Looking for a Brooklyn store with a stunning array of beer
Which store has the most impressive and intelligent selection of beers in Brooklyn? Northern Brooklyn neighborhoods are most convenient. I'm also willing to go into Manhattan (14th st. and below) if necessary.
Bierkraft (191 Fifth Ave., between Union St. and Berkeley Place) is pricey, but the staff are very knowledgeable; New Beer Wholesale (retail, too; 167 Chrystie St., between Rivington and Delancey) is much less expensive and still has a very decent selection, provided you know what you're looking for, and provided you're willing to cross into Manhattan.
I agree with all of the replies to this post. I love Bierkraft because a self-proclaimed beer-geek like myself can wander in and spend time browsing and talking with the knowledgable staff about my favorite beverage. They are always up on new releases, recently found rarities and all things beer.
I do want to mention one outstanding feature of Bierkraft, the fresh beer in growlers. This is a fantastic idea, very reasonably priced and the selection is beautiful. There are usually 6 beers on tap, typically uninque brews that are hard to come by in the city. One beer is run through a hop filter which adds additional hop aroma to already great beer. The hops are selected by the staff at Bierkraft and are usually different from those used in brewing the beer. I think the 64 oz growler is like $8 to purchase and each refill ranges from $10 to $14, depending on the alcohol content and rarity of the beer.
I agree that Bierkraft is pricey, but the selection, availability of fresh beer and outstanding cheese selection make this my beer stop of choice.
Also worth noting is that they bottle the growlers under pressure, which keeps them fresher than the other places which just draw it off of tap. Also - the growler (at least it used to) costs $4 for the first use, and I think you get $3 back if you decide to ever return it. BUt you can just continue refilling it for the cost of beer - just be sure to clean it well!
Biercraft growlers are excellent, and they stay fresh for a few days after you open 'em.
For massive selection at budget prices, and no attitude (or information)
EAGLE Provisions is the spot...Fifth Ave Bklyn at..19th St?
close to the overpass of the Prospect Expressway
on a northwest corner. They get some real oddities from around the world . . .
The small grocery store on Seventh Ave one block north of Union still has Chimay and the like, and good prices on Brooklyn Brewery beers.
And then there's the Park Slope Food Coop, whose beer roster has exploded lately. The best prices by a mile, but you have to belong to the place. More on the Coop elsewhere on this site...
There are, or at least there used to be, a few timy delis on 7 Av between Flatbush and Union that had a surprisingly good selection of Belgian beers. Back in Dinkins days, I used to buy a big bottle of Chimay Grande Reserve, chilled, and a plastic cup, and sit on a sun-dappled bench, pop the cork, which shot across the street, and sip as the sun washed over me.
Cobble Heights Distribution, on Pacific St b/t Court and Boerum, usually has better prices than American - and a reasonably knowledgeable staff.
If you know what you're looking for, this is a great shop.