Beer is as American as apple pie and baseball, and definitely more New York City than Taylor Swift. Here at Untapped Cities, we’ve been known to enjoy light beers, dark beers, weird beers, local beers and even Jewish Beers. For the fall, we’ve rounded up 10 beer halls you have to check out in NYC.
1. Radegast Hall and Biergarten, Williamsburg
This is the spot that everyone knows about but still loves. Radegast is a Williamsburg institution that stays packed and thankfully does not take reservations. To experience the 22 beers they have on tap and over 50 different bottled beers from around the world, it’s first come, first served. When the summer months disappear making way for the fall and winter, the beer garden (with retractable roof) is not as packed. The beer hall features a beautiful red-oak bar (along with a bartender in full German garb) that keeps the hipsters coming for a large mug with a large pretzel and bratwurst on the side.
2. Flatiron Hall
Flatiron Hall has become a welcome addition to the techy venture capitalists of Flatiron District. The two floor establishment’s lower level beer hall has a 1920s speakeasy style. The food is delicious, especially the pastrami Ruben spring rolls (because the pastrami comes from the legendary Carnegie Deli). If pastrami is not your thing,you can munch on smoked rib-eye sandwiches and homemade spicy potato chips. As for the beer, the hall features beer specifically from Greenpoint breweries that only serve Flatiron Hall and its big brother, Houston Hall.
3. Houston Hall, West Village
When we said that this place in the East Village was the “big brother” beer hall compared to Flatiron, we meant really big. Inside an old garage, Houston Hall fills its 8,000 square foot space pretty frequently during the week. On weekends, you can expect people hitting up this spot to catch major sports events and to hear DJ’s spinning top 40. Not even two years old at this point, the guys behind the beer hall mecca have found great success and it’s not surprising why. This place has been a favorite for wedding after parties, concerts and other events. Come for the beer, stay for the fancy bacon-cheddar-blue grilled cheese.
4. Clinton Hall, Financial District
This 4,000 square foot space in Financial District is another of the many beer halls that have sprouted throughout the city over the past two years. Clinton Hall prides themselves on their cycling beer menu, with brews from the U.S, Germany, Scandinavia and more. What can be more interesting then their selection of brews is the technology they use to keep the beer “its scientifically engineered best.” The food menu changes as much as the beer, however they still like to keep the beer hall classic bratwurst and giant pretzels on deck. For those who want to branch away from tradition just a little bit, the Black Angus Burger is a personal favorite of ours.
5. The Bronx Beer Hall
The Bronx does have a beer hall. You think all the best beer halls are in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn? Well you are wrong. The Bronx Beer Hall is fantastic and completely under-the-radar. On Arthur Avenue in the Upper West Side of the Boogie Down, The Bronx Beer Hall is obviously proud of its Bronx heritage–you can see it in the title and the color scheme (which resembles the Bronx flag).
During the spring and summer we have witnessed the place get packed to catch Yankee games and indulge themselves on panini’s and pizza from the local Arthur Avenue Retail Market. The beer list includes beers and ciders from local and upstate NY breweries, beers you really can’t find anywhere else in the city. Do yourself a favor and get your butts up to Arthur Avenue.
6. Reichenbach Hall, Midtown
Founded by second generation German-Americans Keith and Willy Reichenbach a.k.a “The Beer Brothers,” this popular beer hall has helped spread the German food and beer culture to the people of NYC. Rachenbach is kind of like actually being in Germany. Its menu icludes giant pretzels, cheese filled sausage and, of course beer. Many who venture tackle the boot (a glass boot filled with beer) and we would advise you do the same (at least once).
7. Bierhaus NYC, Midtown East
Another newer beer hall that is gaining a lot of attention from the city’s German population is Bierhaus NYC. The German influence is apparent by facade, interior architecture and the wardrobe of the female bartenders. The pretzels this place sells has a little advantage over the others on this list as they’re imported directly from Germany. Classic look, classic beers, just respect for the tradition is what made this place one of the best we have ventured to in the last couple of years.
8. Paulaner, Lower East Side
Out of all the beer halls that have graced our list, this one is one we can say is the fanciest. Trust us, if you want to impress a date (especially if they think that a beer hall date is not fancy enough) then take them to Paulaner’s. If their is one word we can use to describe this place, it would be fancy. The heads of the beer hall are respected chefs, the wait staff is super knowledgeable and attentive and the presentation of the food is something we normally see on The Food Network.
Classic Oktoberfest food, that also includes delectable desserts and, of course, the beer. The concept of “tank to table” is taken to heart here as the place also functions as a brewery for their in-house beer, a throw-back to the days when Pabst and other breweries operated halls all over New York City.
9. Berry Park, Williamsburg
This place over in Williamsburg is a bit older than most of the other entries on this list (opened in 2009), but that has not kept people from leaving to newer, fresher beer halls. Berry Park has become one of the premier destinations to watch American’s new favorite sport, soccer. During World Cup fever earlier this year, the bar was jam packed with people chanting for their respected countries, all the while stuffing their faces with great tasting burgers and beer from Germany, England and Belgium.
World Cup mania is over, but that has not stopped the beer hall from showing games from Europe’s premier league and has not stopped soccer fans from coming to see it among their fellow soccer faithful. With the American MLS Soccer League gaining popularity in NYC (GO NYCFC!), you can expect to see a sea of blue jerseys in the coming months in Williamsburg.
10. Berg’n, Crown Heights
From the people who brought you the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg have gotten into the beer hall market. A baby compared to the others on this list, Berg’n in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights (or ProCro, depending on who you ask) just opened over the summer. While being one of the newest beer halls in a crowded market, as you can tell from the photo above, Berg’n gets packed pretty quickly.
A major reason we make the trip to Crown Heights to hit up this beer hall every other weekend is that besides the variety of beer (both bottled and on draft), the food being served there are favorites from Smorgasburg. While tossing back local and international brews you can enjoy a Ramen Burger, or some delicious BBQ wings from Mighty Quinn’s, or even a unique and great tasting hot dog from Asia Dog. Berg’n is quickly climbing the ranks of beer halls in NYC.
And now for the other end of the spectrum, 12 of NYC’s top-rated microbreweries. Join us for an Untapped Cities Happy Hour and Free Tour at Finback Brewery on December 10th:
Wanna buy a beer for the author? Hit him up on twitter @ChrisLInoa
beer, Berg’n, Berry Park, Bierhaus NYC, Bronx Beer Hall, Clinton Hall, Crown Heights, Flatiron, Flatiron Hall, Houston Hall, Lower East Side, midtown, Paulaner, Radegast Hall and Biergarten, Reichenbach Hall, Williamsburg