best beer bar in new york?
December 9, 2011 8:26 AM   Subscribe

best beer bar in new york? my definition of best below the fold.

i will be in new york this weekend and am looking for bars that have an outstanding selection of beers. in particular i am interested in sour ales. based on my googiling d.b.a. is on my list, but i was hoping to get some personal recommendations.
posted by phil to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
If you define "outstanding" by sheer numbers, then Peculier Pub (no, that's not a typo) on Bleecker and Laguardia has a ton of beers on tap and a double ton of beers in the bottle. It's kinda a shit hole, but it's my kind of shit hole.
posted by Grither at 8:29 AM on December 9, 2011 [4 favorites]

Seconding peculier. You may carve your name into the bar, but only if you bring your own sharp instrument to carve it with. (As I hung out there with my sailing buddies, there was never a lack of sailing/dive knives with which to carve...)
posted by slateyness at 8:33 AM on December 9, 2011

not to thread sit. i am less interested in quantity than i am in trying something new. i realize that is not terribly helpful without knowing what i have and have not had. for the sake of this question lets say that i am most interested in establishments that sell local brews that have little to no distribution or have a cellar of bottles that difficult to find. if it is helpful, novare res is representative of the kind of bar i enjoy.
posted by phil at 8:36 AM on December 9, 2011

If you prefer quality and interesting beers, then another spot that is less of a shithole is the Hop Devil Grill on St. Marks and Ave A. Ugly website, but good beer selection and a great area to go out in.

It has the added bonus of being right near Crif Dogs, which has the best hot dogs ever.
posted by Grither at 8:37 AM on December 9, 2011

Spuyten Duyvil has a good bottle selection.
posted by JingleButt_HiRes_REAL.gif at 8:39 AM on December 9, 2011

I'm kind of a fake craft beer aficionado who only manages to maintain the pretense by surrounding himself with people who are even less expert, but I am a huge fan of Mission Dolores whose current beer list is here.
posted by oliverburkeman at 8:40 AM on December 9, 2011

Peculier Pub is more of a quantity of selections rather than interesting selections and its a very young scene.

Better choices
Beer Table - awesome interesting small list - but more of a Wine Bar with Beer vibe rather than a bar.
don't mock this but Birria at Eataly has a really good selection of Italian microbrews, which given your prediliction for sour ales I think you will like quite a bit. (Just don't try the dogfish head collabs)
Spuyten Duyvil
posted by JPD at 8:42 AM on December 9, 2011

I sort of hate the atmosphere in this place, but burp castle might be what you're looking for.

Oh, actually, on preview, seconding Spuyten Duyvil enthusiastically. Go across the street to Fette Sau for dinner.
posted by Ragged Richard at 8:42 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding (on preview, thirding) Spuyten Duyvil if you're looking for sour/interesting/unusual beers (in Brooklyn). If you can take bottles back with you also visit Spuyten Duyvil Grocery -- they occasionally put out beers from the cellar, have had a couple amazing finds there. The Blind Tiger in the West Village may also be a good choice.
posted by j.edwards at 8:44 AM on December 9, 2011

A friend of mine whose opinion on these things I trust always, always goes to Bar Great Harry in Brooklyn.
posted by gauche at 8:44 AM on December 9, 2011

If you're willing to head to Brooklyn I can second Beer Table.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:44 AM on December 9, 2011

Blind Tiger is a worthwhile choice if you can't leave Manhattan but is constantly overrun with tourists.

Similarly Gingerman has a decent list of taps in midtown but you don't want to be there at night or post work.
posted by JPD at 8:45 AM on December 9, 2011

I'd go for The Pony Bar every time. It's an order of magnitude less stuffy than Spuyten Duyvil or Peculier (and the prices are better).
posted by yellowcandy at 8:58 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes! The Pony Bar is also awesome. And they rotate their draft beers throughout the night, once a keg is kicked, blammo, they put out another different one to replace it. (at least, that's how I think it works)
posted by Grither at 9:00 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you're willing to venture to Brooklyn, and want to make a sort of pub crawl of it, Putnam's is a new spot that has a small -- but choice -- selection, including a cask beer. (Recommending more for the cask beer option rather than the rest -- the emphasis is more on "let's have a few good beers and food" rather than "let's make this place beer heaven".)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:02 AM on December 9, 2011

Thirding Beer Table.
posted by activitystory at 9:08 AM on December 9, 2011

Barcade has a solid beer selection (plus classic video games!) Also in Brooklyn, The Brazen Head usually has some interesting cask selections.

[The Pony Bar] rotate[s] their draft beers throughout the night, once a keg is kicked, blammo, they put out another different one to replace it.

That is correct. It's one of my favorite bars ever and is my first choice for beer.
posted by andrewraff at 10:42 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you're looking for well-curated, rare, and exceptional beers that you may not be able to try anywhere else (aka quality over quantity), there really are only two choices:

1) Beer Table

When we went the waitress was out, so our host was our server was the chef was the owner. It's a little pricey even by NYC standards, there are maybe 15 seats in the whole place, and the service is slow (if your server is busy cooking your dinner), but the beer + food experience was the best I've had outside of Belgium. This guy really cares about beer, and he has put in the effort to make sure you'll find a beer list unlike anywhere else.

2) Spuyten Duyvil

It's small, expensive (not as expensive as Bierkraft), and a hipster crowd, but you can't beat it for having a comfortable, unusual beer. Better in the summer, because of their huge (huge) patio in the back.

Neither of these have more than a dozen taps, but what you'll find is nearly always unusual and spectacular, and occasionally even brewed specifically for the bar by well known local and international breweries.

ps. dba is cool too (especially if you're into cask beer and can visit during one of their cask festivals), as is Mugs Ale House, Bierkraft, Peculier et al. But the above two (particularly Beer Table) are in a whole other league.
posted by tsmo at 10:44 AM on December 9, 2011

Upstate in the East Village focuses on beers from New York, which I think is an excellent idea. They also know a ton about beer and can lead you to other places based on your wishes. More of a small curated collection, but I would recommend checking it out.
posted by iamscott at 12:20 PM on December 9, 2011

I liked Peculier Pub ('kinda a shithole, but my kind of shithole' is a perfect description) the one time I went there about 7 years ago, but the bottle of Kronenbourg I had was skunked to hell and back (damn green glass... not necessarily the bar's fault.) Also, I was there on a Wednesday and had the place totally to myself... but I tried to go back the next night and the place was totally packed with college fratboy types. But I'll forgive a lot for Old Speckled Hen on tap.
posted by usonian at 1:45 PM on December 9, 2011

Pony Bar (everything is $5) or Beer Table if you're going to venture to brooklyn.
posted by thatgirld at 1:55 PM on December 9, 2011

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