- Dive Bar
732 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 96th St.; 212-749-4358
Sixpoint vets Evan Klein and Craig Frymark have managed to devise 37 styles of beer (highlights include the coffee-scented Rembrandt Porter and the piney Sanity IPA) while using a very modest 31-gallon, single-barrel brewing system.
Blind Bat Brewery
- Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-982-3006
In his detached garage, Blind Bat’s nearsighted, colorblind brewmaster Paul Dlugokencky concocts rustic ales crafted with hand-smoked malts and organic herbs and vegetables often grown by his wife. Among the winning creations: the barbecue-friendly Hellsmoke Porter and the maple-syrup-inflected Belfry Brown.
Kelso of Brooklyn
- Brouwerij Lane
78 Greenpoint Ave., nr. Franklin St., Greenpoint; 347-529-6133
Brooklyn’s Kelso has been a mainstay since 2006 with its crisp Pilsner and smooth Nut Brown Lager. But lately, Kelso has branched out to small-batch beers, such as the sour Flemish Red, the potent Industrial IPA, and the Rauchbier, made with cherrywood-smoked malt. (They tweet release info at @KelsoofBrooklyn.)
508 Greenwich St., nr. Spring St.; 212-219-2444
Last summer, avid home-brewer Anderson Sant’anna de Lima and his wife, Jennifer Lynn Hill, rebooted their SoHo Mediterranean as a pioneering restaurant-brewery, offering food-friendly beers such as the chocolaty Montezuma Imperial Stout and the citrusy Heifeweizen.
- Little Town NYC
118 E. 15th St., nr. Irving Pl.; 212-677-6300
Brewmaster D. J. Swanson’s fortifying British-inspired ales (crafted in a fishing village on Long Island’s North Fork) include the cocoa-kissed Black Duck Porter, strong and malty Anti-Freeze, and belly-warming Triton barley wine.
- La Birreria
200 Fifth Ave., nr. 23rd St.; 212-937-8910
Eataly’s brewpub partners charcuterie and pork-shoulder sandwiches with a lineup of cask-conditioned ales designed by Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and brewers from innovative Italian beer-makers Birra del Borgo and Baladin. Standouts include the thyme-infused Gina pale ale and the coffee- spiked Barista porter.
Spider Bite Beer
- Blind Tiger
281 Bleecker St., at Jones St.; 212-462-4682
Named for the cobwebs linking the Long Island homes of founders/neighbors Larry Goldstein and Anthony LiCausi, this brand-new brewery has distinguished itself with bold, flavorful ales like the chocolate-tinged Boris the Spider imperial stout and the resinous Crazy Eights double IPA.
The Micro Microbrews
The New York area's most-outstanding tiny-batch beers.
From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).