We've been waiting for the rooftop beergarden at Eataly to open for a long time. And it's up and running—though the beers they plan to brew on site aren't quite flowing yet (our server mentioned they'd had some trouble getting hot water hooked up, but that he expected beers brewed on the rooftop to show up within a week.)
In the meantime, Dogfish Head is brewing Eataly's signature pale ale with thyme (which will be called Gina) in Delaware and trucking it up to NYC. It's pretty delicious, dry hopped with tons of fresh thyme that perfectly complements the lemony bitterness of the base beer. The standard Eataly Pale Ale is almost as herbal tasting, but this will be replaced with some seasonal beers including Sofia, a Belgian Wit brewed with peppercorns, and Wanda, a mild ale brewed with roasted chestnuts.
Of the cask beers we tried, our favorite was the Eataly Indian Brown Ale brewed with maple syrup, which really benefited from the cask treatment. Catch it while it's still on tap—this beer is rich and deliciously smooth, with roasty coffee notes and dry cocoa flavor. It's especially excellent with dishes from the mushroom menu—go with the fried shiitakes and roasted maitakes, as long as you can stand a little salt.
In addition to the casks, Birreria is pouring several draft beers into Teku glassware (the shape of which is supposed to improve the flavor and focus the aroma of the beer.) The Baladin Nora is brewed with ginger, orange peel and myrrh. The flavor is reminiscent of orange tea, and it's not very bitter, but has subtle herbal spice.
Our server recommended the Del Borgo Re Al Extra golden IPA to pair with sausages; it's savory, almost olive-like, and quite tasty.
Like everything else at Eataly, the beers aren't cheap—pints of the cask beers are $10, and Tekus of the draft beers are $6-8 (though Dogfish Head's intense Palo Santo is $7 for a half-pour.)