What we’d order on tap: Bear Republic The Grizz
The pour: The idea of a beer pub with retro video games struck me as an amusing novelty, but Barcade takes its beer seriously. Plus it runs fully on windpower and specializes in handcrafted small-batch liquors.
|Blind Tiger (Manhattan)|
What we’d order on tap: Buster Brau cask ale
The pour: A “blind tiger” was a term for any fake attraction that customers would pay to see in order to get their complimentary beverage when blue laws ruled the land. But craft beer is the main attraction at the Blind Tiger on Bleeker Street. And while the brewers may all look familiar, the offerings tend to the obscure, making it easy to order something you’ve never had before.
|Burp Castle (Manhattan)|
What we’d order on tap: De Ranke Bitter
The pour: “Quiet please,” says the sign on the door of the East Village’s Burp Castle. “Beer Worship in progress.” If you love beer, but don’t like big, noisy places, this is your Temple of Beer. As a Burp Castle bartender says, “Yelling would make your throat sore, and then the beer wouldn’t taste its best.”
|BXL Cafe (Manhattan)|
What we’d order on tap: A $10 flight of three beers
The pour: Midtown is my least favorite part of Manhattan, but the BXL Cafe has made my frequent trips there so much better. Soccer mad, without a hint of “sports bar” tackiness, it’s a little bit of Belgium in the heart of New York, right down to the mussels and frites.BXL East on 51st is also worth a visit.
|Spuyten Duyvil (Brooklyn)|
What we’d order on tap: Cazeau Tournay de Noël
The pour: I can’t think about the Spuyten Duyvil (pronounced Schpite & Dye’-vul, according to my friends in Brooklyn) without remembering the amazing plate of meats I had with my beverages. But the beer list lives up to the “rare and obscure” boasting with more beers from the Netherlands than the U.S. of A. Plus, here’s its spring music playlist.
|The Stag’s Head (Manhattan)|
What we’d order on tap: North Coast Le Merle
The pour: I wasn’t aware of The Stag’s Head—or, frankly, the far east side of Midtown—until the pub contacted us about a party celebratingPaste’s 25 Best American Breweries. Impressively they had the vast majority on tap for the celebration, which was only mildly dampened by the blizzard that hit New York. The lodge-style bar has gotten much more adventurous in the past year, adding to the already amazing New York beer landscape.