The craft beer revolution might have started in Europe, but New York City has embraced it in a huge way. Independent brewers are now giving consumers real choice — and giving the world’s biggest drinks companies a run for their money. Thanks to the way some of The Big Apple’s bars have taken craft beer to their heart, there is more choice for drinkers than ever before.
The next time you’re in New York, make sure these five exceptional bars are on your to-do list.
1. The Blind Tiger
Located on Bleecker Street in Lower Manhattan, The Blind Tiger was one of the pioneers of the New York craft beer scene. Outwardly, the establishment looks like any other dive bar in the city. But take a step inside, and you’ll probably be a little overwhelmed at the choice of draft beers available.
The Blind Tiger sells up to 28 different draft beers at any given time. There are beer taps as far as the eye can see — and many of them are dispensing the very best of America’s craft beer. Among the favorite tipples here are the Smuttynose Old Brown Dog (a strong brown ale) from New Hampshire and the Peekskill Eastern Standard IPA from New York.
• 281 Bleecker Street
Bondurants is a lively and stylish bar that specializes in domestic craft beers. Just like the music and the decor, the selection of draft ales, stouts, lagers and beers is eclectic. Don’t worry if you’re a beer drinker, though — there are speciality cocktails and more than 25 American rye whiskies on offer too.
At any one time, there are at least 20 American craft beers available at Bondurants. If you’re looking for something a little different, give the Original Downeast from Massachusetts a try. This strong and dry cider is one of the most popular tipples here. Also in demand are the Expedition Bell’s stout from Michigan and the Magnetic Compass Grimm IPA from New York.
• 303 E 85th St.
Tørst is a modern, minimalist bar that serves nothing but unique craft beers from around America. There is a large selection from Evil Twin Brewing, which is owned by the bar’s co-owner Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø. There is a Scandinavian aesthetic throughout — which is evident in both the decor and the beers.
Tørst is the wine bar of craft beer in New York. Among the specialities on offer is the unusually-named When You Are Angry, Be Silent, which is a New England IPA with an ABV of 7.5 percent. However, if you’re looking for a classic beer at a great price, give the Fine Line from German brewer Kölsch a try. And if you’re peckish, there are extensive brunch and dinner menus to choose from — featuring snacks and sandwiches.
• 615 Manhattan Avenue.
4. The Well
The Well is more like a classic beer festival in Germany. This place is a true celebration of craft beers, and delivers a party atmosphere that wouldn’t look out of place in Hamburg. At any one time, there are 40 beers on top, along with more than 150 bottled beers. Fittingly, The Well was once one of Brooklyn’s most productive breweries.
If you’re looking for a relatively safe starter beer, try the Brooklyn Lager, which has an ABV of 5.2 percent and a price tag of just $6 for a 16 oz draft. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, try the Cascade Manhattan NW 2015, which packs a big punch at 10.3 ABV.
• 272 Meserole St.
5. Hops Hill
Located on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, Hops Hill showcases the best craft beers being produced in Brooklyn today. Breweries such as Other Half and Threes are represented here, so there’s a genuine neighborhood spirit to be enjoyed. Most of the draft beers are less than $10, and there are at least 150 bottled beers available at any given time — all of which are very reasonably priced.
Among the most popular draft beers available at Hops Hill include the Upland Boysenberry and the Suarez Family Crispy Little. If all that beer drinking makes you hungry, make sure you try the cured meat and cheese board.
• 886 Fulton St.
To visit all of these great craft beer bars, you’re going to need to plan your visit to NYC in advance — and you can do just that with the help of travel specialist Gosur.