Finding yourself on a barstool is a great way to explore your borough, as well as the offerings of local breweries, drink by drink. As a recent West Coast transplant, I’ve made a point to do so, and have found my way into the nooks and crannies of Greenpoint, South Slope, even the far reaches of Red Hook. But sometimes you’re on a shoestring budget, and much like Lay’s Chips, it’s tough to have “just one.”
Here are 7 beers to order in a bar that don’t skimp on flavor, drinkability, and price:
Greenpoint Animal, NY, Wild Ale
5.4% ABV, $6/pint
Animal gets points for being local, fresh and limited. The taste is very fruity, with a touch of funk. This medium-bodied wild ale is made with the classic Belgian Brettanomyces yeast (Brett for short), and the German Hallertau hop, similar to American Cascade, for a bitter backend. Get it while you can at Brouwerij Lane and support your local brewers at Greenpoint Beer & Ale/Dirck The Norseman, another fine brewpub to explore.
Sixpoint Jammer, NY, Gose
4.2% ABV, $6/12oz can
Light-bodied, juicy, salty, and light on the funk, this in-season sour beer comes in a unique 12 ounce slim can. Sixpoint partnered with Jacobsen salt for the key ingredient, so this one feels like something Captain Hook might drink. If you want to get the full ambiance of a summer’s night in Brooklyn, head down to McCarren Park for the Summer Screen series, happening Wednesdays through August 12th. Sixpoint will be there, holding it down, as you enjoy the free movie.
Magichat Electric Peel, VT, Grapefruit IPA
6% ABV, $5/Happy Hour Pint
A new release from Magichat, this is like an adult grapefruit soda. Bitter citrus marries well with bitter, citrusy, floral hops to bring you a perfect quencher for a hot afternoon. Take your date to Brazen Head to sample this brew before heading to Court Street Theatre just a block away.
Two Roads Honeyspot, CT, White IPA
6% ABV, $6/pint
A moderately hopped American Wheat ale. The Honeyspot is sweet up front, with soft and rich notes of wheat. A “white IPA” takes an ubiquitous macrobrew favorite like Blue Moon, but removes the spices from the equation, making for a smooth, drinkable brew. Skylark features this ale and is a personal favorite, laid-back hang in South Slope, complete with pinball, board games, a delicious menu of hot pretzels & paninis, and Beer & Shot specials called “The Dirk Diggler” and “Cheech and Chong.” Can you go wrong?
Rothaus Tannenzapfle, Germany, German Pilsner
5.1% ABV, $5 for 8oz pour
This classic German Pilsner is smooth, honeyed, crisp, and quite quaffable. The taste transports me to a Bierhaus I have yet to visit–the earthy, quenching flavors of subtler hops a perfect end to a long day at work. I go to Torst when I want to treat myself and try new brews, including this Pilsner. With their offerings of 5oz, 8oz, and 14oz pours, you can design the chemistry of your evening, and spend what you like, instead of succumbing to the pressure of buying the full pint at a higher-end craft beer bar. The interior is a visual treat as well–the modern and sleek architecture made shimmery by the assorted colors of wineglass stemware hanging from above the bar. I swoon.
Honorable Cans to Mention:
These two thirsty, favorites are available in many bodegas, and are a good jumping off point for craft cans. If you happen to find yourself wandering around Red Hook, stop by Brooklyn Ice House to try these two beers, along with some slammin’ BBQ fare, including pulled pork sliders and frito pie.
Butternut’s Beer and Ale, NY, Porkslap American Pale Ale
4.3% ABV, $5/12oz can
For it’s low alcohol content, this is definitely a sessionable beer. Subtle, earthy, grassy notes with some ginger spice and farmhouse funk. Also looks good in your mini fridge.
Oskar Blues, CO, Dale’s Pale Ale
6% ABV, $6/12ozcan
One of my favorite IPAs, hands down. Bold flavors on all sides–floral, piny, juicy, with that West Coast hoppy punch we’ve all come to know and love.
*For more beer news, follow Felicity on Twitter and Instagram: @feliciousdoyle
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