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Good beer selection in E. Villlage/LES

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Does anyone have recommendations on places with great beer choices in the East Village or Lower Eastside?

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  1. Peculier Pub on Bleecker and Lagurdia.

    1 Reply
    1. re: craigcep

      Peculier Pub is more central/west village. It has a great selection (not to mention excellent prices) but the crowd can be a turn off. Think NYU is just about back in session if it hasn't started already and this place draws a big undergrad crowd - so it depends on what kind of atmosphere the OP is looking for.

      A better option is DBA in the East Village. Fantastic selection. Loreley is also good and focused on German beers. Another option is Against the Grain which I haven't been too yet but from what I've heard has excellent beer choices.

    2. this one's easy:
      d.b.a. on 1st ave near 4th street.

      3 Replies
      1. re: SBJH

        d.b.a is clearly #1. Against the Grain on East 6th is nice, but it's a tiny place and can't match d.b.a's range. Another livelier option, with a good selection is Hop Devil Grill at the Avenue A end of St Mark's.

        1. re: SBJH

          d.b.a. does have a large beer selection, but they are often out of things listed on the board. having gone there for years, i think they keep a huge list on the board to create the impression that they have every beer under the sun, but it's actually very hit or miss what is really in stock. they also have a large selection of beers on tap. but there are other bars that have similar selections these days.

          also, d.b.a has the rudest bartenders in the city. they always ignore you when you come in and don't take your order for five or ten minutes. this is true even if there is no one else at the bar. they'll stand and chat to a person right next to you, while refusing to even acknowledge your presence. this has been true, unfortunatley, for years now. every time i go in there i regret it. so if you want to be treated like dirt, go to d.b.a., otherwise choose another bar.

          1. re: ee555

            I've had the opposite experience with the bartenders at D.B.A. I think they are very helpful and friendly.

        2. I'll second DBA, as their selection is pretty much without equal in the neighborhood. The average beer there will run you $7-10, which always stings a bit.

          Does anyone else miss Essex Ale House on the corner of Essex & Houston? They closed unexpectedly several months back, but they had an awesome 2-for-1 happy hour and an unexpectedly pretense-free vibe, given the dominant scene that has been overtaking the LES for the past few years. Any definite word floating around out there on why they closed (I'd assume not enough business, based on my experiences)?

          Also, the OP might consider Standings on 7th between 2nd & 3rd Ave for a solid selection of draughts (mostly local or American brewers) in a very intimate, informal sports bar setting. Not a beer bar per-se, but a breath of fresh air compared with the hectic crowds DBA, Hop Devil, and Peculiar Pub tend to draw at this time of year.

          6 Replies
          1. re: CalJack

            I can't tell you for sure why Essex Ale House closed, but it is the third or fourth in close succession to open and close in that space. Because it is so close to a school entrance, there's no hard liquor license. That may not be the only reason, but it certainly hurt previous businesses there.

            1. re: Wilfrid

              Actually, if you're going purely by selection, Hop Devil Grill, especially when combined with the adjacent Belgian Room, would easily beat out DBA, at least for beers on draft.

              I like Standings, as mentioned above, it is a Sports Bar, they often have specials on tap coordinated with sporting events, I believe tomorrow they will have several beers from Abita for the Saints/Colts NFL opener. What I'm surprised CalJack didn't mention is that on either side of Standings, you have Burp Castle for Belgian beers and Jimmy's which might have the most interesting variety of all.

              1. re: JacksonH

                Love the belgian selection at burp castle, but the vow-of-hushed whispering that they force you to take sort of turns me off.

                DBA makes up for limited draught offerings with their absurdly long - and absurdly expensive, in most cases - list of bottles. If that place really passes for a dive bar these days, then the $5 beer + whiskey shot may be heading the way of the chinese river dolphin.

                I've never poked my head into Jimmy's - could anyone elaborate on what makes their selection special?

                1. re: CalJack

                  The last time I was in Burp Castle the bartender and guy she was talking to were shushing the table next to mine, who weren't being exceptionally loud, I was wondering what that was all about. I agree, if that's actually general policy there, that is a turn off.

                  I thought a good part of the chalkboard in DBA was dedicated to spirits and not so much to bottled beers, which certainly makes it the best all around alcohol selection I've seen, but didn't realize if the beer selection itself was much bigger than some other places. Not that I've counted the # of bottles.

                  Here's the beer list at Jimmy's:
                  http://www.jimmysno43.com/pages/draug...

                  To me, it seems a bit more interesting overall than DBA. DBA has some typical stuff like Boddington's, Hoegarden, Jever, that O'haras stout that's been there forever. I love Stone Arrogant Bastard, but I can actually get that in the Met Foods supermarket now.

                  Obviously the beer lists change, but it seems to me that DBA in general has more brews you see around in other places.

                  Not that DBA isn't a great bar, just that Jimmy's holds its own.

                  1. re: JacksonH

                    Right you are - that beer list is packed with greatest hits from several of my favorite brewers. Thanks for the tip. I'll be making my inaugural visit sometime next week, hoping they keep the Six Points Bengali on cask until then...

                2. re: JacksonH

                  Will Standings be a good place for the Packers game tonight? New to NY and seeking a good place for a beer, the game, and maybe some decent food?

            2. dba is definitely the winner, but another great place with lots of beers on tap (and in bottles) is drop off service on A near 13th st. good happy hour prices and specials, too.

              but shhhhhh don't tell because it's never very crowded and it's my usual hangout.

              2 Replies
              1. re: scarlet starlet

                That's funny, I was going to mention Drop Off Service but the thought of it getting any busier was too painful to bear. But secrets are no fun if you can't tell 'em. Not the craziest selection of beers out there, but the happy hour is unbeatable. In fact, I challenge someone out there to find a better intersection of good beer and cheap prices in the city - I'm starting a new thread on it right now:

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/437018

                1. re: CalJack

                  funny i was thinking of that place too, i go to common ground (pretty much across the street) a lot & was there yesterday, so i always think of there too.

                  hop devil & dba would be my choices too, and the new place, the rook, that i haven't tried yet. I like Lunasa also, not a huge selection but great 2 for 1 happy hour!

              2. dba. yes. and a backyard to boot.