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Feb 14, 2007 09:26 AM

East Coast beer recommendations needed

I'm heading out form California this June for two weeks in Boston, Manhattan and DC. While there I'd like to check out the local brews. Good pubs particularly, but if there are great bottled beers that I should check out, I will.
I tend to like the strong, hoppy ales. Belgians also.
Also, any great restaurants that pair beer with food? I'm planning to check out Publik House in Boston, but are there others?
I'm flying out and relying on public transportation, so anything outside of those 3 cities is probably not do-able.

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  1. Best beer bars in Manhattan, IMO:

    DBA - Pre-eminent. A dozen taps of rotating craft brews, and a hundred or more bottles from all over the world. Great selection of English, Belgian, German, etc. Also single-malts, bourbons, etc, etc, etc.

    Burp Castle (for Belgians) - usually has half a dozen Belgians on tap, and more in bottles. Google it.

    Belgian Room (connected to Hop Devil through a doorway in back) - several Belgians on tap, great selection of bottles
    Hop Devil Grill (connected to the Belgian Room through a doorway in back) - about 20 craft brews on tap, global bottle selection. Very well curated.

    Also, get on the L train, get off at the second stop in Brooklyn (Lorimer St.) and walk 3 blocks down Union St. to Barcade, which is tied with DBA for the honor of My Favorite Bar. Utterly fantastic rotating selection of craft brews, all about $5.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Andrew P.

      A few other places in Manhattan worth considering for a stop:

      Croxley Ales, Avenue "B" at E.3rd., decent selection, always seem to have a Blue Point product on tap, which is a great east coast brewer.

      Gingerman, 11 E. 36th St., btw. 5th & Madison., 66 taps, wide selection in bottles (last i checked it had a 3 page beer menu and one page for "solids").

      And if you feel like something imported and German, Lederhosen, 39 Grove St. About eight German beer on tap, good and inexpensive food. If you get there when the front room is empty, it's about the most comfortable spot to have a good beer in NYC.

    2. In DC definitely head to the Brickskeller. They have an amazing bottle selection.

      In NYC the Hop Devil Grille/Belgian Room on St Marks has a great selection. One side is devoted to US micros the other to Belgians.

      Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn will have plenty of Belgians. You can get there on the subway.

      DBA on first ave also always has great things on tap.

      As for actual east coast beers, try beers brewed by Brooklyn, Dogfishhead, Victory, Smuttynose. These breweries make good products.

      1. Im not from the east, but my new favorite beer has to be Dogfishhead from Delaware, their IPA and Indian Brown Ale are quite good.

        1. I recommend a trip to Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg (a Brooklyn neighborhood).

          About 20 minutes away on subway, great beer.

          1. If you can find it around Boston try Berkshire Brewing Company (B.B.C.). From South Deerfield Mass. They have a great Coffe house Porter among others.

            4 Replies
            1. re: uncle rico

              BBC is great my favorite is the Lost Sailor Pale Ale and the cabin fever ale. Both are great in the bottle but if you have a chance try them on tap. Also the Sunset Grill in Allston has an incredible selection.

              1. re: zenright

                I moved from Boston in 2002. I remember then that Sunset Grill had a bit of a rotation and line cleaning issue. For example I could distinctly taste Delirium Tremons in another beer that I ordered on draft. This happend with several beers that I tried there. I've read that all of this has improved. Is this true?

                1. re: Chinon00

                  I think it did for while, but my last few experiences (over last 3 months or so) there have been less than desireable.Seems lately, knowledgeable bartenders have been replaced with people who have no knowledge of the beer stock - or beer in general. Having someone there who can tell you when certain kegs were tapped is crutial to getting fresh beer there. Had one bartender try to tell me that ALL the kegs were tapped the day before - ok - I wasn't born yesterday. Beer is kept and served so cold that it not only kills the flavor, but makes them thin and watery as well. I've sworn off the place - again!!!

                  For those that love this place and think the beer is ok - have the same beer at another beer bar like Public House or Redbones and you will see the difference.

                  1. re: LStaff

                    Avoid the Sunset (Grille or Cantina) like the plague. They have more taps than they can manage to keep fresh kegs on and well cleaned. Bottle offerings might be worth perusing, if you can find someone there who will give you an idea how fresh certain bottles are, but there are much better bars to spend your time at while in Boston. Stick to places like the Publick House, Deep Ellum (in the same neighborhood as the Sunset), Buckowski's, or Redbones.