There’s no shortage of places to snag a cold brew in the City; better still, beer lovers can find ways to skip traditional bars and go sip straight from the source. A number of NYC breweries serve house-made beer on-site, ensuring its freshness and full flavor. You can often take a spin through the facilities to see the source of the suds before settling in at the taproom for a taste. Read on for our guide to what’s brewing in the five boroughs.
Note: Taprooms rotate their beers on draft regularly. If the recommendations below aren't available, try whatever appeals.
856 E. 136th St., 718-402-1000, Port Morris
On tap: Since 2011, this brewhouse has operated under the motto “Do one thing. Do it right.” That thing is pale ale, and you can try various examples of the style in the on-site taproom. Look for the Slow Your Roll IPA and the Bronx Banner Golden Ale on tap year-round. You can also sample from a rotation of seasonal and limited beers that expand the pale ale repertoire, including the Das Bronx Sour and Smoked Porter.
Gun Hill Brewing Company
3227 Laconia Ave., 718-881-0010, Williamsbridge
On tap: Stouts are the stars of the show at the Bronx’s oldest existing microbrewery. See if the complex Void of Light is as dark in color as its name suggests. Then sample the unique flavors of the Guava Gold Fruit Session Ale, Hessian in Paradise Key Lime Sour and Motueka Soft Serve, a session IPA brewed with oats and lactose for creaminess.
79 N. 11th St., 718-486-7422, Williamsburg
On tap: Brooklyn Lager, the flagship beer of this brewhouse, is a bar staple all across NYC—and beyond. Head over to the Williamsburg brewery to try some lesser-known brews like the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Saison or the orange-peel-infused Naranjito Pale Ale. The Brooklyn taproom is currently the only place to get the latter pour in the five boroughs.
Coney Island Brewing Company
1904 Surf Ave., 718-996-0019, Coney Island
On tap: Hit this beachside brewery to take a free tour and taste some of the eight house brews on the rotating menu. A few of the beers they produce riff on the theme-park neighborhood, with names like Cotton Candy Kolsch and Trapp’d on the Cyclone Tripel. In the taproom, the brewery-exclusive Mai Coney Island Baby and the signature Mermaid Pilsner will get you Mermaid Parade ready.
Other Half Brewing
195 Centre St., 347-987-3527, Carroll Gardens
On tap: At this IPA-focused microbrewery, “double dry hopped” is a recurring description on the taproom menu. It means two rounds of dry hops steep in the beer as it brews, seriously amplifying hoppy flavor and aroma. Look for the fruity All Citra Everything or oat-infused Dream in Green, both in the DDH category and among the rotating beers on tap. Current drafts on the lighter side include the Crystal Waves Pilsner and Superfun! Pale Ale.
333 Douglass St., 718-522-2210, Gowanus
On tap: This versatile venue includes a coffeeshop, kitchen and event space, but the main attractions are, of course, the brewery and bar. At the bar, you’ll find 24 tap lines with a selection of beers from Threes Brewing and a few other brewers. The names of the Threes quaffs sometimes underplay the beers’ bold flavors: Here Ya Go Pale Ale contains pine and citrus notes, and I Hate Myself IPA is made with jackfruit and melon rind.
141 Flushing Ave., Building 77, Brooklyn Navy Yard, 646-378-8529
On tap: This brewery cranks out an impressive variety of beers, focusing on farmhouse ales and barrel-aged sours. Visit their taproom to sample stouts, sours and saisons, and be on the lookout for the unusual W4 Dry Hopped Gose, brewed with salt and coriander. Besides savoring the flavors, take a moment to admire the award-winning typography on the bottles’ labels.
200 Fifth Ave., 212-229-2560, Flatiron District
On tap: Admittedly, “brewery” takes on a looser definition in Manhattan than in the rest of the City, where sprawling brewing equipment is generally easier to accommodate. However, Eataly’s rooftop brewpub Birreria steps up to the plate. Partnering with Dogfish Head and Baladin breweries, they’ve set up a brewing apparatus to produce three house-made cask ales. Get to know Rosé Perez, a golden ale; Super Dope, a German-style koslch; and Launch Over It, an imperial IPA.
Fifth Hammer Brewing
10-28 46th Ave., 718-663-2084, Long Island City
On tap: The latest addition to LIC's brewing scene, Fifth Hammer produces a diverse range of beer styles—from sour beers to barley wine to saisons—thanks to a sizable 15-barrel brewing system on site. Head brewer Chris Cuzme frequently collaborates with other local brewers; a recent project with Kelly Taylor of Brooklyn's Kelso Brewing produced the One Mash Two Smash Grisette. Another, a French-oaked saison, was made in partnership with the NYC Homebrewers Guild.
LIC Beer Project
39-28 23rd St., 917-832-6840, Long Island City
On tap: Echoing the industrial roots of its neighborhood, the LIC Beer Project converted a warehouse space into an inviting, rustic brewery and taproom. They specialize in Belgian-style and mixed-fermentation brews; you’ll find an array of saisons, kolsches and IPAs on tap. Sample a recent release, Pile of Crowns, an aromatic double IPA on draft now.
19-33 37th St., 718-606-0788, Astoria
On tap: Queens’ first microbrewery (since Prohibition) is a go-to for craft brews in the area. There’s an extensive draft list to explore here, and some house-canned beers to try, too. The 19-33 Pilsner, named for the brewery’s address, is a good opener before venturing on to the brawny Heavy Boots of Lead Imperial Stout (11 percent ABV) or the tart, herbal Kim Hibiscus Sour Lager.
Flagship Brewing Company
40 Minthorne St., 718-448-5284, St. George
On tap: Hit up this brewpub for post-ferry-ride refreshment. A rotation of eight house beers are ready to sample in the taproom. For a taste of the season, go for the crisp Pasttime Summer Ale, or start Oktoberfest early with a pint of Roggenfest, a malty hybrid of German roggenbier (rye beer) and märzenbier (amber lager).