Feb. 21 kicked off the sixth annual New York City Beer Week, with beer-focused events all around the city — dinners with beer pairings, tastings and specials from highly acclaimed breweries, and more — running through March 2 . In NYC, of course, it’s possible to drink great beer every day of the year, whether it’s beer week or not. Here are five bars that really know their beer (and can teach you, too).
Proletariat couldn’t be more of a hole-in-the-wall, but the skinny East Village bar is worthy of making a beer destination. Their motto — “rare, new and unusual beers” — reflects what they’ve got on tap, with often-rotating offerings spelled out in plastic magnetic letters. Ask the knowledgeable barkeeps for a recommendation, and know that the next time you come back, you might be drinking something completely different.102 St. Marks Pl., 212-777-6707, proletariatny.com
The Jeffrey is a lively spot under the Queensborough Bridge with an industrial vibe from a team with a real bar pedigree — Andy Freedman and Patrick Donagher (together, of Alewife; Donagher, of Rattle ‘n Hum). Want to upgrade the after-work beer with the office, and drink the good stuff rather than a stale Guinness at a generic pub? The Jeffery is your spot as it’s outfitted with a super high-tech tap system, allowing them to precisely control pressure and temperature across their 30 taps. 311 E. 60th St., 212-355-2337, jeffreynyc.com
The brother establishment to barbecue joint Fette Sau and the meat-focused St. Anselm, Spuyten Duyvil is one of Williamsburg‘s best beer bars, with an encyclopedic bottle list, six rotating taps, and many little-known offerings. You’ll find a truly international selection, and in warmer weather, Spuyten Duyvil’s back garden opens up — because nothing goes better with beer than sunshine. 359 Metropolitan Ave., 718-963-4140, spuytenduyvilnyc.com
The new destination for beer obsessives, this sleek, Scandinavian-looking Greenpoint bar is the place to truly geek out, with the minimalist decor (with 21 elegant wooden tap handles along the bar) putting the focus squarely on the beer. Not only are the kegs they have on tap distinctive — a number of limited releases and otherwise unusual beers –but they’re controlled with a high-tech draft system that lets the resident beer experts carbonate and chill each one to its ideal specifications. Geekery never tasted so good. 615 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, 718-389-6034, torstnyc.com
The Ginger Man
Bring a date, bring a crowd, bring whomever — the Ginger Man is an expansive Midtown bar with an extensive beer selection, 60-plus taps that range from cask-conditioned ales to Belgians and sours and ciders. Every beer-drinker can find something to love here, whether you’re into gutsy porters or lighter wheat beers. Like to know what you’re drinking before 5pm rolls around? The Ginger Man’s website updates their beer list in real time, so you know exactly what’s on tap for the evening (no pun intended). 11 E. 36th St., 212-532-3740, gingerman-ny.com