Active Beers: 6
Beer Ratings: 57
Beer Avg: 3.69
Taps: 13 / Bottles: 15
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 19 | Show All Ratings:
4.7/5 rDev +24.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
Slander, who pushed through the market of crazy and came out clean the other side. Elevator, operator, me to the 14th and then a flight of stairs to the 15th floor; I feel like there should be clues along the way or I should be gobbling up fruit for bonus points or something. The reception desk and the brewings behind glass, and out, but in; the rooftop enclosed...
A white marble topped bar runs a length off to the left with seating for 18ish on non-backed Randy stools. Cask box of 3 on the bar and a 10 tap tower a few feet down. 8 short barrels on their sides holding wine selections tapped on the barback split 4 & 4, with slight tiered boozings in between. Glassware tucked in there, too, and shelved below and tucked barside, with stemmed stuff hanging above. Awning piece over the bar with mounted spots, and through the slight windows atop the barback, you can see the top of the Empire State Building in all her awesomeness.
Out on the floor, there are about 5 dozen 2 seat paper placematted tables in rows, many solo and pushed together in pairs and pairs of pairs, and ½ a dozen or so larger round tables here or there. Shared benchings along the perimeter, and I see a sea of red metal chairs. Large sign letter BIRRERIA on the building side, with their 3 collaborator (Baladin, Del Borgo and DogFishHead) logos below. Lino wood looking floorings, and glass walls and roof top; some of which retract somewhat. The rear windows slide open and the rooftop, too; starting with the center panel pushed with a long pole. Hot air for a cool breeze, traded.
Phil’s BBQ at 2, I am afforded some time for a few beers and am underway sampling before Sunday sales noon. 3 house cask beers on at a time. I’ve had at all of ‘em. ‘Gina’ (Thyme Pale Ale, fantastic, amazingly quaffable, a good thyme beer), ‘Ruby’ (American Wheat with dried fig & mustard seed, very nice), and a beer called ‘Wanda’ (Chestnut Mild, good roasted nuttiness). On return visits, I’ve also had ‘Nigella’ (a highly drinkable session IPA, excellent), ‘Barista’ (Robust Porter with Guatemalan coffee, tasty), and ‘Pina’ (Brown Ale with pine nuts and honey, does not suck). Their beers are really quite good. I don’t know about $10 a pint good, but they are well done. ABV’s ranging as low as 3.5% (Nigella) and as high as 7% (Barista).
In addition to the house cask beers, they’ve got 10 drafts; a good mix of regional American craft and import fun with offerings from all 3 collaborators. Across my visits, I’ve drank the Baladin Isaac (holy fucking coriander!), and the Grado Plato Strada San Felice (roasted chestnut lager, excellent), and have sampled the Del Borgo Genziana (a saison with Gentian root, really nice), the L’Olmaia Karkade (spring Ale with hibiscus, sour but not unpleasantly so), and the Loverbeer Madamin (Italian Flanders style sour brown seemingly more full on sour than an Oud Bruin). And nearly 30 bottled selection; 1/3 of them from the house collaborators, and the remaining 2/3 a mix of 2 to 1 American craft to import ratio, plus nearly a dozen wines.
We split the meat plate for 2 ($21), the winners being Cacciatorini (spicy), and Sopressata (garlic & black peppercorn goodness), and we ordered up 3 cheeses ($11), Asiago Fresco (winner), Robiola Bosina (solid), & Provolone Madarone (did not suck); all cow with a little sheep. It came served with a hazelnut & honey accompaniment of awesome. And lest we not forget the broccoli rabe ($5), which was goddamn stellar, just amazing garlic love there.
My subsequent revisits have been all about the pork shoulder (beer & apricot braised, served with a celery, cucumber, and persimmon slaw of sorts, and a mustard vinaigrette) for a mere $19. One of the most amazing foodings of my life. This pork shoulder literally melts; I could eat it with a spoon. I had to sit back and ‘holy shit’ for a moment there. Just stellar. Was dealt 3 slices of homemade spent grain bread with a small plate of olive oil. Menu absent is the broccoli rabe; as such I am forced to slum it with the carrots (baby ones, all honeyed up). They were solid, but I feel robbed of the rabe this day.
Brucetender again; he let me try a few things, has good opinions on what’s what, and just knows his game. Great food and drink here. Pricey, but just don’t care and then don’t. It’s Sunday, and I’ve got a warm happiness rolling over me, a pretty good day this be. The drink is a sizable contributor to be sure and I’m still trippin’ from that pork shoulder. Nice breeze and good tunes rooftop today, Lots of tourists, of course, but I do like. Just 2 hours in, the place is 2/3 full, tablewise. So know that the game here is to be on their doorstep at Sunday opening, get your snack and drink on, and get out before it fills in around you, which it will.
04-10-2012 17:31:12 | More by slander
3.93/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$$
Love the space, loved the food, beer they brew is ehh, guest bottles and taps are nice but expensive.
Nice place to take folks from out of town, cuz the room is bright, airy, pleasant and impressive. Went when it was quiet, midweek for lunch at the bar, so no crowds, and no stress, can imagine prime times would get kinda hectic.
Enjoyed some anti pasta and a tasty sandwedge, along with a few of thier house brewed drafts.
Very pleasant at the bar.
Not a place I would visit on a regular basis, but nice to visit to see fine food and fine beer being intermingled, enjoyed and mostly respected.
03-17-2012 19:53:38 | More by Billolick
4.08/5 rDev +7.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$$
La Birreria! The newest beer spot New Yorkers love to hate... :-)
I decided to check it out on a sunny hot August day. At around 2:30pm there was no wait. It is a bit difficult to get to, what with the elevator, stairs, hallways and general maze.
Loved the music, but the place looks like a cheap patio at a dive bar in Florida. Crowd was mostly European tourists, and some well-dressed locals, pretty girls and guys in suits. No beer nerds in sight.
WAY HOT! And no views whatsoever except for a tiny slice of the Empire State from the bar. The marble bar was so hot you could warm up your coffee on it. Even the servers were sweating. Enough said!
Selection: ONE house brew (Sofia, with peppercorns), one Dogfish cask (Eataly pale ale) and ten drafts, including Dogfish 120 and Raison d'Etre, Southern Tier Hop Sun, Moretti and Life&Limb. They also have wine on tap, FYI.
My Eataly Pale Ale was fine, drinkable, a hint of spice, tad boring but good for the weather. Not too casky. Had a "teku" (12 ounces) of Life&Limb, 20 cl of beer and the rest was head (bartender said that is the way they do it because it is high gravity).
Didn't try the food but would like to next time. Service was fine at the bar. Overall, I had mixed feelings about the place. Love the selection and service and music, didn't like the settings and the silly heat and the prices and the hassle to get up there.
Had the chance to chat with one of the owners and that was a nice touch. He explained how the costs of brewing on a rooftop adds up, hence the $10 tag for a pint, and also said that they are not a beer garden but a brewery on a rooftop, which makes sense to me.
Not a destination (avoid at peak times), but sure worth a visit or two, and definitely much better than the poor reviews here might have you think. I'm looking forward to the new house-brewed ales.
Note: On my most recent visit (Summer 2012) had a great Birreria Giuseppina, a "Golden IPA" brewed with decocted rigatoni and Belgian yeast strains.
09-14-2011 23:32:42 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4.29/5 rDev +13.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75 | $$$
I really enjoyed this place - it was a great place to go for dinner and beer even on a very cold evening in April. The glass roof was closed but there was still a great view of the night sky and some of the close by building through it. There is also a great view of the top of the Empire State Building through the windows by the restrooms. The decor is quite pleasant and there is a slightly exciting buzz about the place.
Beers were well poured, served at proper temperature, and in proper glassware. Beers seemed very fresh and I definitely think they were high quality.
Both the service at the bar and once we had a table for very professional and courteous. Food and drinks were delivered quickly. I would recommend making reservations if you want to eat here on a weekend or are impatient (especially when the weather is really nice).
This place actually had a very nice beer listing including casks, taps, and bottles featuring a lot of very nice Italian beers as well as some NY locals and other American craft beers. Probably about 35 beers to choose from but they are not the same beers you find at most of the other places in the city.
The food was really enjoyable - I highly recommend the beer and apricot braised pork shoulder as it was very crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth (like a pork belly) on the inside.
Prices are a little high at this place but the food and beers are top notch and you are somewhat paying for the experience.
04-05-2013 15:00:01 | More by dbrauneis
3.94/5 rDev +4.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
La Birreria has only been open for about a week so I hope to update this upon future visits as it can be a bit unfair to review a place that is still working out the kinks.
To get here you must navigate the tourists at Eataly and head to the back. There you must wait on line for the elavator which brings you to the 14th floor. Once there it is up another flight of steps, past some empty kegs and the brewing equipment to the roof. Note that the line can has been very long so far especially during peak hours. If you go at an off hour you can breeze up though.
Once up on the roof there are a number of tables to the right and a bar to the left. The retractable roof allows for great city views while offering ample protection from the rain. Seated at the bar, you face north which should provide a view of the king of buildings, the Empire State but unfortunately there is only a small slit of a window offering a glimpse at the building. However at night the lights do illuminate things quite well. The rest of the view is better , especially for the Flatiron Building. My only other complaint is there is no real way to walk to the edge to have better views.
Beerwise they had a number of Dogfish head and Italian brews as well as three housemade cask offerings. As of right now they are brewed down at DFH but this will change as the brewery becomes fully productive. I had their Thyme beer as well as the Maple brown ale. The Thyme was very mild while the maple brown was a bit more bold. Both beers were solid as was an Italian Pale Ale, ReAle . Being new, everything obviously tasted fresh.
Service was good, especially for a new place. The bartenders were knowledgeable and prompt. I did not get any food this time around but a few of the items I saw other patrons eating looked good.
The major problem I found was the price of the cask beers, $10 a piece. Compared to the $7 regular tap offerings this seems a bit much. One of the bartneders said this might come down so this point could change.
All in all there are a few kinks and the view is not quite as good as what I thought it would be but the place is running smoothly. The focus on brewing real ale for consumption on a Manhattan roof top is a great idea however the crowds and the prices will probably prevent this from becoming a regular hangout.
Mind you that this review is for the very newly opened establishment and as such is limited.
06-16-2011 16:05:23 | More by sleazo
3.93/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Nice space on top of the roof. We got there about 11:30am and had no elevator wait, no wait for a table and the full attention of our waiter.
He had great suggestions and an honest assesment of the beers. He was very friendly and knew his beers. I had their Gina, brewed with thyme..pale ale on cask. It was very good. My girlfriend had a Sly Fox hefe and that was also very good. Food wise and beer wise....this is NOT cheap. I had their Maitake Mushrooms (2) with a pecorino cream sauce, served with asparagus and pea shoots....for $15. They give you good bread and very good olive oil for dipping. But that was lunch for me. Not a lot of food, but it was excellent and I was satisfied...not full, but it was enough. My girlfriend had the pork shoulder with beer-apricot sauce....a more substantial plate, served with kraut..it was also very good.
As we ate the place filled up....so we were glad to have been there early..I'm sure that an hour later and we would not have had the service that we had....they were slammed pretty much.
I would say that it was NYC rooftop pricing
( I'm improvising here)..but I would recommend a visit; especially if you can get there early.
09-04-2011 17:30:43 | More by Hautacam
3.58/5 rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$$$
First off, you have to go in knowing you are walking into a tourist trap. With that, expensive prices come hand in hand. It is on the rooftop of the new Eataly establishment. The prior reviewer gave a good overview of the concept.
So, the setting is top notch. Rooftop drinking in NYC, how cool. It is not that you have a great view of anything in particular, but regardless. Good staff. I have gone twice, both times the waiters seemed to know their beers.
On my most recent trip, there was only 1 real house beer...a cask peppercorn wit. Interesting, but come on $10 a pint is asking a lot, especially for a session beer. By far, the most expensive house beer I have seen in my travels. $5 would be sufficient. they continue to promise a chestnut ale is coming, but still nothing. Most draft beers are not even served in pints, they are served in "tekus" which I have no idea what that means, but it is smaller than 16ozs for sure.
On tap, outside the new Life & Limb from DFH, it was Moretti, Sly Fox and several DFH standards. The bottles are interesting, but unless you want to shell out $16-$30 for a bottle, you are out of luck.
The food is not typical Italian/pasta fare. It is most cheeses, salads and meats. We had the 3 cheese platter for $11 which was good, but we got 3 tiny pieces.
This is a mixed review. I like it there, most for the atmosphere and uniqueness. the prices are just a bit out of hand, even for NYC. If you want to try it, just know what it is beforehand.
08-21-2011 18:10:12 | More by Nutleybeer
2.9/5 rDev -23.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | $$$$
I happened to be by Eataly and decided to stop by the Birreria. I had read that the house beers were $10 a pint. They weren't $10/pint, it was $10 for beer in a shaker pint glass. House beers were served from a beer engine and with a dense head. I ended up getting the Wanda, a English mild made with chestnuts. My friend had the pale ale with thyme. The beers were fine, but $5 fine. Considering how much they claim to pay attention to quality, I wish the beer was served in better glassware.
As far as the other selections, a few locals, but most of the beers are from Beerifico Baladin. Some interesting saisons with wild yeast, saisons with grape must, as well as some local NY brewery beers. Guest drafts were between $7-$9 for a 12oz. pour when I was there.
It was in the middle of December, so it was quite cold outside, but it was covered in the winter. It was quite warm and the place was quite lively. Although there were 5 bartenders behind the bar, they weren't very attentive. Didn't try the food.
12-21-2012 21:59:43 | More by dauss
4.25/5 rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5 | $$
Here it is in the middle of January and I'm on a Manhattan roof top drinking brown cask ales with juicy lamb sandwiches. Covered by frosted glass awnings and heated by propane fired lamps, I normally would have not believed it was possible to put a brewery on a roof top. I could see this being great place for a date and/or a few beers with friends in the late Spring and Summer.
La Birreria captures the spirit of doing something different with imagination in NYC and deserves the attention of every beer geek to see this venue. It's not a temple to beer, nor does it have every bourbon barrel aged nuanced ale made by the latest brewers who Tweet every turn in the mash tun. Paired with exceptional kitchens below it, this outdoor place has broader appeal that needs to be experienced and not just reviewed.
For the beer, I saw a very tall bottle list with plenty of Dogfish Head things on it, but I wasn't drawn to it like I was with the casks that stood out on the edge of the bar. Having sampled the delightful brown ale and the funky thyme spiced wheat ale, I was convinced this place has the capacity to make great beers into the future.
01-11-2012 14:28:26 | More by bonbright7
4.1/5 rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$$$
I’ve been to La Birreria several times now for both lunch and after work drinks and can state that I like the place, but would be hesitant to go if it were not being covered by an expense account; this place is crazy expensive, and while the food and beer are all of excellent quality, I don’t think that the proprietors are justified to over charge patrons that much for beer. The food, while excellent, is also very steep in price to me and I have been working in NYC for over 15 years, but this is NYC so anything goes and people will pay for it.
The atmosphere is a mix of a tourist trap, a cool rooftop concept brewpub, European gathering space and a mob scene. It has everything that I love and hate about NYC rolled into one establishment: it can be crowded with long lines, people taking pictures, expensive food and drinks, tight bar space at night, it’s very loud when it’s packed and it can be an overwhelming scene; on the flip side, navigating through Eataly is a cool NYC experience with tons of people, tons of noise, tons of smells and a feel like you’re in the middle of the greatest city on Earth – and that’s all before you go up the elevator to La Birreria when you walk up the stairs after exiting the elevator and see the mini brewery, which is sparkling clean and impressive to look at. Day or night there are very cool NYC views and the vibe has always seemed hip and cool, like being on this rooftop is the place to be; overall I like the atmosphere, which is why I keep going back. Also, the retractable roof is a very cool aspect of this place and should make for enjoyable winter drinking.
The quality of the food is excellent, and most of the beers have been of very high quality as well. I have tried 4 cask ales and some were hits and others misses, but I could tell they were made with quality ingredients and were good experiments. The bread, cheese platters, olives and sausages have all been extremely tasty, with an emphasis on the sausages which are outstanding; the Cotechino and the Probusto are excellent dishes to share and wash down with beer.
The service has gotten much better since it opened, and each time I go back it seems to improve. The waiters know enough about beer to be helpful, and even the confused looking busboy types seem helpful as they clean up and fetch more bread and olive oil whenever eating there. There are two bartenders who seem to be beer experts, and once you cut through their BS attitudes and let them know that you are serious about beer then that’s when they offer great advice and samples. They are pretty quick even during peak after work hours, so they know how to earn a tip.
The selection of beer, wine and food are excellent; the bar selection is OK, but who the hell comes to this place not to have beer or wine? The beer selection is always impressive and they have just enough on tap to balance out the house brews and bottle selection. Last week they had some Troegs, Victory and Sierra Nevada on tap in addition to the standard Dogfish Head offerings, and Italian beer and some local NY brewery offerings. The bottle list has a lot of quality beers from Baladin, DogFish Head and other hard to find Italian beers, so I think it’s a very cool variety.
Overall the value was OK for NYC, but still a bit pricy to me. Some of the bottled beer is very overpriced, like the DogFish Head My Antonia for $18 per bottle. I completely understand that the rent must be insane, but the bottled beer prices are a tad over the top for anyone who knows craft beer pricing. The house brews (cask ales) are expensive at $10 per glass, but since they make the beer right there then to me that is justified and the essence of the place and experience. I really like the place and look forward to going there on day when it snows to have a beer in the crisp air looking at the Empire State Building. Definitely check this place out. Unless you’re looking to go broke this would not be a regular spot to be a barfly, but it is a cool NYC experience right across from the landmark Flatiron Building.
10-28-2011 03:42:48 | More by CHickman
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La Birreria in New York, NY
87 out of 100 based on 20 user ratings.