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Bierkraft

Not Rated.
BierkraftBierkraft
BEER AVG
4/5
Based on:
9 Beers
1 Ratings
Place Score: 95
Ratings: 121
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: n/a
Taps: 16
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Store ]

191 5th Ave
Brooklyn, New York, 11217-4438
United States
phone: (718) 230-7600

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Place added by: Mick

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Ratings: 121 | Reviews: 91
Photo of Jw347
5/5  rDev +16%

I am going on my third shipment from these guys and it has been a great experience dealing with them everytime. Tim has been most helpful with my search for some great craft brews. There selection of stone, southern tier, and now ale smith is great. Their pricing is fair and their shipping costs is very fair. They have definetly help my cellar collection grow and they always give me a call when new brews hit their store. I am a definite customer from here forth. Thanks again guys for all the help and great beer.

Photo of sleazo
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%

Wow, why have I not been here before? Oh yeah it is not really near the subway. Today i had my sister's car so I figured I would stock up.

I knew this was my kind of place when I walked in. A thin hallway had coolers on one side and warm beer on the other. I picked out a JahVa southertier bomber for $7, their Imperial Hop Sun and lot more. They had tons of beers from Wyerbacher, southern Tier, Ithaca, Great Divide, Rogue, Bear Republic, Stone(I picked up a Vertical Epic from this year), and a lot of other reginal great beers like DogFishead 120 minute

as you go in it shifts to the foreign side and there was a great selection of german, Belgian, and English beers. I also was able to pick up a Krusovice, which is one of my favourite beers. I also got a rodenbach. There were also tons of beers I have never heard of which to me is always a great sign. One of the better selections I have seen.

After that there is a growler filling section which rotates at about $10 a fill which is not too bad for NYC. Next to that is the cheese selction which I didnt peruse too much as I knew I would only get myself in more $$$Trouble.

Staff was very friendly and helpful, people who are passionate and knowledgable about beer.

I will definitely head back here, probably subway and walk there and cab it home once this selection of beers runs out.

Photo of Fugazme
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%

Visited twice while in Brooklyn... went once and had to go back before travelling home.

Bank of coolers on the left when entering and a large selection of singles, 750's and six packs on the right. Taps straight back for growler filling (hell yeah!) and a cheese counter that wraps around the other side.
Any place with beer AND cheese is worth visiting... a lot.

A huge selection of beers, without a doubt. Lots of regionals and imports. Too many beers to try to take back with me so I had to be selective.

The staff was great. I was asked by three different people if I needed help. The woman behind the cheese counter was exactly what you'd want when buying cheese. She answered the questions I had and offered me samples of every cheese I asked about... and seemed excited to do it.

I had a growler of DFH Festina Peche filled. The dude behind the counter explained the beer well and chatted with me while he filled it. Knowledgable, for sure.

Great experience... a touch pricey, but then again, I'm from the midwest... it might be fine for NYC.

Photo of jameaterblues
4.7/5  rDev +9%

Holy Shit! My first visit to this Brooklyn beer mecca was just wonderful.

They have the store set up in a "U" shape. one the right when you walk in there are six pack and room temp beers, on the left a huge row of coolers with singles of just about everything you can imagine.

I ended up with a mixed 8 pack...I was going to a party and I am glad that i did not buy more than that(I forget that when you drink good beer you should never bring a mixed pack to a party if you want to try everything you bring), but none the less I got to drink some amazing beer

They definitively have the best selection in town, and the prices are just a little higher than the bigger chain gourmet stores(Whole foods, and fairway). Singles were around $2 and sixpacks ran about a dollar or two higher than the above mentioned chains, but I'm willing to pay to support small business!

I had never seen Left Hand Brewing in NYC before, they also had the whole Line of Butternuts cans, Great Divide, tons of Southern Tier bombers, Ithaca(all including excelsior), tons of imports (lots of Marh's, and Etaller, de dolle, and other obscurities). Just to name a few. They had about 8 kegs for growlers and are upgrading to 13 keg system and it looked like that would be operational soon(in the next couple months)...they can also run this beer through additional hops and maybe chocolate or coffee.

Service...everyone was pretty busy and no one really stocking the beer, but I can only imagine if I asked questions that someone would have been able to answer them....It would be very overwhelming for someone new to craft beer.

By the way don't miss the best Ice Cream sandwich in the world, they have a couple flavors and are a little expensive but well worth it....they also have a really great cheese and specialty foods sections....definitely an A.++ for the store overall. We need this in Manhattan!

Photo of EarlNobdy
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%

This place is like my weekly moment of zen. I'm a father of two lovely little monsters under the age of three, and as a result take the peace and quiet anywhere I can find it. Friday evenings I make my Pavlovian pilgrimage down 5th Avenue, mouth already watering at the thought of what delights lie in store for these sleep-deprived taste buds.

Bierkraft never disappoints. My heart and mind are done much good as I linger along the shelves of their massive cold case, fingering through the labels of braus big and small like the world's largest lending library you get to drink, too. And to wash it all down, there's a keg stand at the end featuring a rotating stock of draught fresh beers that would make even the most micro-minded monk grow giddy in his sackcloth and sandals.

The last time I was in there getting my growler topped off with Sixpoint Diesel, the sound system was playing Tom Waits' Big Time at a most sonorous volume. I almost asked if they were taking applications right then and there. 'nuff said. Rock on!

-E

Photo of crwills
3.85/5  rDev -10.7%

After missing Bierkraft's Tuesday night tasting (damn!) and going elsewhere for dinner, a friend and I did a mad dash through here about 10 minutes before closing. Really nice selection of regional beers, including lots of DFH stuff I hadn't tried before, and quite a few that I hadn't seen in other stores. Grabbed Chateau Jiahu, Stone Old Guardian, and a couple Goose Islands (this is all I could fit in my suitcase to fly home), and ran for the register.

Next time I'm there I'll try the cheese and chocolate, of which they also seem to have a really nice selection. My friend grabbed a truffle on the way out and said it was fantastic.

Good looking place, and I look forward to returning!

Photo of brdc
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%

This is an interesting place. A very good selection, with good prices and a knowledgeable staff that can guide you through pretty much everything they have. As a matter of fact, they have frequent "lectures" where they provide samples and teach a bit about some different styles or breweries, usually along nice cheeses.
My only problem with the place relates to the poor installations - it is extremely hot inside, and a lot of their beers are just "cooking" in there. I was afraid of taking anything from the shelves, so ended up taking from the coolers- which is still a very good selection, but I do not like to do it since I cellar a lot of my beers.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Finally got to this place after looking for a parking space for 20 minutes. The inside is split into two narrow railroad style sections. One is for beer and the other for what appeared to be gourmet food.

The selection was categorized by state and country and included: Rogue, SA, SN, Brooklyn, Anchor, Butte Creek, Abita, Magic Hat, Rock Art, Boulder, Flying Bison, Hooker, Lake Placid, Pork Slap, Blue Point, Southampton, etc. There was also a very good selection of German dopplebocks and hefes. A good selection of Belgians and English ales as well. Addditionally there were 9 beers on tap that were sold by the growler, including Leffe, Rock Art and Sixpoint.

Overall a good selection, but not as good as American Beer on Court Street.

Photo of ams4k
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%

My first vist, and well worth it. Very impressive selection, most of it in coolers, meaning you can take home your choices and start in right away. Even better is the growler/draft system -- changes each week and they run one of the eight selections through a hopping machine (like the Randall from Dogfish Head); this week it was Rogue Imperial Porter. I made off with Goose Island Imperial IPA, Gordon IPA (from the guys who make Dale's Pale) in cans, and a growler of Rogue. The guys there were totally friendly and very helpful -- zero attitude and lots of low-key friendliness. I can't wait to go back. Great cheese/chocolate/gourmet snacks too, and located in a fun section of Brooklyn. Not a place for a bargain -- but I will say that my growler of Rogue ended up costing only $5, as they chanced to kill the keg on my refill and couldn't quite fill it. I thought it was a really nice gesture. Great place -- one of the best in the the NYC area for sure.

Photo of chimaychimaynot
3.6/5  rDev -16.5%

I really really love this store - everything except the service. The beer selection is excellent - many beers that I haven't see elsewhere in the US. And I have never gotten an oxidized bottle here. The growler fills are a great new addition (though $4.50 a deposit for the growlers is a bit steep, and they refuse to refill other growlers). I come here regularly to fill up on Sixpoint. The cheese selection is also quite nice, and they give samples before you buy.

I have had good experiences with service here, but the last two times, it was inexcusable - on two differnet occasions, two different employees were rude and condescending when I asked them questions. If you are going to serve specialty products that attract knowlegable consumers, please treat your consumers with respect!

Photo of AChamberlain
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Beer, Meat and Cheese!!! Oh my!

What else do you need? Oh, some bread? They got that too.

They have tons of beers, everything you might be looking for. If you want something and they don't have it, they probably will have something similar or equally quenching. (If not, check the bodega on the end of the block, they got it.)

We went there today and purchased a growler of Abita Andy Gator. And I must tell you, it is quite tasty. The price at first seemed a little steep, but having freshly tapped beer at home is priceless.

The employees are very helpful and fairly knowledgeable.

Photo of DaggerEyes
4/5  rDev -7.2%

This is a beer buyers heaven. A full wall of coolers with single bottles from every brewery you can imagine in the states and abroad. A huge and amazing selection of chesses and chocolates and fine meats, as well as 5 beers on tap that you can take home in growlers.

All the tap beers are beers that are not served any other way, so it's rad that they are availible for sale.

the staff is extremely accomidating and knowledgable.

While it is really nice in someways that everything is priced as singles, cause you can mix a six pack of stuff you want to try, you also end up paying a bit more and there is no other option since this is the only way stuff is sold.

Pretty pricey but if you are in the area it's Definately worth the trip. Also Bierkraft has an outstanding selections of fresh breads, cured meats and cheeses

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.85/5  rDev -10.7%

I don't know if it is just that I have been spoiled by Half Time or something different, but Bierkraft doesn't floor me like I thought it would. Will I go in for the odd bomber when I am strolling around the Slope? Of course. Will I try and make it to their tastings? Verily. However, I don't find their selection all that encompassing, and the prices are somewhat absurd at times considering I can get a lot of the same beers elsewhere for less. At times they deifinitely have a couple rare bottles that I am willing to pay extra for and they have a very good Belgian selection. However, overall it is nothing more than a very respecatble beer store. What makes up for that is the artisanal foods that they also carry. You can always make a good meal out of some fresh bread and cheese, and what better way to top that off than a good beer from the cooler?

Photo of OldSock
4.05/5  rDev -6%

Quality – Nearly everything was in cooler cases and everything I looked at was fresh. I wish more beer stores took this kind of care of their stock.

Service – We chatted with the cashier briefly, and he took great care in packing our selections into holders and bags. However, no one went out of their way to help us as we walked around the store.

Selection – A good selection, lots of interesting imports (Okocim Porter, Scaldis Prestige, Peche Mortel to name a few) and loads of local/regional craft beers, (Penn, gonzo porter, Southampton etc…) after visiting American Beer Distributing I picked up about 6 beers, so not exactly a mind blowing selection for someone who has been to several good stores.

Value – This is where Bierkraft falls flat, prices were absurd, easy 50% more than I am used to paying for beers in MA and considerably more than I saw beers priced in NY.

Conclusion – A good store to pick up some rare, well kept beers as long as you don’t mind paying extra. Definitely glad I stopped by, but not some place that I would go to often even if I lived near by.

Photo of Buildscharacter
4.7/5  rDev +9%

If you love Cheese and Beer then this is the place for you. They have a good selection of cheese available and a pretty good selection of beer. Not the best that I've seen around, but pretty decent. I would say they have about 10-12 coolers with various beers. Prices were high. Paid around $8 for a bottle of Immort Ale. Good stuff, but damn, it costs a lot.

The guy at the cheese station was super helpful and knew more about cheese than I know about....well .... anything really. So we got some cheese and bread and beer and were on our way.

I walked away KNOWING that I would be back. Too bad it's a pain to get to from Williamsburg.

Photo of Sixpoint
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%

I have not seen a better beer selection within the city. Not much to say about this place, it's pretty dope.

In a nutshell: When you walk into this place, it's very narrow and very long. The entire left side of the wall is reach-in coolers; there are reps from around the globe.

The first section is all domestics, then english styles, then belgians, germans, etc. You'll find just about everything here. They are cold and you have the option to buy a six-pack or buy them individually.

I've heard some people complain about the prices. Nahhhh. Don't go there. Think of the cost of running the place, keeping the beers fresh and cold, and then rotating them through.

The extra price is well worth the visit. You'll definitely find stuff there that you've never had before.

Photo of apintofknowledge
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%

Bierkraft is an interesting concept, which you have to keep in mind for those who may complain about their prices. Sure you can find a number of beers for a lower price elsewhere, but I wouldn't go here to buy beers I already know or to buy in bulk.

You see, the unique idea behind this store is that they have a very diverse selection, all of which is refrigerated, and all of which is available by the single bottle. If I find something I like, I'll buy a six-pack or a case at another establishment. But say I want to compare several different IPA's... I can buy a single bottle of each for less than I would pay in a bar (typically $1.75 to $2.75 a bottle). And buying a single bottle to try is a lot cheaper than a six-pack, especially when you might be stuck with the five remaining bottles of something you really didn't like. Plus, I have found a number of beers here that I just can't find anywhere else.

Another advantage to buying here is a far more knowledgeable staff (particularly the owner) than other stores in the neighborhood, or even compared with other establishments in NYC. Not only have I gotten great recommendations for the best of a particular style, but I've also learned a lot about breweries, beer-making, beer-styles and food-pairings through casual conversation with the owner.

And my favorite thing about this store is the Tuesday night tastings, where one can sample five different beers of a particular theme (same style, same brewery, same region, etc.) paired with five unique cheeses or other edible treats. While sampling, you also get to learn more about what you are tasting (both specific beers, as well as breweries & styles in general) either from a local distributor, brewery rep or the owner himself. I consider it a free Beer-101 class for a relative novice like myself.

Photo of biscodoll
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%

I've been going to Bierkraft since just after they opened, watching them expand from mainly just beer and cheese to a full gourmet deli. The owners are there all the time, giving everyone the personal treatment to make sure you take home the perfect beers for you.

The beer is expensive, but you're not just going home with a few bottles, but an experience. Besides that personal touch, you get so much more. Curious about cheese? They will give you free tastes until you find what you love. Looking for a meal that's creative and classy? The deli case is always stocked with beautiful looking entrees, side dishes, and salads that you simply cannot find anywhere else. Their deli meats are all natural, some organic.. you simply cannot find that anywhere else. They also exclusively carry Brooklyn's Ice Cream Factory ice cream, and hand-made chocolates made with beer, made specifically for Bierkraft.

As I've gathered, the reason the beer is so pricy is because it's all cold. Being a tiny store in Brooklyn, they've chosen quality over quantity, investing in tons of cold-cases rather than narrow shelves of dusty beer, like some other stores in the area. Everything, beer, cheese, chocolate, deli, is kept at the proper temperature, ensuring that your tastebuds get the full experience.

All that, and then there's the generous free tastings every Tuesday night. Bierkraft frequently has top brewers and their reps give showcases of their lines, or the employees will show off their favorites. Each is served with a taste of the excellent food and cheese, pairings that will blow your tastebuds! Who else would have thought that a Blue Point Toasted Lager would draw out the toasty characters of a tortilla chip, and the lightness of the guacamole on it? Or the maltiness of a Ramstein Winter Wheat drawing on the richness of a belgian dark chocolate?

The personal touch goes a long way for me, and it's totally genuine. I always feel at home there, and that to me is worth a little bit more $.

Photo of bultrey
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

I don't know what to think about this place. On one hand, I admire them for their beer advocacy. On the other hand, I loathe them for pretending like they're doing something so extraordinary that they have to charge, for example, $8 for a 12 oz. Ommegang Three Philosophers.
Basically, if you look around (like down the street at Key Food), you can find almost as good a selection for much cheaper, although there are some rarities at Bierkraft. If you have a good deal of disposable income (as many who live in this particular neighborhood do), then it might be your thing. They also have a great selection of gourmet meats, cheeses, chocolates, etc., also not cheap.
The 3.0 rating for service is not for actual service, but the outrageous prices alone.

Re-review 10-4-05:
I've always been against the high prices this place charges, but that is no reason to knock off points for service. Now that there is a "value" category in the Beerflys, Bierkraft can be scored accordingly. the service here is actually quite good, as pretty much everyone is at least somewhat knowledgable about the beer selection.
One other thing -- the best deal going in the store is the constantly rotating growlers of pre-packaged Blue Point beers, which usually cost $12 or so. Last time I got the Blue Point Pale Ale growler there it was quite fresh and tasty, even though it had probably been sitting there for about a week. I recommend coming here if you just want to buy one or two bottles of very special beer for yourself -- anything more than that likely will bust your budget.

Photo of Rastacouere
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%

A dozen of big doors full of craft brews. No place for crap here. Very friendly owner. Probably the only place to find southampton imperial porter these days. they also had the grand cru, saison, old herb and double white. Whole lou pepe line up. Nice cider line-up. Not too distinctive except for the southamptons ultimately, well very distinctive, but I prefer new beer distributors selection and their prices are generally 33% lower. Deus was 30$ here, achel extra was 17, fruit lou pepes were 27, southamptons 750s are 14, celebrator was 4.50! Still, if you pass through brooklyn, I’d say this is a good stop, but it’s so close to american beer distributors which I’ve not seen that I’d go there first. Next time I hit NY, I think I won’t bother and just stay in manhattan with superbly located New Beers distributor.

Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%

I had been to this place once right after the blackout, so I had to go back again to give them a second chance as their stock was low (no power = no deliveries.)

Beer selection is great (though you can find about 75% of it at other places), the food selection is great (cheeses, crackers, juices, everything to go with your beer,) service is knowledgeable and good, they always have a guy wandering around to help you out. So why a "3.5" on quality?

Simple: Price.

You'll pay up to $2, $3 per bottle higher (or more) here than you will at many other beer stores. There are cheaper places to get good beer, even in Manhattan. Shop around first, and then check out Bierkraft for the really hard to find stuff. If their prices were more reasonable they'd get a lot more of my $$.

Photo of twilight
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%

So I was walking through Prospect Park with a Bierkraft gift certificate burning a hole through my pocket, and decided, hey, why not, I might be able to pick up another Southampton Grand Cru. I get in and browse, stopping to chat with one of the guys taking boxes out. Every time I've been here someone is taking boxes out and when he comes back, asks if I need assistance. I ask if they have the Freeminer's Deep Shaft Stout after seeing a Freeminer bottle in the wall of coolers along the long side of the store.

There is quite a selection of beer here, but be prepared, because, ouch!, it is pricey. Nevertheless, it has stuff I'd never heard of as well as the coveted Southamptons, but only a few, and for the prettiest pennies you've ever seen. I had four bottles on me when I saw a Cantillon Iris that I decided I couldn't live without, so I had to put one back.

Service is here and there. I've gotten friendly service, but not always the most informed or knowledgeable. My hugest caveat is with the bags. They are small white bags that basically fit a sixer. My two bombers and two 750's were put into a white sixer carry and into the white bag. I was outside when I realized THE SUN was hitting my Cantillon, so I pressed it close to my chest, and drew the attention of passerbys.

Nevertheless, the prices are above fair, but below outrageous. Definitely worth a visit after you've been to other beer stores for the beer that you're just not going to get anywhere else.

Photo of Billolick
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

This place is a godsend. The selection is top notch. You WILL see many beers you have never seen anywhere else, they have it all. Tons of imports, all the local micros. Funky belgians. The prices are a wee bit high.The owners are knowledgable and friendly. The gourmet food shop also is terrific. Cheeses, oils etc etc. I wish they had more beer that is not refrigerated and more glasses etc.. But this is probably a function of the small size of this shop. I hope they can keep this place up and running, because its a great beer resource.

Photo of ark57
3.65/5  rDev -15.3%

This is a small gourmet shop in the middle of Brooklyn. It's not paradise, but you may find some interesting beers here. All of the beers are in coolers along one side. There are also a few glasses to choose from. They had some 3 liter bottles (Arrogant Bastard and some belgians), though I did not see how much they were as I do not have much use for that much high alcohol beer in a sitting. They look cool, though. Anyway, the prices was fairly high and I spent way more than I would have liked on just 6 beers. Oh well my prize was that they gave me a slightly old bag of Blue Cheese and Onion Potato Chips for free. They weren't half bad.

Photo of Weissenheimer
5/5  rDev +16%

I discovered Bierkraft a few months after it opened, and the first time I walked in the door I was flabbergasted. I'd never seen a selection like that, and I was tickled pink to find such a place so close to my apartment. Then I started going to the Tuesday night tastings, and I became even more impressed. They regularly serve imported cheeses along with the beer, but you never know whether the beer or the food will be the star of the show. One week Rob from Allagash gave out samples of his fantastic brews. Another week a local importer of Belgian chocolates talked up his confections while Bierkraft's owner, Richard Scholz, talked up the beers with which they were paired. Yet another week it was artisanal hard cider from... Massachusetts, I think. Still another week the beer was paired with Bierkraft's delightful gourmet pizzas. The list goes on. It's a wonderfully successful marketing ploy; every time I go to a tasting, I want to buy almost everything I've tasted that night.

The Bierkraft staff has always been talkative and helpful. Richard himself is quite accessible; I once brought a list of beers I planned to have at an upcoming tasting and he was happy to help me put the list in order.

My biggest problem with Bierkraft can be summed up in two words: sticker shock. Combine that with my aforementioned propensity for buying everything I see in that store, and you see why I don't go there much any more. To be fair, though, Bierkraft's quality, selection, and freshness make the prices pretty reasonable.

The only other negative comment I can drudge up is related to their relatively small amount of space. With 600 beers, there's not much room for each item, so sometimes you find only the small bottles where you'd otherwise find the 750 ml ones. This doesn't happen too often, though.

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Bierkraft in Brooklyn, NY
95 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.