Craft beer makers are pouring out for New York: Over a dozen new taprooms, both from upstart and established brewers, have opened across the city and East End alone just since the pandemic began, with even more to come. Here’s our hyper-local guide—from the Gowanus Canal to the Shinnecock Canal—on the hottest, hoppiest hangouts to grab a cold one fresh off the tank.
— N E W Y O R K C I T Y —
545 President Street, Gowanus
Diehard “hazebros” have taken up cycling just to hit can drops at Finback’s original Glendale brewhouse, which is dually one of the city’s most popular and notoriously transit-inaccessible. Besides the convenience factor of two nearby subways—take the R to Union, or ‘cue it up with a pit stop at Pig Beach along the more scenic walk from the Carroll F—the new Gowanus beverage studio adds new horizons for the brand: coffee roasting, which dovetails with Finback’s longstanding stout program, and small-batch distillations under the Halftone Spirits label.
Torch & Crown Brewing Company
12 Vandam Street, SoHo-Hudson Square
For the place that has it all, Manhattan was, astonishingly, without a production brewery for half a decade. That was, until Torch & Crown unveiled its handsome Vandam Street digs, reclaiming the title previously held by Chelsea Brewing Company (which its owners acquired) as the borough’s one and only. The lush, three-story space effortlessly blends form and function, with the business end on open display in the plant-filled taproom and restaurant. Sip the latest Intersect single-hop at the bar, snag a booth to stay awhile, or simply grab-and-go from the can fridges, delineated by “Shower Beers” and “Shift Drinks.”
Talea Beer Co.
87 Richardson Street, Williamsburg
After years of contract brewing managed from a Midtown WeWork, where Tara Hankinson and LeAnn Darland participated in a Veterans in Residence incubator program (Darland is ex-Navy), Talea—a first-name portmanteau of its founders—has dropped permanent anchor across from the quiet southeast corner of McCarren Park. The Bauhaus-inspired brewery—NYC’s first to be all-female-run—opens for coffee and tea at 8am daily, with the taproom transitioning later in the day for draft pours of its bright, approachable beers designed “to comfortably share with your hard seltzer and wine-drinking friends.” There’s a selection of snacks, cocktails, and North Fork vino as well, along with the obligatory can and crowler to-go sales.
Non Sequitur Beer Project
8 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick
A logical progression from dog bars and cat cafes, New York’s first canine-owned brewery never intended to have its own space, but after a long year is proving to be just what we all needed. The roaming beer project, run by Gage Siegel and Simone Schroeder on behalf of their six-year-old French Bulldog, Nelson—both familiar faces to many from their door-to-door deliveries, and sales through Williamsburg’s Beer Karma, throughout the pandemic—is taking its quirkily-labeled show off the road to build out its fun, brick-and-mortar space. They’ll keep up collabs with brewer friends at large, and as always, proceeds from each beer benefit a unique charity.
Other Half Domino Park
34 River St, Williamsburg
Other Half’s spanking-new North Side facility at the base of Two Trees’ towering One South First couldn’t be a farther cry from its modest South Brooklyn beginnings, back when its Saturday morning can drops drew an endless line of camped-out juice jacks stretching blocks beyond its then-teensy, taxidermied tasting room under the Gowanus Expressway. Here, you needn’t worry about the latest vegetal-named label selling out by 10:30am, with plenty to go around for takeaway and on-site consumption. There’s curbside service, as well as local bike delivery, to get your fix if you don’t plan to stick around the breezy riverside setting.
Previously-nomadic sensation Non Sequitur Beer Project is building out a permanent home at 8 Wilson Avenue in Bushwick.
Endless Life Brewing
585 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights
Less into the haze craze? This small, community-driven brewery, founded by longtime brewer Jeff Lyons (formerly of Greenpoint Beer & Ales and Keg & Lantern), sticks to a more traditional format: rustic lagers and mixed-fermentation beers, all unique originals handcrafted with 100% New York State malt and hops. The cozy new space off Atlantic, formerly a taproom for Hudson Valley-based Bad Seed Cider Company, offers a warm setting of exposed brick walls and a backyard bedecked with picnic tables and Adirondack chairs.
Wild East Brewing Co.
623 Sackett Street, Gowanus
Consider Wild East the new kid on the block—and the fourth full-fledged brewery to open in a five-block area between 3rd and 4th Avenues, marking something of an unofficial beer trail in Gowanus bound by Three’s Brewing (on Douglass) to the north and Finback and Strong Rope (on President) to the south. The pup-friendly, hygge-heavy space pours out a crowd-pleasing mix of juicy, hoppy, and crispy brews, along with barrel-aged stuff and the rotation of avant-garde “feral creations” you’d expect from the brewery’s name.
The Keg & Lantern Red Hook
158 Beard Street, Red Hook
The first Keg & Lantern, a casual brewpub on Greenpoint’s Nassau Ave. covered floor-to-ceiling in vintage beer cans, was always something of an enigma: a sort of Schlitz-faced neighborhood bar with a serious knack for small-batch craft brews. This spacious South Brooklyn outpost, set amidst red brick pre-Civil War warehouses, scales up the operation with a comparatively cavernous space with a different vibe that’s still as inherently cozy as the much-beloved original (which is most certainly still open). With a full food menu, breezy cocktails, and cans to go, it’s the kind of place you’ll spend all afternoon at.
41-11 39th St, Sunnyside
After a decade-long run in Long Island City, Alewife uprooted from its cavernous 51st Ave. brewpub for broader horizons across and down the LIRR tracks, though still conveniently within two blocks of the 7 train. The new 20-tap tasting room shakes the brewpub format for a warehousy indoor-outdoor vibe, with heated sidewalk stalls and visiting food trucks in place of a kitchen. The pinball hasn’t returned (yet), but there is a disco ball.
Strong Rope Red Hook
185 Van Dyke Street, Red Hook
True to its homebrewing roots, Strong Rope’s original President Street home, with its rustic bar and tap wall cross-sectioned from a black walnut tree felled by Hurricane Sandy, felt like visiting a friend’s garage. While strong as a neighborhood meeting place, this new, larger facility on the South Brooklyn waterfront unlocked needed real estate for production and canning—not to to mention some of the best scenery in the city. The build-out is still underway, so check their site and social channels for the latest hours before hopping over to enjoy those Statue of Liberty views.
— E A S T E N D —
400 Hallett Avenue, Riverhead
The nomadic beer sensation, hatched by former Moustache Brewing Co. brewer Rob Raffa, played musical tanks with his alma mater in April 2021, taking over their spacious facility across the tracks from the Riverhead LIRR station as Moustache jumped to contract production. Expect experimental ingredients and unconventional formats with reactionary names, like “Dealing with Dissonance” (a dark tart with tamarind and lime), “Space Age Times, Stone Age Minds” (a fruit-forward NEIPA), and “This Has Gotta Stop,” a melted slushy-style “deep cut.” The local convoy of food trucks still comes through—and so should you.
Long Island Farm Brewery
663 Wading River Rd, Manorville
At a stalemate in the whole Catskills vs. Hamptons debate? You’ll find the best of both worlds just west of the ubiquitous Exit 70 cut-off, where Waterdrinker Family Farm & Garden is putting the finishing touches on Brookhaven’s first New York State farm brewery just in time for summer. They’ve converted an old black barn into a minimalist, rustic-chic taproom, sequestered in a tranquil oasis of hop yard and verdant farm fields for a truly unique experience. We’ll add that the growlers look mighty classy.
Moriches Field Brewing Co.
1 Wilcox Ave, Center Moriches
You’d better believe this place does flights. While this cozy addition isn’t the first area brewery paying homage to aviation history—nearby Westhampton Beach Brewing Company at Gabreski Airport has its share of dieselpunk decor—Moriches Field Brewing Co. aces the vibe of a vintage grass-runway airfield, owed in no small part to its digs in an old Quonset hut, historically home not to warbirds but heating oil delivery rigs. The 14-tap tasting room has a mug club for regulars, and does growler and crowler fills to haul out.
Long Island Farm Brewery, soon to open at Manorville’s Waterdrinker Farm, grows its own hops on site.
Twin Fork Beer Co.
807 Raynor Ave, Riverhead
Hardly a new name on Long Island’s beer front, Twin Fork has finally opened a tasting room after spending the better part of a decade gaining name recognition on tap at East End eateries and on the shelves of beverage barns, where the shimmer of 12 oz. Chromatic Ale cans could always catch an easy eye. It’s away from town on the industrial stretch, making it an easy detour for eastbound North Fork-goers to avoid the bottlenecks at the infamous circle. For a true Irish exit, hit Long Ireland Beer Company on your way out—it’s just up the block and you might as well stock the fridge for the weekend, right?
Peconic County Brewery
221 E. Main St, Riverhead, NY
This Downtown Riverhead newcomer (which pays homage to the East End’s infamous and repeatedly-proposed Suffolk secession) is a welcome addition to the city’s scenic riverfront, complete with an oversized deck to enjoy the view. Beyond the diverse, rotating roster of house brews, there’s a full-fledged food menu of bar bites small to large—we can’t think of gnoshes more tinged with local summer flavor than corn dog nuggets and lobster rolls. Best of all, you can boat right up: all-day dockage on the Town Waterfront is free with no permit required. Did we mention it’s right by the aquarium?
Lady Brewsters of the North Fork
via participating local breweries
While not a brick-and-mortar establishment, this charitable collective of local female brewers is well-worthy of honorable mention. The label’s 2021 beer, “Fragile Like a Bomb” (an Amarillo, Citra, Chinook, and Mosaic-hopped IPA brewed with orange blossom honey and guava) was brewed to benefit the Empowerment Collective of Long Island, helping survivors of human trafficking, homelessness, community violence, and other trauma—find it canned and on draft at participating breweries until the taps run dry.