Open, loud, convivial. Is there any drinking establishment more immediately welcoming than a beer hall? The classic German mainstay (bierhalle, if we’re really getting into it) is a format New Yorkers gamely welcome. Our town’s often small, cramped bars are more conducive to conspiring parties of two to four, but beer halls, well that’s a more-the-merrier kind of thing. Below, you’ll find six of SIXTY’s favorite local beer halls. Most, you’ll note, are located in Brooklyn, given the borough’s access to more spacious quarters.
The brick-and-mortar beer hall BERG’N traces its roots to the open air food fest that is Smorgasburg. (Brooklyn’s most famous weekly culinary event kicks off this month. Read more about it here.) Like Smorgasburg, its founders endeavored to put their favorite things under one roof. In addition to beer, BERG’N features food from Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Landhaus, Jianbing, and Pizza by Charlie. It’s in Crown Heights but don’t worry—it’ll take you just over 30 minutes to get there on the C train from SIXTY SoHo.
899 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Other Half Brewing
If you want to take part in some of Brooklyn’s most delicious craft beer, turns out you’re going to have to wait in line. On any given day at Carroll Gardens’ Other Half Brewing, it is not atypical for eager imbibers to spill out the door and around the block. The brand has amassed something of a cult following for its IPAs, and should be awarded for their routinely vibrant packaging. It’s just 25 minutes from SIXTY LES on the F train. Easy breezy.
195 Centre St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Even if the beer was bad (it isn’t), Lavender Lake would be on this list for its name alone. The Gowanus beer hall is airy and uncrowded in the way only Gowanus can afford. In warmer months, the back patio is a delightful place to sit and sip. There’s plenty of local breweries on draft and, if you rather, more than enough by the can. For those staying at SIXTY LES, it’s just a quick 24 minutes via the F train.
383 Carroll St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Flatiron Hall is a moody and brooding space perfect for cold-weather ale-drinking in Manhattan. The space takes its cues from the Student Art League of New York, and features such authentic decor as a Victorian-style bar taken from the late Commodore Hotel. If you’re hungry, Flatiron Hall won’t leave you hanging, either. Its food menu seems inspired by, well, basically everywhere. Where else can you get pastrami spring rolls and buffalo chicken tenders all in one go?
38 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010
Radegast Hall & Biergarten
In a swiftly-changing neighborhood, Radegast Hall & Biergarten is remarkable for two reasons. One: the one-story building hasn’t been razed and replaced with condos. Two: that, once inside, you hardly feel like you’re in New York City at all. The Williamsburg classic features wooden tables, brick walls, and a ceiling made of skylights—creating, in our opinion, the ideal environment for a cold one. Even better? It’s a swift 13-minute cab ride from SIXTY LES.
113 N 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Grimm Artisanal Ales
Alright, so Grimm Artisanal Ales in Brooklyn looks less like a traditional beer hall than it does a (very cool) school cafeteria, but it’s a welcome change. The Bushwick-based tap room was even featured in Vogue last summer, a rare nod to beer from fashion’s house upon high. The vibe here is open and airy, an homage to California circa 1970. As for what’s in the glass, owners Lauren and Joe Grimm embrace creativity and experimentation. It’ll take you thirty minutes and two trains to get there from SIXTY SoHo to get there, but it’s worth it.
990 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Photo courtesy of Matan Segev