With tank top and flip flop season upon us that can only mean one thing — it’s time to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.
And if drinking craft beers is one of your favorite activities, Brooklyn boasts plenty of beer gardens where you can enjoy the cool breeze while sipping a cold one.
“In countries like Germany, where beer gardens first became popular, it’s almost a cultural pastime to drink outside all day,” said Greta Black, a manager at Fort Greene watering hole Der Schwarze Kolner. “Now people here are embracing the concept.”
Here’s our guide to the borough’s best beer gardens. Cheers!
Park Slope’s beer emporium only opened its 40-seat backyard “biergarten” in April, but the warm weather hang-out is already packed with both longtime shoppers and new brew enthusiasts.
“We’ve been really busy and have definitely seen a lot of new faces,” said cellar manager Matt Barkley.
Bierkraft offers new on-tap selections every Thursday, specializing in rare drinks like the Clinton Hill-based Kelso brewery’s unfiltered and unpasteurized beers.
Bierkraft [191 Fifth Ave. at Berkeley Place in Park Slope, (718) 230-7600].
Giant garage door-like windows that open to a view of McCarren Park make this mega beer hall stand out on its Greenpoint block, which is filled with low-key haunts. And Spritzenhaus’ brew selections are just as grand as its décor, with four tap stations serving 25 different types of beer. Wash down your suds with German-inspired snacks like pretzels and sausages, fired off in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven.
Spritzenhaus [33 Nassau Ave. between Dobbin and Guernsey Street in Greenpoint, (347) 987-4632].
You’ll never get bored at this auto shop-turned-beer garden, as the selection of 20-plus drafts beers changes daily. Take your pints from the back-room bar to Mission Delores’ spacious courtyard. When you’re not drinking, take in a game of pinball or browse the jukebox’s indie rock albums.
Mission Dolores [249 Fourth Ave. between President and Carroll streets in Park Slope, (718) 339-0099].
Radegast Hall and Biergarten
Two Slovakian-born restaurateurs opened Radegast, and they’ve made this Williamsburg-spot a true Eastern European experience. Most of the beers served are imported bottles, running the price gamut from a reasonable $8 Czech lager to an excessive $45 Danish bottle. But if you’d rather drop more cash on food, the backyard garden’s grill serves everything from kielbasa to a full plate of veal schnitzel with potato salad.
Radegast Hall and Biergarten [113 N. Third St. between Berry Street and Wyth Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 963-3973].
Der Schwarze Kolner
The menu at Fort Greene’s recently opened watering hole is perfect for a beer geek in training — the brews are categorized as wheat, pilsner, dark and lager. There are nearly 40 kinds to choose from, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a drink to pair with your chunk of aged gouda or bratwurst.
Der Schwarze Kolner [710 Fulton St. near S. Oxford Street in Fort Greene, (347) 841-4495].
This Ditmas Park bar has a split personality disorder, but that’s why we love it. It’s a flower shop by day, backyard beer garden by night. Sycamore offers seasonal drafts, live music and events like taco truck parties and crawfish boils. And on nights when food isn’t being served, customers can grill their own meats on the garden’s barbecue pits.
Sycamore [1118 Cortelyou Rd. between E. 11th Street and Westminster Road in Ditmas Park, (347) 240-5850].
The Emmons Avenue waterfront is one of Brooklyn’s best summertime attractions, and you can enjoy the view with plates of German fare and mugs of suds at Sweik. Go with a group and splurge on the $54 whole roasted goose, served with potatoes, sauerkraut and red cabbage.
Sweik [2027 Emmons Ave. near E. 21st Street in Sheepshead Bay, (718) 332-0330].
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