My search for the best beer in New York continues….

I think it’s important when a small business is starting out to focus on one thing and really perfect that. Especially a food business. There are so many restaurants that open and are way too ambitious and fail because they try to be the best at too many things. Think of a diner with a hundred items on the menu. Are any of them really that good?

So while it seems strange that the new Bronx Brewery only brews one beer, I think it’s a smart starting point. This is a true craft brewery that officially opened just a few months ago (August of 2011). For the moment, they’re making a Pale Ale. ┬áIt has no fancy name or gimmicky packaging, it’s just a good, small batch beer that’s really quite delicious.

I had been reading about this brewery for some time, but the first time I encountered their beer on a menu was at Amity Hall in the West Village. Amity Hall has two levels – the top level features a DJ booth and has more of a party vibe, downstairs is a lot more chill and made me think of a mess hall at sleepaway camp (if they served beer).

The bar has 20 craft beers on draft, but the only local ones when I visited were a few from Brooklyn and the Bronx Pale Ale. There was no question which one I was choosing. The menu listed it as a very rare beer, which I suppose is true since it’s only being served at a handful of bars at the moment. But I was expecting some aged, foreign beer that will cost you oodles of money in this country. Thankfully, the Bronx Pale Ale was a reasonable $6.

The beer has a hazy amber color with lots of bubbles and a nice healthy head. When I sniffed it, I got notes of pine, citrus, and a sweet peach candy. The taste was a bit different, more balanced than I expected based on the nose. It tasted both sweet and spicy, with hints of grapefruit and biscuit at the end. It lingered in my mouth for a while and made for a mellow, but very flavorful pale ale.

Turns out they use five different barley malts and two distinct hops to flavor the beer. So while it may seem like the guys up in the Bronx are only making a single beer, it’s a complex one and it’s mighty tasty. Once they fully get their feet on the ground, I have no doubt we’ll see some other great brews coming down from the northern borough.

Is Bronx Brewery’s Pale Ale the best beer in NY? It gets a 9 out of 10 for being a fully flavored surprising “rare” beer.

BRONX BREWERY
thebronxbrewery.com
AMITY HALL
80 West 3rd Street (between Thompson and Sullivan Street)
Greenwich Village
(212) 677-2290
amityhallnyc.com
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Category: Beer

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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