who drink them. The brewery specializes in easy-to-drink beers with lower alcohol content: There are six sours on the menu, mixed with ingredients like watermelon and raspberry, and IPAs whose tasting notes are “mango smoothie” and “pink Smarties.” Talea also has a taproom in Cobble Hill. Locations are slated for Bryant Park and the West Village as well.
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Grimm Artisanal Ales
Grimm is known for its beer cans decorated with hand-drawn logos and colorful designs. In this case, it’s fine to judge a book by its cover: The brewery is popular for its hazy IPAs and tart sours brewed with pineapple, Sauvignon Blanc grapes, and other ingredients. There are around 24 beers on tap at a time, plus a handful of wines from the brewery’s sister company Physica. The owners recently opened a restaurant on their rooftop with New Haven-style pizza.
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Kings County Brewers Collective
A restaurant manager, an advertising exec, and a molecular biologist walk into a bar. It’s not a punchline: It’s the origin story of Kings County Brewers Collective, often abbreviated as KCBC. The Bushwick brewery serves several of its own beers — cherry sours, tropical IPAs — plus a handful of options from local breweries. The high-ceilinged space has lots of indoor seating.
Transmitter Brewing, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, specializes in sour beers and funky, farmhouse ales. Beers are brewed with ingredients like red grapes, figs, raisins, and peaches. The brewery’s recognizable labels can be found at specialty beer shops across the city.
Evil Twin Brewing
Looking for something different? You’ll find it at Evil Twin Brewing in Ridgewood, Queens. This brewery has a cult following for its strange beers: thick “smoothie” beers, stouts made with french toast bagels, and “pastry seltzers” that taste like Mountain Dew. The company is run by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, the twin brother of Mikkel Borg Bjergso, who runs the international beer brand Mikkeller. There is a second location in Dumbo.
Threes Brewing is one of New York’s best-known breweries. The company, based in Gowanus, sells its canned beers at restaurants, bars, and grocery stores, but the brewery provides a chance to try them all in one place, along with a menu of seasonal and limited-production beers. The brewery is known for its big backyard, large beer list, and food menu from the Meat Hook butcher shop, which operates out of a kitchen at the front of the space. There is a second location in Greenpoint.
Wild East Brewing Co.
Gowanus is home to some of Brooklyn’s best breweries right now, including locations of Threes Brewing, Strong Rope Brewery, and Finback. On a tour of the neighborhood, Wild East Brewing is worth a stop. The brewery specializes in lagers and pale ales with lower alcohol content. They have notes of honeysuckle, Nilla Wafers, caramel, and cherry cobbler.
Finback, which started in Queens, goes all in on hops. There are around a dozen beers on draft at its Brooklyn location, most of which are IPAs, and an unconventional food menu with dumplings and fried chicken. The brewery’s original location is in Glendale, Queens.
Strong Rope Brewery
Strong Rope is a brewery on the Red Hook waterfront that has some of the best sunset views in town. There are seats at a bar inside and picnic tables in a gravel parking lot with views of the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. The beer is good, too. There are around a dozen options on tap, including hazy IPAs, lagers, and pilsners. The brewery’s original location is in Gowanus.
Other Half Brewing Company
Other Half was one of New York’s first breweries to hop on the IPA train. A decade later, it hasn’t gotten off. The brewery in Carroll Gardens is known for its New England IPAs, characterized by their strong hop flavors and tropical aromas. Don’t be deterred by the setting, an industrial warehouse located under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway: This is a welcoming space with a team that’s happy to offer recommendations. There are additional locations in Williamsburg and Rockefeller Center.