LIC has become a mecca for craft brew drinkers and brewers. There are some fantastic nearby spots to taste fancy suds and a few new very local brewers making very interesting beers.
Best Beer Bars in LIC
Opendoor– This sister restaurant to Astoria’s renowned Sunswick just opened last Spring and already has expansion plans! They’ve always got 16 beers on tap. They rotate very frequently so don’t get too attached. They’ve got beers from the local guys, Singlecut, Rockaway, Queens Brewery, as well as a decent selection of Begian beers always on hand. Opendoor hosts brewery nights on Fridays where samples are free! $2 off all drinks at the 5-7pm happy hour and flights are available to try a few beers at once. www.opendoorrestaurant.com
Alewife – Alewife has won so many “Top Beer Bar” awards that it has become a beer-lovers destination. This year it was picked by Cantillon to host it’s Zwanze Day, a huge honor in the beer world. Only 22 other bars in the nation were selected to premier this limited release. It’s impossible to keep up with all of the events Alewife hosts. Between tap takeovers, pairing dinners, events on their roofdeck, special themed weeks, and more, there is always something going on at Alewife. And to top it off, they just announced that they’ll be brewing their own beer starting soon. The first release will be a collaboration with Captain Lawerence. www.alewifequeens.com
John Browns Smokehouse – Beer isn’t really the primary focus at JB’s; it’s the barbecue of course. But that doesn’t stop them from having an interesting selection of beers to enjoy with the food. They love tapping new kegs and pairing the beers with special food to celebrate. www.johnbrownseriousbbq.com/
Rockaway Brewing Company – These guys relocated from, you guessed it, Rockaway Beach just this year. They started out by brewing part-time and selling to restaurants and concessions in Rockaway before expanding to their new facility in LIC. They brew everything by hand in small batches. You can find their beer at plenty of local bars and restaurants, but the best option is to visit their growler room on the corner of 5th St and 46th Avenue on Friday, Saturday or Sunday afternoons. You can taste their staples, Rockaway ESB and Old School IPA, as well as experimental brews. Take home a 64 or 32 oz growler to enjoy later. www.rockawaybrewco.com
Big Alice Brewing – This nanobrewery is new to the neighborhood and is currently the second smallest brewery in all of NYC. The Big Alice crew got their start home brewing before hitting the big leagues. They brew in tiny batches (only 1/3 of a barrel) and have already brewed 15 varieties. Their beer is harder to come by as it’s sold in large format bottles to club members and at their brewery. You can visit them only on Fridays 5-7:30pm at 48th Rd and Vernon Boulevard. www.bigalicebrewing.com