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

GUN HILL BREWING COMPANY, 3227 Laconia Avenue (between Boston Road and Duncan Street), Allerton, Bronx

Bronx is the new Queens. Did anyone ever expect that? Queens still reigns supreme in the sheer number of craft breweries that have opened there, but the Bronx is gaining steam. The borough now has Bronx Brewery, recently opened Chelsea Brewing Company, and Gun Hill.

Just Behind the Bar

Gun Hill, which is quite a walk from the subway, was the borough’s first official brewery to open since Prohibition. I got to visit it in the very early days when the owners were still putting the final touches on it. But from the beginning, I could tell this would be an exciting beer destination.

Why Choose Just One?

But since there was no beer to taste back then, I couldn’t be sure how good the beer would be. I’ve had a few samples at some beer bars and festivals since their debut, but have had mixed feelings. Now that I’ve returned to the tasting room (which is amazingly open every day of the week), I can safely say that their beer is excellent.

Drink to History

The brewery is named for both the iconic nearby street and the site of a Revolutionary battle. Being a Farm Brewery, they source most of their ingredients from New York-state farms – one even owned by the brewer himself.

Locals Hanging Out

On a cold weekday afternoon, I was surprised to see I wasn’t the only one in the tasting room. A few locals sat at the bar drinking their beer. It was dark inside but there was plenty of room and the vibe was friendly. Right behind the bar is the brewhouse itself which is on display for all to see (or you can sign up for a tour on the weekends).

Beer Flight at GUN HILL BREWING COMPANY

Their flight was a pretty good deal and enables you to try every beer they have on tap – so six in total (for a fair $15). I took a seat at one of the picnic tables and got to drinking.

Cherrry Tree Red Ale at GUN HILL BREWING COMPANY

I was immediately impressed with the very first beer I tried, which was a juicy and slightly sweet Cherry Tree Red Ale. I liked the balanced fruit beer so much that I included it a few weeks ago as a Dish of the Week.

GH Gold at Gun Hill Brewing Company

After that, I moved on to the GH Gold, a golden ale that was heavier on the malts for a bready beer with just a subtle bitter quality. It was very drinkable and I felt like it’d be a nice, more complex alternative to a crisp pilsner.

India Pale Ale at Gun Hill Brewing Company

Their IPA was not too strong, but had big bold flavors. Grassy and piney notes were the dominant players with a subtle hint of citrus. It was a complex IPA that didn’t overpower with bitterness.

13 Star XIPA at GUN HILL BREWING COMPANY

Coming from their IPA, I would have expected the double IPA to take things up a notch. Perhaps my tastebuds had already been compromised, but I found the 13 Star XIPA to be less aromatic and flavorful. I could tell there was some body and viscosity here, but couldn’t place too many flavor notes. After giving my palate a break with some water, I realized this was just a different type of hop bomb – with some subtle citrus and floral berry notes. I found it very subtle, which is rather a surprise when it comes to double IPA’s.

IMG_1518

Void of Light is an Award-winning stout and I found it very nice and drinkable. Major hints of coffee and roast aromas gave way to a very thick body with a smoky and hoppy finish. It’s a serious stout – chewy and bold and not holding back on the cocoa and coffee flavors.

Anti-Imperialist Imperial Stout at GUN HILL BREWING COMPANY

The flight ended with their seasonal Anti-Imperialist Imperial Stout, which is even darker than the original stout, if you can imagine. The smell of chocolate milk lingered while the flavor was sweet and alcoholic. It almost reminded me of a barley wine more than a stout, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t be perfect at the right place and the right time.

Gun Hill Brewing Company

I was fully impressed with the beers this brewery is turning out. The ones I tried here were all rather surprising ranging from approachable fruit beers to intense, bold inky stouts. No doubt there is a beer for everyone. And if you make your way up to go brewery hopping in the Bronx, you certainly deserve it.

Is Gun Hill Brewing Company the best brewery in NY? They’re open every day, they have plenty of space, there are tours available, and they make great beer. Not sure what else you could want in a local brewery. 9 out of 10.

Is Gun Hill Brewing Company’s Cherry Tree Red Ale the best beer in NY? This fruit beer surprised me so much I give it a 9 out of 10 for its natural juiciness and balanced sweet and tart cherry flavor.

Is Gun Hill Brewing Company’s GH Gold the best beer in NY? It’s a golden ale that drinks more like a pilsner, but it’s still very approachable while being crisp and bready. 8 out of 10.

Is Gun Hill Brewing Company’s India Pale Ale the best beer in NY? If you like a big, bold grassy IPA then this is definitely your speed. I give it an 8 out of 10 because I often like that speed.

Is Gun Hill Brewing Company’s 13 Star XIPA the best beer in NY? I would never have guessed this mellow, yet full-bodied ale was a double anything. The flavors were subtle with hints of lemon and berries. It’s high ABV and mildness could easily sneak up on you. 7 out of 10.

Is Gun Hill Brewing Company’s Void of Light the best beer in NY? Deserving of its awards, this out of 10 beer is a coffee heavy stout with a rich body and a balance thanks to a bitter hop finish.

Is Gun Hill Brewing Company’s AntiIMPERIAList Imperial Stout the best beer in NY? I found this to be a bit of a disappointment since it was a little too sweet with strong tastes of alcohol. It still gets a 7 out of 10 for its sweet chocolate milk aroma and complex body.

GUN HILL BREWING COMPANY
3227 Laconia Avenue (between Boston Road and Duncan Street),
Allerton, Bronx
(718) 881-0010
gunhillbrewing.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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