Constructed before some of America’s Founding Fathers were even born, Fraunces Tavern continues to represent their legacy in the nation they helped build. The tavern has been preserved as a Colonial landmark and now functions as a museum. If only all history lessons could be served with Porterhouse craft beers in rooms once inhabited by George Washington.
Though it has passed through the hands of many an able brewer, McSorley’s Old Ale House remains largely as it was in 1854. The bar has weathered the ravages of time and Prohibition thanks to one popular drink: McSorley’s Cream Stock Ale. Both Abraham Lincoln and John Lennon have sampled the brew and heeded the words embossed behind the bar: “Be good or be gone.”
The Ginger Man might be relatively quiet by day, but come evening, this Midtown restaurant and bar features an international selection of beers that keeps customers hopping. Happy hour officially kicks off the festivities, while crowds continue to swell as the evening progresses. International vintage beer and alcohol advertisements line the walls inside the Ginger Man, where groups of beer lovers enjoy selections ranging from an Emelesse Smoked Porter from the Netherlands to a bottle of Japanese Hitachino Red Rice. Beers come from halfway across the world or just down the road, including a local cask-conditioned pale ale from a Bronx brewery. Pretzels, sandwiches, sausage and cheese plates, as well as an array of meat pies make for good pub fare to wash down all the suds, wine and spirits. Sink into a tall wooden booth or hang by the large front windows for a more loungey feel.
Little Town NYC unabashedly hearts New York. Of its three restaurants, two are located in iconic Manhattan spots: one in Union Square, the other on Theater District’s Restaurant Row. Little Town’s fancy for the Empire State shines through on the menu, too, with homestyle dishes such as the Adirondack chicken pesto and an Angus beef burger topped with crispy Berkshire bacon. The Suburb Backyard BBQ platter is piled high with enough buffalo wings, Nathan's hot dogs, and other locally inspired fare to feed a family of four.
Little Town NYC also takes great pride in its beer list, which features more than 100 local brews, including IPAs and amber ales that hail from breweries in Long Island, Ithaca, and Saratoga Springs. At the Restaurant Row location, you can enjoy a pilsner from Coney Island while sitting in a booth constructed from the beach’s old wooden boardwalk.
Mario and Anna Abitino emigrated from Naples to the U.S. in 1972. Mario quickly found work in the pizza business, and the couple eventually opened a restaurant of their own: Abitino’s Pizza and Italian Kitchen, in Midtown Manhattan. That was more than 20 years ago. Today, the couple and their three sons, Dominick, Mario Jr., and Salvatore, run six New York pizzerias bearing the family name. Each offers an expansive menu of signature pizzas and other Italian entrees, such as gnocchi sorrentino and pasta stuffed with fresh littleneck clams. Their pizzas and calzones use dough made right on the premises, and their tomato sauce is also housemade—with tomatoes from Naples, naturally.
Bitter & Esters brew maestros shepherd beer aficionados 21 and older through the basics of crafting their own libations during the two-hour introductory brewing courses. These knowledgeable instructors sprinkle their lessons with useful tidbits as their students immerse themselves in the process, communally brewing a bubbly batch of hops-laden liquid like witches on Super Bowl Sunday. Classes cover need-to-know facts about extracts, malts, grains, and yeasts as well as common trouble-shooting methods for when batches go awry. The hands on lesson includes all the necessary ingredients and reference materials required to whip up a hearty brew, with starter kits available for purchases if students want to continue fashioning beer in their home or underground speakeasies. Classes conclude with students sampling the fruits of previous home brewed labors, opening their taste buds to all the different possibilities craft beer making affords.