Craft Brew Options in NYC

Next weekend my wife and I are headed into NYC for our 6 year anniversary.  We have a little connection with NYC over the course of our relationship.  We have visited the city every single Christmas we have been together since the very first time we celebrated the holiday during our first year of dating.  Since my parents live right outside the city, we try to get in there every time we head up to visit.  One thing we’ve never done while we were up there was try to do a little beer hunting around the city.  Now I have to be somewhat reasonable.  This is a trip that is actually intended to be about our 6 years we’ve been married, so I can’t really make it all about beer.  I have gotten her to agree to at least do a few things that are geared towards my love of craft beer.  Instead of trying to get in there everyday from my parents house, we are actually staying at a hotel there.  We wanted to wake up in the city and not have the hassle of trying to get there.  So give me a couple of good suggestions for things I might be able to do in the city.  I want to know what I should be looking for.

Breweries: This may be the most time consuming thing to try to do while only in NYC for two days; however, this is the number one thing I would really like to do while in NY.  The number one brewery I’ve thought of going to is Brooklyn.  I’m not a huge fan of their beers overall, but I do serve a lot of their stuff at the restaurant, and I appreciate what they do.  Plus it’s a brewery, so I can’t imagine that it would be a bad thing to go do.  This, however, may be the easy answer to the question of what brewery to go visit.  I saw on their website that you can get there by subway, so it seems really doable, but am I forgetting about some other brewery I should really go visit?  Like I said, Brooklyn seems like the easy answer to what brewery to go see, so should I not take the easy way out?

Beer Store: This is one thing that I like to seek out regardless of where I am. I could be driving through a new town, see a beer store, and I have to stop and see if they have a good selection of beers I’ve never seen before.  I’m not sure what NY’s rules are on purchasing single beers, but I would like to see if NY has some different distribution from us down here.  Are there bottles they can get there that I can’t find around here?  I’m really hoping they do.  I can’t imagine it’s all that different from NJ, which is where I grew up.  But sometimes when you cross state lines you find things you can’t buy in the last state.  Down here you can’t purchase Founders in MD, but you can in DC and Va.  So I’m really hoping I can find something different up there that I can’t get down here.  Any suggestions on some beer stores in the city?  I’m sure I could google this and find something, but I’d rather get some recommendations.  Where can I get some good beer souvenirs?

Craft Beer Bars: I think every city has certain locations that are known for different things.  DC has Church Key and a bunch of other very well known beer bars.  Some of these locations would be the obvious places to tell people visiting DC to go to.  So where do you go in NYC if I’m looking for some good craft beer options?  Church Key offers a lot of rare and limited edition options that you can’t find at a lot of different places.  This is always nice to end up at a bar that offers a lot of unique options.  I did a little research and the one that stuck out to me was a place called Rattle N’ Hum.  I’m not sure they have a lot of the rare options I would like to find, but I would stop by for a good beer.  Plus I think it’s close to the place I’m staying which is near Grand Central Station.  The bar doesn’t have to be close to there.  I really don’t mind catching a metro or cab, but what would be a good beer bar to check out?

If you can think of any category I may have forgotten, I would love to hear of any other suggestions you have for craft beer options around NYC.  I’m always on the look out when I’m away from home for good craft beer items, so give me a helping hand with my time in NYC.  I’ll certainly tell you all about them when we get home from our little excursion.



  1. As for breweries (or brewpubs) there is Chelsea (although I’m not a big fan of their beers) and you can’t spit in NYC without hitting a Heartland Brewpub anymore.

    Bars – I’m a big fan of Rattle and Hum. If that’s the only place you get to, you won’t be disappointed. I would also recommend The Gingerman since it’s close by (right around the corner from R&H) and if you can get down into the village, Blind Tiger. Also don’t forget the DFH joint venture on the roof at Eately. Good brews, Bataldi food. Can’t go wrong. I could give you 4 or 5 more, but as you said you couldn’t make this a “beer trip” I’ll leave it at those.

    Bottles – Not sure. I never “bottle shop” when I’m in the city. Let me know if you find any place good! Have a blast!

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