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Apr 25, 2012 08:54 PM

A neutral bar with great microbrews to watch the UEFA Champion's League final in Brooklyn?

this is a fairly specific request, haha

but well. The Champion's League final is upon us, on May 16! One of the biggest tournaments in European football/soccer, and it's gonna be absolutely great. I happen to like both teams competing (Bayern Munich and Chelsea) so I'd like a place that will be relatively neutral. In order to convince my not-so-footie-mad fiance to come along, a great beer selection is pretty much required, with a particular focus on microbrews/craft beers. And just for a change of pace, this Queens local would like to finally see what all the people in Brooklyn are raving about.

Bonus points for being near the B, D, or F (I live off the F train), having decently good food to go with the beer, and recommendations for things to do near the bar in question.

What do you recommend, Chowhounders?

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  1. Black Horse Pub on 5th ave and 16th street in the south slope is a pretty great soccer bar. they are british owned so id say there is a fair chance of a chelsea bias amongst the fans, but it could easily run the other way too (we had a memorable time during the third game of the first round of the world cup group stage last time when the US and England games were on simultaneously - they had the US game in one half of the bar and the England game in the front, it was hard not to get distracted by the sizable crowds watching the other games oohs and aahs, but everyone was very good natured about it all). I just checked out their beer selection and its not the craftiest list - they have sierra celebration, prohibition and smuttynose but it leans fairly pedestrian. the food is pretty british as well (curry chips,anyone?) they had early am specials during world cup which served to keep everyone from getting too sloshed before noon. if your interests are equally footy and foodie, this may not be your best bet. that said, its a really good soccer bar and close to the F train to boot (sorry, couldnt help myself). perhaps someone will come up with a more compelling option but you could do way worse than watching the match there.

    1. If you want neutral then I would not suggest going to any bar where patrons are known to watch soccer. Since the game is on a Saturday (may 19) at 245PM on ESPN you can pretty much watch it any bar that has TVs. Brooklyn via the F is a long ride, I would consider Manhattan if I lived in Queens.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MVNYC

        I usually would go to Manhattan (my general spot is Legends/The Football Factory, right across the street from the Empire State Building) but:
        a) that's a very well known Chelsea fan location - the official supporter's club New York Blues calls it home
        b) the beer list is mediocre at best (usually I go alone so this isn't an issue, but I'd like to take my fiance along for once)
        c) I want to try something different and new, and see what everyone has been talking about when it comes to Brooklyn, and hey, I have the time to do so anyway

        To be fair, my backup plan is Rattle n Hum which is down the street from Legends (warning for sound):
        14 East 33rd Street New York, NY 10016-5013
        I only found out after leaving Legends yesterday that they were showing the semifinal as well, so I have hopes they'll show the final. And my fiance had taken me there before, so obviously he approves of the place (and the beer was, indeed, quite great). I have no idea how they'll be with neutrality, but as it's not a New York Blues hot spot, my hopes are high.

        Still, it'd be nice to experiment with someplace different though.

        1. re: kawatan

          Like I said, since it is 245 on a Saturday on ESPN any place with a TV should have it on. Rattle N Hum is owned by an Irish couple and have on big games. Their beer list is one of if not the best in NYC. They have a large prjector screen in the back that will have the game on.

          if sticking on your aforementioned subway lines I like the North Park Slope area. 4th and 5th avenues have a lot of good beer bars however the ones I like aren't built for sports watching. 4th avenue Pub is great but they dont have big TVs. This is a good area to bar hop

          1. re: kawatan

            I like Rattle-n-Hum. I really do. I used to live near there over on 3rd ave. But I have to say that is probably one of the most soulless, dreariest parts of Manhattan (madison and 33rd).

            Since it's a Saturday (cf. below) this will change everything. There will be lots of bars open and showing the match. North slope area alone-- Black Sheep, Cyprus Road, Uncle Barry's.

            OH! Just thought of this: check out Woodwork on Dean and Vanderbilt. It's a soccer bar. I think it's neutral, but call just to be sure. It's probably a 10 minute walk from the Pacific Street stop on the B/D. They're big into crafty beers, and the have really good bar-snack food. Get there early, as it will be packed.

            Farther south there's Draft Barn in Gowanus which will also probably be showing it. That's not too far from the F at 4th/9th.

            1. re: egit

              a handful of blocks from Koreatown does not count as "soulless and dreary" to me ;) though I've been there so many times now that it is getting repetitive.

              Woodwork sounds right up both of our alleys, perfect! And I'll definitely check out your other suggestions. Thanks again!

              1. re: kawatan

                There are a ton of good places if you walk down 5th ave before or after the game. If you do, stop in to Bierkraft. Their selection of bottles is a treat for any beer lover. Good sandwiches too at the deli.


        2. The fact that the final is on a Wednesday isn't going to help. What time of day is the final? They've been night games recently, so hopefully the final will be as well.

          There's a little "soccer row" along the western end of Atlantic--with early openings for EPL matches on weekends. It's marginally convenient to the F, but ti's still a bit of a hike. Chip Shop is an Arsenal bar. Roebling in is a Liverpool bar. And I think Floyd may be Chelsea or Man U. (or it may not be a soccer bar at all...can't remember) You will definitely want to check with the bar to see that they'll be open and showing the match. I would expect a heavily Bayern-leaning crowd at an Arsenal or Liverpool bar. ;-)

          Another option might be the Brazen Head, also on Atlantic but not as far west. They have no food, but lots of good delivery options. Two8two Burger is another possibility, but they don't really have a spectacular beer list. It's okay. It varies, but for a beer geek it's not that interesting.

          I'm sure there will be lots of options. Since it's still over two weeks away I haven't seen any places advertizing that they'll be open for the match.

          2 Replies
          1. re: egit

            Er, I just realized I made a mistake and it's actually on a Saturday, the 19th. Oops. >.>

            I figure any place that showed the semifinals with audio will show the final, or people may have had experiences in the past in English vs German CL matches (Bayern met Manchester City and Chelsea met Leverkusen earlier this season).

            Thanks for the advice!

            1. re: egit

              Floyd is a Tottenham bar, but they have a pull-down screen in the back, which they bust out for big games. No food, but you can get delivery or bring food. Chip Shop and WAterfront Ale House have good beers and food and if I recall smallish TVs (unless they do a screen for big games). Brazen Head has a great beer selection, but I can't remember what the TV situation is.
              Angry Wade's on Smith usually draws a big crowd for major sports events.

            2. Loreley in Williamsburg is great. Not tons of microbrews, but really good German beer selection and delicious weisswurst, pretzels, etc. Buuut, not close to the B, D or F unless you transfer to the G.

              1. Floyd is actually a Spurs bar, and they tend to not be very good about showing other matches. Chip Shop is heavily Arsenal, but there's usually a good mix of supporters there. Woodwork is great but it fills up quickly so get there early. The draft selection is small, but the food is really good. Each of the half dozen times I've gone to Black Horse for a match have been pretty unpleasant and the service has been terrible. Legends will be packed, so it's not a great option. Bar Tabac on Smith will probably show the match. Slainte just off the 2nd Avenue F train is a decent option. Wherever you go, go early.