Taps: 8 / Bottles: 15
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
3.94/5 rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Proletariat is a tough review for me. There are many things I love about it, a few mixed bag things, and some things I outright dislike. I admit some of these are based on a very personal bias, and I'll try to explain those biases.
First off, the good. The service has always been excellent, the bartenders clearly know what they are talking about, are passionate and not snobby. I also think the bottle list is fantastic, and that they do individual pours of some bottles makes up for the usual ridiculous bar bottle mark up.
The mixed bag is quite a can of worms. Many complain about the "winification" of beer. This, to me, means exclusivity, snobbery and ridiculous pricing. Some of that is in full view here. The tap list is so esoteric that even a fairly well versed beer geek like myself doesn't know a single item on it. I love seeing a handful of unique beers on a tap list. But I think you need to mix in an equal amount of year round offerings from quality brewers. I understand with only 8 taps that they have chosen to go this route, but I feel if it alienates a BA such as myself, what does it do to a craft newbie?
My strong dislike is the layout of the bar. The bar itself extends so far into the room that there is only room for the person seated and one person standing behind them. If it is crowded, as it often is, this makes the bar area (which you must pass through to get to the restroom) nearly impossible to navigate. Having a smaller bar would allow much more room. Also, this could be solved by having some solid year round brews, but the prices are high. My comfort zone for NYC craft pricing is $6-$9. With the exception of Gansett cans, expect to pay $8-$12.
Overall, I think Proletariat has a lot of great things going for it, and I don't want this review to make it seem like I don't like the place. I do. But I think the business model is only reinforcing the "winification", or in this case "hipsterfication" of craft beer, and that's not something I feel good about.
08-13-2013 20:36:28 | More by BKBassist
3.99/5 rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | $$$
Small cool spot on the end of St Marks by tompkins square. Visited on a weekday night, was able to get a stool at the bar, a few people but not that busy. Nice aesthetic.
Small but varied and well curated tap list (about 12 taps), mix of imports and domestics. For me the real treat was finding Kuhnhenn Braggot. Also you can do tasters in a set of 4 I believe, so I sampled some local tri state offering (Carton, Barrier) that I wanted to try. Very generous with water - give you a 40oz bottle - I like this as I always like to balance my beer with a good amount of water.
Very low light level, not really a problem but I actually had to remove my glasses to read the list LOL - that made me feel old.
Also just a tad loud - not in a it bothered and I was solo so I wasn't trying to hold a conversation, but I had a little problem hearing all the details of what the bar tender was saying - he did seem very knowledge though.
Prices are not cheep but in line with what I would expect for EV/NYC.
Overall very worthy of stopping in.
08-21-2013 20:34:58 | More by drewone
4.04/5 rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | $$$
A friend took me there while in town on business. Small and narrow but a great atmosphere. They have some great beers with 10 or so on tap but the overall numbers are low. I had a Victory Braumeister Pils and a Struise Pannepot Reserva. Well worth a visit. And just a short walk down the street is where they took the photo for Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti album cover.
01-10-2014 12:26:59 | More by GJ40
4.16/5 rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
Vibe: This place is quite small and only has seating at the bar, one table in front and the counter at the window. It's a tight squeeze between the bar and wall if you are walking towards the back.
Quality: Beers were served at the proper temperature using proper glassware. All of the beers I tried came in snifter glasses.
Service: Although the place was very crowded when I went, there was only one bartender working so sometimes it took a while to get a beer.
Selection: This place doesn't have a huge selection, but usually has a couple of beers that are tough to find.
12-08-2013 12:38:40 | More by metter98
4.27/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | $$$
A cool bar, albeit quite pricey, especially for an out-of-towner used to $4.50 pints of the good stuff during peak hours (Albuquerque life).
Still, you have to commend the folks here for their assemblage of beers, the beer knowledge exhibited by the bartender, and the fact that you may just walking away, like I did, in awe at the beer(s) you just had.
For me, it was the bottle of Pannepot Reserva I had. Though I consider myself a bit of a beer geek, I was unfamiliar with this particular brand and beer ans was a bit nervous about paying the $15 the twelve ounces was going to cost me. Thanfkully, there was a special going on giving 30% off until 8PM, so this made the price much more palatable.
The beer was mind-blowing. A Belgian aged for 5 years in white oak barrels, the complexity of flavors really astonished me. Different fruit hints, oakiness, some smoke, some chocolate, all dancing around different parts of my palate. It was a true pleasure drinking this beer.
Having said this, I'm not sure anyone else will find this beer there on future visits, but I'm confident they'll find something similar and similarly obscure.
I look forward to returning in future visits to NYC.
09-16-2013 22:24:51 | More by ONovoMexicano
4.29/5 rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$
Proletariat is a small beer bar in the East Village, focused on obscure and high-quality brews.
12 taps, a couple of bottles, no food. This is what you're getting. Grado Plato, Stillwater, Inveralmond Black Friar, Evil Twin Justin, Schlenkerla. And the bottle selection (rotating and written in a mirror at the bar) includes Allagash Hugh Malone, Evil Twin Molotov, De Dolle Export Stout and more.
Prices are high, but considering New York bars routinely charge eight or nine dollars for any beer, it's rather reasonable.
Friendly, knowledgeable bartender and a great atmosphere conducive to romance, making friends and who knows what else. Small as it is, though, Proletariat will get crowded quickly. Be warned.
11-16-2013 16:05:59 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Proletariat in New York, NY
93 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.