As much a movement as an enjoyable pastime, the imbibing of craft beer has swept the country, escalating appreciation for small, independent breweries and sparking the imagination and taste buds of beer aficionados. Whether you’re new to the craft beer scene or a seasoned purveyor of suds, happy hour at these five New York City pubs are not to be missed.
The Jeffrey Craft Beer & Bites
311 E. 60th St.
New York, NY 10022
A hidden, rustic-urban enclave nestled under the Queensborough Bridge, The Jeffrey morphs two storefronts into one distinctly unique establishment. Serving locally roasted artisanal coffee, breakfast pastries and growlers-to-go by day and 30 rotating, legendary brews by night, The Jeffrey is Midtown’s quintessential bespoke craft beer, cocktail and espresso bar. A custom-built draft system ensures a happy hour filled with interesting, hard-to-find beers from both international and local sources. If you’ve read about it and are dying to try it, it’s probably here. The growler bar, featuring a 10-tap tasting area, opens at noon and the cocktail bar begins serving at 6:30 p.m., ensuring a good time, whether happy hour begins with lunch or after a late night at the office.
Jimmy’s No. 43 Craft Beer & Kitchen
43 E. 7th St.
New York, NY 10003
A cozy, downtown institution known for its delectable meats and culinary delights, Jimmy’s peppers happy hour with meet-the-brewer ops, as well as sampling nights and tap-takeovers by some of the finest craft brewers around. Themed happy hours include sausage fests and smoked or sour beer extravaganzas, as well as 14 unique craft beers on tap which change daily and 47 unusual, bottled brews. The Back Room at Jimmy’s is a New York City insider’s haunt, featuring beer tastings, literary readings, comedy hours and acoustical performances from well-known and soon-to-be-well-known musical greats.
Rattle n Hum Craft Beer Bar
14 E. 33rd St.
New York, NY 10016
Rattle n Hum is home to an all-day happy hour that will have you ducking out of the office early. Beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing all day until 7 p.m., happy hour features an unending list of seasonal, unique craft beers like Pumpkin Ales Harpoon Imp Pumpkin and Founders Mosaic Promise, as well as melt-in-your-mouth, yummy small plates like baby lamb sliders and shepherd’s stout pie. Don’t be daunted by the 40 microbrews on tap or the room-temp, traditional cask ale. The menu provides instructions on how to choose, taste and enjoy each hand-picked brew.
Related: New Jersey’s 5 Best Craft Beer Bars
5-14 51st Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101
No worries if you’re not up for a $45 De Blaugies/Hill Farmstead Vermontoise, or a $55 The Bruery Tart of Darkness. Alewife’s budget-friendly happy hour specials include a vast array of $5 select draft beers and the legendary Bucket ‘O Beer — a $20 five-pack of mix-and-match, canned craft suds, as well as pricier brews. This cavernous, Long Island City staple will have you happily riding the G Train after work, even if you live in far-off Brooklyn. Insider’s Tip: Alewife’s pork and grits and Irish nachos (almost) rival the vast array of nano kegs and bottled beer you can find here.
245 E. 55th St.
New York, NY 10022
If you think global but drink local, Draught 55’s barkeep is your soon-to-be next best friend. With a strong focus on East Coast brewers, this friendly, midtown hideaway offers up a rotating selection of 42 local, craft draughts, painstakingly peppered with a few select favorites from far-away places. Atypical pub grub is liberally flavored with potent pourables, keeping your buzz as well as your taste buds satisfied. If you can’t bear the thought of happy hour ending, a growler fill-up service is available for all draughts served.
Related: NYC’s 5 Best Craft Beer Stores
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.