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Jan 26, 2008 01:00 PM

Beer Table, Park Slope

checking out the new union market today, and ran across this place. any other info out there besides what's on the site? tia

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    1. re: littlewolf

      "But on Thursday the Philipses learned that they have been conditionally approved for a license by the Liquor Authority. They hope to open next Saturday."

      ahhh this would be why i heard people congratulating "her" when i was walking by...

      1. re: TBird

        grand opening tonight, after 5!

        1. re: TBird

          I went to the grand opening. It was an absolute mob scene. Packed to the gills for the entire 3.5 hours we were there. The beers are great and they have a very nice cheese and chacuterie plate. There were some very interesting looking jars filled with various pickled goodies but they were not on offer for opening night. The beers were diverse, thoughtfully chosen and very interesting. I have to say that the beers are pretty pricey but I note that many of them are pretty unusual and the prices might just reflect the true price of these beers no matter where you buy them. The owners did a great job of handling the crowd and the bar stools were actually very comfortable (for stools). This is a great place to grab a pre-dinner drink on a weekend evening or an after-work drink on the way home. A great addition to the neighborhood - I just wish they had more food!

          1. re:

            i tried to go by on saturday but it was way too crowded and we a bit confused at to what type of food they had to offer. my guess is that food is secondary. i guess it probably is more of a grab a beer and then decide on where to head off to dinner. i guess i was hopeful that they would offer a menu that could accomodate a light meal. let's hope the menu develops with time as food.

            1. re: cdog

              yeah, i didn't go either because it was so crowded. maybe some time this week.

              1. re: TBird

                I went to a private event there awhile back. the owners served cheese and charcuterie which was from GRAB. They also served a bunch of house-made pickled things - green beans, beets, carrots etc which were delicious and various dried fruit and vegetable chips that they made there as well. I went opening night and I think they were probably just too swamped to break that stuff out.

                1. re: cdog

                  I understand how offering a wine alternative at a beer bar would make good business sense. That being said, I always get so pissed when I have to squeeze into a jammed Blind Tiger Ale House only to discover half the crowd drinking wine! Anyway, as far as BeerTable, I applaud the owners for their devotion to serving world class beer and I wish them well. However, unless one lives in or has business in the immediate neighborhood, it otherwise doesn't seem to be worth making a special trip here given the comments about the price and seemingly limited 3 draught and 1 cask selection (I haven't come across any bottle lists). I can't imagine this place holding a candle to Spuyten Duyvil, Barcade, Blind Tiger, DBA, HopDevil or even Park Slope's The Gate for beer geeks looking for a broad spectrum international selection in addition to those special limited offerings that appear briefly in NYC like a rare cosmic event.

    2. Well OK, fine about all this, how's the beer ?

      Many things that can't be gotten elsewhere? And how's the markup as compared to Spuyten, et al.

      14 Replies
      1. re: zbs

        Many beers that can't be found elsewhere for sure. They have 3 beers on tap that change every couple of days and some excellent choices by the bottle. The beers are expensive but that might not be due to the markups.

        I have to say that the pours from the tap are pretty small but I actually like the smaller portions.

        I have to agree that the owners are extremely gracious. They also seem pretty knowledgeable about beer and genuinely interested in ensuring that their customers have a good experience. It sounds like to me like a little lighthearted sarcasm that came out wrong but I wasn't there so I can't be sure. Also, they have a sake and two whiskeys on the menu which is more than enough beer alternatives for a place called Beer Table. I have a soft spot for places that specialize in one thing and do it really well even if that means that they can't make everyone happy. They are already the most consistently crowded place south of 9th on 7th avenue and I hope that their success continues.

        1. re:

          Sounds good. Couple-of-day rotation would be amazing. Any particular breweries? American focus? European focus? How much is an average glass?

          I guess I should just get down there but I live near Grand Army and have developed a certain aversion to walking the length of seventh avenue.

          1. re: zbs

            The night that I was there, two of the beers on tap were from California (an IPA and an amber ale) and one of them was from Japan (Hitachino Nest Classic Ale).

            The average glass is probably around $10. My boyfriend and I had three drinks each and shared the charcuterie plate and our total came out to about $70.00. It sounds pricey, but considering the quality of everything that we had, and the "uniqueness" of the drinks, I thought it was worth it.

            Both times that I've gone it was a Monday night so it was crowded at all. Gave us time to chat with the owner a bit and learn a little bit more about the brews.

            1. re: Jeepers

              $10 for a glass of beer that has been described on the small side? That sounds outrageous to me.

              1. re: elecsheep9

                There's usually a beer that's $5-7, one that is $7-9 and one that is $8-10. When I went there last, there was a German dark lager, a Belgian ale and a cider from somewhere in Northern Europe (either Belgium, Northern France or Germany) on tap. I personally think the prices are worth it but that obviously depends on your perspective. My view is that the beer they serve is comparable to a good glass of wine,w hich, in my experience, often costs more than $10 and can even be close to $20. However, if you compare it to a pint of beer, even a good microbrewed beer like Brooklyn Lager, at your local then it is outrageous.

                1. re:

                  No, Beer Table is overpriced.

                  Lets do a direct comparison with a long established and very well regarded beer bar - dba in Manhattan. Here's their online beer menu -

                  Their beers are in the $5 to $7 range. I'm sure you could find a few daily specials that were a bit pricier but those are the exceptions, not the rule. And dba gives you full pours, not some type of girlie portion. You can confirm this by selecting the different types beer from the drop down menu and looking at size of the pours.

                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    I live around the corner and am willing to give it a try, though frankly I can't afford to pay $8 - $10 for more than one small glass of beer. I like the idea though and I'm sure the owners will respond to the market if there is a "consensus of feet" in regard to the price.
                    I miss Sparky's!

                    1. re: detour

                      Oooh, you know who has nice beer for great prices? It's further north of Park Slope, but Sheep Station has a nice selection of beers from all over the place and at $4/pint during happy hour, it's truly an undervalued gem. Might have heard of their poutine as well (featured in the Times quite a while back) but that's for another thread.

                      I have really been trying to find time to drop by Beer Table, but after seeing all these posts, I think I shall opt for a visit to good ol' Bierkraft.

                  2. re:

                    lol! ouch. please don't use brooklyn brewery as an example of good micro's. let's just say it's a convenient local brewery and leave it at that.

                    1. re: mrnyc

                      Agreed that Brooklyn Brewery is no longer a microbrewery (or really a good one, to my taste). I'm no expert in the beer matters... could you please point me to a big handful of some of the best local microbreweries? I know Six Points... but that's about it.

                      1. re: bluishgnome

                        bluish, try captain lawrence as well. as good if not better(ok, it's a tie!) as six points!

                        1. re: TBird

                          Looks like there's a beer festival next month! I will try Captain Lawrence and all of the other breweries strutting their stuff in September! Woohoo!

                  3. re: elecsheep9

                    I ended up at the Atlantic ChipShop on Saturday night, they have about 15 draft lines, maybe 12 Brit brews & i had a beer flight that consisted of 3 X 8oz beers of unusual (Wells Bombadier, Abbot Ale & one other) for $8. Bartender was good & let me know all about the beers i was drinking. $8 for 3 beers is more my speed!

                2. re: zbs

                  To the 7th Avenue-hoofing averse poster: I got 2 words for you (actually one letter and two numbers): B67

            2. I stopped by there last night, by myself, to check it out. I've read the reviews here, but I enjoy beer, and was curious to see what it was like.

              In short, I loved the place.

              The owner and his wife were very friendly, and took the time to explain everything to me, and made suggestions as to what they thought I would enjoy. I thought their choices were excellent. The atmosphere was warm, seemed like a great place to meet friends etc.

              When I asked him if he served wine (my wife doesn't drink beer), he said no, but he does have some ciders and other drinks which are uncommon, somewhat eclectic, that a non-beer drinker may enjoy. It's hard to imagine that a non-beer drinking "chowhound" wouldn't at least be intrigued enough to try some of these ciders, etc. I can't comment on the quality of these ciders, because I have not tried any.

              As far as the price, I can go anywhere for an inexpensive draft, and I often do. However, one might expect a beer that is brought in to the U.S. at a rate of 100-200 kegs/year to be a bit more expensive than other large volume imports, especially with the collapse of the U.S. dollar. The smaller European imports are simply going to be more expensive because they cannot make up enough in volume to hold their prices down, the way a larger producer may be able to. To say he is "gouging" seems to be a ludicrous comment.

              Anyway, this place quickly rose to the near top of my favorite Park Slope places; it fills a niche that no other bar or wine bar fills, and I hope that they do well.

              17 Replies
              1. re: gfood

                My experiences are very similar. Been there three times now, two different beers per trip. Love the owners, love the beers, love the atmosphere. This isn't a "go there every night" bar. It isn't a bar for getting hammered. It's a place for you to go if you love beer, and are going as much for the beer as for any other reason.

                Regarding the charges of overpricing, the beers on tap run around $6-8 for the most part. If it's more than that, it's a rarity that SHOULD be more than that. These are often extremely hard to find beers, and Justin and Tricia do a superb job describing them. Justin *loves* beer, and I will gladly pay 2 bucks more for amazing beer at a place where the appreciation and love of the medium imbues the entire place.

                Anyway, every time I've been it's been packed. If it's not for you, fine, but it's pretty clear do far they've found their niche.

                1. re: gfood

                  "The smaller European imports are simply going to be more expensive because they cannot make up enough in volume to hold their prices down, the way a larger producer may be able to. To say he is "gouging" seems to be a ludicrous comment."

                  Again, the proper point of comparison for Beer Table is not your corner neighborhood pub serving Brooklyn Lager and Guiness. It's dba, the premier Manhattan beer bar. You might have missed the price list that I posted earlier so I'll link to it again,

                  Their range of prices certainly seems lower than the $10 drafts mentioned by a poster earlier in this thread.

                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    ba is still not a good comparison point based on the website. the prices are mostly for drafts and not bottle. beer table only hs three to four drafts. the majority of the beer they serve by bottle is well over $10.

                    1. re: cdog

                      I think Blind Tiger or Spuyten Duyvil is a much closer approximation of the kinds of beers you'll get at Beer Table. If you take the rarest 40% of the beers at DBA, then you can probably compare them. But either way, BT is a totally different atmosphere than any of them, just because the place is tiny comparatively.

                      It's almost more like 70% bar, 30% beer tasting. But the pricing at Spuyten, at least, is closer to BT's than it is to dba's.

                    2. re: Bob Martinez

                      The three drafts priced last night were $6-$7. The German Wheat "double-Bock" I was drinking was $7 for a pint.
                      The bottles can get pricey, into the $40 range.

                      It is not clear, Bob, from your posts, if you've been there.

                      1. re: gfood

                        Nope, I haven't been there. My information on prices was taken entirely from this thread. I was reacting to the $10 price point mentioned earlier and the contention by another poster that beer bar and wine bar pricing should be the same. And to the comment by another poster that the serving size was smaller than usual.

                        I've have been to dba dozens of times. And to Muggs, the late lamented Sparky's, and Waterfront Ale House. In short, I know my beer bars. Upgrading the atmosphere and throwing around a little pixie dust doesn't justify small $10 pours. Beer is not wine. Even very good beers are still cheaper to produce than good wine.

                        If I'm mistaken about the price point or the smaller than standard pours then I'll gladly take back all of what I said.

                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          don't take anything back. you're right. as a blind tiger regular....and fan of the other craft beer bars around town, no question $10 drafts are overpriced. from what little i gather on this thread about the bottles, sounds like ditto the prices on at least some those too.

                          also, i am not hearing anything i can't get elsewhere. of course.....i support craft beer fan pub owners and i'm still going to try'r out sometime - lol!

                      2. re: Bob Martinez

                        Mea culpa. Because I had only been there a couple of times - and the drafts change every 2-3 days - $10 average was my experience. And as I said earlier, it was well worth the price. I echo wholeheartedly the sentiment that the owners are fantastic and are not price gouging.

                        1. re: Jeepers

                          But why would you want an expensive bottle? You could possibly get the same thing cheaper at Bierkraft.

                          A fresh, unknown beer on tap is the way to go for me. And if that price range is $6 to $8 then that sounds fair. The only drawback is my wife is a wine drinker. She'll go to check it out and maybe have a pint but she won't stay and have three or four like I would. I wonder if they can get some cheap plonk and have it for the ladies who are afraid of beer? They might get more customers and have them stay longer to sample their beers.

                          1. re: TBird

                            I used to live around the corner from dba and love the place. In fact, my wife and I went there after our first dinner date. However, given that it's in Manhattan it's not a realistic option for me to frequent any more. I also go to bierkraft regularly but, for me, having a drink at a bar is just different. I would also say that the guy at beer table is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about beer. He's actually been to every single one of the brewerys that brew the beers he serves and can tell you an unbelievable amount about each of the beers. That matters to me and I am willing to pay for it. Hey, if bierkraft ever open a beer bar, I would definitely go there and "overpay" for the privilege of listening to the folks there discuss beer as well. Thus far, Beer Table seems to be able to pack it in with their purportedly outrageous prices so I guess they aren't really that outrageous. There are plenty of places to drink in Park Slope and people seem to be actively choosing to spend their money at Beer Table so maybe they're on to something. Then again, maybe the novelty will wear off and they will have to drop their prices. Either way, I wish them all of the luck in the world and am glad to see a place succeed. There are just so many places on 5th and 7th that are exclusively inhabited by employees and tumbleweed so it's nice to see a place do well for once.

                            1. re: cdog

                              What exactly are the food options?

                              1. re: Ljubitca

                                cheese plate and some cured meats....

                                1. re:

                                  I've become confused by this thread too, seems to have veered way off the original subject.

                                  That being said, many of the bottled beers at beertable are also available at Bierkraft, but some are not. Both places are always getting in new bottles, and I know that they have some of the same suppliers.

                                  None of the draft beers at beertable are available ON TAP at bierkraft; although some may be available in bottles (I don't know). The tap menu at beertable changes daily, so the answer to this probably changes too, depending on the day.

                                  When I'm out, I usually only order drafts; I just enjoy them so much more. To me, that's the best thing about beer table: unique beers on tap.

                                  1. re: gfood

                                    Thanks for the clarification gfood. You are absolutely right to point out that this was not clear from my post. I usually order what's on tap at beer table because you can't really recreate the experience of having a beer on tap at home (unless you have a tap at home, in which case all I can say is - kudos). There are many craft brewers who do not bottle their beer (e.g. Six Points and the Brewmasters Select series from Brooklyn Brewery). Also, Eagle Provisions on 5th and 18th has a very good selection of bottled beer for those in the south slope/greenwood heights.

                                    1. re:

                                      I have been meaning to go to Beer Table myself, can you comment on any of the tap beers that you imbibed?

                                      1. re: Jadro_Staad

                                        just went for the first time last night and loved it. very cozy, but not cramped feeling. i had cantillon gueze on tap, the first time i've ever seen it in a keg. it was $11 for a large wine glass. i love this stuff. the bottle versus keg are different, but i can't say one is better than the other. my wife had oskar blues gordon for about $6 a pint. even better than the canned version, super fresh hop aroma. and my friend had a kellerbier that was $8. i'd never had this style before, good but not too exciting. the cask beer ( chelsea stout) was unfortunately gone before we got there. the charcuterie plate ($16) had some really good stuff on it. cheese's from neal's yard and fra'mani salumi among other things.

                                        1. re: warrenr

                                          with the addition of six points this saturday and captain lawrence next month, they finally have my attention. :-)

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