The phenomenon of craft beer continues to sweep NYC, as more and more local breweries release bolder, richer, and more flavorful brews. Beer has become more than just a part of a meal, and drinkers have shown an increasing interest in who is making their brews and how. Breweries have become the houses of entertainment in ways similar to the bars they have distributed their products to, attracting people from all around. To help you with your brewery hop, we’re listing 12 of the craft breweries in New York City (with help from our readers!), with the hopes that you’ll be smart enough to take the subway or walk between them when hopping from one to the other. Special thanks to beer connoisseurs and Untapped readers Conrad Lumm and Mike Miles for assisting with this piece.
1. Finback Brewery
We received a lot of tweets and comments about Finback Brewery in Ridgewood, Queens–this place certainly has its fans. The brewery has an expansive evergreen offering with awesome names like Coasted Toconut and Plum & Proper, along with seasonal beers. If you’re looking for more unique flavors, this is the place for you–with sour beers and others flavored with the likes of jalapeno, coconuts and plum. But there are also more easy drinking options, like the Fort Tildenist brew. According to Miles, “En Verano and Plumb & Proper are two of the most unique brews I’ve ever had. And they’re excellent” There’s even free popcorn to seal the deal, along with tours.
Our bottle from the very first batch of Bronx Brewery Pale Ale
Located in Port Morris, the Bronx Brewery is first on the list of other reasons to venture to NYC’s mainland borough, after a Yankee game. Makers of the ever increasingly popular Bronx Pale Ale offer a diverse list of brews, both seasonal and year-round. The brewery is relocating to an 8,500 square foot space that will include a tasting room and even a dog run.
3. Other Half
Other Half, located in Gowanus is well-loved–and for good reason. The operation still feels small and approachable, and they’ve kept the industrial, grungy feel in the aesthetic of building. In fact, the warehouse is unmarked so you get the added bonus of feeling like you stumbled on a hidden gem. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the beer choices here which range from blondes to pale ales to stouts. They also get some bonus points for having
4. Alphabet City Brewing
Alphabet City Brewing Company has been around since 2012, and in this remarkably short time has established itself as one of the finest D.I.Y. breweries. Their signature beers include the “Easy” Blonde Ale, the “Dizzy Brewnette” Brown Ale, and the “Alpha Male” IPA, the recipes for which they originally concocted in their East Village nook’s kitchen.
5. Bridge and Tunnel Brewery
A one-man operation, Bridge and Tunnel Brewery hails from a neighborhood–Maspeth–more known for its cemeteries than drinking establishments. Nonetheless, Rich Castagna’s literal homegrown operation is the sort of “nano brewing” that has inspired this recent trend in local producers. When asked what the name of his brewery means, he’ll simple tell you that, “It’s the bridges and tunnels that unite this city–not divide it.”
6. Brooklyn Brewery
Among Williamsburg’s iconic former warehouses is the Brooklyn Brewery, a brewer that has single-handedly created a renaissance of both micro brewing and industry on Brooklyn’s North Side. The queues for its tastings room’s free tours (every half-hour from 1-5 PM on weekends) stretch around the block, past the building that houses the brewery itself.
7. Sixpoint Craft Ales
Originally located in a Red Hook garage, Sixpoint Brewery knows how to collaborate with other organizations. Just look out for its signature “Wheatball” at the Metaball Shop and Three Beans, a blend of brewed coffee beans from Stumptown and cocoas from Mast Brothers. The iconographic symbolism of the star is critical to brewery’s image, and the logo combines the brewer’s star of alchemy with the nautical star.
8. Flagship Brewery
Staten Island has its own craft brewery making ales in the American, and Belgian and British styles, along with a summer ale. Flagship Brewery is run by three native Staten Islanders, proud of their borough but still willing to give it a jab. The Flagship Brewery motto? “Unforgettable Beer Brewed in the Forgotten Borough.”
9. SingleCut Beersmiths
Relatively isolated from other breweries (and transit), SingleCut Beersmiths of Astoria puts themselves on the map with their “Bon” TNTPA. You shouldn’t have trouble finding it on a beer connoisseur’s list–it’s logo has sticks of dynamite for affect. Those of you interested in making a trip out to the brewery will be rewarded with a free tour, offered every weekend day at 4 PM with no prior reservation required.
10. Chelsea Brewing Company
Manhattan’s largest microbrewery was once the Chelsea Brewing Company, operating off of Pier 59 which had 46,000 pound grain silos and an automated bottling system capable of capping off 2,000 bottles an hour. It’s now fully operational in a location in the Bronx at 463 East 173rd Street.