an urban lifestyle + travel blog by liz norment.

Tag: where to drink

keg and lantern greenpoint

Keg & Lantern, Greenpoint’s Underground Brewery

in CULTURE, FOOD
the very word underground makes us come a-runnin’. underground dance party? bury me baby. underground sex club? my pants are already down. underground dinner society? tease me, please me, feed me.
so an underground brewery is, of course, right up our alley in brooklyn. and as luck would have it, it’s right down the street. keg and lantern, neighborhood mainstay and a bar more-or-less known for its sports bar leniency, it’s honest service, and that wall of beer cans that feels unnecessarily nostalgic… but also might be something that they know and we don’t know about sports acoustics, or simply a rather inventive detour to navigating the oh-so-complex recycling rules in the city. …
and it may be the brooklyn beer enthusiast’s best kept secret.
I’ve always admired local haunts that make a smart and calculated transition with the neighborhood. Instead of fighting or denying gentrification, hoping that the business will keep coming even amid drastic changes seen and felt in tastes of new residents, the inevitable exodus of the regulars who keep them afloat, and those people coming over from across the river that deliberately notify everyone about how underwhelming the beer menu is… instead, some establishments strategically evolve, making themselves seem relevant to newcomers while somehow not denying their roots.
greenpoint’s keg and lantern has done just that.
this unsuspecting neighborhood sports bar has a secret. underground. it’s a secret that it wants to share, and has been slowly fermenting since august 2014, when owner kieren breen decided to transition the basement into a full working brewery. after posting an ad to Craigslist, local homebrewer patrick allen answered with a resume that boasted a lot of hopeful suds and a rather infamous stint at local beer mecca brouwerij lane. he accepted the position with nearly no hesitation. taking the beer-making in-house was a risk for a bar that was well-known for its unknown ales, but they attacked their plan of turning a dirt-floor brooklyn basement into a full-scale brew-making establishment… which began with digging out the floor of the basement, which as it turned out, wasn’t deep enough for the casks.
after more than a few unexpected setbacks, thanks to the core values inherent to success in this neighborhood- equal parts ambition, intuition, absolute rejection to limitations- keg and lantern has transitioned into an underground brew-pub serving tenacious beers that you can’t find anywhere else, straight from the source.
manager and head bartender alex holt has seen the bar intentionally transition with the neighborhood. beer aficionados and regular patrons alike, while infiltrated effervescently with other so many other beer-centric bars popping up in the neighborhood, keep coming back. “there’s a reason most of the staff has been here for 4-5 years,” he said. “we’re a crossroads of the neighborhood, welcoming to everyone. people come for the sports, sure, but they don’t realize they’ll be drinking a beer they can’t find anywhere else,”, he said. “and between plays, you’re having a discussion about politics, about life, about music. people might be coming to watch their team play but they stay for a lot more.” he said. “we mean something to the neighborhood.”
if for some odd reason this doesn’t tempt you to come in and enjoy a pint, come on saturdays for an tour of the underground brewery and get the chance to pick master brewer Patrick’s brain, as we recently did.
read our exclusive interview below. get inspired. then go drink.
*note to readers- since this interview, patrick has moved on to greener pastures and hops with West Kill Brewing, and has passed the torch (and his recipes!) to Jeff Lyons, local micro-brewing visionary.

keg and lantern greenpoint

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Drink Spanish Wine.

in CULTURE, FOOD

a guide to finding the perfect spanish wine for all your dope occasions.

in brooklyn our lives are often defined by contradictions. we sleep in the shadow of the world’s most infamous skyline and the flickering streetlight outside of our too-expensive shoebox apartment that we share with 3 other people in bed stuy. we wear ripped jeans and red lipstick to invite-only gallery openings on our way to a bushwick afterhours party. we chase a beer-and-a-shot with a beer-and-a-shot before a five course meal across the street. we look to elevate our lives in the most grounded way we know how. we let our reputation precede us.

this is us.
and to find a wine that meets the demands of this lifestyle,the hipster sommelier tells you to drink spanish wine. in a country that is smaller than texas, the wines of the region are more dynamic and distinct than the neighborhoods in our finicky little borough.
here i offer you a bit of my own exploration. inspired after attending Spain’s Great Match event this week with my partner in crime in chelsea, and having taken it upon myself to drink wine all over that wonderous land, i offer you the perfect spanish wine for every occasion. pop it open, let’s start drinking brooklyn.

The Housewarming Party in Bed Stuy. 

Martin Codax Burgán Albariño from Rias Baixas, $17
gentrification! i’ll drink to that. it’s no new news, we’re all moving east. and to your friends who listlessly scour craigslist with their map set on greenpoint, the ones who constantly ask you to ask your landlord if he has any empty spots, the ones who get down on one knee and propose to you, over and over, just to get an in to your apartment… they finally concede and head south on the G or east on the L and find a place bigger and less expensive than yours. good for them! good for fucking them. after a long search, bring a wine that spells “relief” a-l-b-a-r-i-ñ-o. it’s fresh and light and encouraging. it comes with a sense of hopefulness. it’s a new start and it’s a full-bodied white from the northwest region of spain. my pick? Martin Codax Burgán. oh and drop by bedford cheese for a nice wedge of manchego because it pairs well with fresh and distinct mineral nature of this wine, along with a certain stubborn pride that says “i swear i don’t spend all my money on rent, look at this nice cheese.”

these coordinates always lead me in the right direction - to catalunya where the cava flows like rivers.
these coordinates always lead me in the right direction – to catalunya where the cava flows like rivers. captured by @hannahhea88

The Launch of [insert dope endeavor here]. 

Anna Brut Cava from Codorniu in Catalunya, $13

ah the listless and awe-inspiring achievements of your Brooklyn peers. we are all always doing something, aren’t we? and that’s really why we live here – to be inspired by each other and to continue to move up and forward and dream fucking big. so when it’s time to celebrate those accomplishments – an app launch, a blog publishing, a gallery opening, graduating from welding class, going back to school to study biodynamic food science, a spot on the coveted 30 under 30 list (ahem, there isn’t much time @brooklynmagazine!!!), or a 30th birthday (which is an accomplishment in itself!), bring them cava. the first sparkling wine ever made (suck it, champagne.) comes from that region that i am quite fond of. and my favorite, of course, is the original. the Anna Brut Cava from Codorniu, the first cava winery, ever. it’s feisty and fresh, bursting with potential and it’s a steal for $15. pop dat bottle baby.

summer sets upon a familiar coastline.
summertime setting upon a familiar coastline.

The one to drink when you want to pretend it’s still summer.

Muga Rioja Rosado from Haro, $18.

it’s getting colder outside and you haven’t gotten used to the awkward banging from your desperate radiator and your favorite sweater smells like last year’s lover and you aren’t ready to get back into it. so don’t. instead, close the windows, let the radiator spew it’s mysterious contents into the air. throw your hair up carelessly. play this playlist. put on waterproof mascara, i don’t know. why the fuck not. because if we believe it hard enough, maybe we’ll skip winter this year. chill a bottle of rosé, from the rioja region. not quite as light as it’s french neighbor to the north, this rosé is darker, bolder, and lingers… just like that beautiful summertime skin. my favorite is the Muga Rioja Rosado. you can’t go wrong with anything from this winery or anything from the beloved town of haro. chill, pour, drink, repeat repeat repeat until june.

 

vermut cocktails at Spain's Great Match, captured by the talented @hannahea88
vermut cocktails at Spain’s Great Match, captured by the talented @hannahea88

The first snowstorm. 

Casa Mariol Vermut from Catalunya, $14.

well that didn’t fucking work did it. the winter arrives, after all. and let’s all admit it- the first glimpse of snow has us all a bit romanticized. we watch wide-eyed with our noses pressed against the foggy window. we run out and play in the street. we laugh and sing. we text our moms and ask to tell us again the rule about making snow cream out of the first snow. we say fuck it and put a bowl out on the fire escape anyway. we drink beers, lots of them, at all of our favorite neighborhood haunts that feel new again because everything outside has changed. and maybe we’ve changed a bit too. we toast and feel toasty and get toasted.
and then we hear it. the snow plow. it tears through the streets and into our hearts and turns all of the magic into a grey soupy mess that we’ll be trudging through until april. and so when the magic fades from the first few flakes, that is when we drink vermut. yeah. we’re drinking vermut. because in spain they drink it straight up, with ice or without. it’s warm and spicy. it’s dark and dangerous. like a new lover, embrace it and look deep into its soul but say nothing and give nothing away. it works out easier that way. my choice here is the classic Casa Mariol Vermut. pour it slowly and snuggle up.

For 808s 212s and heartbreak. 

Petalos Bierzo, $20.

to comfort a friend who has decided to throw in the towel after her 111 tinder failure but is masking it as “girls night”. the irony is not lost on me. i delete and download dating apps more often than i log in to my bank account. we all love them and hate them and are really fucking exhausted by them. so bitch about it with your friends. drink wine, share stories… about the one who yelled at the server because the oysters were too big before offering you some cocaine. about the one who showed up in a ferrari but had absolutely nothing else to say for himself. at all. and wouldn’t let you drive. about the one who didn’t tell you his age and turned out to be nearly older than your father. about the actor who couldn’t afford to take the train so you rode him back to his place on your bike. about the one, the only one, who got away. and for all the ones who could never hold on to you.
for these nights, drink bierzo. this ancient region is the rising star in the spanish wine scene, located in the northwest and known for old wines with fresh flavors. it’s deep roots and with promising beginnings… not unlike your dating life. haunting and exotic, this red draws you in like a lover and hangs on to you just long enough. swipe right with the Petalos Bierzo.

For the friend who’s leaving the city.

Quinta Milú, Ribera del Duero, $11.

so a friend is finally saying goodbye to all that. to all this. it happens all the time, for one reason or another. maybe it’s for a person or from a person. maybe it’s the hustle that’s exhausted them. maybe they head west, or overseas, towards an opportunity and a promise or to nothing at all. a bittersweet celebration, always. for this you need a wine that hits your tongue and fills your mouth and lingers long after it’s gone,  it’s substantial, it speaks of age and significance. it’s long finish, a bravado that speaks to a complex history. for this occasion, a ribera del duero. wines that are defined as such because they grow along the lush banks of the ribera river. it’s deep and abundant and flows oh so freely. my favorite is the ever-so-charming Quinta Milu.

 

pairs well with olive oil. and everything else too.
spanish wine pairs well with olive oil. and your lifestyle, brooklyn.

 

¡salud, brooklyn!

<3L.

alameda greenpoint

alameda, greenpoint

in CULTURE
you know you are going to be drinking this weekend. and right now. and yesterday. and although we are all tempted to do so alone in the dark corners or our safe(ish) shoebox apartments, instead let’s do it out, in public, together. and let’s talk about this shit. and let’s do it at alameda, in greenpoint. why? because the name of this place itself means “tree-lined street” in spanish, a simple word that exudes a feeling of growth and prosperity, of shelter and strength, and that maybe, just maybe, spain, in all of its linguistic and cultural complexity, is the answer. read here, drink now, book tickets later. #vamos

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because after this week, i know what you need, brooklyn. you need comfort and gin in unabashedly uneven proportions. you need unironic vintage decor that appears to have happened by accident. you need a bar that speaks for itself because you’re sick of every one piping in. you need the smallest of small plates that tempt you to share ever so graciously or have no shame in not sharing at all. you need cocktails cocktails cocktails a bit of food and cocktails. and you want to not feel bad about offering such sanctity to a place because it’s clear they feel the same way. a bar that lets the bar and the drinks take center stage.

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i’ve found your place. it’s alameda in NoGreePo and it’s where you’ll be drinkign this weekend. a fantastic list of cocktails. fancy deviled eggs. fancy devlish people. and a bar of whom’s integrity they felt so strongly about they built it inside the structure itself, backing a concrete truck in ever-so-graciously and pouring it right in. yeah, you have to see this shit. and drink this drank. and be everything that is alameda. with me, if you’d like.

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what not to miss

the shiso painkiller or the moon balloon are my favorites. a spruce goose for your gin fix and any of the spanish wines for everything else.
oh and the deviled eggs. you little devil you.

  

how not to miss it

195  franklin ave
M-Th 5pm – midnight
F-Sat 5pm – 2am
Sun 1pm – midnight
#whyisthatelephantalwaysthere
#whyisthatelephantalwaysthere

pinkerton wine bar, williamsburg.

in CULTURE
as a self-proclaimed authority on absolutely everything happening in my neighborhood, with full confidence i planned out a weekend activities when my sister and her husband came up to visit last weekend. the night before their arrival she texted me – “our airbnb is right beside a wine bar that has $1 oysters everyday!!” with a link to pinkerton wine bar.
my sister is a bit of an oyster connoisseur, having just nabbed a national award for making virginia’s thriving oyster culture more sustainable and explorable with the virginia oyster trail. and she loves wine. this should have been on my list of things to do, this should have been on my radar! these bargain bivalves should have been sliding down my throat chased with a sip of chablis long before i received that text. i was ashamed and intrigued – how the hell did i miss this??
it’s because that is the very nature of pinkerton. cozy and unassuming. intimate and unpretentious. a tribute to the culture and local identity here instead of a steady scream of it’s presence. and an admittance that despite our waning disposable income, we still like to feel fancy.
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and for that, pinkerton is where to drink this weekend. or this week. or every week of every month, whether it has an R in it or not. the dollar oysters and simple small plates are delightful and make the perfect compliment to the wine list, which itself is well-curated and extensive. my pick was easy with the presence of a sparkling rosé cava from catalunya on the menu, a place i can’t deny (in so many ways) i’m kind of a big fan of.
the atmosphere is cozy with un-ironic antique decor, semi-creepy oil paintings from someone’s family and stained glass lighting fixtures. original tile flooring and an unlucky bucky bust on the wall. order from the bar, take a seat inside or out. meet a friend here you haven’t seen in a while as the vibe feels both familiar and new at the same time. hold someone’s hand across the table, say nothing or everything. breathe in, sip, and settle. you’ll be here for a while.
just as we were, last saturday afternoon. where again, as nearly every day, i was reminded that there is still so so much to discover about this charming town we call brooklyn. that even if you spend countless hours every single week researching every event, every opening, every happy hour that pops up, there are still things to learn. so thank you pinkerton, for reminding me humbly, of this. and for the fantastic fucking oysters.
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what not to miss

the sparkling rose cava. and of course any time they have chablis because… well, i love a good chablis. plus all of the oysters, and a few cheeses for good measure.

 

how not to miss it

well, first of all don’t blink. because you will miss it. or just bike to 263 N 6th st.
5pm-1am m-th
5pm-2am f
1pm-2am sa
1pm-1am su
happy hour every day until 8pm
and $1 oysters all day, every day.
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save me some chablis, and a cozy little spot beside you.

<3L.

The Gatehouses | Kings Co. Distillery’s Tasting Room

in CULTURE
in the county of kings comes the tasting room for the oldest distillery in new york, and the first to reopen since prohibition. in other words, these guys know what they’re doing. the not-contrived minimalist label, grandpa’s old cough syrup-esque bottle, the smooth liquor that tastes like it has a story to tell… they are doing everything right and from their meticulous product to their inimitable tasting room at the entrance of the brooklyn navy yard. the distillery relocated in 2012 to the 117-year old Paymaster Building in the navy yard after moving from their east williamsburg, where they were both the oldest and smallest distillery in new york city.
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the tasting room occupies one of two turrets that were originally erected as the superfluous (yet charming) entrances to the brooklyn navy yard, and were used for workers to convert checks to cash that they would primarily use at the bars and brothels that lined sands st. the gatehouses eliminates one step by allowing you to just use your money for drinks right there in the tower, and the brothel… well, you’re on your own there.

 

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the outdoor space is charming and simple with a garden intentionally overgrown with herbs and sunflowers and no-frills picnic tables. the outdoor bar is made from a converted container, that presumably made the long trek from the shipping yard to the gates, adding another subtle element of their inherent connection with the navy yard. inside they kept most of the original details of the tower, allowing the small space to feel smooth, old, and a little dangerous, not unlike their whiskey.
and i by no means will pretend to be any sort of whiskey connoisseur here, but this shit is good. really good. so good i tend give it as christmas presents and then sneak little sips of it from family members’ liquor cabinets when i’m back in virginia (jeff, just finish it already! don’t make me do this!)

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they also hold some pretty rad events, like the make-your-own tarot card workshop and reading by the more-than-locally-famous Desiree Mwalimu. i attended last saturday’s boozy crafternoon, and when i declined to make a card and just observe instead, i was told they “knew” i was just there to drink.
what is it with those clairvoyant types?
anyway, this is The Gatehouses at kings co. tasting room and it’s where you should drink this weekend.

kings_co_distillery

what not to miss

the frosty sno-cone-esque mint julep, the seasonal moonshine punch, or the bottled-in-bond bourbon, neat.

how not to miss it

m-f 8am-10pm
sat, noon-10pm
sun, 2-8pm
mornings monday through friday it’s a coffee.

kingscountydistillery.com

299 sands st, at the entrance to the navy yard.

salud, brooklyn.

<3L.

the brooklyn barge, greenpoint.

in CULTURE

in new york we like to day drink, and we like to do it in the most creative way possible. don’t offer me a concrete patio with pleasantly arranged tables with umbrellas and tee sweet martoonis and no smoking signs. nothing drives me not to drink faster than that shit.

we want an urban rooftop winery, with hammocks! we want an arcade speakeasy tucked behind a laundromat, accessible through that mysterious washing machine in the back! we want skee ball bars, shuffle board bars, cornhole bars, ping pong bars, in absolutely no particular order! we want taco trucks hidden inside of bars hidden inside of taco trucks hidden inside of bars (hidden inside of warm tortillas). we want to literally get twisted and confused and feel better and a little displaced along with our standard inebriation.

and so the brooklyn barge finally surfaces. let’s all forgive them for that cock tease of an opening they gave us last summer. (ok maybe i’m still a little bitter…) you need to go, before it closes “for the season” which to me, isn’t a reason. in fact it’s treason, to pretend it’s freezin’ just when a little breeze comes in.

they have cornhole. they have stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. they have damn good beers and cocktails and tacos and it’s all floating on an industrial barge in the east river with relentless views of a spectacular sunset silhouetted skyline.

brooklyn_barge_sunset

what not to miss

margaritas and the barge tacos and the sunsets.

rotating tap of mostly-local brews, featuring their own Barge Beer by sixpoint.

 

how not to miss it

the brooklyn barge

97 west st, greenpoint

this is their very well-designed website.

open daily, 1130-midnight.

kayak and stand-up paddleboarding (first lesson is free!) at the barge through manhattan kayak

tues-sun, 10am to sunset.

 

meet me there, and we’ll all float on (while drinking margaritas).

<3L.

achilles heel, greenpoint.

in CULTURE
Achilles Heel, 180 West St, Greenpoint.

it’s no surprise that i’m a bit neighborhood-obsessed. and, well, borough-dedicated. if you don’t know of Achilles Heel, it’s from the man who brought us roberta’s, marlow & sons, among other emblematic brooklyn mainstays. this bar, tucked away on charming west st. of NoGreePo, was meant to embody the feeling of sailor’s leaving the shipyard after a long day at sea. although i doubt that they demanded the craftsmanship put into the exquisitely-curated cocktail menu, you’ll be charmed. trust me.

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what not to miss

cocktails, cocktails, cocktails, especially the bone diamond.

the oysters + yuzu.

the nettle meadow cheese + morels.

how not to miss it

achilles heel, 180 west st.

Monday-Friday, opens at 8pm. Saturday and Sunday, opens at noon.

happy hour, monday-friday, 5-7: $2 oysters, $5 drafts, $8 wine, $9 fernet old fashioneds.

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see you out there, friends.

<3L.