New York City's Hopping Beer Scene
With Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History opening May 25 at the recently renovated New-York Historical Society (in which you’ll learn that home-brewing has been around in New York City since the 17th century), now is the perfect time to check out some of the city’s newest brew-centric spots.
Top Hops Beer Shop (pictured): A former distributor for Anheuser-Busch/In Bev, owner Ted Kenny is the mastermind behind this Lower East Side beer emporium. The 700- bottle selection fills refrigerators in the back, while the custom wood-and-polished aluminum bar up front offers 20 beers on tap (tip: order a flight). The menu is limited, so don’t come hungry—just really thirsty. 94 Orchard St.; 212-254-4677.
ACBC (Alphabet City Beer Co.): From the team behind the venerable In Vino restaurant and Alphabet City Wine Co. comes this brand-new combination beer shop and café. Get comfy with one of the 12 rotating brews on tap (there are also 350 to-go only bottled varieties), an herbed ham-and-pecorino sandwich—and free WiFi. 96 Ave. C; 646-422-7103.
Beer Authority: While this massive, three-level spot loses points for location (across the street from Port Authority Bus Terminal), it earns points for its extensive—and wallet-friendly—beer list (70+ on tap, 44 in bottles). Belfast-native chef Dave Gallagher runs the kitchen, and the Irish-heavy staff gives it an air of authenticity. Word on the street is there’s a top-level outdoor patio in the works. 300 West 40th St.; (212) 510-8415.
Randolph Beer (pictured): A craft beer-focused bar and restaurant, Nolita’s latest addition is craftily spun from salvaged material: 100-year-old wood from a Kentucky tobacco barn, Ford Model-T headlamps, plus other odds and ends from around the U.S. As for the pours, expect an American-heavy list (Founders, Stone, Kelso), with some imports mixed in—perfect for pairing with snacks like beer-battered oysters and a spicy Portuguese-style chicken sandwich. 343 Broome St.; (212) 334-3706.
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure.