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Beer Gardens – The Secret Gardens: New York’s Best Brews

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to shake off that winter spell and get some oomph back in your step. Take your taste buds on a test run by stepping out to one of these fine biergartens around the city. (Remember, you don’t need a green thumb for this one!) ‘Willkommen’ to the best brews of 2013.

Mission Dolores
Aptly named after a California Catholic outpost, Mission Dolores is a haven for saints and sinners alike. It’s hard to resist the beauty of Park Slope’s finest establishment. Whether sitting outside in the garden or inside in the glass-roofed greenhouse, patrons can indulge in the constantly updated drafts on tap. Be sure to grab something to eat first, as Mission Dolores does not serve food. Despite the constant update of their drafts, the Stillwater Folklore is a bestseller at Mission Dolores.

Franklin Park
Among the best biergartens of Brooklyn is Franklin Park, a stunning bar just four blocks north of the Brooklyn Museum. Inside the former garage, customers can take a seat at the large bar constructed of old subway tiles and oak wood. However, many also choose to sit outside in the annex of Franklin Park, which is lined with picnic tables and a concrete garden. Locals return to this favorite haunt for the He’Brew’s Coney Island Lager, which is perfect for a warm spring day.

Studio Square
On the forefront of beer excellence, the garden at Studio Square is simply an area for all occasions in Long Island City. Designed in a thirty thousand square foot courtyard, Studio Square boasts vine-covered walls and spacious communal seating for large parties, as well as intimate conversation. Serving up the finest beers using a high-tech subterranean system, beer experts and newbies alike enjoy the seasonal Magic Hat Heart of Darkness, a stout beer with a hint of bittersweet chocolate.

Fourth Avenue Pub
Happy hour is king at this hidden gem in Park Slope, where all drafts and bottles come at a discounted price from three to eight in the afternoon. The Fourth Avenue Pub is like a candy store for the beer aficionado, with over sixty different bottled beers in addition to twenty-seven brews on draft. Make sure to grab a seat in the Pub’s tile lined courtyard, but only after you’ve tried the Pub’s signature “Arrogant Bastard” brew on tap.

Zum Schneider
When the weather gets a little toasty, there’s no better place to chill than at Zum Schneider’s sidewalk seating in the heart of Alphabet City. With a cool breeze and a great view of busy Avenue C, Zum Schneider keeps you busy with over a dozen brews on tap and more than ten bottle variations. The Hofbräuhaus Traunstein collection of Bavarian brews are offered exclusively in the city at Zum Schneider, including the popular Traunsteiner Helles, an award winning brew that is perfect for those who enjoy a full-bodied beer.

Biergarten at The Standard
Beer and jumbo pretzels! What could go wrong? Aside from their massive pretzels, The Standard Hotel with its in-house beer garden has become quite the experience in the Meatpacking District. A playground for the younger crowd, this chic establishment is extremely affordable through a ticket system; by purchasing a voucher for around eight bucks, customers are privy to countless brews from around the world. The Licher Weissr brew, a white wheat fassbier, is a favorite among the frequenters.

Nestled away in the Lower East Side is a hybrid of modern, chic, and classic biergarten. There are strong, prevalent German roots in Loreley’s various beer selections and diverse selection of cuisine, but don’t be fooled – Loreley is not an overkill of sauerkraut and Oktoberfest. If you’re looking for a quintessential German brew in a relaxed, elegant atmosphere, then this spot is for you. The most popular brew at Loreley is the Jever Pilsner, especially for patrons who enjoy a fantastic pilsner with a bit of a ‘bite’.

If you’re searching for the perfect, low-key kick-it spot for friends and family alike, TBD is sure to please. Located on the outskirts of Williamsburg, TBD makes no attempt to be alike to its chic counterparts; the large outside seating area is made up of picnic tables among gravelly pavement and garage doors in lieu of traditional windows. Chef Jon Meyer of Fatty Crab offers classic comfort food, from mac and cheese to buffalo wings, which is perfectly paired with their beers on tap. Besides their twelve beers on tap, TBD makes their own draft called the Pumpkin Ale, which is a favorite even out of the fall season.

Hallo Berlin
The home to the best biergarten in midtown Manhattan, Hallo Berlin serves up German excellence smack in the middle of Tenth Avenue. It’s hard to miss Hallo Berlin’s signature German colors, sipped temptingly by patrons lining the Forty-fifth Street sidewalk seating. After enjoying plates of schnitzel and signature sausage, be sure to guzzle down one of many exotic beers that Hallo Berlin has become known for. Try Schlenkerla’s Rauchbier, a foreign bottled brew with a distinct smoky flavor.

Der Schwarze Kölner
Established as Fort Greene’s first German biergarten, Der Schwarze Kölner has over 18 brews on tap as well as bottled beers. While the minimalistic decor might not blow your socks off, the astoundingly affordable prices will; beers range from three dollars to twelve dollars, and Der Schwarze Kölner serves top dollar favorites such as currywurst for value prices. If nothing else, Der Schwarze Kölner is the perfect place to enjoy an crisp, clean Hofbräu Lager and enjoy the Brooklyn scenery in its sidewalk seating.

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