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Our Favorite Spots for a Good Craft Beer
What separates a run-of-the-mill beer from a delicious craft brew? The Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group that protects and promotes small and independent U.S. brewers, defines an American craft brewer or microbrewery as “a brewery that produces small amounts of beer, typically much smaller than large-scale corporate breweries, and is independently owned.” These breweries boast a higher emphasis on quality, flavor and technique. The microbrewing movement first emerged in the United Kingdom in the 1970’s and since then, craft brews have become staples on the city’s best bar menus, elevating the happy hour experience with nuanced flavors that convert even beer’s biggest haters into fans. Manhattan has its fair share of cocktail lounges, but here are some of our favorite spots to indulge in an excellent craft beer.
Lower East Side
Part bottle shop, part tasting bar, part educational hub for all things barley, hops, and beer related, Top Hops Beer Shop is the brainchild of a former Anheuser-Busch sales executive. Armed with a wealth of knowledge and a passion for beer, the owner ensured that his own spot was equipped with 20 draft lines, more than 700 bottles imported from all over the globe, and a schedule of classes and brewmaster tastings. The space also features a bar, where drinkers can either sip on the shop's selections and bites such as cheeses and charcuterie, or have the option to fill up a growler and save for later.
Onsite at The ROW nyc
Located onsite at the Row, District M comes alive in the evening hours featuring a commissioned digital art gallery by paparazzo extraordinaire, Ron Galella. Guests can experience a unique bar ambiance at a central location that is steps away from Times Square. Included on their beverage menu is an extensive list of craft beers, including lagers, pilsners, dark beers, brown ales, and saisons. For those who want a nibble to accompany their craft beers, their dinner menu offers charcuterie, gourmet salads and hand-stretched pizzas made in unique and crave-worthy combinations.
Take a trek to Brooklyn for a truly immersive experience. Circa Brewing Co brews their own craft beers onsite, touting an “avant-garde approach to brewing and fermentation by brewing dynamic and innovative beer that is rooted in traditional practices.” Guests can marvel at the massive, stainless-steel fermentation tanks that are visible through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. It’s part brewery tour, part dining experience, with the venue serving a full dinner menu alongside their selection of craft beers. Though all of their beers are renowned, we particularly love their Passion & Pride IPA, brewed with passionfruit and a hint of blueberry.
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