1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

The Brazen Head

Not Rated.
The Brazen HeadThe Brazen Head
BA SCORE
89
very good

36 Ratings
Ratings: 36
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.59%
Taps: 16
Bottles: 8
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar ]

228 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, New York, 11201-5730
United States
phone: (718) 488-0430

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @thebrazenheadbk

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%

They had 15 beers on tap including the Dogfish Head Midas Touch and Raison D'Etre and a pair of casks being the Southampton Winter and the (hello) Brooklyn Brown Ale. A decent collection of regional and imports, from the obscure to standards Guinness and Bass. An unusual looking joint, almost triangular shaped with a narrow rear area with darts and the entrance to a teeny outdoor beer garden. A comfortable place with a friendly bar staff, a lounge-ish area up front with some chairs and a couch and a good jukebox. Apparently, they've done some brewery promos and they're looking to be doin' more. This will be a place to watch.

slander, Mar 11, 2003
More User Reviews:
Photo of MMarkMelly
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Oldschool. Cute Bartenders.

MMarkMelly, Sep 11, 2014
Photo of HoppyBeerSista
4.56/5  rDev +16.9%

HoppyBeerSista, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of charlienyc
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

charlienyc, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of mtullius
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%

A great spot to try out some local NY brews. My bartender was extremely knowledgeable and friendly (after briefly chatting about beer, he offered to buy my 2nd round!). Beer list is not huge, but changes regularly. The list provides lots of info on when the beer went on, ABV, etc. At least one cask offered all the time. Pretzels free at the bar. Beer was heavy on the local stuff (a major plus), with a good selection of national micros too (Stone, Goose Island), and some imports too. Offers half pints and smaller glasses as well as pints. Recommended if you're in the Brooklyn Heights area.

mtullius, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Waltwvu
3.19/5  rDev -18.2%

Know the bartender. There was only one bartender when i went after work on a Monday. Normally this is not an issue with the amount of people that were there. However, because i was not friends with or know the bartender my beers came rather slowly compared to the rest of patrons. There was another group who appeared to not know the bartender and they were served slow as well. While they did have a pretty decent tap list of both NY brews and other micros as well as 2 casks. It would be good with a small group of people looking for good beer, i was just a little let down with service. I am not asking for the bartender to chat me up the whole night, I would just like to be served a bit quicker when there are less than a dozen patrons.

Waltwvu, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of semihobo
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%

Went on a Monday night, I guess that's never really hopping, but did they need to have the lights up and the music quiet? Hung out in the tiny garden in the back until it closed at 11.

Beer list was alright, I had a Cascazilla and some of a raspberry ale that was on special for $5 a pint, as opposed to $6 for most others. Definitely would go back for scotch over beer, the liquor lineup on chalkboards was pretty impressive.

Service was nice, got some waters offered and brought when we were clearly done with beer for the night (this was the last stop). Bartender was nice about shutting down the garden.

Above average bar but not worth a pilgrimage. Hit it if you're near Atlantic Chip Shop.

semihobo, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of bonbright7
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Having just returned from a successful bar crawl through NYC and Brooklyn yesterday, The Brazen Head was an interesting local bar in its community, which we made a special detour to visit. It seemed to have a lot of hip patrons in their 20's to 30's drinking retro beers (PBR) at the bar and its small back yard area as the crowd was growing for an oyster special going on. I noted quite a few craft ales, but nothing that really got me going, though the cask selection was good. I made a note to myself to return another day before commenting further because I clearly wasn't seeing the special nature of the place.

bonbright7, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of bonbini26
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%

Stopped in for a beer around lunch time. Again went here when it 1st opened so cant really comment on the crowd or vibe here. As far as the beers go, mostly local stuff (brooklyn, chelsea, sixpoint, kelso, blue point) Old speckled hen. The kelso was on special @$4.75, most beers were around $6. 2 cask lines, with Victory hop devil and chelsea's ipa. They also had a large scotch selection if thats ur fancy. Downside is that they do not have a kitchen, but they do serve cheese during happy hour during the week. Overall it seems like a pretty chill local beer bar with no frills. Not nearly the selection of the downtown bar & grill but they do focus more on the local stuff which is nice to see

bonbini26, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +2.6%

I've been to the Brazen Head for a few cask events and a few times on a normal day. The setup is good with lots of dark wood and lots of taps. The selection isn't overly stellar, but you shouldn't have trouble finding something you'll like. And they to have casks on too. Service is attentive, but I don't think there's a mass of beer knowledge at your disposalvia the bartenders. All the girls that work there are nice enough, but really: soap operas on the tv? Uh. Ca do without that. Overall a decent spot.

RblWthACoz, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.94/5  rDev +1%

Narrow entrance-way on Atlantic Ave. Pretty dark/medium lighting, with a long, narrow bar. Not much room to stand behind the stools. Small outside area in the back.

Service was friendly and pretty quick for the amount of people there.

Reasonably priced with beers at $4 a half-pint and about $6 (depending on the beer) for a pint.

There were fourteen beers on tap and two more on-cask (other than the cask beers for the cask festival). Good selection - all craft with one import (Stella) - and a cider, including some rarer ones.

Certainly worth a visit if you are in the area!

jwc215, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Stopped by while visiting a friend in Brooklyn. Seems like a pretty nice neighborhood bar. About 15 taps, almost entirely craft with locals plus a couple casks of local beer. It was a slow Friday night, just a some folks hanging out (one guy had his pug), and a few drunks cheering for the Yankees game.

The bartender was friendly and fast, not that there was much for him to do, but he did it well. I have to give them props for their draft list. They had presumably the date of the keg tapping next to each beer. There was also a special on Chelsea's stout.

Nice atmosphere, good times had by all.

tempest, Sep 15, 2007
Photo of voidmyrules
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%

This is my default beer bar in my new neighborhood. I used to live in the east village and dug the Hop Devil Grill, still do in fact and hit that place up when I visit my old roommates

IThe Brazen Head is an unpretentious, divey type place with a friendly staff who know their beer and their customers as well.

They have a nice number of taps, 15, with 2 casks and they change out their selection every couple of weeks, favoring northeast brews.

A nice place to have a beer, even when its crowded.

Their bi annual cask fests are a good time...

voidmyrules, Apr 15, 2007
Photo of plaid75
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%

Located on Atlantic Avenue, east of Court Street. Narrow storefront with an outside beer garden.

The draft list included Chelsea Black Hole Stout, Ramstein Belgian Double on cask, Guinness, Boddington's, Sierra Nevada Schwarzbier, Captain Lawrence Pale Ale, Southampton Double White, Stella Artois, Yuengling, Kelso Hop Lager, Woodchuck Cider, Jever, Wolavers IPA, Avery IPA, Brooklyn Lager, Goose Island Honker's Ale and Blue Point Cherry Chocolate Stout on cask.

The interior was quaint with a good amount of seating and old breweriana on the wall.

Greg was an excellent bartender who knows his beer and his music. Super nice guy to boot.

plaid75, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of 86sportster883
4/5  rDev +2.6%

And the Oscar for the Best Cask Beer selection goes to...

My neighbor George and I drove into Brooklyn on Oscar Sunday to catch the tail end of the 11th Tri-annual Cask Ale Festival at the Brazen Head. The place was practically empty at 1pm when we arrived but by 4pm, when we left, the bar was mostly full.

The Brazen Head is a wedge shaped bar in downtown Brooklyn, right on Atlantic Ave. It's an old place with a painted tin ceiling and brick walls adorned with old beer signs and baseball memorabilia (mostly Ebbets Field and Brooklyn Dodgers related).

The bar itself runs the better part of the length of one wall, and two large wooden booths provide additional seating by the Brazen Head's front windows. The crowd is very local, and comprised primarily of repeat customers from earlier in the weekend. Two of the bar's three TV's carried Duke vs. St. John’s game (sound off) as the music morphed from an old-timer's Jazz selection to classic vinyl rock.

A single female bartender handled the bar and its two hand pumps, while two jovial gentlemen handled the gravity fed casks set up in the back. The service was very friendly, and the beers did indeed justify the trip from central NJ. Pours were $5/pint, $3/half pint and we had a choice of six of the festival's remaining casks. Naturally, we tried them all:

1. Chelsea Hop Angel - An American IPA that I thought was a little thin bodied, but otherwise a very nice IPA,
2. Hooker Irish Red - probably my favorite of the day,
3. Brooklyn Winter Ale - not my favorite style, but I found this one to be very drinkable. Much better than what I remembered of the tap version,
4. Northampton Daniel Shay's Best Bitter - This was George’s favorite of the day, I wasn’t as crazy about it, but would certainly agree that it was a good bitter,
5. Butternut Moo Thunder Stout - A milk stout with a great nose but otherwise unmemorable, and
6. Six Point Black Market Porter - A good porter with a very nice chocolate & roast malt nose.

We were there for the cask beer, but the Brazen Head also offered an impressive selection of over two dozen tap beers that included offerings from Ithaca, Southampton, Chelsea, Abita, Long Trail, and, of course, the Brooklyn Brewery (among others). There was no real food being offered, but they didn't seem to mind if you ordered food into the bar. We asked for a recommendation on where to eat and one of the owner's(?) didn't hesitate to send us to the Waterfront Ale House, just a block or so away. We took his advice and the food was excellent.

86sportster883, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of jdoherty
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%

I did not see any of the poor service or surly staff that everyone has been talking about in the past few months. This may be clouded by the fact that it was during the Cask Ale Festival and everyone seemed to be in high spirits. And besides,after a couple strong cask ales you really cant tell if theyre telling you to go to hell or complimenting you on your looks.

Anyway, this is a small beer bar which gets smaller as you go further back. The spread out front is the best place to hang out since there is more room. We got tickets to be served from the casks in the back. But it seemed like the bartenders were serving everyone quickly and nicely. The walls were adorned with old beer ads and the dark walls gave it a quaint feel. The selection was awesome from the casks, but the bar had tons of good brews. All very inexpensive compared to Manhattan prices.

jdoherty, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of Buildscharacter
2.81/5  rDev -27.9%

I didn't find this bar to be anything special. Apparently they have some good stuff going on there and are active in the beer community, so that's a great thing, but I wasn't impressed with the bar itself. It's kind of out of the way and, while being close to Beourm Hill and Brooklyn Heights, it doesn't really warrent a trip out there. It's close to the Waterfront Ale House, so at least there is some choice for later on in the night.

As for the beer on tap, it was similar fare to the other bars in the area and in Brooklyn, which isn't bad, but nothing out of the ordinary for the area. Maybe I just had a bad night out when i was there, but this bar failed to impress me for all the hype.

Buildscharacter, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of schwillmaster
2.2/5  rDev -43.6%

I hate to say it, but as a regular patron of this bar for over a year, I will never return here again. While the Brazen Head used to be a solid choice for a night out with a friend, it has spoiled itself with incredibly rude, and even hostile, service.

What was once a pleasant neighborhood location for some average-to-good microbrews has become tainted by bartenders that not only have no interest or education in the beers they are serving, but also act like complete snots to their customers. Even more infuriating is the management's refusal to acknowledge this growing problem and take necessary measures against this kind of behavior.

As one of this bar's most frequent defenders, I feel like my loyalty has been betrayed. I've noticed that over the past few times I've visited, one particularly arrogant bartender is fond of playing the music at ear-shattering levels, ignoring customers, and even screaming at them if he disagrees with something they say. When I pointed this out to the owner, he surprised me by taking the side of his bartender, and said (I kid you not) that his staff were of more importance to him than his customers. Needless to say, the fun has run dry at this formerly good beer bar.

If you're lucky, you might stumble in when the service isn't ludicrous, but considering that you could find superior beer at any number of other great spots (Mug's, Barcade, Spuyten Duyvil and Hop Devil all spring to mind) why take the chance? I certainly won't.

schwillmaster, May 02, 2006
Photo of Nutleybeer
3.14/5  rDev -19.5%

Was in the city, decided to stop over and do a beer visit to Brooklyn. Had been to the Waterfront Ale House before, loved it, so we figured let's give Brazen Head a try. I think I expected too much, by comparing the 2. Brazen Head is small and dark...many of the taps had a piece of paper taped over them with the styles handwritten. It was a Saturday afternoon when we went and the only food served was a stew; buffet style. That is fine, we didn't go for the food, just to check this place out which we heard a lot about.
The crowd was fine, low key, the bartender was nice enough...it looks like a cool local bar, great to hang out in...any place that takes their beers seriously should be respected. They only had 10 or so on tap. The Chelsea Blonde, though, was a nice surprise. The rest were nothing too unusual or unique.
Cool enough place, but from the countless ads and such I have read in the beer publications, I guess I expected more. Most of the crowd we saw there ended up at the Waterfront Ale House with us.
Bottom line, a decent enough place...located in a very nice, trendy area, worth popping into, but not worth seeking out on its own.

Nutleybeer, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of atozymurgy
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%

Checked this place out a few weeks ago with a friend who lives a couple blocks away. It perfectly fits my image of a great neighborhood bar. Small, with seats for about 15 at the bar and then some tables around the edges. I'll bet it's great in nice weather when the patio's open in back. We were there around 3 pm, with maybe 10 other folks, all of whom seemed to know each other and the bartenders. The bartender ran us a tab without us even asking. Very nice.

The beer selection's what makes this great though. They have about 15 good micros on draft and two in casks. The selection definitely had a local focus, with most beers coming from NY, PA, NJ, CT. There's a handy board telling you all the offerings, with the excellent feature of dates the cask was tapped. (There's also an equally exciting board with all the scotches to be had!) I tried a Penn St. Nik's, which was good, and a Brooklyn Bitter, perfectly served from the cask, which was fantastic. Nothing like real ale served within blocks of the brewery. My friend had SN Celebration, which probably equalled my two beers' cumulative bigness.

If you're in the area, you should definitely check this out. If I lived in Brooklyn I'd be here every day. And reading the latest posts about the cask fest, I think I know when I'll be back...

atozymurgy, Mar 01, 2006
Photo of johnniemarg
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%

The Brazen Head cask fest was prime attraction that led me to one of the best days of beer drinking (and great food) fun I've ever had. Met friends at Heartland Union Square then took the 4 train to Brooklyn and had lunch at Waterfront Ale house, then went to the cask fest for a while, then took a cab to Barcade, then went back into Manhattan for a BBQ dinner at Blue Smoke (washed down with their house ale) and then finished off the night at my usual haunt, David Copperfield's. Awesome day. Anyway, The Brazen Head is a cool little bar.

It's oddly shaped as everyone notes, widest in the front but the place is triangular and narrows towards the rear. Bar on the left, with an exposed brick wall behind it. Really old looking tin advertisements on the walls. On the right are the bathrooms. There's a little nook on the right in the rear of the bar where they set up the casks for the cask festival. Also, there's a small outdoor area in back.

The taps are on the bar (again, I think taps belong on the wall) and there are about 15 of them and 2 cask engines. There is a chalkboard detailing the scoth and beer selection. The chalkboard also notes the date each keg was tapped - a very nice touch that suggests a focus on quality. The beers on tap weren't really all that special compared to some other NYC beer bars. I went to so many places that I can't remember each place's selection all that well, I need to start taking photos with my cell phone so I can give better explanations of why I don't think a place's selection isn't all that special.

The service was great. Everyone who worked there was really friendly and made me feel at home. Imbiber was serving up the cask ales and chatting with the folks.

They don't serve food on a regular basis, but I guess they serve cheese on some nights and they apparently were offering food for the cask fest.

The cask fest, hosted by Imbiber, is the big draw for this place. I had four cask ales while I was there: Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter, Sixpoint Black Soul Porter, Blue Point Poor Richard's Ale and the Heartland (Greenpoint) Scotch Ale. There were 20 or so casks. Awesome. I can't wait for the next one and I'm tempted to jump back on the train and have a few more.

This place is worth a visit if you're in the area, but the cask fest is a must.

johnniemarg, Feb 26, 2006
Photo of woodychandler
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%

I am always intrigued by this place when I walk in. My college buddy lived nearby at one point and was flabbergasted when I asked him to take me here for the first time several years ago.

Entering through a pair of doors and a pseudo-vestibule, one encounters a unique situation: a long bar to the left and a series of tables and chairs to the right. Standard, no? Ah, but there's the hidden vig - the right-hand wall, which features advertising (vintage and otherwise), photographs, and local artwork, also serves as the foundation for the men's and women's heads. As such, the space narrows like a funnel heading aft. All of the way aft is a pair of doors, side by side, that lead into the Bier Garten, a favorite hang-out for smokers. The left-hand wall, including the bar, is exposed brickwork, which always jumpstarts yours truly. They also feature a LOT of vintage tin and steel advertising (be still, my beating heart) as well as fifteen (15) taps and two (2) beer engines! Heaven.

The uninitiated may not realize it, but my PA privileges have been revoked after years of abuse, hence my desire to travel. When I come here, it is comforting to see my picture prominently displayed, ala every post office nationwide. Kidding. In all seriousness, I am always well received by Lou, Sasha, and Kendra. This is like home. I love this place! They know beer, they know hospitality, and they know their constituency. Okay, now I'm drooling ... Gotta go, but first, props to Imbiber for hosting their semi-annual Cask Head Fest.

woodychandler, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%

I really like the feel of the Head. The wood floors the somewhat cramped feel and the obvious fact that it is a UK transplant is very cool. In addition it is really easy to get to by train and is on a cool little block. Everyone working was pretty laid back and the vibe of the patrons was definitely more sophisticated and a tad older than I. Nevertheless a wonderful place.

As for the beer he is what I can say: The two handengines allow for some pretty cool stuff to come through, but besides that the selection is pretty meh as far as a beerbar goes, however the Cask Festival is absolutely awesome. There were some great beers to be had. The Righteous from SixPoint was incredible on cask and the selection was overwhelmingly superior to most things I have seem in the city. Too bad every day couldn't be like that.

Regardless, when around the Bourough Hall area be sure to stop in.

GreatPondBrewer, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of bultrey
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%

Updated 9-12-06:
I hate to say it, because it's my neighborhood go-to place, but this joint has gone downhill fast. It still has a decent selection of craft brew, but not as good as in the past. Now the place is more of a bar that happens to serve some decent craft brews as opposed to a straight-up beer bar. I also always look forward to the cask festival, but overall I have been disappointed. The staff is decent enough, but sometimes bordering on completely indifferent. I think some of them have been there too long (or not long enough). Even worse, the place kind of needs a cleaning -- it has accumulated a bit of an odor and last time I was there I saw bugs (termites? mites? roaches? I really couldn't identify them) crawling around near the tap and bar area. I can no longer recommend that people seek this place out, but if you're in the neighborhood for antoher reason, definitely give it a try. Get it together Brazen...


Original review: Why oh why have I never written a BeerFly for this place? Probably because out of all the great beer bars in New York, this one is my semi-regular place, and so I take it for granted.
This place is right on Atlantic Ave., a little farther from the waterfront than Waterfront Ale House and Atlantic Chip shop, making for a nice little trio of beer bars to visit. It is located a few storefronts down from a gas station, across from the shiny disgustingly new Court House high-rise apartment complex, which in my mind has detracted already from the neighborhood feel.
The atmosphere is pretty laid-back, and is a mixed bag depending on what time you go. After work on weekdays, when I usually go, it is pretty dead, even though there are usually decent happy hour specials. Weekday and especially weekend nights it picks up, with Fri. and Sat. night predictably being very crowded. The room has some strange chi going on, kind of a strange scalene triangle, with the smallest angle at the far end of the room, which leads to a door and opens into a very tiny backyard. At the bottom of the triangle, so to speak, near the front door, there are small tables and cushy seats on either side that can hold groups of anywhere from 4-8, although we've squeezed in 10 before.
The bar is in the middle of it all, lining the left side, with about a dozen seats. The bathrooms are awful, and actually detract from the atmosphere on a busy night when the opening and closing doors waft the smell into the bar area.
Service, I've heard, is hit or miss. I always get served well because I think the bartenders recognize me by now, but I've heard of careless service or bartenders ignoring folks. I'll give it a decent score, since I can't complain.
The selection, while not enormous, is certianly carefully chosen, and you can always score one or two beers (out of about 16) on tap that are new and interesting. Recently I've had Ithaca Apricot Wheat, Ithaca Cascazilla, Southampton Double White, Fordham Alt Beer, and Sixpoint Bengali Tiger. Bottled selection is small, but has a few interesting items, most notable the Ommegang Three Philosophers.
More importantly, they always have two cask beers, typically local favorites like Heavyweight, Bluepoint, Southampton, or Brooklyn. The beer is always fresh, and if it's not, you would know it because they put the date that each beer has been tapped on the chalkboard menu. Nice. This place is as mich a whiskey bar as it is a beer bar, and they have a nice selection of decently priced single-malt scotches and small-batch bourbons. Also important to note: They carefully choose the four or five house wines for the wine-lovers that might be dragged out by their beer-swilling friends.
And on top of all this, thrice yearly they hold a cask festival, which I think is my favorite NY beer event. Organized by Imbiber, I believe, this event is not to be missed.
They don't have food per se, but Monday night is free wing night, Thursday I think is wine and cheese for the ladies, and Sat. they've been doing stew or middle eastern spreads -- all of these are for free, I think.
One last interesting note -- If you go to a movie at either the nearby Court St. multiplex or the art-house Cobble Hill Cinema down on Court Street, bring your ticket stub in -- it'll buy you a two-for-one beer deal.

This is a really good neighborhood bar, one I will continue to frequent, and one that most beer lovers should seek out if they are in Brooklyn.

bultrey, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of lambretta76
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%

A great neighborhood bar in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, The Brazen Head is one of the best beer bars in the city. (They also have a commendable single malt collection, as well.) Perhaps their beer selection has seen better days, but it's still way above average. Additionally, the thrice-yearly Cask Festival is a thing of beauty, with about 30 brewers showcasing their wares, many one-offs specifically for this event. The best option is to show up the Tuesday after one of these for Pint Night ($3.75 for all pints, including casks) and sample your way through the casks. Pint Night in general is a great time to make your way through the beers on tap - 15 taps and 2 casks at all times. They update their site with the beers served - it can be found here:

http://brazenheadbrooklyn.com/page/w43y/This_Week_s_Beers_on_Draft.html

Another good night to go is Monday night when they serve FREE wings! Go before 8 and it's a buck off each pint - making a nice little dinner and drinks combo for $10!

Oh - and someone had made a point about the bartenders not knowing their beer. The new guy (to me, at least), Ryan, is quite knowledgable and likes to offer tastes. He's also brutally honest about what he thinks about beers. ("I think that one kind of tastes like ass!") Great addition to this bar.

lambretta76, Jul 07, 2005
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
The Brazen Head in Brooklyn, NY
89 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.