NYC Guide: Strictly Beer Bars

Tastings, flights, sommeliers, and meal pairings…all familiar terms to the wine connoisseur, but now the subject of admiration is beer. Artisan and local beers alike are gaining notoriety throughout the city for having the depth and nuances commonly associated with wine. Impressive and varied offerings paired with bar staff as knowledgeable as the Trappist monks, who turned beer into an art form, raise beer drinking into a true experience.

Burp Castle: Although some German and British beers can be found here, Belgian beer dominates. This small, unassuming bar is themed as an abbey, complete with wooden booths, Gregorian chants, signs prohibiting talk above a whisper, and the occasional bartender wearing a monk robe. Check it out on Sunday, Monday, or Wednesdays when complimentary Belgian fries from neighboring Pomme Frites are served from 6pm-8pm. 41 East 7th Street between 2nd Avenue and Cooper Square124 Old Rabbit Club: An unmarked black door leads you down a narrow set of stairs into this cellar bar. Not much larger than the size of a subway car, the overseers of the bar require you to buzz to gain entry so the size of the crowd stays under control. Aside from the knowledgeable staff, the Rabbit Style Guide will provide guidance for the extensive menu. 124 MacDougal Street at Minetta Street

The Brooklyn Brewery: Since opening its doors in 1987, the Brewery gives tours every Saturday between 1pm-4pm, no reservations required. Not interested in a tour? The Brewery is open to the public on Friday nights, where you can sample the entire range of the local brew at $4 each. 79 N.11th Street near Wythe Avenue in Brooklyn

Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden:
The last original outdoor beer garden in New York City. Enclosed by an oversized wooden fence with large arched doors reminiscent of Bavarian castles, the outdoor space is lined with large picnic benches. The grill offers traditional picnic and beer hall fare ranging from burgers to schnitzel which perfectly compliment the large pitchers of beer that line the tables. Perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon with friends and family over conversation and a game of cards. Occasional live music.29-19 24th Avenue between 29th Street and 31 Street in Astoria, Queens