Craft beer options in the Financial District are severely limited, but they're better than they were, thanks to the arrival of The Growler last year (and nearby Porterhouse Brewing Co.). The Growler’s outdoor space melts seamlessly into the rows of tables filling Stone Street, but its 20-tap American craft-heavy selection sets it well apart from its neighbors. Growlers are available to stay or to go, and if you’re hungry, the fried pickles, bone marrow, and Hawaiian-style hotdogs are all solid choices.
Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten
Just off Bowery on the Lower East Side, Loreley has all the food and beer of a traditional German biergarten minus the oompahs and lederhosen. Kölsch is king here, but there are 20 different German ales and lagers to fill your stein. The wurst-heavy menu of German comfort food will help you keep up with your liters, and the backyard’s communal tables are mostly covered by a tent, making this a good stop rain or shine. Prost!
One of NYC’s original craft beer bars, d.b.a. is still one of the East Village’s most reliable spots for a good pint. There’s a covered patio and partly shaded yard out back if you’re not looking to disappear inside the dark, well-worn bar. Among the taps you’ll always find Fuller’s ESB as well as an extensive collection of American and European bottles.
Terroir at the Porch
Terroir’s newest outpost is a shipping container-turned-kitchen and bar occupying a bright corner of the Highline. The focus here still leans toward the wine side, but the draft and can list is well-chosen and built for summer. There’s a great view of the Hudson and Lady Liberty, which makes for a pretty perfect backdrop for an afternoon Captain Lawrence Kölsch. The seasonal spot also brings familiar snacks from Terroir’s other locations, including fried lamb sausage wrapped in sage leaves and beet risotto balls.
The three house-brewed cask ales take center stage here, with support provided by a selection of 10 drafts that leans heavily on beers from the Birreria partners, Dogfish Head, Del Borgo, and Baladin. We enjoyed Wanda, a mild chestnut ale with notes of cocoa, and Giuseppina, a smooth Belgian IPA brewed with rigatoni, of all things. Take them in with what’s on my shortlist for favorite cheese and charcuterie plate in the city. Birreria’s not cheap and it’s often packed, but it’s worth making a reservation.
It’s taken Harlem a bit to jump on the craft beer bandwagon, but Frederick Douglass Boulevard in the 110s is making a strong case for heading uptown. Along with nearby Bier International, Harlem Tavern is leading the charge. The outdoor space is massive, with live music several times a week. The draft and bottle list isn’t all craft, but what is makes it worth it. We enjoyed washing down the restaurant’s pot of steamed mussels in West Indian curry along with a Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’.