Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
NYC’s oldest beer garden, Bohemian Hall has been a fixture in Queens’ Czech and Slovak community for over 100 years. There are a handful of American craft beers on tap, but the focus here is on central European lagers and rib-sticking traditional food. It’s old school in all the right ways. There’s a massive outdoor space filled with tents, tables and stage, and plenty of room to spread out. It gets crowded on the weekends, and expect that to amplify with Oktoberfest around the corner. Your best bet is a stein of some of the freshest Pilsner Urquell we’ve found in the city.
Tucked away on an otherwise sleepy block of Long Island City (just a few minutes ride from Manhattan on the 7 train), Alewife has one of the top draft and bottle selections in NYC, hands down. The inside is cavernous and dark, but there's a good-size patio on the second floor for patrons to enjoy a pint outside. There's also an ambitious event program in the works, which has already hosted cask festivals and brought in brewers from Cantillon, De la Senne, and Evil Twin.
The reclaimed and repurposed industrial aesthetic inside Sweet Afton spills over into the patio out back. There isn't a ton of seating, but we found it to be a quiet and pleasant spot for afternoon beers. There's a dozen offerings on tap and as many bottles, supported by a menu of pub fare that promotes local ingredients.
Our friend David Flaherty lured us into Pachanga Patterson the first time with the promise of top-notch tacos. True to his word, they did not disappoint. But much to our surprise, in addition to Mexican restaurant staples like Negra Modelo (no complaints about that one), there's also a handful of American craft beer offerings on tap and in bottle. The 21st Amendment Back in Black is great with the spice-rubbed carnitas. They also makes a killer Michelada.
Studio Square has all the amenities of your local watering hole—baseball on the TV, White Stripes on the radio, even pitchers of beer—with one big difference: a massive beer garden. The 30,000-square foot. space is a fresh breath amidst the concrete-laden streets of Queens.
Everything at Studio Square is aimed toward drinking and socializing, not sipping and contemplating. The tap list is split between German staples (Hofbrau, Spaten, etc.) and some of the better mass-produced American beers (think Sam Adams and Blue Moon). We were excited to see local favorite Captain Lawrence on tap and gladly grabbed a Kölsch to break the 90º heat. We're told it gets crazy in here on nights and weekends but we found it jovial and relaxing on our afternoon visit. —Chris Lehault
Astoria Brewhouse is exactly what I wish I had in a neighborhood pub. With over twenty beers on tap ranging from Founders Dirty Bastard to PBR, there is something for everyone and even the most discerning drinker will find resolve in the few stray Belgian beers in bottle. The music, like the beer, is a bit of everything ranging from Elvis Presley to Rage Against the Machine.
The small, outdoor patio at Astoria Brewhouse is open year round thanks to a retractable roof and built in fireplace. This is one space you can enjoy well into the late fall. —Chris Lehault