DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript



Beer Tasting at New York City's Microbreweries

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 9/24/2005 - www.Littleviews.com ]

2007 - CHANGES - CHANGES!
The Times Square Brewery reported in this article was closed in 2007, although traces of its signs can still be seen in its former location.


>>  Drinking boutique and imported beers is always a great pleasure, but finding ways to sample several of those beers at a single sitting without getting sloppy drunk or blowing your budget can be problematic. Fortunately, Heartland Brewery, a New York microbrewery, pours small samples day and night at all of its five locations, as do the Chelsea Brewing Company, the Times Square Brewery, and the West End Brewery (a Columbia University student hangout).


Of course, what is beer without food? Nachos, potato skins, hot wings, BBQ, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and, quite frankly, everything fried all complement a good brew. Because New York's microbreweries compete with a multitude of restaurants, they produce high-quality bar food in addition to just serving rounds. For a small investment (let's say $20 for a tasting panel, plus finger food), you can have enough delivered to your table to keep you and a friend quite content.

Heartland Brewery started out as a brew pub, with working tanks on their premises. As they acquired more locations, beverage consistency became an issue. Each place brewed great beer, but same-named beers were not standardized. They solved this problem by outsourcing all their brewing to the Greenpoint Beer Works in Brooklyn which, in turn, makes daily deliveries. Even so, in many locations you can still see their old copper tanks, although no longer tended by brewmasters.


The above photo shows the patio of Heartland Brewery's South Street Seaport location. I learned after this article was published that the poster is a portrait of the owner, Farmer Jon, A.K.A., Jon Bloostein.


All Heartland Brewery restaurants look vintage 1930s, via the lavish use of dark, polished wood, brass, and funky-but-beautiful posters and paintings. Their Union Square location, for example, is a bi-level, Germanic, college-centered beer bar, very close in looks to those in my beloved Madison, Wisconsin (home of the University of Wisconsin, a top-rated party school, and birthplace of the satiric newspaper, The Onion).


If you want a more family-centered atmosphere, especially on weekend afternoons, their 43rd Street location (directly above) is the place to go. Check out Heartland Brewery's more edgy BBQ headquarters, Spanky's, which is next door, before making a choice. Evenings finds both of these places packed.

If you love sitting outdoors, head to their delightful South Street Seaport location (second photo above), which is conveniently near a branch of TKTS as well as area attractions, such as the magnificent tall ships. On warm weekends, you can also watch roving minstrels, balloon sculptors, magicians, puppet shows, and more.

Tourists tend to cluster at Heartland Brewery's West 43rd Street location, while noisy business folk rule on West 51st Street. The Empire State Building location is the most elegant, reflecting the ambiance of 1930s cigar-chomping financial tycoons, but it's simply a fun place to drink and dine, with the widest selection of beers on tap.


Midtown also houses the famed 42nd Street Times Square Brewery, with its bright red sign that shadows that of the long-running The Lion King play next door.

Prior to writing this article, I never visited this place, put off by what I thought was strictly a bar atmosphere. Boy, was I wrong! This sparkling establishment is more a restaurant and lounge than it is a bar. Decorated in what looks like 1950s modern, you'll be surprised at its fresh, sweeping appearance. Although its marquee suggests a 1920s, silent-film era vibe, inside it's polished and comfortable.


Make a point of dropping in when business is slow (say, mid-afternoon on weekdays) to see its dramatic, white floating staircase. Climb to their second-floor lounge area (photo above) with additional dining areas, then continue to the third floor, which houses its huge brewery (complete with brewmaster, as seen below), plus more dinner tables. Sore knees? Fortunately, they also have an elevator.



Should you choose to imbibe on the third floor, the brewery is in back, showcased behind a massive plate glass wall. According to their website, the restaurant seats up to 600 people at one time, with thousands stopping in nightly. It's obvious that their giant-sized tanks keep up with the demand.

Where to Go

In future articles, I'll describe the Chelsea Brewing Company (which also hosts brewery tours), The West End Brewery, and bars that specialize in hundreds of boutique and imported brews.

I would love to include the popular Brooklyn Brewery, but it does not run a bar or restaurant. It does, however, host a variety of beer-tasting events, such as Octoberfest, which for $50 includes pub food and nine beers. They also hold three free brewery tours every Saturday afternoon.

For a list of beer tasting events that include New York and surrounding states, pick up a copy of The Ale Street News, or visit their site, www.AleStreetNews.com. Also consider attending classes at The Learning Annex


www.HeartlandBrewery.com

Heartland Brewery and Chophouse
Times Square near Broadway
127 W. 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
646 366-0235

Spanky's BBQ
www.SpankysNYC.com
127 W. 43rd Street near Broadway
New York, NY 10036
212 575-5848

Heartland Brewery at Radio City
1285 6th Avenue at 51st Street
New York, NY 10019
212 582-8244

Heartland Brewery at Union Square
35 Union Square
New York, NY 10003
212 645-3400

Heartland Brewery and Beer Hall
of South Street Seaport
93 South Street at Fulton
New York, NY 10038
646 572-2337

Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie
Empire State Building
350 5th Avenue at 34th Street
New York, NY 10118
212 563-3433

www.TimesSquareBrewery.com
Times Square Brewery and Restaurant
This restaurant is closed
210 W. 42nd Street
Between 7th and 8th Avenues
New York, NY 10036
212 398-1234

www.TheWestEndNYC.com
The West End
2911 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
212 662-8830

www.ChelseaBrewingCo.com
Chelsea Brewing Company
Chelsea Pier, Pier 59
New York, NY 10011
212 336-6440

www.BrooklynBrewery.com
Brooklyn Brewery
79 North 11th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718 486-7422

Questions or comments?

Alison O'Brien
Out and About Reporter
and
Karen Little
Littleviews' Editor and Chief

CREDITS: Article by Alison O'Brien and Karen Little. Photos by Karen Little. First published on 9/24/2005. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.







Receive our newsletter

www.LetsKickScoot.com






















The Doors of Cooperstown - Wood Burning Art

Tour New York City on a Folding Bike

Visit The Society of Illustrators in New York City

Visit Asbury Park and Ocean Grove on Wheels

Visit New Jersey's Seaside Heights

Visit the Ventnor City and Atlantic City Boardwalk

Walk (or Kick Scoot) Along New York's East River

Cruising the NY Harbor and the Hudson River

Resources for Cruising the Hudson River, the NY Harbor, and NY State

The Little Pie Company (not cupcakes) Rules in New York City

Visit Washington, DC, on a Kick Scooter



List of New York Discount Entertainment

Find Best Travel Values

Locating Wine Tasting Classes

List of New York Chocolate and Candy Shops

List of New York Hamburger Shops

List of New York Bookstores

Group Running, Walking, and Biking Events

List of Event Resources

List of New York City Restaurants Where You Can BYO Wine

New York Hotel Rate Calculator and Gratuity Index


Home      About Littleviews      Site Index