The absolute best craft beer store in NYC

Top Hops, which lives up to its name.
Photo: Melissa Hom

Below are the best shops to visit when you absolutely need exceptional, and sometimes obscure, beer from all over the world. world.

1. Best hops
94 Orchard Street, nr. Delancey Street; 212-254-4677

There are 750 different beer options available in cans and bottles, 20 constantly rotating selections on tap, and a constant supply of sought-after beers like Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Firestone Walker Parabola, or AleSmith Speedway Stout. (When Westvleteren XII, the ultimate trophy bottle for beer geeks, came to the United States for the first and only time in 2012, Top Hops scooped up half of the city’s supply.) Lately, the store owners have also been busy expanding an educational program to ten different classes, and they continue to proudly source bar snacks from neighborhood vendors like Saxelby Cheesemongers. You can also drink in the store: choose one of the bottles and cans from the store and taste them on the spot for a small corkage fee which is still less than what you would pay for most dedicated beers. bars.

2. Take-out beer table
Grand Central Terminal, Graybar Passage; 212-922-0008

New York’s most meticulously designed beer store occupies arguably 300 square feet in Grand Central Terminal’s Graybar Passage. Justin Philips closed his famous Park Slope beer bar in 2013, focusing instead on this take-out spot. The store is small, but the long line of commuters at peak times is a testament to the large number of beers in the back – around 100 different options, both local and obscure. Philips, a former beer distributor, has also made a habit of bringing vintage bottles out of the cellar on Sundays, selling incredibly rare offerings like a 2005 Gale’s Prize Old Ale or a 1995 Thomas Hardy’s Ale. (And there’s good news for people who don’t travel to Grand Central too often: the Philips have opened a second store at Westfield World Trade Center, and a third location is in the works.)

3. good beer New York
422 E.9and St., nr. AT ; 212-677-4836

Since opening in 2010, David Cichowicz’s East Village beer emporium has kept pace with the city’s growing thirst for craft beer, now stocking nearly 700 varieties (the canned beer selection is particularly strong) and operating 12 faucets, with growler refills going for around $12 to $30. The chilled crate is giant, meaning there’s room to chill even the most offbeat brewer’s bottles, and you can stock up on snacks like jerky, nuts and beer corn.

4. New beer dispensers
167, Chrystie Street, nr. Rivington Street; 212 260-4360

Many of New York’s quirky craft beer destinations have closed lately, but this small, family-owned emporium, located in a wet warehouse on Chrystie Street, remains. Customers are mostly on their own, but the 800+ bottles are organized geographically and the staff are happy to help if you wish. The new beer isn’t without its downsides: it’s massive, so bottles can literally sit idle for years, and it’s not air-conditioned, which means the summer heat can adversely affect higher-hopped beers. But enterprising buyers know it also means they can score vintage beers that wouldn’t be available elsewhere – pre-aged and ready to drink. go.