When people think of craft beer in NYC, they often, with good reason, think specifically of Brooklyn. Afterall, Brooklyn’s namesake brewery is a powerhouse in the craft beer world, and the borough across the river boasts hotspots like Torst and the Barcade. However, enthusiasts of good beer would be remiss if they ignore the ales (and lagers) Manhattan has to offer.
On our last trip to NYC we visited four of the “brewpubs” in Manhattan, though two of them can only be classified as brewpubs insofar as they are eateries that make the beers that pair very well with their edibles in house
Chelsea was once the meatpacking district of New York, and as we learned on our Chelsea Food Tour (post coming soon), was a pretty rough area up until the not too distant past. A couple things happened about 20 years ago. First, major investments were made to create the Chelsea Market and make it a must-visit location for foodies. Also, the nearby piers were converted into a massive fitness facility, complete with a driving range right on a dock on the water.
Just behind the driving range is Chelsea Brewing Company. With its two-story windows and patio space along the water, we can imagine that CBC is jam-packed from May to October. There’s a woodfire stove for pizza, and the rest of the menu looked like pretty standard pub fare that you can’t really go wrong with for lunch with a beer in the sunshine.
We were visiting in the winter so we sat inside, but were still able to enjoy the sunny day thanks to the view. We ordered a flight of their beer that included a seasonal (Frosty’s Winter Wheat), a special (Hoppy Holidays Xtra Ale) and three from their regular line-up (Sunset Red Ale, Hop Angel IPA and The Tsar’s Revenge Imperial Stout).
We enjoyed all of their beer, with the winter seasonals being both interesting and very strong. Their brewer seems to like to use caramel malts in his brews. My favourite was the Tsar’s Revenge Imperial Stout. It looks and smells menacing, so it name is fitting. It doesn’t back down in flavour either, but is very well-balanced, and thoroughly enjoyable. Chelsea has growlers so you can take your favourite with you.
Year Opened: 1995
Chelsea Brewing Company
Chelsea Piers, Pier 59
New York City, NY
Sample Trays: Yes
Frosty’s Winter Wheat:
One of the stronger wheat ales I’ve had at 7.5%, you can taste how strong it is. Not the easy patio drinking wheat you might be used to, but then, it is meant for winter consumption.