09/30/14 12:37pm
via The Brew Inn

via The Brew Inn

The Brew Inn  Food   

924 Manhattan Avenue (at Kent)
Greenpoint
212-361-6164

 

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

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09/25/14 12:45pm
d.b.a. brooklyn

via Facebook

d.b.a. brooklyn  Dog Friendly Food Outdoor Space Wifi

113 North 7th St.
(between Berry and Wythe)
Williamsburg
718-218-6006

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

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09/23/14 12:30pm
lola bklyn

via Lola BKLYN

Lola BKLYN   Food Outdoor Space 

387 Myrtle Ave.
Clinton Hill
718-858-1484

 

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 Twin Peaks and Girls.—Emily Berninger

 

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09/18/14 2:00pm
skinny dennis

Photo by Tim McDonnell, via Facebook

Skinny Dennis    Games  

152 Metropolitan Ave
(corner of Metropolitan Ave and Berry St.) Williamsburg

 

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

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09/16/14 12:30pm
lowlands bar

via Facebook

Lowlands Bar   Food Games Outdoor Space Wifi

543 3rd Ave
(Between 13th and 14th)

Gowanus
347-463-9458

 

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

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09/11/14 9:29am
Brouwerij Lane

via Facebook

Brouwerij Lane Cash Only Outdoor Space 

78 Greenpoint Ave. (at Franklin)
Greenpoint
347-529-6133

 

What it is: The Belgian-themed brew spot is primarily a speciality beer retail shop that hop heads gather at for small events, tap takeovers and brewery visits, but it also allows for a sit down experience with the latest local and imported beers on tap.

Why we love it: Its air of authenticity is apparent, but not overwhelming, and the staff is (as expected) knowledgeable about the craft but not in a snobby or show offy way. Awesome breweries from New York and beyond regularly stop in to share tastes and talk about their latest concoctions.

Who to bring: Hop heads, barley barons, your buddy who cares more about the beer they drinks than the people they drink it with.

What to get: There are 19 fresh beers on tap, one cask and more than 250 bottles to choose from, so come ready for a brewed awakening. Whatever you discover, be it that Hill Farmstead you’ve been waiting for all winter or a palate-pelting IPA from one of the new breweries in town like Other Half (Red Hook) or Finback Brewery (Glendale, Queens).

Fun fact: Brouwerij Lane hosts regular events that go beyond brewer visits: it hosted a cookie party in December!—Cat Wolinski

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09/09/14 3:00pm
hamilton's brooklyn

via Hamilton’s

Hamilton’s   Food Outdoor Space Wifi

2826 Fort Hamilton Pkwy, at E. 4th St.
Windsor Terrace
718-438-0488

 

What it is: Hamilton’s is one of the best reasons you can think of for heading over to Windsor Terrace. A cozy wine bar with great craft beers, as well as an all-star kitchen, it’s a great neighborhood spot to check out for dinner, or just some tasty wings and beer.

Why we love it: Everything Hamilton’s does seems to be top-notch. In winter it’ll serve mulled drinks, it’s got a fantastic menu that will keep you coming back to try all the other dishes, and on top of all that, it’s a relaxed yet vibrant bar in a neighborhood that doesn’t often get a lot of traffic from outside the neighborhood. You wouldn’t guess it from inside Hamilton’s, which feels like stumbling onto a scene that you feel kind of dumb for not knowing about before.

Who to bring: This is an excellent date spot, straight up. Sure, you can get some excellent wings, but with it’s small, well-crafted dishes and great wines, this is the kind of place to go and have a nice cozy few drinks.

What to order: If it’s winter, check out their mulled wine. As for food, I fully enjoyed the mac and cheese with bacon and the grilled squid, which was tender as anything.

Fun fact: Hamilton’s is owned by the same people who run Alchemy, so if you’re a fan of that Park Slope fixture, you can get a sense of what to expect here!—Eric Silver

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09/04/14 2:00pm
skylark

via Facebook

Skylark   Food Games Outdoor Space 

477 Fifth Ave.
(between 11th and 12th)
South Slope
(347) 227-8186

 

What it is: A cozy joint with floral prints, retro-weird art, snug coaches and a dimly lit grandma’s living room aesthetic.

Why we love it: The shabby chic charm that feels like stepping back into the 70s is hard to resist, and so is the drink menu, which pours retro cocktails like the old fashioned and snacks like tater tots and a waldorf salad. You’ll find old-school pinball in the back and DJ sets on the weekends.

Who to bring: Sklyark is along a busy strip of Fifth Avenue bars, but it screams date night, with lot of couches to snuggle up on and the board game or weird art on the walls provide plenty to talk about.

What to order: The 14 drafts include five that rotate from choice kegs, local and rare beers, while the rest feature standards like Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold, Six Point Sweet Action and Allagash White. The kitchen that’s open until midnight on the weekends serves up 70s themed grub like swaddled hogs (cocktail weenies in flaky dough) and cheesy tots.

Fun fact: The bar keeps the 70s theme going for its beer and shot specials: a Cheech and Chong is a Tecate and Espolon tequila; a Dirk Diggler is a Coors tall boy and a shot of Dickel rye.—Tim Donnelly

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09/02/14 1:00pm
project parlor

via Facebook

Project Parlor  Dog Friendly  Games Outdoor Space 

742 Myrtle Ave
Bed-Stuy

 

What is it: A charming ragtime parlor bar with a patchwork punk vibe and killer tap selection.

Why we love it: As an early inhabitant of the soon-to-be, maybe-already-is bustling section of Bed-Stuy, this spot has earned its keep among the neighborhood and was voted Best New Bar by the Village Voice in 2012. Despite the status upgrades, we love them because they’ve kept their raucous roots intact and continue to be a destination for quiet drink seekers and late night revelers alike.

Who to bring: Your old crew from art school or a Pac Man fanatic. There’s an old school machine that doubles as a table up front, if you can snag it while it’s open.

What to order: The house’s mulled cider from local Wilklow Orchards spiked with brandy and bourbon is a winter favorite, while spring brings sangria and summer packs some punch. 2-for-1 happy hour beers go well with a seat in the huge back patio, open year-round. Order from one of the more than 30 domestic and international bottles and drafts, including local and gluten free options. The bar is proud of its other cocktails, currently include bacon-infused bourbon and apple concoction they call the “Sir Francis,” and a “White Oaxacan,” a vegan white Russian with Guajillo chile chocolate.

Fun fact: The Parlor’s summertime BBQ showdowns are known borough-wide and have brought in some of the most serious smokers this side of the Mason-Dixon Line. If you’re burned out on BBQ, you can always go for the green fairy, with the old-school absinthe fountain.—Tim Donnelly

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08/28/14 12:37pm
hope and anchor

via Facebook

Hope and Anchor  Food   

347 Van Brunt St. at Wolcott
Red Hook
718 237 0276

 

What it is: A restaurant and bar that somehow makes the combination cozier than most. The coastal Red Hook spot is filled with maritime decor, maritime friendliness and maritime comfort food.

Why we love it: Hope & Anchor somehow pulls off being cool, too. Two awesome ladies run the bar, there’s drag queen karaoke Friday and Saturday night and if you’re feeling a little classier, Wednesday evening Jazz Jams pull in talent.

Who to bring: Hope & Anchor is a place for the nostalgic, the easy going, the queer friendly and the generally decent human beings of Brooklyn who either live near or are enthusiastic enough to travel to this fun-loving apple of Red Hook’s eye.

What to order: Take your pick of eggs any style, shrimp po’ boys, hoagies, good ol’ grilled cheese (an actual menu item) or international touches like tortilla soup and falafel, or peruse the neverending burger menu that even has a list of six of non-beef options, two of which are vegetarian and one of which is vegan!

The beer list includes 15 tasty bottles, mostly American crafts, which even have handy craft-beer-for-dummies descriptions to help you figure out what’s what.

Fun fact: Feel like a party? You can rent out the whole bar for as little as $20 a person and have veggie apps, hummus platters and cheese plates passing around like it’s nothin.—Cat Wolinski

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