The Brew Inn
924 Manhattan Ave. (at Kent), Greenpoint
What it is: A young yet historied mainstay in the making with a focus on New York craft beer.
Why we love it: The Brew Inn may have only opened in November of 2013, but the space has its history. This is due primarily to owner Martin Cyran inheriting the space from his parents, who ran a Polish restaurant called Happy End here years ago, and secondly because much of the space is outfitted in reclaimed materials–the bar (recycled doors), the light fixtures (antique pictures frames) and other decorum (old street lamps) have been thoughtfully repurposed, adding to the homemade charm. Another big plus for hop heads: beer paraphernalia. Everywhere you turn, beer branding is present, from the bar stools made of beer signs to the door knobs and bathroom stall handles made with tap handles.
The bar started out serving only New York brewed beers, and still does a pretty good job of keeping a majority of the 27 taps local–there are some Pennsylvania and New Hampshire brews snuck in, due to customer demand for out-of-state favorites like Victory and Smuttynose. An upgrade since last year is the full bar, so for the thirsty folks who’ve had their fill of barley and hops (if that’s possible), liquor and wine is now available.
What to order: The place may look like a modern Brooklyn beer bar (because it is) but it’s still Polish at heart. Pierogies (potato and cheese, mushroom or beef) are just 50 cents a piece on Mondays, and well worth your pennies. Another Polack option is the kielbasa reuben, which you can get with a beer for just $12 during happy hour, every day from 4 to 7pm. If you’re feeling less adventurous, substitute with a burger and beer with tater tots.
Regular tip: Remember that thing we said about beer paraphernalia? Buy a beer flight and you can purchase the paddle to take home with you. Want to take the beer home, too? You can buy it in a growler, and even claim a locker in the bar to hold the thing when you’re not using it. The Brew Inn knows your shelf space is stupidly limited and you can’t fit another giant glass jug in your kitchen…or maybe that’s just us.