What it is: A loungy neighborhood hangout with games, free popcorn and a killer jukebox that provides a merciful respite from the breast-feeding crowd that frequents the neighborhood.
Why we love it: Not only is High Dive a Brokelyn Beer Book four-peat featured bar, it’s only gotten better over the years. The custom curated jukebox full of mixed CDs includes a gamut of good drinking music: Big Star, The Kinks, The Pixies, and the Modern Lovers. Oh, and it’s got a big stack of board games and some pinball machines. We’re suckers for pinball.
Who to bring: High Dive is the perfect chilldown spot, so bring your crew after checking out a show at a nearby venue or to escape the game-watching crowds at other bars (no TVs here) or hang out in the backyard. You can bring a laptop and get work done on the bar’s wifi or bring a date and snuggle up over a board game.
What to order: Try one of the 19 rotating draft beers or the standard PBR or Yuengling, which are only $3 during happy hour. The free popcorn station has grown to include its own condiments rack and bar snacks now include savory pies for $6 and sausage rolls for $4.
Fun fact: In the spirit of giving, High Dive has a lovely “buy a friend a drink” board, where you can prepay for your pals’ tab.—Tim Donnelly
What it is: The national home of Brewskee-ball, the first-ever national competitive skeeball league, with an epic canned beer selection and no shortage of good times.
Why we love it: It’s a mix of Brooklyn cool and boardwalk fun. Even if you’re not on a Skee-ball league you can roll your luck on one of the four Skee-ball lanes. the fun vibe at the bar is helped by the decorations made of reclaimed old skeeball machine parts and a staff so dedicated to the game they’ve got Skee-ball tattoos. Tuesdays and Thursdays are some of the best cheap nights out in all the land: not only is Skee-ball free those nights, but you get a hot dog or pretzel with every beer purchase! If you live locally, take advantage of the special “sip codes” nights every month, which is an open bar for people in the Williamsburg zips.
Who to bring: Boardwalk-loving buddies, competitive friends, lovers of canned beer, pun-masters for creating clever Skee-ball team names (ie: M Skee A, the Beaskee Boys, etc.)
What to order: Try one of the copious amounts of rotating canned beers selection or the all-the-time specials like a $6 Genny and whiskey (aka Whiskee).
Fun fact: The Full Circle gang is responsible for all sorts of summery fun shenanigans, including the annual National Skee-Ball Championship tournament which takes over Knitting Factory, cornhole contests and a summer long deal that lets you hop on a bus and check out a Brooklyn Cyclones game (with some beer included) for a low price. The name of the bar is a reference to a skee-ball term where a player sinks all 9 balls in the 40 point slot.—Tim Donnelly
What it is: This cavernously enormous bar/restaurant has a bunch of different spaces within a space. Be it the glass room in the middle, the tables along the sides or the tucked away speak easy, it definitely has a bit of something for everyone.
Why we love it: So… it has a bar inside of a bar, which is TWO bars. The bartenders are really nice and give good recommendations on food and drink.
Who to bring: Here you can pop on in with anyone and enjoy a beer. You could bring your parents in for some truly great food. Have a friend that enjoys comedy? Take them here on the last Tuesday of the month for their rotating line of comedians.
What to order: Their veggie quesadilla is super delicious. Pairs nicely with one of their 10 beers on draft.
Fun fact: Inside of the bar you will find a rather secret entrance to the speakeasy, Featherweight, which has an unbelievable cocktail menu. The bartenders are so on point that just give them your desired spirit and they will issue you an A+ drink.—Emily Berninger
What it is: The Graham opens its doors to the neighborhood with totally inviting bartenders and a pretty exquisite happy hour – $2 off everything 3-8 daily.
Why we love it: It’s not too common to walk into a bar and immediately feel like you are one of the crew’s gang.
Who to bring: You can go in by yourself and be guaranteed a good conversation with a bartender, or stop in with your friends who, “just wanna dance” on Saturday night for its DJ and dance floor in the back… you could even take your momma out for their Saturday and Sunday brunch. Catch up on your favorite shows here with HBO sunday night screenings.
What to order: Ask for a recommendation from its 30+ rotating craft beers. If you are hungry and finishing up your night, you should note their all-night snack menu totes deviled eggs, cheese and the works.
Fun Fact: The Graham manages to be a jack of all trades with jazz, DJs, dancing, outdoor seating etc.—Emily Berninger
What it is: Greenpoint’s new brewcentric spot with a twist: it only serve beers from New York. Which, as people who love New York and breweries, is fine by us.
Why we love it: The Brew Inn may not have the plethora of distinctive domestics or intriguing imports as some other Brokelyn approved bars, but what they purposely lack in geographical range, they make up for in a list of 30 local drafts, a great looking bar-food-gone-fancy menu and the unexpectedly unique interior. Details like a retro bar, recycled doors, old street lamps, pendant lighting made out of antique pictures frames and our favorite: beer tap everything (tap handles double as decorations, door handles and sink faucet knobs–quick, someone call Pinterest!) are everywhere you turn, and it’s great.
Another nice touch is the beer flights, which you can purchase to take home with you (we recommend drinking the beer first), and a special something they call a growler locker, for those times you want to get lots of beer but just don’t feel like carrying your jug all the way down Manhattan Ave. Genius!
Who to bring: Someone who appreciates and has genuine interest in New York breweries, or could stand to learn a little more about them. If a friend lives in the area, this is a great meeting point to knock back a few just-brewed pints before heading down toward busier streets. Just make sure it’s not someone who’ll shake their fist at not being able to get a Coors Light or cranberry vodka (no liquor here yet).
What to get: There’s a brunch menu, a burger and beer deal for $10 and $2 off any beer for happy hour every day from 4 to 7. Every Tuesday, grilled, boiled or fried pierogies are just 50 cents all day. The Brew Inn pairs “craft beer with crafty grub” and the food looks freakin’ delicious. Other “bistro” staples like shrimp po-boys, grilled sardines and meat and cheese plates are a few standout items. Polish food, fancy food and bar combine for the best.
Fun fact: The space was acquired by its owners when one of them, a Greenpoint local, took over his mother’s traditional Polish restaurant and made it his own — and, quite obviously, made it Upper Brooklyn’s. Its beer is locally sourced, its furniture repurposed, its walls (and pretty much everything else) charmingly decorated and allegedly, they’re only hiring Brooklyn residents.—Cat Wolinski
What it is: A beer bar at its finest. A long bar lined with taps and casks will greet you at the door, where you can check your pretension and just enjoy some good beer, or as the owners say, “drink good stuff”–the d.b.a. motto.
Why we love it: d.b.a has a laid back vibe and a modesty that can be rare around the Bedford Ave./North 7th epicenter of the Williamsburg swirl. What it bypasses in we’re-your-BFF kitsch they make up for with their carefully curated beers from 16 taps, 3 casks and more than 100 bottles ranging from Brooklyn local beers to Belgian specialties.
Who to bring: Bring a beer-loving pal you’d like to catch up with over some really good beer. d.b.a. is pretty relaxed, so you might want to save the pregame with your party animal friend for another bar. But the backyard is pretty sweet too.
What to order: The beer menu here can change daily, so you’ve really got to go to see what’s on tap —but rest assured it will be good. For those whose palates expand beyond brewsy suds, there is a fine selection of whiskeys, bourbons, tequilas and even rums to choose from. If you’re hungry, d.b.a. offers a sample menu of Lucy Roux, a flavorful Dominican Republic meets Creole and Cajun tradition, available Friday nights and weekends for an extended brunch.
Fun fact: You may already be aware of d.b.a.’s sister bar in Manhattan, but what many don’t know is that another d.b.a. sits on the historic Frenchman Street in New Orleans. The NOLA affiliate is a live music club that opened in 2000 and prides itself on being one of the first smoke-free venues in the city.—Cat Wolinski
What it is: A candlelit restaurant/bar that has a French feel while toting a North American menu.
Why we love it: Not only are we a sucker for the idea of an $80-$150 bar tab prize during its Tuesday trivia nights, but Lola BKLYN has vibes for both sides of you – the side of you that wants a small romantic night out, and the real you which wants to watch tv and drink beer.
Who to bring: A good place for a date night out or a place to pop in with a friend. Parents also welcome.
What to order: We are in love with the $13 Monday beer-and-burger combo which for us falls in competition with the $15 all-you-can-eat mussels on Thursdays.
Fun fact: Lola BKLYN has rotating comedy and trivia nights along with a bunch tv showings, recently TwinPeaks and Girls.—Emily Berninger
What it is: Skinny Dennis is a self-described honkey-tonk, a country bar with a warm divey vibe. The brick and wood panel walls are covered in Western memorabilia and there’s free live country music every night.
Why we love it: Skinny Dennis really commits to its country atmosphere. You’ll spot a mounted boar’s head, a 1984 F-100 pickup truck seat, a 100-CD jukebox, and, behind the bar, a haunting portrait of Willie Nelson. They offer 18 draft lines of mostly American craft beers, in addition to a selection of whiskeys. Skinny Dennis is most famous for its free nightly live country music, so come prepared to dance.
Who to bring: Bring your homesick friend from Omaha, bring a crowd that’s ready to two step, bring your roommate who would be an Olympian if the Olympic Committee would just finally recognize shuffleboard bowling.
What to order: If 18 drafts aren’t enough, Skinny Dennis’s most popular drink is Willie’s Frozen Coffee, made with bourbon and coffee from Oslo Coffee up the block. There’s also Bourbon Sweet Tea, served in a 24 oz mason jar, naturally.
Fun fact: The bar is named for Skinny Dennis Sanchez, a country singer from the Los Angeles area who stood at 6’11″ and weighed 135 pounds.—Camille Lawhead
What it is: The spot for the locals of lower Gowanus, and anyone staying at La Quinta around the corner.
Why we love it: This low-key bar has one of the best backyards in Brooklyn and an awesome old time music jam every Monday night that brings folks in from all over New York, plus Thursday night trivia. The drinks are cheap, the bartenders are friendly and they’ve got a Checkers that’s open till 3am across the street. What else could you ask for?
Who to bring: Definitely a place to unwind with friends, or catch some sports.
What to order: Lowlands has 12-taps featuring a rotating selection of craft brews as well as old standbys like Guinness and Miller Lite. Cheap cans and bottles too. Hungry? They have pressed sandwiches!
Fun fact: The name comes from its position at the bottom of Park Slope’s….slope.—Rachel Eve Stein