There’s at least one person in your life who talks about Heady Topper and refers to certain beers as “juicy.” Maybe it’s your neighborhood bike shop clerk, whoever delivers your mail, or maybe you’re that person, and all of your friends roll their eyes whenever you request a tulip glass for your saison. They aren’t wrong. But neither are you. Beer is delicious, and NYC has plenty of great breweries that make and serve it in-house. Want to support your favorite breweries by drinking some locally made beer on a patio? Here are 13 spots to do just that.
Talea is the first-ever woman and veteran founded brewery to open in NYC. Though, if you haven’t heard of it, that’s because they only opened their Williamsburg taproom at the beginning of 2021. Talea’s beers prioritize fruit flavors over hoppy bitterness, like a 5.2% ABV gose brewed with pink Himalayan sea salt, blackberries, and coriander. This doesn’t necessarily mean Talea is over IPAs - they also sell a hazy IPA made with lactose, pineapple, and a “soft, marshmallowy character.” You can also find a higher-ABV sour IPA brewed with peaches and raspberries called “Raspberry Peach Tart Deco.” Stop by their massive backyard or sidewalk setup where you can drink whatever is on tap. In case those spaces are full, take solace in knowing McCarren Park is mere blocks away and Talea sells to-go four packs as well as single pours.
Torch & Crown Brewing Company
This popular Bronx brewery opened a Soho location back in May, which operated as a home base for their expansive delivery service. Now, Torch & Crown has officially opened this huge Soho space for indoor and heated outdoor dining. Along with cream ales and double IPAs, they have burgers, charcuterie, and shrimp & grits available for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.
Randolph Beer has a rooftop in DUMBO and a sidewalk patio in Williamsburg where you can choose from a menu of around 30 beers on tap. Both locations have socially-distanced picnic tables that work well for drinks with a few friends or a date with someone who wants to drink a crisp Italian pilsner or a sour cherry hard seltzer somewhere that feels like a park, but isn’t actually a park.
DaleView Biscuits & Beer
DaleView specializes in gluten-free biscuits sandwiches. But this microbrewery in Prospect Lefferts Gardens also makes its own craft beers. Pair the two on their mural-covered outdoor patio on Nostrand Avenue, and we guarantee you’ll start to feel the fun side of your personality begin to thaw out for the spring.
Queens Brewery is about two blocks from the Halsey L subway stop in Ridgewood and it’s big enough for a socially-distant family reunion (although that would be a little strange). They’ve got a bunch of patio seating outdoors, plus indoor comedy nights every Thursday and jazz performances every Monday. Stop by on a weekend for a $12 flight and some chicken and waffles (available for brunch every weekend).
Try Grimm for your next daytime hang. This Brooklyn-based brewery makes all kinds of double IPAs, imperial stouts, and sour beers (among many other things). Also, their cans look cool, and they have a huge heated outdoor patio at their East Williamsburg brewery where you can hang out and eat cookies from The Good Batch Bakery.
Bridge And Tunnel is a much smaller operation than most breweries we’ve been to. And that’s partly why we like this Ridgewood spot that’s two blocks from the Halsey L stop. The string-lit taproom looks like a garage that might host band practice. And the brewery mostly focuses on unusual flavor combinations like stouts brewed with oysters, lobster saisons, and chocolate sours. They have a few barrel tables and mismatched chairs on their sidewalk for outdoor dining, plus they have picnic tables inside that allow both humans and dogs to be seated comfortably.
Not unlike “B.C.” or “pre-AOL,” we like to use “Before-Threes” as a marker of time. Ever since it opened in 2014, this Gowanus brewery has shaped what drinking beer looks like in New York City. This is partly due to its central location, but mostly because of their focus on lagers and mixed culture beer. Their backyard is open Thursday-Sunday, plus they’ve got limited sidewalk seating available by reservation and for walk-ins.
You’ll find one or two Fifth Hammer beers at a few bars in the city, but if you want to try more than just whatever farmhouse ale you find in the wild, we’d suggest you go to the source. Fifth Hammer’s LIC taproom allows you to bring dogs, kids, and whatever Trader Joe’s snacks you’re currently carrying around in Ziploc baggies. They’ve got patio tables out front, and plenty of space for a group hang inside.
Everything at Strong Rope Brewery, including every hop, malt, cherry, and grain of wheat, is from New York State. Plus, this Gowanus spot has a covered sidewalk patio where you can BYO-food and learn more about northeastern grain regions on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Alewife moved from Long Island City to Sunnyside in 2020. But their new sidewalk patio has plenty of outdoor seating for you, your dog, your baby, and maybe even a few friends. You can try nearly 30 draft beers here, including a bunch they brew themselves, and if you stop by over the weekend you might catch a food truck parked out front. Check their Instagram before you arrive for the latest updates, but in the past they’ve served everything from lobster rolls and birria tacos to pastrami sandwiches and empanadas.
If you’re into beer, you already know about Evil Twin’s first-ever taproom in Ridgewood, a block from the Halsey L stop. You might not know that they’re heated courtyard is open seven days per week. Just note that there’s no food in here, but you can bring your own snacks (or a whole pizza, for example) and stop by one of the rotating food trucks parked out front.
Gun Hill Brewing Co.
Gun Hill is a Bronx-based brewery operating out of Williamsbridge, and they also have a bar in Mott Haven called Gun Hill Tavern. It’s a plain, relatively quiet space with concrete floors, and they serve a small menu of standard tavern stuff like mozzarella sticks wings. But mostly you come here to drink beer, specifically Gun Hill Beer, like their Void Of Light stout with notes of coffee, chocolate, and pretty much everything else that’s brown and pleasantly bitter.
First and foremost, Kingsbridge Social Club is a thin-crust pizza place. But their beer selection is more impressive than just about any other restaurant that serves cheese, sauce, and dough in copious amounts. They specialize in drafts from local NYC breweries, and, with spring just a few weeks away, you can host an impromptu pizza party in their back garden.