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The Long island City Craft Beer Scene, NY

The Long island City Craft Beer Scene, NY

When it comes to LIC residents and their drink of choice, a nice glass of craft beer is rapidly closing in on wine and cocktails in terms of popularity.

This neighborhood has no shortage of restaurants and bars where you can enjoy some of the best brews that money can buy.
As an added plus, many craft breweries are now choosing to operate out of Long Island City. These breweries offer guided tours as well as taprooms where you can come in, relax and sample their beers.

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It's abundantly clear; the trending neighborhoods that encompass LIC, Hunter's Point, Court Square as well as Vernon-Jackson, are a haven for all things craft beer.

Bierocracy - LIC

A cozy, quaint old-world European beer hall atmosphere meets a contemporary take on Czech-style beer and food at Bierocracy. Totally unique, there is nothing at all like Bierocracy, anywhere in LIC.

The room is rustic, taking you far, far away from the city to a beer hall in the Czech Republic. Large floor to ceiling windows and doors give an open, airy feel to the room. Polished, dark wood floors and communal tables and benches, complete the picture.

Bierocracy

Bierocracys' motto is "Everyone is welcome here".  The friendly ambiance and staff make those words come alive with feeling.

Their beer system and taps are expertly maintained and finely tuned.  All beers are kept at their proper temperature.  On tap, they have everything from imported Central European beers and local brews to ciders and a very special drink that you should get to know as soon as possible... radlers. These unique drinks are a beer that is mixed with soda. The taste is outrageous. This is refreshment re-defined!

You can catch live music here on selected evenings as well as some very special events. Recently, Bierocracy hosted a three course prix-fixe meal centered around a talk by one of the expert brew masters from Pilsner in the Czech Republic.

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Take your palate on an International adventure as you taste  Pilsner Urquell, the brew that started the Czech beer craze, B-Dark traditional Belgian-style wheat brewed beer with hints of orange peel and coriander, or Schneider Weis, a world-class Bavarian wheat beer.   Their signature beer cocktail is the Beirocrat, a lively blend of Bourbon, lemon, simple syrup and B-Witte

Here at Bierocracy, they firmly believe that beer tastes even better when it is accompanied by good food. Now, if you are thinking that the dishes being served here are typically  Central European and may be too heavy for you, then think again.
    
The kitchen emphasizes local, fresh ingredients. While fairly limited, the menu does present some very intriguing options. This is elevated beer hall grub, to be sure.

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The summer barley salad is a winner for those who are eating with an eye to their health. This flavorful salad is packed with grilled red plums, charred fennel, sweet clementines, cherry tomatoes in a red wine vinaigrette.
Other great choices include the roasted peppers that are stuffed with mushrooms, braised leeks and buckwheat in a roasted eggplant tomato sauce as well as the pretzel bun chicken sandwich with celeriac slaw and plum tomatoes.

And, yes, you can get the classic Bavarian jumbo pretzel here, served with a bier cheese spread and the house special blend mustard. This freshly baked pretzel is indulgence at it's very best.
Schnitzel with fingerling potato salad is also available as are a wide array of sausages including bratwurst, bockwurst and kielbasa.   The sauerkraut is a must-have when you order the sausage platter.

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Location and Hours

12-23 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, NY11101
(718) 361-9333
www.bierocracy.com

Hours
Monday-Wednesday 4 PM to 12 AM
Thursday-Friday  4 PM to  2 AM
Saturday-Sunday  11 AM to 2 AM

Alewife - LIC

For quite a while, now, Alewife has been a major player on Long Island Citys' vibrant nightlife scene.
Tucked away on a very quiet and pleasant side street that is lined with trees and refurbished brownstones, Alewife is only a couple of blocks from the #7 Train Vernon-Jackson station. So, even if you don't live in the neighborhood, there's no excuse not to visit this fun and happening bar.

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There's a lot going on at Alewife, both upstairs and downstairs. The second floor hosts a large, old school pool table as well as various games including dartboards. Trivia nights are a big thing at Alewife, as well.
You definitely won't go thirsty here. In addition to a ton of craft beer options, on tap or by the bottle and can, Alewife's drink list features wines, bubbly and cider.
Many of their beers are seasonal, so there is always something new and delicious to discover like the marina vinya hop, a fruit scented beer or founders porter, which has hints of chocolate and caramel malt.

The first-floor bar is quite spacious.  The room is jam-packed with TVs. The game of the night is always on, so no matter which New York team you root for, you can catch all of the action at Alewife.
The snack attack section of their menu pairs up perfectly with whatever you are drinking. Six dollar snack plates range from some outrageously good truffle popcorn, deviled eggs and spicy sriracha peas to sage truffle fries.

Alewifre

Between the bun, delights include the Alewife BLT with lemon avocado aioli, the savory house burger and their signature chicken and waffle sandwich. All burgers and sandwiches are served with house-made pickles and either a side salad or garlic fries.
Main plate highlights are the weissbier mac and cheese and the drunken mussels in a chardonnay and garlic cream sauce.

Like the craft beer that flows freely from their taps, the good times never run dry at Alewife, your neighborhood beer bar.

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Location and Hours


5-14 51st Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 937-7494
www.alewifenyc.com

Hours
Monday-Thursday 4 PM to 1 AM
Friday          4 PM to 3 AM
Saturday        11 AM to 3 AM
Sunday          11 AM to 1 AM

Rockaway Brewing Company - LIC

Ethan and Marcus, the brewery's owners, and long-time friends, originally started home brewing in their far Rockaway backyards. It was a way to pass the time after a day spent surfing.
But, things got serious, pretty fast.  Demand for their homebrews grew, so Ethan and Marcus eventually found their way to a warehouse in LIC, which they converted into a state of the art microbrewery. It's a really awesome place.

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Rockaway brewing company is fast becoming THE brand name in local craft beers, but the guys still bring a boyish sense of fun to the job. Ethan and Marcus don't take themselves seriously, only the beer that they brew.

Come by and hang out for a while. there's always something tasty on tap and the price points are very reasonable. Their tap room hosts special events, from time to time and you can take a tour of the brewery if you like.
You can bring your growler for a quick fill-up or you may purchase a Rockaway brewing company monogrammed growler in either a personal (32 oz.) or party (64 oz.) size.
They have a really cool hi-fi stereo system which is always blasting some lively, toe-tapping reggae tunes. You just can't help feeling happy when you're chillin' at Rockaway brewing.

Location and Hours

46-01 5th Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 482-6528
www.rockawaybrewco.com

Hours
Monday-Wednesday 5 PM to 9 PM
Thursday-Friday  3 PM to 10 PM
Saturday         12 PM to 10 PM
Sunday           12 PM to 9 PM

LIC Bar - LIC

In one form or another, this quaint, pub-like watering hole has been around for almost one hundred years. There's a great deal of history inside this building. Although it has been renovated, several times, under different ownership, the bar retains much of its' original character and personality.

The antique wooden bar is something of a work of art. The brick walls and tin ceiling are also holdovers from the bars' heyday, back in the thirties and forties. Back in the day, LIC was home to manufacturing companies, warehouses and there was also a little shipping being done, on the waterfront. Imagine the stories that this bar could tell!

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One of the bars' highlights is the peaceful, relaxing backyard garden.  There are plenty of trees here to provide you with shade while you sip a draft or a single-malt Scotch.
 
The bar features live music, several nights per week, with artists such as the Magic Bones band, Lisa Bianco and David Farrell Melton performing. They also have a regular authors' reading series. You never know who will drop by. recently, none other than John Leguizamo appeared, doing a reading of selections from his book, Ghetto Clown.

The only drawback to this place is the fact that they don't serve any food. But, don't worry there's plenty to drink.

Location and Hours

45-58 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 786-5400
www.licbar.com

Big Alice Brewing - LIC

Big Alice is one of the many craft breweries that are popping up all over Brooklyn and Queens. The outside doesn't look like very much at all. It could be just another warehouse or shipping depot. The building is  very nondescript. But the interior of the brewery is another story entirely.

There is a spacious and very cool bar area where thirsty LIC residents can just chill and sample the magical potions that Big Alice's brew masters conjure up. Even more tables and seating are provided in the brew house space. The vibe at Big Alice is casual, comfortable and thoroughly unpretentious.

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Not sure just what to order? No worries. The bartenders will help guide you to the right glass of suds, whatever your taste in beer may be. This brewery is big on flavored beers, so prepare to be a little adventurous as well as  pleasantly surprised. This is the good stuff.

Big Alice was founded by Kyle Hurst and Scott Berger, both of whom worked together for many years at Arista air conditioning in LIC.
The co-workers passion for beer led them to experiment with various recipes on the home brewing kits that they both received as gifts. The better the beer tasted, the more that Kyle and Scott knew that they were on to something.

The turning point in their lives came in August of 2011, when the guys  entered a home brew contest sponsored by heartland Brewery. Kyle and Scott walked away with the peoples choice  award.

The next couple of years were devoted to planning their very own small batch brewery, which finally opened in 2013. It's been onwards and upwards, ever since.

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When you relax in their  taproom and sip your beer, you might be interested to know that Big Alice is committed to using local, fresh and whenever possible, organic ingredients in their brews.
Moreover, Big Alice is a New York State  Farm Brewery. This simply means that  their brews are made from locally grown farm products such as hops and malts.

If you stop by for a brew and tour of the place, the bartenders will happily tell you the story behind Big Alice's name. But, why wait?
For those of you who live anywhere in the LIC neighborhood, you already know Big Allis, the nickname for the tall  towers  at the power plant that is  located at Vernon Blvd. and 36th avenue. The stacks were built for Con Edison by the Allis-Chalmers company.

While their brewery was being built, Scott and Kyle would frequently hold meetings outside the building at a picnic table. When it came to naming their company, they wanted a name that would be both local and iconic.  During, one of these brainstorming sessions, the guys took notice of Big Allis red and white towers and, voila, they'd found the name for their brewery.

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One of the owners or brew masters is usually on the premises. So, don't be afraid to go up and introduce yourself. They will be happy to talk about all things beer related with you. If there's one thing that Scott and Kyle love doing, it's sharing their passion for craft brews with like-minded people.

Location and Hours

8-08 43rd Road
Long Island City, NY 11101
(347) 688-2337
www.bigalicebrewing.com

Hours
Wednesday-Thursday 5 PM to 9 PM
Friday             5 PM to 10 PM
Saturday           12 PM to 10 PM
Sunday             12 PM to 8 PM
Monday and Tuesday Closed

Wednesday Night is Ladies Night. All Ladies drink 1/2 Off After 7pm

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