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Chelsea Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
83
good

35 Ratings
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 10.42%
Active Beers: 32
Beer Ratings: 405
Beer Avg: 3.72
[ Brewery ]

Chelsea Pier 59
New York, New York, 10011
United States
phone: (212) 336-6440

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Restaurant/Bar closed in March 2014.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%

My company did their summer picnic in the big room off the ice rink on Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers back in July of '96. I showed up, dropped off my skates, and headed for the brewpub to have a couple of, as I remember it, just wonderful pints of a thick chewy porter before heading back to deal with my coworkers...
They make some respectable beers, and I've been there a dozen or so times in the last few years and have never had a bad time. Big, airy room with an upstairs party room and seating with some outdoor seatings along the boat docks out back. Decent view of the Hudson although the nettings from the golf driving range kind of impede your view to the North.
I enjoy the Sunset Red Ale and the Checker Cab Blonde and the darker offerings like the stouts and the porter have also been excellent.
The food has always been somewhat lacking though. They have a very "non-brewpub friendly" menu and the food is just so-so at best and it's always been that way. With the volume of people rolling through Chelsea Piers, you'd think they'd have a more "tourist easy" menu. So there you go, the food is wah.
But you know what?? They make great, and I mean "ggggggggggggreat" cask beers. The Henry Hudson IPA is very nice, as was that great Rye Flake and Black Hole XXX Stouts they did. Outstanding!! It's just a shame they don't pour them there although they damn well oughta (I've only seen them at the Blind Tiger). Not a bad NYC brewpub, but take a cab there as the price of parking at Chelsea Piers has gotten ridiculous in the last few years.

slander, Feb 23, 2003
More User Reviews:
Photo of JKV96
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

JKV96, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of markgugs
3/5  rDev -15.5%

markgugs, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of coombski
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

coombski, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of k3ve
4/5  rDev +12.7%

k3ve, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of Mfoleybrews
2.97/5  rDev -16.3%

Way off the path, went during off hours which provided the opportunity to talk to the knowledgeable staff about the NYC beer scene. Beer goes down easy but is not a standout. Word is they plan to move to Brooklyn in the coming year or 3. I will probably wait until they do so before I return.

Mfoleybrews, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%

Chelsea Brewing Company is Manhattan's only brewery. Strange, right? The capital of the world, and quite a beer market... and only ONE brewery. Some others in Brooklyn, of course, but only one in Manhattan Island.

Located inside the absurdly cavernous Chelsea Piers, this place is hard to find and hard to enjoy. It is huge but rather empty and sterile-looking. Could be a Rock Bottom in Anywhere, USA, only with nice views of the Hudson River and the boats docked outside.

Even when it is not crowded (I wonder if it ever is), service is slow and inefficient. You gotta flag your server down to ask for stuff. They are either understaffed or just lazy/uninterested/inattentive.

Beers can be very good, depending on the season. Their staples (Checker Cab, Red Ale) are boring as your mom doing porn and posting it on YouTube, but their seasonal ales are typically great (Hoppy Holidays, Tsar Imperial Stout, Wheatwine). You can find them in many bars around Manhattan, though, so why bother coming here?

Food is bad and extremely pricey. No better than your local diner, at much higher prices. Would not recommend eating here.

Atmosphere is alright. The aforementioned views, a very big place, like an event space you rent for a corporate party. Looks a little ratty and even dirty. I wonder what their Health Department score is?

All in all, I would say you should come here at least once if you live in NYC. If you like it enough, come back and sit at the bar. But really, not a good place. Just average. Which is a pitty, considering they're the only brewery in Manhattan!!

DoubleSimcoe, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of TheDeuce
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%

Chelsea Brewing Company in Manhattan, NY

Atmosphere - difficult to find, way in back of the Chelsea Piers buildings, next to a golf shop. Atmosphere is relaxed, lots of wood, beautiful views of the Hudson outside. Overall ok. There was a brewery tour that day with lots of people.

Quality-I tried three beers, the Checker Blonde, the Autumn Wheat, and the Sunset Red. The Red and the Blonde were servicable, the Wheat was really unique and enjoyable. Very fresh, all were served in pint glasses.

Service-service was nice, if slow and very relaxed, my bartender was friendly but wasn't moving quickly. There were times when my family and I waited a while for service or a refill.

Selection-over 8 beers on tap, including seasonals for the hoildays. For the non-beer drinker a full bar.

Food-menu looked good but only had fries, they were great. Other food people ate looked good.

Value-Manhattan is expensive, this place is expensive, that said, this wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it may be.

Overall-a solid place with decent bar, not excellent but solid. Beautiful location. Many wish for a Manhattan challenger to them but I don't hate them as much as others. Solid

TheDeuce, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of Seanibus
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%

The place is a little difficult to spot - in the cavernous and strangely designed Chelsea Piers project - and the restaurant itself looks a little bit run down and dirty. But the service was quite friendly, if a little leisurely. And the beer was tasty - the IPA and the Hoppy Holiday seasonal were both delicious (I didn't review, but I would have put both solidly north of a B). We didn't eat, but the menu looked extensive. For such a vast city, New York is still somewhat underdeveloped as a beer market, so it is good to see a solid brewpub in a relatively convenient location in Manhattan. I do wish the pedestrian access was better, which seems odd to say in walkable city like New York.

Seanibus, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of Nickls
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%

(From notes)

I've visited the Chelsea 'brewery' a few times over the past couple of years, primarily for the cask festivals that have been held there. The atmosphere has a bit more of an upscale feel to it, but it's very open, nice, and usually can find a seat without too much trouble outside, even during a cask festival. I actually prefer sitting outside (event or not) just because it's right on the hudson and it makes for a nice sunny afternoon spot.

The service is pretty OK, but you can tell at times that the folks tending bar don't necessarily know what's up. I've never had to wait long for a brew, though. For a brewpub, they have a nice selection of their rotationals, and usually have something nice seasonly. I've actually had most of their brews in other bars in the city, and the quality is never lacking. Some are lackluster, but others are really quite good. I've never run into a freshness problem, and like other reviews mention, they do excellent cask brews.

Overall, it's a least worth venturing to during nicer weather for a sit outside with a solid beer in hand.

Nickls, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of m1ked
3.3/5  rDev -7%

I have been here 4 seperate timesand each time the service just blows. Now I have never been "sat" at a table. It has always been at the bar, or outside. The one bartender chick just doesn't grasp the concept of customer service, asin if its good, then the tip is good. Everytime I have gone the place was not busy, so come on. Once we went and one of the brewers, an older gent, was way cool and chatted us up about beer- way cool.

For Atmosphere, if you sit out back and look out on the water, it is awesome. So pretty to look out at the boats in the marina, the river, over a Jersey. Good place to bring visitors. A nice walk along the pier, or before/after the Chelsea MArket. I have had their pretzel platter twicw- which is literally 2 soft pretzels with a cheese sauce and a mustard. Otherwise I can't vouch for teir food. I think their beers are good- no homeruns, but pretty solid.

In a nutshell, beautiful location with good beers, and bad service, unless you get to talk with one of the brewers.

m1ked, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of morebeergood
3.46/5  rDev -2.5%

Attended a wedding in Chelsea at the Lighthouse on Pier 61 on a Saturday night. After it was over, my wife and I stopped by Pier 59 to have a pint at CBC. I would assume that normally on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon people would be there enjoying the wonderful view. Well, on a Saturday night at around midnight, there were literally two people in the whole place when we walked in. Not much of a view when it's completely dark outside too. First thing we were greeted with from the bartender was that it was last call. I thought NYC never slept? Anyway, we told him that we just stopped by for one quick pint. Seven beers on tap on the menu. I got the Gotham Stout and my wife a blonde ale. My stout was decent, a bit too dry and bitter for that hour of the night. My advice would be to go during the day when you can enjoy the wonderful waterside location, and don't go late at night as there was no scene there whatsoever.

morebeergood, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of david18
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%

The last brewpub in NYC that brews in manhattan I believe. On the hudson at Chelsea Piers which is a great place. Beer selection is somewhat conservative (although they did recently offer an "imperial mild") the beer is quite good. There's an ipa, which is very good and they are best known for a red and blonde both of which are good. Not great.

Chris. the brewer, is very nice and originally from the Bay Area.

The place is very nice, pretty and they host a number of events, which includes a recently added cask festival. Good place to go for a pint or four.

david18, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of albern
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%

You can't beat the location of this place, right on the waterfront. I sat outside and enjoyed a wonderful view of the Hudson. Stupidly, they don't use the awning nor do they use umbrellas, so after 12 noon, the sun is right over head or directly on you. You are literally sitting east west with the sun overhead. I tried the sampler and there was really only one beer I would recommend and that is the IPA. The others were fair to middling or worse. I had the chicken fajita sandwich, which wasn't bad, my wife had a salad, which also wasn't bad. I will review the beer separately. A good deal can be said for the gentrification of the Chelsea Piers which 20 years ago were a place you avoided at all costs. The piers are now a multi use facility, with even a driving range with huge netting. Quite impressive view overall.

albern, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of BatcherBrewer
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

I travel quite a bit and do my best to visit the local brew pub. I must say this was not my best stop.

Service was terrible. Our group of 6 waited about 10min. at the front waiting to be seated. The only one we saw working in sight was the bar tender. Finally we had to ask him if we could just be seated. Not a good start.

Once seated another 15mins laps before I had to ask a passing waiter to get some service just to get drinks. Still not going very well.

The menu...some interesting items. One in particular caught my taste buds. The Fra Diablo, a "spicy" seafood pasta dish. So after ordering the wait began once again. No server came by to say how is everything...nothing. Once the food got there it was luke warm and I have had spicier mild salsa then the as promised "spicy" Fra Diablo.

The Beer... The generic selection. Stout, Brown, IPA, etc. So as usual I got the sampler. In order from worst to best.

The Red Ale: Tasted and smelled like a dirty gym sock which I drank just because I had wasting beer.

The Blonde: This was a very light, mild malt character with the hint of hops. Better then the dirty sock.

The IPA: Not the best I have had and was a bit oxidized, I would give a better description but it was OK.

The Brown: Finally getting some malt character and some good use of hops.

Imperial Stout: The malt and hops have finally come!

90 Shilling Scotch Ale: My number one choice.

My suggestion, go straight for the 90 Shilling and skip the food.

BatcherBrewer, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of HBESloth
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Went there on a date last night and It wasn't that bad, nice view of the hudson river. Wasn't that crowed at all but it was around 10:30 and the bottom seemed rented to a party so we sat at the top. Also to note it was nice to see all the fermenters and brew kettels around. I had there IPA and it wasn't a stand out beer but it was good with the sandwich i had to eat. The beer slection looked good but they were out of some beers so i couldn't try them all. The food was good priced for the city standard but looked and tasted good.

HBESloth, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of sholland119
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%

Located in the Chelsea Pier entertainment complex on the west side of Manhattan, I am sure this place is rocking in the summer but in mid-January it was pretty dead.

A-The space has great potential, with a great view of the Hudson and windows that appear to open out onto the pier in warm weather. We sat in one of the extremely cold semi-circular booths nearest the pier. There are also tables behind, a decent sized bar and a second floor with more tables and a cigar room. A little bright, and a little run down.

Q/S-Beers were pretty decent on the whole. 3 of the 6 beers on the sampler were solid to pretty good. No outstanding beers, no outright duds.

S-Our server was very friendly and attentive.

F-Not the highlight by any means. Workmanlike pub grub.

Worth one visit but would not rush to return. There are too many amazing bars in Manhattan to check out.

HV

sholland119, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of Billolick
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%

several visits here, no review yet..Cask fest all weekend..major props go to them for hosting this event...large place, great huge windows, great view of the Hudson. Funky NYC location...what is the best way to get to this place? Do not plan on parking at Chelsea piers unless you don't mind being the recipient of a classic NYC style rip off...their beers are better then respectable, underrated and under appreciated in NYC beer circles. Nothing special or world class, but worth a try. Go for the view, to try the beers and for some light bites. Fun place for out of towners to see how real NYers work out, play and enjoy a night or afternoon out....be sure to go for the Cask fest as well..

Billolick, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of Faulconerbrewing
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%

I attended an event for my alumni network and the staff was very pleaseant. We took a tour of the brewery and the brewer was great. He walked us all through the brewing process and what each tank was. For those that don't brew, they thought this was great. We were served upstairs and unfortunately they served all our beers in the same glass. I was shocked when I went up for a second and she took my glass and filled it up instead of handing me a new clean glass. The beers themself were very good. Being on the docks was an awesome touch, but it was very hard to find at first.

Faulconerbrewing, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

If it weren't for the water in plain view, the atmosphere here would be so bland it would put me in nap mode. And that's before I had a load of beers to drink. What Chelsea really excels at is stouts. But unfortunately there is usually only one on, which is too bad. That leaves quite a bit of milder productions that don't really blow you away by any means. The food is okay I suppose and I always find the staff here a little bit bored I suppose. That and not overly concerned. The bottom line is this is an okay spot to hit up. But if you passed on it, you wouldn't be missing much.

(Edit) After several visits and much sampling over my time in NYC, Chelsea clearly has some of the best stouts in the region. The Gotham Stout is one of the best Irish Dry Stouts in the world IMO, if served properly.

RblWthACoz, May 19, 2008
Photo of sleazo
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%

This is a decent place if you are visiting the Big Apple. Situated on the water at Chelsea Piers it is also a good place to grab a brew after a round at the driving range. Overall it is the typical "brewpub" experience where you are offered the typical brewpub offerings. A step above macros but nothing to write home about. Their beers are mediocre at best but the setting more tha makes up for it. Grab a brew, sit by the river and watch the boats go by. As a beer nerd this place is nothing special, but the setting is great. you just have to know what you are in for.

sleazo, Oct 11, 2007
Photo of waughbrew
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%

Chelsea Piers, pier 59. Seems like a cool area to go for a fun time, with a driving range visible from the big windows looking out over the water from the brewpub. Big place, nicely set up with two levels, a patio for the warmer months, right on the water, brewery visible, wooden decor.

Very average besides the nice location/scenery - the food, the service, the beers, the value. I got a blackened catfish sandwich which was nice and spicy, but the bread was weak leaving it mushy overall. The pasta salad that came on the side was pretty bad. My wife had a veggie pizza, which was fine. I thought that the crust, sauce, and toppings were good, but the cheese was plasticy, slimy, and tasteless.

I sampled their list, which was THE typical list of brewpub beers, which most likely all used the snoozable chico yeast. Nine times out of 10 at a place with the typical styles and chico yeast, go for the hoppy beers and the stout. This was no exception. The gold was too weak and fizzy, the wheat lacked real wheat character, the pale ale was very very nice, the cascade IPA was decent but lacked polish, and the stout was very very nice. The stout had good roastiness, smoothness, and even a little rye to add depth.

Overall I wouldn't go out of my way to go there again, but if I did end up there I would have another good time and I would drink a couple pale ales then a couple pints of their nice stout.

waughbrew, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.94/5  rDev +11%

Went here on a very recent trip (Friday) to the City. It's amazing how close I live, yet there for first time only now. One of those things...

Upon entering, to the left the sizable bar faces beer vats. Tables with large wall dividers are beyond. There is an outside area, which was obviously closed off for the season. It was pretty dark and the music was fairly loud, though not overly or annoyingly so. It had a stark pubbish/pier-like atmosphere - which was fitting, as it is on Pier 57. By the was, by the way, the pier that the Titanic would have docked at had it survived the fateful trip. (Michael Jackson, in one of his books, recommended the aptly named barleywine, but they did not offer it.)

The waiter seemed a bit limited in knowledge about the beer, but was quick, efficient and polite. The food selection was limited to pub grub, but I cannot comment on it, as I didn't eat there (other than french fries, which were fine.)

There were seven offerings: a blonde, red, fruit, holday (strong ale), pale, winter wheat and IRS. A sampler is ten bucks. I went with a group of friends and between us we had all but the fruit. They were all pretty good or better (all smooth and had enough body to cover the alcohol.) I had the holiday strong ale, which was wonderful, the red ale which was good and bought a growler for fifteen dollars of the IRS, which I am enjoying as I write this. They have nice use of hops, so surprised that they didn't have an IPA as a regular, but good use of hops for the ones they had.

This is a must-stop if you are in the City - or even for a special trip to the City just to go there. The beers are worth it!

jwc215, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of ikats
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%

I found this place to be just very average. It does not have enough character. The place is pretty big, with high ceilings. There are some booths overlooking the Hudson River, the bar is behind the booths and there’s a dining area to the side. The place also has a deck which is probably nice to sit at during summer months, but in March it was nothing to look at. The view of the river is partially obstructed by golf complex and yacht basin (and in my case stacked chairs on the deck), so I did not find it to be a positive thing. There are better views of the Hudson.

Atmosphere is lacking. I would even go as far as to say that it is almost non-existent. Given this place’s proximity to the golf complex it has a feel of a golf club, but it does not work for a brewery in my opinion. The place is clean and the staff was OK.

Beer quality was good, but beers themselves were very average. Black Hole XXX Stout was fairly good, but my friend and I both agreed that Chelsea Sunset Red, Pier 59 Pale Ale and Frosty’s Winter Wheat were very unimpressive. After finishing our dinner we both decided to head down to some other bar to have a few more pints (ended up in The House of Brews). That was the first time I left a brewery to go to another bar.

The food was good, but nothing to make this place stand out.

All in all, if I’m ever starving in the area too lazy to go somewhere else, I’ll probably stop by for a few beers and food, but I will not make any extra efforts to get to this place.

ikats, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

After meeting at the Westside Brewing Company with Gentleman BA Rapopoda, fellow BA’s djgonzalez and Rokotgirl arrived to share in our last beer and provide transport over to the Chelsea Brewing Company. The ride there was rather uninhibited, the traffic seemed quiet for Saturday, and we were soon parked on the street only a short walk from the Pier and the Rivers edge.

It was a gloriously hot day, and myself, Rapopoda and Rokotgirl held our en-massed tongues and avoided the “killer one liner” when dj told us that we would have to enter via the back entrance, the one he had not entered for a long time. Sure enough we seemed to wander through a waterfront complex-cum-covered parking lot of sorts before we entered the Chelsea Brewing Company. Once inside, the heat of the day was replaced with a soothing air conditioned interior that was comprised of an immense array of wood, copper, brass, stainless and glass that covered every part of the place, lending an airy modern feel.

It turns out that CBC is a pretty big place, much larger than I was expecting. A large semi-ellipsoidal curved wooden bar sits in front of several highly polished copper clad vessels, whilst the Brewery itself is behind glass. The Bar looks out through an impressive two story high glass window frontage that affords some equally impressive views of the Hudson River. There is seating inside and out, and despite the heat; somehow we reached a decision to sit outside in the riverfront area that seats around 100 people. The outside awnings helped protect the pale white skin of Rokotgirl and mygoodself, whilst the brazen sun-gods Rapopoda and dj soaked up the rays like real men.

Back inside, the 30 Barrel Brewhouse is Manhattan’s largest micro-brewery. It also has the capability to bottle its own brews, and has off-site storage, clearly Chelsea have the ability to be a prime mover when it comes to brewing in NYC. But this is certainly not a “fur coat and no panties” sort of place. As well as the looks, it also delivers the goods; both the beer and food are pretty good and above average.

The brews are all solid offerings, some better than others as you would expect, but all well worthy of at a least a Pint, of course you can hit the Sampler if you are driving or pushed for time, or are just plain finicky or even a tight wad. The usual suspects are the Checker Cab Blonde and Sunset Red, but I tried the Pale Ale [OK to average], Blackberry Wheat [a hint of fruit only – disappointing], the Export Stout [superb] and the IPA [very good]. Pushed for a winner in the pack I would say that the Export Stout gets the nod from me, a stout solid brew that impressed. In addition, CBC serves a good range of Single Malts and Wines as well I noted.

Service was good but Robotic, in fact our Server was from the Planet Vulcan. When asked if “we would like a Pitcher of beer”, I replied “no we would like the real thing”. The dumb-fuck passive response and failure to pick up on my piss poor pathetic joke would have been enough to make poor old Doctor “Bones” McCoy turn in his grave, even though other none Limeys picked up on it. Oh well. Must try harder to interact more!!

Nevertheless, whilst sampling the brews and admiring the view, as well as being informed that the large netting outside and next door is actually a Golf Driving Range, our assembled mass of four was swelled almost two-fold with the much loved additional company of fellow BA’s, the “Evil” Davo, “Red Room” Moon0, and “Got a Light Man” FeloniousPhil. At which point we all ordered food. The fare seemed to arrive in good time, I ordered Steamed Mussels but I think that Chelsea miss the boat here (pardon the pun) by not serving these with either Fries (Frites) or even bread, both are extra, so it definitely looses marks for that. Everyone else’s food looked OK and the mussels were well cooked and tasty, but I struggled to get too carried away by the fare which carries a price tag, more befitting of the locale and area than the quality I feel.

Overall this is definitely one of the better Brewpubs in NYC, not that there are that many, but it makes a damn good effort. With a little more working of the brews though, i.e. more styles available at any one time and some fruit in the Blackberry Wheat, it could quite easily have an impressive line of brews to attract a dedicated trip here. It also needs to ramp-up the quality of food a little, and of course add Frites to the Steamed Mussels at least!!

Just a small notch improvement in the Brews and a larger one in the quality of the Food, and this place could be a rocking cool Brewpub to visit given its location. At the moment, at least, it just falls short of greatness somehow.

Thanks to djgonzalez and Rokotgirl for the transport here, much appreciated.

Last Visit: Saturday 4th September, 2004.

TheLongBeachBum, Sep 16, 2004
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Chelsea Brewing Company in New York, NY
83 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.