Tag Archives: MANHATTAN NY


See the source image


A casual English-styled pub with an enigmatic Speakeasy feel, Manhattan’s Upper West Side venue, AMSTERDAM ALE HOUSE, is conveniently located a block from the Beacon Theatre. An archaic mahogany-furnished joint, its keen Prohibition Era elegance gets enhanced by the golden tin ceiling, Edison light fixtures, stain glass windows and beautiful columned mahogany bar (with 30-plus taps, plentiful shelved liquor and narrow service area).

A backroom dining area gets packed after Beacon shows and sports fanatics get multiple TV’s to stare at while drinking craft draught or excellent bottled-canned fare from England, Belgium, Germany and the New World (Unibroue, Stone, Rogue, Ommegang, etc.). Burgers, pizza, sandwiches and entrees are available.

I enjoyed two previously untried beers, Central Waters Mudpuppy Porter and Harpoon Rec. League Hazy Pale Ale (reviewed in Beer Index) while getting out of the 90 degree sun this mid-May ’19 afternoon.

Image result for amsterdam ale house nyc



Image result for valhalla nyc


A low key urban tavern with a positive vibe and highly respectable draught beer selection in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, VALHALLA features 48 tap handles at its popular 9th Street venue.

A small wood furnished corner pub with rustic furnishings, it’s ultimately a diminutive Norse-themed establishment dedicated to Valkyries, the mythological queen who led dead Viking souls into heavenly Valhalla.

Opened in 2006, its Kwaktoberfest banner hangs prominently from the low ceiling. Top shelf liquor is tightly packed into small space next to the draughts at the 20-seat left side bar. and 40 well-chosen bottled-canned beers are also available.

Two corner TV’s and a few dining tables take up Valhalla’s chill-out dive bar interior. A small pub food menu offers beer-battered pickles, hot dogs, bratwurst, sliders, nachos and spinach artichoke dip.

I discovered six previously untried brews on my initial March ’18 visit during a cool Saturday afternoon in NYC. Bunker Salad Daze Pale Lager, Staten Island Flagship American Wit, Wartega Spiced Ale, Pipeworks Passionfruit Guppy IPA, Pipeworks Rye Caramba and Montauk Double IPA were enjoyed and are fully reviewed in the Beer index.



Image result for barcade st marks place


In the center of St. Mark’s Place in Manhattan’s East Village, the fourth Barcade franchise opened during 2015. Taking the space once occupied by iconic New York record shop, Kim’s Underground, Paul Kermezian’s latest arcade-laden beer pub provides the same fine craft beer and wine as its other idiosyncratic locations.

Retaining the crudely rustic black-walled interior and exposed pipes of its predecessor, Lower East Side’s Barcade features 20-plus taps at its right side 12-seat lamp-lit bar. A central blackboard lists current beer selections.

On my terse half-hour stopover, October ’17, I discovered Great South Bay Splashing Pumpkin (reviewed in Beer Index). On deck were a few brews I hadn’t yet tried, such as Barrier Tanto, Shmaltz Hannukah in July in Napa, Du Claw Collusion, Chelsea Pumpkin Pie and Kelso Berliner Weisse with Cranberry.



Image result for BLIND TIGER NYC


Right on the corner of Bleecker and Jones Street in Manhattan’s West Village, BLIND TIGER ALE HOUSE has been a New York City staple since opening in 1996. A legendary downtown pub, Blind Tiger emulates Prohibition Era Speakeasy’s with its comforting Olde World ambience and roughhewn wood décor.

A rustic one-room fortress with old creaky floorboards, mid-walled brick hearth, farmhouse-styled ceiling beams and wraparound 18-seat bar, Blind Tiger’s multiple blackboards list 28 draughts plus three casks and several bottled-canned beers.

Industrial lamps light the bar while several tightly packed tables and one hanging TV take up the rest of its cozy space. A light food menu includes sandwiches, appetizers and salads to alongside well-selected craft brews, wine and cocktails.

On a hot September afternoon following the San Gennaro Fest, my wife and I grab a few stools to consume California’s Firestone Walker Helldorado Blonde Barleywine, Ireland’s Lough Gill Imperial Coconut Toasted Porter and Maine’s Allagash White (reviewed fully in Beer Index).



GEORGE KEELEY, New York City - Upper West Side - Menu, Prices & Restaurant  Reviews - Order Online Food Delivery - TripadvisorImage result for george keeley


One of the finest Upper West Side watering holes in Manhattan, GEORGE KEELEY’S serves classic Irish and American pub fare alongside some of New York’s best craft beer on draught.

Just off 83rd Street on Amsterdam Avenue, the cozy neighborhood hangout’s 20-seat mahogany brass-railed bar features 20-plus taps, a large mirrored George Keeley mural and several distinguished liquors. Ten left side tables oppose the bar and multiple TV’s provide a sportsbar atmosphere and a Dogfish Head sign above the front door proves their commitment to craft beer.

The jukebox plays classic rock while I consume six previously untried brews (reviewed in Beer Index) with my friends Steve and Jeremy during a hot summer night in June ’17.

East Coast Amber Lager and Bamberger Mahr’s Ungestpundet Hefetrub represented the pilsner-lager contingent. Captain Lawrence Clearwater Kolsch, LIC Beer Project Primrose Saison and Modern Times Fruitlands with passionfruit and guava were soft-toned faves. KCBC Extremely Dangerous Precedent Double IPA proved worthy but Gisberga Reina De Aragon Porter seemed unfinished.



Image result for broadway diveImage result for broadway dive


Re-creating a cozily bohemian Prohibition Era speakeasy, affluent Upper West Side pub, BROADWAY DIVE, is tucked into a busy commercial street just up the hill from midtown Manhattan. Its mauve-marooned exterior and rustic wood interior give this narrow beer-centric tavern a friendly neighborhood feel.

Packed to the hilt with incongruent graffiti and paraphernalia, mounted animals (deer, bear, trout, bass), multiple TV’s, koi fish aquarium and 20-plus tap handles (specializing in respected Belgian ales, local elixirs and national craft beer), its tremendous refrigerated bottle-can selection consumes much of the left wall opposite the 20-seat wooden bar area. And a few marble-topped community tables serve people across the bar.

Part of the “Dive Bar” triumvirate that includes the original Amsterdam Avenue site and Columbus Avenue’s Dive 75, these seminal landmarks are a must for all New York City-bound beer enthusiasts.

My wife and I grab seats at the bar just a few days prior to Christmas, 2015, to consume one high profile sampler tray (Sloop Sauer Peach Berliner Weisse; Barrier’s Uncle Lee’s Christmas Ale; Barrier Lights Out Stout; Evil Twin Christmas Eve In A NYC Hotel Imperial Stout) plus a pint of Thirsty Dog Bourbon-aged Wulver and Ayinger Weiss. We consume chili, hummus and a knish while downing world class brews.

For those requiring privacy, two small loft areas overlooking the bar offer adequate intimacy.




Named after a historic 19th century Lower East Side granite mile marker in Manhattan’s Bowery, ONE MILE HOUSE (opened for business 2012) serves inventive pub fare and creative cocktails as well as awesome local, national and international craft beer. A Prohibition Era-styled watering hole with custom wood decor, hanging pendant lights, silver tin-tiled ceiling, mauve-walled city portraits and black velvet window curtains, its overall rusticity creates the reliable Old World ambience.

In early August ’15, I grab a seat at the two-roomed wraparound bar to sample eight previously untried brews that range from California’s Telegraph Flotsam Lager to Ireland’s White Hag Black Boar Imperial Stout with New York City-based Third Rail Bodega Pale Ale, Transmitter Golden Ale, Barrier Red Button Imperial Red Ale and Finback Gose finding middle ground alongside Ithaca Cranbretty and East-West collaboration Other Half/ Bunker Boogie Board Stuntz Kolsch (all reviewed in Beer Index).

The exquisite wood-mantled leftside bar houses several hanging silver mugs, select spirits and 20-plus taps. Behind the bar area, a caliginous one-booth backroom counters a cozy dining area while the spacious back porch (with five wood tables and one community table plus beer-related Allagash, Dogfish Head, Green Harbor, Sixpoint and Smuttynose signposts) offers the perfect Big City summertime retreat.

The imaginative culinary experience provided by the David Burke kitchen utilizes locally-sourced ingredients for “burgers and things” like creative hot dogs and flatbreads as well as juicy steaks and crisp salads to fill the one-page pub menu. A few inventive Double Dogs get consumed during my initial visit – The Elvis Dog (with peanut butter and bacon) and Dallas Dog (Texas chili with onions and mustard).

Before heading out to my Central Park High Times Bonghitters softball game versus friendly rivals, Wall Street Journal, the well-rounded beer assortment gets quaffed while Zimmy from dance punk band, Tooth Aches, makes interesting conversation. Several teachers, musicians and craftsmen stop by for a drink as dinnertime rolls around.

A trusty neighborhood tavern with dichotomous old-world charm contrasting quality new-world food and beverages, One Mile House draws local working-class minions from various eclectic downtown communities such as the Bowery, Little Italy, Chinatown and Canal Street.






From its humble Houston digs in 1985, the original Texas-based GINGER MAN was considered the first multi-tap bar in America. Quite a huge statement considering the Lone Star state’s more conservative liquor laws. More than a decade hence, GINGER MAN’s prime midtown Manhattan franchise instantly gained a sterling reputation from beer geeks and snobs far and wide upon opening in ’96.

An Olde World-styled Irish-spirited pub with Gothic lamps hanging above a cozily cavernous wood-leathered interior, this charmingly classicist Herald Square beer haven serves some of New York’s greatest tapped selections alongside excellent single malt Scotches and worthy pub fare. Two bronze-backed serving stations at the 25-stool right bar offer 66 draughts listed on a crowded cardboard menu (alongside 160-plus bottled selections). A back lounge with couches and tables serves as an easygoing alcove retreat.

Sitting at one of the crimson suede-designed left side pews, my two colleagues dig into cask conditioned versions of Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA while I sample six previously untried brews on this dank Monday afternoon. For lunch, the Cobb Salad is crisp and fresh while the Shepherd’s Pie is undeniably rich. For dessert, we get amazing cinnamon-sugared soft pretzels with honey  mustard.

While Dortmunder-styled Riegele Commerzienrat Privat stayed mildly creamed and delicately grassy hopped, dry-bodied old ale Greenport Harbor Anti-Freeze brought soft-toned dewy peat to dark-spiced dry fig and molasses breading. Brooklyn Oishi Belgian Session Ale layered lemony curacao orange above plastique lemongrass tones.

Those easygoing starters were blown away by winningly peculiar Founders Mango Magnifico Con Calor, a tropical mango-juiced fruit ale with throat-clearing habanero burn.  Smooth oak-aged Element ESO (English strong ale) tasted just like dry Scotch and Abita Macchiato Stout featured a monstrously peppery espresso-like coffee roast. Full reviews in Beer Index.

Based on a classic post-war novel by American playwright JP Donleavy, each Ginger Man franchise does the legacy proud with uncommon bohemian ambiance meeting elegantly upscale vintage decor.



Nyc, Nyc trip, Beer


Located directly across 8th Avenue’s Port Authority one block from Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan’s Hells Kitchen section, BEER AUTHORITY opened April 2012. Inside a spacey two-storey golden browned corner spot, this emblematic beer-centric sportsbar gained initial acceptance from true beer geeks as well as casual businessmen and curious tourists.

Initially visited in the late afternoon during November ’13, Beer Authority’s bountiful brewery banners cover nearly every wall and crevice. Its glass-windowed second floor illuminates the large-lettered gold-on-brown signpost glistens upon arrival. And a spacious open-air rooftop bar with bright blue parasols adds to the overall magnificience of this prime urban hotspot.

Upon entrance, a dimunitive ground level 8-seat bar with antique bronze ceiling tiles, fine wood-shelved liquor, 16 tap handles (of familiar craft beers) and large-screen TV welcomes patrons. Chimay, Rogue and Sixpoint banners proudly display the walkway to the sizable second floor.

A massive oak-furnished, beige-sided, duct-exposed expanse with 20 stooled dinner tables cornering the well-kept 20-seat inner-walled bar and TV’s at every conceivable angle bedecking the beer-bannered wall of fame (featuring Flying Dog, Green Flash, Smuttynose, Founders, etc.), its impressive Stone Brewing murel truly seals the deal.

At the bar, two opposing refrigeration units center the two brass tap mounts (pouring 60-plus tapped beers) and a blue Weihenstafaner flag hangs over the prominent Beer Authority NYC mirror. Formidable red and white wines are available on the Brit-twisted pub-fared menu (Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Shepherds Pie; Beef Pot Pie; Lamb Shepherd Pie; Roasted Wild Boar Sausage). “The Authority,” a petite filet mignon with shallot-buttered onions, deserves to be tried.

As night falls, I enjoy one obtuse South American stout and three unconventional Midwest pale bodies (fully reviewed in Beer Index). Out of Brazil, Guanabara Imperial Stout allowed sour-fruited burgundy to upstage expectant brown chocolate creaming. Underwhelming, perhaps, but slightly intriguing.

While Illinois-bound Goose Island Lolita brought vinous raspberry-soured white grape tartness to the fore, Michigan’s Kuhnhenn showed off sweet and sour sides. Kuhnhenn Fluffer Gone Wild (a brettanomyces-funked IPA with sour Gose-like coriander salting dabbing herbal lemon zest) and White Devil (a mellow vanilla-sugared banana bomb with cane-sugared sweetener).



Proletariat, New York  


Just down the street from Hop Devil Grill in Manhattan’s East Village, diminutive dive bar, PROLETARIAT, boasts ‘rare, new and unusual beer’ as its prophetic slogan. An inconspicuous St. Mark’s Place hangout for crazed craft beer enthusiasts, Proletariat opened May 2012 to excited local fanfare.
A narrow joint with an elongated left side bar and one front windowed table, the rustic black-bricked interior walls (with bright paint-chipped clusters) resembles a ’50s ice cream parlor with its low-to-the-ground swivel stools, white-tiled ceiling and right-walled picture frame regalia. Four tap fountains contain twelve rotating draught handles and several hard-to-find beer bottles adorn the shelves.
On my initial April ’13 visit, Beverage Director Cory Bonfiglio efficiently tends bar as a packed house enjoys a well-rounded choice of beers going from light pilsner to rich mocha stout. As cool underground rock plays in the background, I dip into Louisville’s Against The Grain Hacksaaz Chuggin’ Pils, a dry-hopped rye-grained light body with orange-oiled herbal notions. Next, Long Island City’s Rockaway ESB upped the citric rye influence of the former pils for an upscale pale ale-like refresher given an English-styled earthen fungi musk.
As it starts to pour outside, several nearby customers decide to chow down on the limited, but fine, pub fare (such as Toasted Pretzels, Brined Potato Wedges, Grilled Cheese, Beer-Braised Brat and Reuben Burger). I reach for sessionable Manhattan-based Radiant Pig Jr. IPA, an easygoing charmer with lighter India Pale Ale-related stylistic illusions. Its polite piney grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering and minor juniper snip contrasted tangy peach, mango, passionfruit, pineapple and melon tropicalia.
For a closer, lenten amber lager, Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier, proved how well German rauchbiers strike a chord with rangy palates. Its beechwood-smoked parlance, sweet cedar chipping and Band-aid wafted astringency pleasurably seeped into the tongue.
True to the free-spirited underground punk scene that once thrived on St. Mark’s Place, Proletariat offers an intriguing melange of super suds.



Reminiscent of a roadhouse-styled Irish sports pub, RATTLE N HUM opened for business, July 2008, and quickly became one of New York City’s premier beer-centric bars. A narrow wood-paneled, black-walled dive at a 33rd Street boutique spot with flashy banners, painted brewery insignias, strewn tap handles and other beer-related paraphernalia, Rattle N Hum is the brainchild of respected beer impresario (and original owner) Patrick Donagher. A bright green, yellow and red sign boasting Rattle N Hum New York City welcomes thirsty patrons at the wooden entrance.
Finally getting to visit this highly regarded beer haven for Happy Hour (11 AM to 7 PM weekdays) on a slushy Thursday afternoon in March ’13, I was thoroughly impressed with the magnitude of passion and commitment towards developing craft beer appreciation. Daringly parading the nifty slogan “No Crap Beer On Tap,” this relished hotspot features 40 draughts, 2 hand-pulled casks and 120-plus bottled selections. On the back of the beer menu is a thorough event listing and worthwhile ‘how to taste beer’ section. Flights of four 4-ounce beers for $10 allow customers to sample new brews they might not otherwise experience.
Sitting across the right side 15-seat bar (with four TV’s and large chalkboard listing tapped selections), my wife and I settle into the largest booth before the place gets really crowded. Several businessmen grab the front benches while a few couples sit at the rear and side community tables. Behind our heads along the wall are several hand-painted beer insignias promoting Founders, Speakeasy, Lagunitas, Boulder and BrewDog. On the rear wall, a map of the United States contains several flags denoting where today’s current tapped beers originated.
As Etta James’ eternal lovestruck ballad “At Last” plays in the background, I dive into two previously untried libations (Singlecut Billy Full Stack IPA and Bronx Black Pale Ale) while my wife sips Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss (reviews in Beer Index). We split the enormous Taco Tower appetizer and hope to try artisanal cheeses, quesidillas and sandwich wraps at a future date.
On top of the nearly religious dedication to well-crafted beers, there’s a certain intimacy prevailing over this big town Beer Mecca. Tourists, beer enthusiasts and NYC’s notorious bridge and tunnel crowd all find a home at Rattle N Hum. Just get there early ’cause it does get filled ’round dinnertime and weekend evenings.


Packed to the gills on a Friday evening in late November 2012, Upper East Side Manhattan watering hole, THE PONY BAR, is a diminutive one-room saloon on the corner of 75th and 1st (with a second site in Hell’s Kitchen). Three rounded orange-colored Pony Bar insignias welcome the large contingent of post-collegiate minions to the front entrance as the Pac-10 football championship between Stanford and UCLA plays on the two TV’s sidling the left bar this cold winter’s eve.
Hanging growler lamps dimly light the 20-stool bar area where dozens of local denizens find space to get one of the limited edition or hard-to-find American indie brews served from 20 rotating draught lines. Two illuminating boards above the bar list tonight’s featured beers. Though failing to get the collaborative Bruery/ Elysian/ Stone Citrueilli Amber Ale one-shot, two tartly fruited libations were imbibed for the first time during my one-hour stopover.
A Latino waiter with a ‘Fuck Imports” t-shirt (celebrating this establishments’ commitment to American ales) clears the community table at the front window where I’ll be sipping some suds. Some pro-pot enthusiasts must run the operation since Happy Hour begins at the inauspicious time of 4:20 PM. Burgers, chicken, pulled pork, ribs and deep-fried pickles are available for the dinner crowd but at this witching hour all customers onhand are strictly drinking.
Though the tentative Lakefront Rendezvous Biere De Garde seemed a bit underwhelming with its murky fruit esters and tart IPA-like citric-peeled bittering, serviceable Bear Republic Wine Country Wheat co-mingled hefeweizen (tart banana), Berliner Weiss (salty coriander) and American wheat ale (lemon-rotted apricot and orange) stylings quite effectively. (Full reviews are in Beer Index)
Within walking distance of the larger David Copperfield’s House Of Beer, The Pony Bar’s one of the coziest pubs in New York City. Connoisseurs will appreciate the swiftly revolving draught choices and enjoy the friendly young-at-heart atmosphere.
During two-hour stopover with wife, Karen, March 2013, had soft pretzels with spicy farmhouse mustard alongside Goose Island’s Naughty Goose English Brown Ale and Bourbon County Coffee Stout as well as Chelsea Bourbon Barrel Blackhole Stout and Green Flash East Village Pils. Hung out with Stuart, host of
On a rainy April ’14 springtime jaunt, shared mouthwatering Tartine (honeyed pizza bianca with black-peppered ricotta and dried fig) with wife while quaffing three ‘big’ Uinta brews and 21st Amendment/ Elysian He Said Pumpkin Porter (a rich hybridized Baltic porter placing dried-fruited mocha malts above pumpkin pie-spiced anise, stewed prune, fig, caraway and cinnamon).
As for the Uinta triage, Detour Double IPA boasted orange-peeled grapefruit and pineapple bittering as well as sticky pine resinous pungency to contrast sweet pear-peach-apple tang. Similarly styled Anniversary Barleywine tossed tangy dry-hopped IPA fruiting at syrupy piney spruce sapping. And approachable beechwood-smoked Tinder Rauchbier brought Band-Aid astringency and black-peppered peat malt to apple-candied glazed ham sweetness. (All fully reviewed in Beer Index)