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As prices have gone up in trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods, areas further away such as East Williamsburg have evolved. More residences being built, along with increasing numbers of bars & restaurants being opened, all replacing formerly industrial spaces. The evolution follows the pattern seen in many other places, both in New York City and around the world. Sandwiched between Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick, East Williamsburg has seen several new craft beer upstarts in recent years. Here is a selection of great places for craft beer in East Williamsburg, including breweries & beer bars.
Note: The boundaries (and even existence) of East Williamsburg are a matter of debate, but for this purpose I’ve stuck with the boundaries found on Google Maps. If you’re mad, be mad at the megacorporation & not the guy who is just sharing good beer spots with you 😀
The best breweries in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Grimm Artisanal Ales
Founded in 2013 by Joe & Lauren Grimm, Grimm Artisanal Ales specializes in experimental beers. After five years of nomadic brewing, they opened their East Williamsburg brewery & taproom in 2018.
Here you’ll find a variety of Belgian-inspired spontaneously fermented beers, sours, & other unique styles (biere de coupage, anyone?)
If you’re intimidated by these rarer or more complex styles, don’t let that scare you away. Grimm’s friendly staff members are happy to teach you about each beer, and they also offer selections of more common styles as well if you’re not feeling adventurous.
There are no flights available – but for a solid reason, one that more breweries should really consider. You can still do two 4oz pours at a time, which means your beers stay at the right temperature rather than sitting in a small glass waiting for their turn. You’ll just have to go back to the bar a little bit more often. Exercise is good. Grimm is good.
Address: 990 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (map)
Nearest Subway station: Grand St (L)
Interboro Sprits & Ales
Interboro Spirits & Ales is located just a short walk from Grimm, making for an easy afternoon or evening of bar hopping.
In addition to their large & diverse rotating taplist, they also offer their own distilled whiskey, gin, amaro, & apple brandy.
I couldn’t help but have a couple of beers with names inspired by musicians I enjoy – Run the Jewels “Yankee & the Brave” & “Carry The Zero”, a West Coast IPA named after my favorite Built to Spill song.
As far as food, there are bar standards & empanadas, as well as weekend brunch.
Address: 942 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (map)
Nearest Subway station: Grand St (L)
18th Ward Brewing
18th Ward Brewing is named for the brewery’s location in what was formerly the 18th ward of Brooklyn, back when that’s how the city was organized.
The East Williamsburg brewery is located across the street from Brooklyn Steel, so in addition to their set hours, they are also open when the concert venue has shows. There’s a taco truck outside serving food.
Flights are available for a reasonable price, although they don’t do them on show nights because of the glass, which makes sense.
In addition to being a pre-post show hangout, 18th Ward Brewing also hosts their own live music. It’s the sort of dive brewery you’d expect out here, with great music on the stereo when live shows aren’t going on.
Address: 300 Richardson St, Brooklyn, NY 11222 (map)
Nearest Subway station:Graham Av (L)
The best craft beer bars in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Pine Box Rock Shop
Pine Box Rock Shop has been a neighborhood favorite since 2010. The bar is located in a former casket factory, which reminded me of Pine Box in Seattle, which is in a former funeral home.
The bar top is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen. While it’s made of pine (of course), it’s also covered in concert tickets from New York City shows of the past, collected & contributed to the bar by friends of owners Heather & Jeff Rush. Reminiscing about these concerts makes for a great nostalgia trip & conversation starter.
Pine Box Rock Shop has a nice selection of 16 taps, plus a couple of tap wines and cider, as well as cocktails.
Oh, and it’s also vegan – but non-vegans, don’t let that scare you off at all. There’s still a deer hunting arcade game in case you feel the urge to kill animals while drinking a pint.
In addition to being a cool rock craft beer bar, Pine Box Rock Shop also hosts open mic nights, live music, comedy, and trivia, serving as a neighborhood social hub.
Address: 12 Grattan St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (map)
Nearest Subway station: Morgan Av (L)
One Stop Beer Shop
One Stop Beer Shop is more than just a beer bar. Yes, they do have 10 taps of craft beer, as well as a couple of dozen bottles and cans.
But they also have cocktails and wine, along with a food menu that, although seemingly simple, is high quality. Their grilled cheese sandwich is excellent. Most bars would go low end on a sandwich like this and still sell plenty to hungry patrons, but One Stop Beer Shop uses quality bread & quality cheese. Add in some bacon & avocado, and you have one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches around. It’s nice to see that effort.
One Stop Beer Shop is very much a cool neighborhood bar. It’s far enough away from everything that it remains a place full of regulars, but it’s also a popular place before & after shows at nearby Brooklyn Steel.
The unique zig-zag-shaped bar allows for conversation while great music plays in the background, from classics like Springsteen, Seger, & Heart, to modern stars like Lorde & Billie Eilish. Or sit outside on the comfy patio.
With friendly bartenders & good conversation, One Stop Beer Shop is everything you want in a neighborhood bar.
Address: 134 Kingsland Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222 (map)
Nearest Subway stations: Graham Av (L), Nassau Av (G)
What are your favorite East Williamsburg beer spots? Comment below!
Do you love craft beer? Check out more of my recommendations for the best craft beer around the world!
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If you’re looking for a place to stay near East Williamsburg, check out these New York City hotels.