While brewing at home is great fun, the Brooklyn Brew Shop team likes to get out and grab a beer every once in a while. Who doesn't? With that in mind, we would like to give our fellow beer drinkers the scoop on some of the best beer bars in our area. From Brooklyn to Manhattan to the occasional stop out of town, here's where you might find us drinking tonight.
Ten seconds inside The Cannibal and the smell hits: a massive bouquet of smoke, meat and fire. It's house-made beef jerky and sausage. It’s a barbeque sucker-punch. The gastropub, located on 29th Street between Park and Lex, dwells in perpetual campfire mode, with every inch of the space, save for the outdoor seating, swept up in a wave of tantalizing eau de meat.
After about 20 seconds — once visitors snap back from their nose-coma — their eyes will likely hit the walls. In this slender, speakeasy-eque nook of a bar, the walls are rustically paneled with raw wood and lined with bottles upon bottles of beer. Belgians and IPAs, Goses and more line the shelves and fill the refrigerators, which whirr ceaselessly by the entrance.
At 30 seconds, the epiphany: This is a true-blue beer haven.
Simply put, The Cannibal has one of the most robust beer lists in Manhattan, with a whopping collection of bottles and seven draught lines to explore. In all, their beverage program encompasses a massive 450 beers, ensuring that their homemade sausages — of which there are at least four — will be washed down with some exquisite suds.
Despite its aged wood interior, the Cannibal is relatively young, having opened just four years ago. According to the restaurant, founder Christian Pappanicholas was intrigued by the idea of a beer and butcher shop after several trips to Europe in 2009, and consequently opened The Cannibal in 2011.
"The goal is that we're making it super accessible for the guest and easy to navigate, and the only way to do that is to have staff that are super knowledgeable,” Lane said. “I never want anyone to feel like they are being taught at. If you sit down, and you don't know what the beer is, then you're part of the conversation, not the target."
Ultimately, few things go so well with beer as delicious food, and Lane said that relationship is something the Cannibal is immensely proud to be involved in.
"Having a very serious beer program live as part of the living organism with a serious food program, is something that I think is still in its infancy as far as styles go,” he said. "We're very happy to be part of that."
Ask Lane, and he’ll say the best way to enjoy the Cannibal is to bring a few friends, and just “go nuts." Buy a few beers, have a few bites and maybe even pick up some of Brooklyn Brew Shop's Beer Making Mixes while you're at it. With the massive menu of brews and quality eats, going nuts at The Cannibal doesn’t seem so hard.
Visit: The Cannibal // 113 E. 29th St. New York, NY 10016 // 211.686.5480