One of the best ways to discover local culture when travelling is to sit down in an authentic local bar, grab a locally brewed beer and start chatting with a, you guessed it, local! NYC is so big that it’s almost impossible to put together a comprehensive beer guide for a single borough (let alone the whole city) in one blog post. To narrow things down a bit, our Brooklyn local Kelly has shared five of her favourite beer bars and breweries in the hip and happening Williamsburg neighbourhood.
1. Sip artisanal beers at Spuyten Duyvil
Voted the best beer bar in NYC, it’s no wonder Spuyten Duyvil made it into our top five. They pride themselves on their bold selection of Belgian and hard-to-get/rare beers, so if you’re into run-of-the-mill brews, it’s probably not the place for you. They offer a meat and cheese plate for the peckish, and have a limited wine list for those less partial to beer. If the weather’s nice, try to find a table in the backyard!
Photo credit: Buzz Andersen
2. Wash down world delicacies with local brews at Smorgasburg
All this beer is bound to get your tummy rumbling! Set in a park and parking lot by East River, Smorgasburg is a food cart fair offering everything from organic popsicles to famous lobster rolls. If you appreciate cultural diversity in the form of all things edible, this place is definitely for you. Grab something tasty, take a seat at a picnic table and wash down your meal with a local brew or two. Be sure to bring cash and an empty stomach!
Photo credit: Brooklyn Flea
3. Pull up a bar stool at The West
In the mornings, this is the local go-to place for a caffeine fix. In the afternoons, however, it transforms into a bar with 14 rotating craft beers on tap and a daily happy hour from 5–8 pm. It’s cash only, but there’s an ATM conveniently tucked in the back.
Photo credit: The Pudding Magazine
4. Eat and drink like a German at Radegast Hall & Biergarten
If you’re looking to drink somewhere a little more European, head to this traditional German beer hall and garden. It’s spacious enough for large groups to have fun and get rowdy. They serve a range of authentic German dishes, not to mention the best German beer in the city. They also host regular events and live performances, so remember to bring your party hat and dancing shoes!
Photo credit: Radegast Hall & Biergarten
5. Get to the roots of local beer culture at Brooklyn Brewery
The name speaks for itself – the beer here really is as local as it gets. You should visit Brooklyn Brewery if you’re even the slightest bit interested in the production and tasting of different beer varietals. If you want a more intimate experience, sign up for their beer tour (weekdays at 5 pm).
Photo credit: Brooklyn Brewery
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