Though Brooklyn is more traditionally associated with NYC’s brewery scene, Queens continues to prove that there’s plenty of room for brewers in the outer boroughs. Long Island City, only one stop on the 7 train from Grand Central, has become a brewery hotbed. Whether based out of a garage or enjoying an extensive taproom, independent brewers have found a home in Queens and consistently serve up beer that’s worth the trip.
From its quiet corner beneath the Pulaski Bridge, Transmitter Brewing (53-02 11th St, LIC) pours samples wine-tasting style and offers two picnic tables to sit and enjoy a beer. Founders Rob and Anthony have been brewing up farmhouse ales for three years and are more than happy to give a quick tour of the premises. Say hello to canine brewery mascot Emma and make sure to try everything that interests you: once a beer is removed from production, it may not be re-released.
Get Here: Take the 7 train towards Flushing and get off at Hunters Point Av. Exit the station and walk the Pulaski Bridge to the first set of stairs on the right.
Covered in murals inside and out, Rockaway Brewing Co. (46-01 5th St, LIC) is a lively place to stop for a tasting flight. Originally distributed through local farm-to-table restaurants, Rockaway Brewing’s current location in Queens boasts considerable counter space, reggae, and a free tour of the back room. We recommend the Black Gold stout and flagship Rockaway ESB, but there’s a new release almost every week.
Get Here: Take the E, M, or G line to Court Sq. The brewery is a quick walk towards the water.
Big aLICe Brewing (808 43rd Rd, LIC) is named for the nearby Big Allis ConEd plant. A New York Farm Brewery, Big aLICe currently sources 20% of its hops and malts from New York State and will ramp up to 90% within the next ten years. The current rotation of beers is chalked onto the taproom’s walls, many of which are particularly unique (Jalapeno Rye) or sourced locally (a New York beekeeper provides the honey for Honey Wit).
Get Here: Take the 7 line to Queensboro Plaza and walk towards the water. Alternatively, ride the Q32 bus from Lexington and 57th to Queensboro Plaza.
LIC Beer Project (39-28 23rd St, LIC) consists of a cavernous, high-ceilinged taproom resembling half an airplane hanger. The first NYC brewery to acquire a coolship (a device allowing open fermentation), LIC Beer Project offers only occasional tours and doesn’t serve samples, so grab your favorite beer and relax at one of the tables scattered around the entryway. The taproom is packed on Friday nights; show up early.
Get Here: Take the F train from Manhattan to 21 St Queensbridge. Walk one block north and one east.
Rich Buceta called his brewery SingleCut Beersmiths (19-33 37th St, Astoria) after a body style of guitar. The musical theme is echoed in the names of SingleCut’s beers: Softly Spoken Magic Spells, the brewery’s newest IPA, borrows its moniker from Pink Floyd’s “Breathe (reprise).” The elevated loft space above the taproom features bands of the loud genre and quickly fills up with hip locals drinking half-pour “shorts” from the bar. The brewery is known for its IPAs, including the Billy Half- and Full-Stack, but also puts out the sweeter “Kim” series.
Get Here: Ride the N or Q to the end of the line, at Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. The brewery is a considerable walk from the train station, but there are plenty of taxis.
Named after the bridges and tunnels “that unite [the] city, not divide it,” Bridge and Tunnel Brewery (15-35 Decatur Street, Ridgewood) recently completed its expansion from a Maspeth garage to Ridgewood. If you love seasonal beers, you’re in luck: their excellent 3 Sisters Pumpkin Ale is returning soon.
Get Here: Take the L line to Halsey St and walk two blocks east.
Finback Brewery (78-01 77th Ave, Ridgewood) produces “good beer for good friends.” The brewery’s large, minimal taproom parallels the modern design of its beer cans, but don’t expect to see any around NYC: Finback is distributed to bars in draft format only. While you’re there, explore the “sour/funky beer room,” where Finback stocks a variety of their most inventive combinations.
Get Here: Take the M line to the end of the line, Middle Village-Metropolitan Av. Finback is a long but pleasant jaunt from the station; follow Metropolitan Ave to 78th St (Finback is across Cooper Ave).
Photos courtesy of: kaidialeigh.