There are lots of things to get excited for in the New Year: fresh resolutions; health insurance enrollment; the sweet satisfaction of abandoning that fitness goal. But come February, there’s something much sweeter to swallow: 30 free beers at 30 bars for only 30 bucks in the county of Kings. Today’s the day: the 2016 Brooklyn Beer Books are on sale! (more…)
Third and Seven
3622 Quentin Road
(Corner of E. 37th Street)
What it is: Go-to sports bar and grill of Marine Park.
Why we love it: It’s an unpretentious neighborhood hang where you can watch sports to your heart’s content while putting back brews and getting your grub on. Friendly service and a welcoming crowd round off the experience.
What to order: There’s a full restaurant menu with items ranging from entrees like meatloaf, shrimp scampi, and mac and cheese to bar food regulars of burgers, wings, jalapeno poppers and more. The buffalo chicken wrap and a side of fries, washed down with a pint of what’s on tap, will definitely satisfy.
Regular Tip: If you’re not in the mood for sports, you can avoid the cheering fans by sitting in the restaurant area in the back.
What it is: Red Hook dive bar supreme with an in-house meat smoker, 60 plus beers from around the world, a classic jukebox, a bevy of board games to play in snazzy red vinyl booths, a backyard in which to drink the day away and friendly bartenders and regulars to welcome you in every day of the year, holidays included.
Why we love it: We’ve got proof of our love: the Ice House has been a Beer Book participant for five years strong, harkening back to our 2010 debut with Beer Book 1.0! It’s the kind of place you don’t forget, where you’ll make the long haul out because you know it’s worth it.
What to order: One of the aforementioned sixty plus beers from around the world! Two pulled pork sandwiches for $5 and a side of onion rings.
Regular tip: Help yourself to Hershey’s kisses on the bar, because the Brooklyn Ice House loves you.
What it is: By day Erv’s is a cute little coffee shop where you can get your early morning, or late afternoon pick me up. At night, it transforms into a cocktail bar where you can wash away the hours before your first sip of fruity alcoholic goodness.
Why we love it: Usually we complain about a space where only a handful of people can fit inside. However, the small size (300 sq ft.) of Erv’s is part of its appeal. Plus even though the place is small, the options are not. During the day you can pick up your cup of coffee and grab yourself snack as the shop is always stacked with cookies and small cakes from local bakeries. When you hit the bar in the evening you have your choice of not one, not two, not 10, but 21 different cocktails. With so many options it may be hard to choose, but the bartenders can quickly figure out which cocktail is the right fit for your tastebuds.
Who to bring: Because of it’s intimate spacing, you can bring along that one friend you have been meaning to catch up with, or the friend you need when you don’t want to talk about yourself: a book. The small crowd and non-deafening music means you don’t have to worry about your conversations or thoughts getting drowned out.
What to order: Rambo’s Revenge. That has to be the most badass cocktail name we’ve even seen.
Quick Tip: From Wednesday to Saturday you can pick up $2 tamales from the cart parked right outside the bar.
What it is: A cozy, low-key pub in Park Slope with a rotating set of hard-to-find beers, an extensive cocktail menu, and excellent food.
Why we love it: Alchemy is the perfect place for a date, a casual meal, or enjoying a quiet drink and a book. Its die-hard set of regulars and bartenders who remember your name make it feel like a local pub. You’ll also find secluded tables and booths if you’re looking for a little privacy and a great outdoor patio if you’re looking to chill outside during the summer. Need WiFi? They’ve got that, too.
You won’t find greasy bar food here. Four different menus — breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner — have something for the vegan, the veggie, the foodie, or the guy who just wants a good burger. The chorizo eggs (brunch) is a great way to start a Sunday, while the wild mushroom barley risotto with truffle oil (dinner) is one of the many uncommon treats you can share with a date. And if you do have a hankering for some chicken wings, you can get those, too, during the way affordable weekday happy hour.
What to order: Alchemy’s beers rotate every couple of weeks, but you’ll always find a stout, an IPA, a pilsner, an ale, and special seasonal beers on tap. Pair one with the gooey shells and cheese or the Monday Mussels deal—a dozen mussels for six bucks!
Regular tip: The bar was named Alchemy because at the time the owner was reading up on the ancient art of chrysopoeia, thanks to the Da Vinci Code.
What it is: This groovy, Marrakech-inflected bar in Clinton Hill by Andy McDowell of Pete’s Candy Shop features food and beer with an Eastern vibe. It holds events almost every night that truly run the gamut. Go in and relax with a beer or play some of the provided games with friends.
Why we love it: The detail that went in to the bar, which is modeled after a vintage airstream camper, is hugely impressive. It provides a beautiful space to enjoy the nightly free music including their Friday night all-female DJ line up. Get some friends together to have some beers or cocktails while watching CAMPISTA featuring members of Antibalas and Fela Kuti every Tuesday night.
What to order: The Hitachino with a mushroom bao is totally on point. They also have a great happy hour until 7pm Monday through Saturday and happy hour specials all day on Sunday that rock with $3 wells, $4 drafts/bottles and $4 baos.
Regular tip: The name of the bar comes from a term for a VW van with a split front windshield.
What is it: A Brooklyn staple nestled in the South Slope, boasting both cult celebrity and a history stretching back to Prohibition. Freddy’s, with its trademark comfortable and casual flavour is friendly and endlessly interesting.
Why we love it: Whether you’re there for the acid-tavern experience (TVs run award-winning video montages 24/7) or to see a free music, comedy, or art show show in the back room, Freddy’s always has something to revive a sleepy night. This neighborhood favorite hosts a welcome mix of locals and far-flung visitors, thanks to its beautiful other worldly decor, bustling vibes and charming staff. Just a few reasons why it was voted one of the best bars in the country by the likes of Esquire and others.
What to order: Aside from the whiskey and craft beers, Freddy’s offers a solid menu of what it calls “Pan-Brooklyn.” This includes burgers, fish tacos, local Polish kielbasa (meaning that they’re actually made across the street by two great Polish butchers), a curious twist on a BLT sandwich, and much more. All tasty and cheap as hell.
Regular tip: The intoxicating video collages you’ll see all over the bar are actually edited/created by co-owner Donald O’Finn.
What it is: Nitehawk Cinema is independent movie theatre meets cozy local bar. It features three small theatres that show anything from new blockbusters to old cult classics. The upstairs theatres feature tableside food and drink service while the bar downstairs has plenty of events that keep it bustling throughout the week.
Why we love it: Beside the great atmosphere, Nitehawk’s bar has plenty of free programming such as Monday night Simpsons Club screenings, Movie Trivia Night, VHS Vault, and Artist Film Club. In addition to the usual specials, Nitehawk serves food and cocktails inspired by films shown at the theatre. In honor of August: Osage County, they served Eat the F*cking Fish (catfish, blackeyed peas, and kale) and hard Sweet Tea, while Dallas Buyers Club inspired Support Group Coffee Doughnuts and spiked Border Crossing Coffee.
Who to bring: The bar is dim and cozy, a great place to bring a date or small group. Movie trivia buffs and general Simpsons fans will particularly love it here.
What to order: Nitehawk has eight draft lines and a wide range of rotating bottle specials, with a focus on local breweries. The first weekend of every month is Country Brunchin’, which features Southern food, live country music, and a film set down south.
Fun fact: Nitehawk managed to get the New York State ban on serving alcohol in movie theatres overturned after its owner hired a lawyer and lobbyist to convince Governor Cuomo to repeal the law.
What it is: Videology is a video store and screening room-turned bar. They have a large library of films, a solid drink selection, and a friendly atmosphere with plenty of regulars.
Why we love it: Are you itching for a Mary Kate and Ashley sing-a-long? Boozy Jazzercise workout? Notebook screening with chocolate and tissues provided? Videology’s way ahead of you. They have an event every single night, including Tuesday trivia nights, and play the staff’s pick of movies in the bar all day. TV-show themed happy hours are each day from 5 to 7. Sunday is TV night so this is a great spot to watch shows on a screen bigger than your laptop’s. This is a great place for anyone who likes motion pictures. The events are a solid opportunity to make some new friends, come ready to mingle.
What to order: There are six beers on tap with a focus on local brews, lagers, and stouts. It’s only appropriate that you pair this with some popcorn. Every day from 5-11, El Gato Nacho is there serving nachos.
Regular tip: All the bartenders went to film school, so if you want to spend hours dissecting Ghostbusters they’re ready.
Full Circle Bar 318 Grand St. (between Havemeyer and Marcy)
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. 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).
Regular tip: 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