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Taps: 101 / Bottles: 112
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
300 W 40th St
phone: (212) 510-8415
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5 | $$
Taking the A train from JFK to Manhattan for G's birthday weekend, we emerged from the Port Authority station directly across the street from Beer Authority. After a long flight, it was a great way to start our weekend.
On a Thursday night, there was a DJ playing music a bit loud but we survived sitting around the edge. Our waiter was friendly and efficient, bringing beer and the daily special in short order: a vegetarian shepherd's pie. Dinner was great with a lentil based that tasted a lot like our favorite camping dish but with a thick, creamy head of mashed potatoes. We just wonder why this sort of meal isn't readily available in Minnesota.
Believing in drinking local, I started by trying a couple of brews from Spider Bite. Eye Be Use, a Double IPA, was disappointingly unrefined but I still followed up with Boris the Spider, a Russian Imperial Stout. Slightly better but the blunted hops couldn't come through the unbalance RIS. Nice experiment but I'm not a fan. I accidentally spilled the last of this beer on my blue jeans; generously, our server brought me a short pour to replace my clumsiness.
During research, I came across the new Bronx Brewery and happily got a chance to try their Black Pale Ale. No Sublimely Self Righteous, but this American black ale has a solid malty base and a clean dark bite that makes is a good choice. We ended with a draft of Dogfish Head Noble Rot, an earthy and interesting saison that we returned to on Sunday.
We tried to repeat our first stop on Saturday night after seeing Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy. An extremely poignant play based on the life Mike McAlary, a 1980s tabloid columnist in New York. Not only did we intimately learn about a part of NYC history and culture, but the gritty, authentic underbelly of the newspaper business written by late Nora Ephron. Unfortunately, we weren't able to discuss any of this at Beer Authority. The band joked about playing too loud and continued to shake the rafters. We put in ear plugs while I drank a beer and finally starting texting each other out of desperation, leaving disappointed and had to talk over the play while kicking our way through the late night crowds of Times Square.
On Sunday afternoon, we needed to head back to the hotel to pick up our bags after a visit to the 9/11 memorial. I wanted to give Beer Authority a chance in the daylight and to give the mac & cheese a try.
Happily, this visit was pleasant. I started with a Green Flash West Coast IPA, a favorite hoppy treat when I get the chance. By the time we ordered the mac & cheese, I was on to Ommegang Barrier Relief, a Belgian IPA that's a collaboration ale with Barrier Brewing to rebuild that Sandy ravaged brewery. A beautifully blended IPA with a Belgian funk was a solid choice for a last beer in NYC. The beer paired surprisingly well with the mushroom and garlic Mac & Cheese, unusual and intriguing, I would gladly order it as a meal again.
On the way out, we ran into an intrepid band of beer hunters, one also a blogger at Hoptical Allusions. Need to leave for the train to fly home, we didn't have to time for more than a pic and a cheers on the way out. Each had a tray of four tasters—sixteen on the table. After two trying visits, a third with a chance encounter with fellow beer travelers bolstered my spirits and our experience. With great beer that is well served, Beer Authority is the go-to place in the heart of Manhattan for craft beer. However, in the future, I will make this our pre-show stop to relax and unwind before hitting Broadway, saving the post-show discussion for a much quieter place.
More at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2013/03/beer-authority-new-york-ny.html
05-19-2013 19:24:49 |
More by FightingEntropy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25 | $$
This is a relatively new place; apparently owned by Rattle N Him. Unlike Rattle N Hum, it's much larger, with 3 levels including a small bar on the lower level, a restaurant / bar / large screen television area with lots of windows on the second level, and a 3rd (open) level that includes picnic tables and of course a bar. The location is convenient; just across from the Port Authority on West 40th Street. There's a nice mix of food to choose from. The brisket sandwich I had was good. They also had a choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts. The staff is friendly and helpful. All in all, a nice first experience. I plan on returning.
05-05-2013 21:48:56 |
More by JohnW58
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
Man, this place is huge. Walked in later in the evening after a dinner. Bottom bar is small, and the upstairs layout is huge. Consider it the antithesis of The Blind Tiger.
Selection menu is just like Rattle 'n' Hum. Menu divides everything into style. I ordered what I had specifically come for, and was told that it was out. The bartender then crossed out several beers that were no longer available, which was discouraging. I think I said, "Oh, such-and-such a beer is out too. Hmmm." And the bartender then suggested Yeti, which kind of annoyed me as I was asking about moreesoteric stuff, and I would figure she'd know I wanted to try something unique. All of the staff were chomping on gum and texting on their phone, which I found...annoying. It seemed to put things into a, "Yeah, whaddya want?" kind of thing. I was considering getting some of the rarer Bourbon County Stouts there, but decided against it as I was just getting bored of the whole thing and didn't want to spend all my night there.
Eh. I don't think I would bother going back. They clearly are raking in the money and don't care about my business.
05-02-2013 18:08:38 |
More by RblWthACoz
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
The place is located right next to the Port Authority so there is a lot of foot traffic right in front of the place. As such, it also has a lot of "mainstream" folks that pack it up. The bar has 3 floors; a smallish bar on the first floor, a sizable 2nd floor, and an open ended 3rd floor (I think, as it was closed when I went). There were several TVs on the walls showing some European futbol events. The large windows on the 2nd floor are nice for some people watching. One interesting note, you get your one personal bathroom when you need to go. Overall, a big plus for the size of the place.
The draft list had a good amount of quality brews, definitely a beer bar selection. The bar does cater to non beer drinkers but overall it is more beer focused. On draft, they didn't have anything I couldn't easily find elsewhere. Their bottle selection was just a glass cooler in which you had to figure out what was what, no menu. They had some nice selections but if you weren't around the cooler, you wouldn't know that they had these.
The service was kind of poor the night I went. I received 2 different beers than what I ordered and they didn't do anything extraordinary. The beers were served in proper glasses.
A decent selection across the styles. Could use a bit more diversity. I appreciate the printed menu so you could see what they have.
Overall, an above average beer bar. It gets pluses for being in a touristy area. Attractive bar area and the deck would be nice during warmer weather. Needs to offer some harder to find brews.
01-20-2013 05:27:14 |
More by Gmann
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Being a big fan of Rattle n Hum I was excited to try their new place Beer Authority. I always like to have somewhere near Times Square and Port Authority for when I am stuck up there. I tried the roof garden on my first visit. The selection is not as large as it is on the second floor and the view of Port Authority isn't exactly scenic; however, somewhere to sit outside and get fresh air in NYC is always nice. My second visit I sat at the bar on the second floor. The bartender was friendly and great. My beers were poured perfectly and I had an awesome time. Still haven't tried any of the food, but very happy to have and escape when I'm stuck in the area.
12-11-2012 19:46:18 |
More by laurastradford
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Located near the Port Authority, it is easy to spot with the restaurant name in large letters outside on the top of building. Upon entering, the first floor has a smallish bar area, and the second floor is the main dining area and it has a decent size bar that can seat about 20 people. There is a roof top area, but I did not venture there. We sat at the bar on the second floor, and the decor was heavy on dark woods, but the walls had nice craft beer logos painted on them. Big windows provide some natural light in the daytime.
There was a large selection of beers that are listed on a menu. The taps are visible behind the bar. There were no real hard to find beers here, but a solid selection - beers from Stone, Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Anderson Valley, Great Divide, Ommegang, Blue Point, Coney Island, Flying Dog, Brooklyn, and Victory. I did enjoy a Sculpin on cask which was very fresh, followed by a Yeti. Beers were served in proper glassware with the brewery logos.
We sampled some of the food, and the duck flatbread was very good. The sandwiches were also good. Service was prompt and friendly. The bartender did state it is tough to stay up on the daily changes with the drafts, so they must have a good turnaround here.
Definitely a place worth stopping in if you are in the theater area or coming into the city via Port Authority.
10-29-2012 15:29:14 |
More by Gavage
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I like the vibe of the place though I am not as excited about the vibe of the neighborhood (not that expected anything different right by the Port Authority Bus Station). Big inside and has three floors that offer seating and lots of windows inside and a nice rooftop area.
The beers were super fresh and very well poured - proper glassware for the different styles of beer.
Service was knowledgeable about the beers and even checked to make sure I was familiar with a particular style (Berliner Weisse) before serving it to me to make sure I knew what I was ordering. Service was attentive but not overbearing and took good care of me (though the place was not too busy in the middle of the afternoon). The bartender even made sure to check back with me to make sure I was enjoying my selection. Very personable.
I thought the selection at this place was very good - even better than what is at Rattle N Hum currently. They had both taps and casks and featured many excellent beers that are very fresh (Tartare and Ruination 10th Anniversary along with many others) and not a lot of standard stuff that you always see.
I looked over the menu and certainly saw several offerings that seemed like a slight twist on traditional Irish pub fare and home style food. The menu is more impressive than at Rattle N Hum. The gent sitting next to me got the sausage and claimed it was a very good version of the traditional bangers and mash.
So I visited during the day and got my beverages at happy hour prices so I don't feel like it is any pricey than other places in Manhattan (roughly the same price as Rattle N Hum). I'm sure the draft prices are more competitive than the bottles and I only had draft beers.
09-01-2012 20:48:31 |
More by dbrauneis
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Ah, a Manhattan beer place with plenty of tables and room to stretch out. I mean, I love Pony Bar and Ginger Man and Rattle 'N Hum and Blind Tiger, but try getting a table or spot at the bar at 9pm on a Friday when you just get to town and need refreshment. Beer Authority, while crowded, was still able to seat our party of three (then five when friends dropped by unannounced) immediately. Union Jack in hand three minutes later, some delicious deviled eggs five minutes after that, awesome.
A big big place by the standards of this or any other city, Beer Authority sits right across the street from the Port Authority, so a short walk or subway ride from public transit. The night was pleasant for August but after the heat of the subway station we opted to sit on the comfy, air conditioned second floor rather than the open rooftop. Next time.
Selection was excellent, not "blow your mind" rare but that's fine. Fresh Union Jack, Sublimely Self-Righteous, Raging Bitch will certainly do the trick.
Food was very good, better than my meals at RnH. The Authority sandwich was right up my alley. We all enjoyed our selections.
Service was always prompt. I'll be back here soon.
08-21-2012 17:17:38 |
More by sholland119
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
From the creators of Rattle N Hum comes Beer Authority, a massive beer bar across from the Port Authority Bus Station. This place is gigantic and weird- it has got three floors and sprawling windows looking over 8th Avenue, but the main entrance is a narrow unmarked door on 40th street.
Seediness abounds in this glorious block, with a porn shop right next to the bar and the Parole Office down the street. In the tradition of other Port Authority-area bars, Beer Authority opens at 8:00 in the morning. Just in case you need an imperial stout before going to work!
As for the beers... there are 58 taps here, which is a damn good number but not as good as the 80 they were promising. Also promised and not delivered: cask beer. Hopefully they will get it going soon. The menu is divided by styles and is almost identical to the menu at R'n'H. Good stuff for everyone, including a ton of IPA's (Dogfish 60 and 90, Union Jack, Sculpin, Racer 5) and rarer stuff like Two Brothers Red Eye Coffee Porter, Oskar BluesTen Fidy and Anderson Valley Horn of the Beer barleywine.
I love the ambience, never loud or crazy and spacious enough to guarantee a seat and a good time, although it does get busy after work. Tables, high-tops, a long-ass bar and different areas to choose from. It's all very chill so far, and hopefully it won't turn into another Ginger Man for corporate types and commuters.
Prices look a lil' expensive but are not terrible. 16-oz pints are $7, 12- and 14-oz glasses of specialty beers are around $8. Service is very good, with friendly and efficient bartenders, and so far the only disappointment is the food menu. It is not quite the "high-end gastropub fare" the owners announced. More like sandwiches, pastas, mussels and stuff. But the Spotted Pig this is not. The wife and I had the deviled eggs and they were alright. Not super amazing for sure, and way expensive at $9.
Still, this place is going to be the bomb, and I will be there drinking it!
04-10-2012 18:50:08 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
Beer Authority in New York, NY