Brooklyn has always been a good place for beer, and in recent years the addition of several new breweries and serious brew-focused pubs have only made it more so. Several new additions over the past few months have upped the ante for the beeriest beer-spot, and that trend is only going to continue with Berg’n, the Brooklyn Flea-backed beer hall preparing to open in Crown Heights a little later this spring. Each of these newcomers–spanning four different neighborhoods–combine comfortable, laid-back spaces with offerings diverse enough to ensure that even the most committed ale-head will find something they’ve never swigged before.
Named for a colonial-era family farm estate that once stretched through Crown Heights, Covenhoven, which just opened on Classon Avenue, is a family affair. Owners Bill Pace and Molly Bradford live upstairs–the couple formerly ran an art gallery in the space. This spot is a combo tap room/bottle shop not unlike Park Slope’s Bierkraft, so you can choose suds from any of the sixteen tap lines, or browse the extensive selection of bottles, which are also available to go. Bartenders encourage tasting at least a few beers before settling in, and there are Pelzer’s Pretzels to soak them up. The space itself is beautiful, with a garage door that opens up to let in the sun–perfect for that time of year when it’s not really warm out but we’re all ready to pretend winter is over. Covenhoven’s grand opening party this Wednesday, March 26 at 7pm will feature an NYC tap takeover, with drafts from Bronx Brewery, Sixpoint, Dyckman Beer Co. and more local brews.
Greenpoint’s long-awaited brewpub actually opened back in January, but only recently started pouring their own house-brewed beers. The eight original offerings are quite original indeed, with options like Helles Gates, which incorporates malt smoked over beechwood for a smokey-flavor, and Fisticuffs, a breakfast-y beer with notes of brown sugar and coffee. The food lineup is no less ambitious, with a meat-y menu that includes brisket, sausages and pig knuckle.
7 North 15th Street, at Franklin; dirckthenorseman.com
3. Pickle Shack
Brooklyn Brine’s pickle-centric restaurant, which debuted this fall, has plenty to report on from the food front. The all-vegetarian menu ranges from fried hop pickles to a smoked tofu bahn mi, but the beer list is just as exciting. This place is a collaboration with Dogfish Head and features a rotating lineup of that brewery’s beers, including many harder-to-find Dogfish brews, like Sahtea, a Finnish-style beer made with foraged juniper. There are also several dozen rare brews available by the bottle.
256 4th Avenue, between President and Carroll; pickleshacknyc.com
The owners of Bed-Stuy’s popular Bed-Vyne wine store branched out last summer with this humble suds-focused spot, which features 10 beers on tap at any given time, all available to stay or to go, in growlers. There are laid-back DJ sets several nights a week, and the draft lineup always features something interesting, with seasonal pours from craft brewers like 21st Amendment, Evil Twin and many more.
370 Tompkins Avenue, at Putnum; bed-vyne.com