Beer Authority

very good

18 Reviews
Beer AuthorityBeer Authority

Type: Bar, Eatery

300 W 40th St
New York, New York, 10018-1432
United States

(212) 510-8415 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by DoubleSimcoe on 04-10-2012

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 50
Photo of valrxman
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Met a fellow BA for lunch while in town. Pretty good tap selection, the bottle prices were high IMO. Food was pretty good as well. If you are in the area check it out.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

Stopped in for a planning session/escape from a large group tour. I was pleased with the variety of beers but somewhat surprised by the prices. Service was OK, selection was decent. We didn't need to eat, so I can't comment on the food. It was convenient to our hotel, but I wouldn't travel across the city to visit.

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Photo of eddiebo
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 2.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Large selection with brewery-led events, but pricey, super loud and obnoxious crowd, and a staff who may or may not know very much about what you are ordering. Good for the selection, meh for just about everything else

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Photo of otispdriftwood
2/5  rDev -48.2%

I've trashed this place in the forums enough so it's time to do the same in the reviews. Haven't been here for a year or so but the [bad] memories linger. Out of the 4 times I did find myself here, I got the wrong beer twice. To add insult to injury, the bartender told me I was out of my mind. Hell, once I ordered an IPA and got something entirely different. The bottom line is that this place is spacious and does have outdoor roof top seating but it's the biggest tourist trap in the city. And the prices suck. There are usually at least several beers that are $1 or more per beer than pretty much anywhere in NYC. There are at least 3 other places within short walking distance [District Taphouse, New York Beer Company and Shorty's]. Take your beer business to them.

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Photo of Michaelman73
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Just discovered this place on a weekend trip to NYC March 1-2. Luckily, they could also make mixed drinks for my wife and she was happy with her Cosmo. We got there about 4 on Sat. afternoon so it was almost deserted upstairs. The two waitresses—one going off duty and one coming on—were knowledgeable about the IPAs I was interested in trying. Although they list almost 60 beers on tap, I'm an IPA guy. There were 7 IPAs (4 of which I had already tasted) and 4 Imperial IPAs. But I was still in heaven thanks to Bear Republic APEX and Firestone Union Jack. Tried a Troegs Perpetual IPA, but it was too spicy for me. Finished the afternoon with my standby Bear Republic Racer 5 (which I've had many times before; one of my favorites). Yes, it's $8 and $9 a glass, but that's the way it is in NYC. Beer Authority's menu looked OK—standard pub fare—but our plans took us to another place to eat. Pleased with my first visit. I would go back again.

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Photo of TaylorMade2014
3.55/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I've been twice and my ratings are in the middle of my two experiences. The first time I sat at a table and vowed that I probably wouldn't go back.

The server was slow and rude. I could deal with that if she at least was knowledgeable about their beers. But she had no clue. I don't expect experts but when you're called "The Beer Authority" you should at least have servers who are somewhat knowledgeable. Add to that that the food wasn't great and the overall experience was less than desirable.

I did end up going back a second time and sat at the bar. Much better experience. The bartender knew pretty much all there was to know about every beer they were pouring and he made some excellent recommendations: Boulder Beer Mojo IPA, Firestone Walker Pale 31 and Olde Saratoga Black IPA

The place itself is a bit large and if crowded you will have people reaching over you to pick up their shots. Not really a beer pub atmosphere in other words but the selection makes it worth the hassle... I think...

If I go back I will only sit at the bar. That's for sure!!!

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Photo of BeerTwigs
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in over the weekend after seeing a show with my wife. It was a Saturday night and their was a band playing so it was pretty loud. It was definitely louder than I prefer but it was a Saturday night so I cant really complain. They have a lot of beer on tap, unfortunately most of it is pretty standard in terms of craft beer. They had a few beers that I haven't had before and I definitely enjoyed them but their prices are outrageous. Their beers are priced between $8-10 each and were served in the proper glassware. There are many other beer bars in NYC with better beer selections and better pricing. I assume they are priced this way because of their location right across from the Port Authority. They had a nice cask of Nugget Nectar on which was awesome so I will give them credit for that.

The bar is 2-3 levels with a roof top bar, unfortunately its winter so I didn't get a chance to check it out. The main floor was pretty packed and there were no seats left at the bar. The service was ok, we ordered 5-6 beers and 2 of them were wrong which was disappointing. Since it was a busy Saturday night I didn't even bother trying to return them and the waitress seemed very uninterested in being there. I typically prefer staff to have some recommendations and some beer knowledge and I didn't receive that type of service.

Overall I feel their beer menu is good, not great and they are over priced. I would only recommend stopping in if you need to kill time before catching a bus at the Port Authority or during happy hour. It looked like they had some happy hour pricing which would make the menu almost acceptable. There food menu seemed ok but I didn't have any food during my visit. Check the menu before you go. Cheers!

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25

***Revisiting Beer Authority***

I thought that, being in my neighborhood and having so many taps, I would come back here often. That has not been the case. Service went from great to disinterested, the place got crowded with BMC-drinking types and the prices went up up up. 16-oz pints are now nine dollars. NINE. Think Goose Island IPA for 9 bucks. No, thanks.

They have a ton of taps but not that much variety of styles, really. 23 IPA's on tap are overkill.

I'll leave it to the tourists and Jersey commuters and go to Pony Bar instead.

From the creators of Rattle N Hum comes Beer Authority, a massive beer bar across from the Port Authority Bus Station. This place is gigantic and weird- it has got three floors and sprawling windows looking over 8th Avenue, but the main entrance is a narrow unmarked door on 40th street.

Seediness abounds in this glorious block, with a porn shop right next to the bar and the Parole Office down the street. In the tradition of other Port Authority-area bars, Beer Authority opens at 8:00 in the morning. Just in case you need an imperial stout before going to work!

As for the beers... there are 58 taps here, which is a damn good number but not as good as the 80 they were promising. Also promised and not delivered: cask beer. Hopefully they will get it going soon. The menu is divided by styles and is almost identical to the menu at R'n'H. Good stuff for everyone, including a ton of IPA's (Dogfish 60 and 90, Union Jack, Sculpin, Racer 5) and rarer stuff like Two Brothers Red Eye Coffee Porter, Oskar BluesTen Fidy and Anderson Valley Horn of the Beer barleywine.

I love the ambience, never loud or crazy and spacious enough to guarantee a seat and a good time, although it does get busy after work. Tables, high-tops, a long-ass bar and different areas to choose from. It's all very chill so far, and hopefully it won't turn into another Ginger Man for corporate types and commuters.

Prices look a lil' expensive but are not terrible. 16-oz pints are $7, 12- and 14-oz glasses of specialty beers are around $8. Service is very good, with friendly and efficient bartenders, and so far the only disappointment is the food menu. It is not quite the "high-end gastropub fare" the owners announced. More like sandwiches, pastas, mussels and stuff. But the Spotted Pig this is not. The wife and I had the deviled eggs and they were alright. Not super amazing for sure, and way expensive at $9.

Still, this place is going to be the bomb, and I will be there drinking it!

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Photo of GJ40
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.25

A small first floor bar with a large second floor dining area. Great beer selection with lots on tap and many more in the bottle. I was happy to find BCBS on the bottle list but the waitress later returned to say they didn't have it. So I went with the Green Flash Citra Session IPA. What a beer! We split several apps and the food was only OK. Good place though!

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Photo of richj1970
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped by this week while in NY.

Sat at the bar on the second level. The downstairs bar is way small, and the rain made the rooftop unattractive.

Staff was friendly and helpful. Based on the website, I was hopeful to get BCBS coffee, but they were out. I ended up with Union Jack, Big John, and Stone IRS.

Prices were a bit steep but not unexpected based on the location. Most drafts were $8 - $14. A few of the more interesting bottle selections were fairly high. I would have loved to have tried Black Ops, but at $40 for bomber, I decided to pass.

Very convenient location since it is literally across the street from the port authority bus terminal. I will probably have to stop anytime I'm in the area.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Taking the A train from JFK to Manhattan for G's birthday weekend, we emerged from the Port Authority station directly across the street from Beer Authority. After a long flight, it was a great way to start our weekend.

On a Thursday night, there was a DJ playing music a bit loud but we survived sitting around the edge. Our waiter was friendly and efficient, bringing beer and the daily special in short order: a vegetarian shepherd's pie. Dinner was great with a lentil based that tasted a lot like our favorite camping dish but with a thick, creamy head of mashed potatoes. We just wonder why this sort of meal isn't readily available in Minnesota.

Believing in drinking local, I started by trying a couple of brews from Spider Bite. Eye Be Use, a Double IPA, was disappointingly unrefined but I still followed up with Boris the Spider, a Russian Imperial Stout. Slightly better but the blunted hops couldn't come through the unbalance RIS. Nice experiment but I'm not a fan. I accidentally spilled the last of this beer on my blue jeans; generously, our server brought me a short pour to replace my clumsiness.

During research, I came across the new Bronx Brewery and happily got a chance to try their Black Pale Ale. No Sublimely Self Righteous, but this American black ale has a solid malty base and a clean dark bite that makes is a good choice. We ended with a draft of Dogfish Head Noble Rot, an earthy and interesting saison that we returned to on Sunday.

We tried to repeat our first stop on Saturday night after seeing Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy. An extremely poignant play based on the life Mike McAlary, a 1980s tabloid columnist in New York. Not only did we intimately learn about a part of NYC history and culture, but the gritty, authentic underbelly of the newspaper business written by late Nora Ephron. Unfortunately, we weren't able to discuss any of this at Beer Authority. The band joked about playing too loud and continued to shake the rafters. We put in ear plugs while I drank a beer and finally starting texting each other out of desperation, leaving disappointed and had to talk over the play while kicking our way through the late night crowds of Times Square.

On Sunday afternoon, we needed to head back to the hotel to pick up our bags after a visit to the 9/11 memorial. I wanted to give Beer Authority a chance in the daylight and to give the mac & cheese a try.

Happily, this visit was pleasant. I started with a Green Flash West Coast IPA, a favorite hoppy treat when I get the chance. By the time we ordered the mac & cheese, I was on to Ommegang Barrier Relief, a Belgian IPA that's a collaboration ale with Barrier Brewing to rebuild that Sandy ravaged brewery. A beautifully blended IPA with a Belgian funk was a solid choice for a last beer in NYC. The beer paired surprisingly well with the mushroom and garlic Mac & Cheese, unusual and intriguing, I would gladly order it as a meal again.

On the way out, we ran into an intrepid band of beer hunters, one also a blogger at Hoptical Allusions. Need to leave for the train to fly home, we didn't have to time for more than a pic and a cheers on the way out. Each had a tray of four tasters—sixteen on the table. After two trying visits, a third with a chance encounter with fellow beer travelers bolstered my spirits and our experience. With great beer that is well served, Beer Authority is the go-to place in the heart of Manhattan for craft beer. However, in the future, I will make this our pre-show stop to relax and unwind before hitting Broadway, saving the post-show discussion for a much quieter place.

More at

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Photo of JohnW58
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

This is a relatively new place; apparently owned by Rattle N Him. Unlike Rattle N Hum, it's much larger, with 3 levels including a small bar on the lower level, a restaurant / bar / large screen television area with lots of windows on the second level, and a 3rd (open) level that includes picnic tables and of course a bar. The location is convenient; just across from the Port Authority on West 40th Street. There's a nice mix of food to choose from. The brisket sandwich I had was good. They also had a choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts. The staff is friendly and helpful. All in all, a nice first experience. I plan on returning.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Man, this place is huge. Walked in later in the evening after a dinner. Bottom bar is small, and the upstairs layout is huge. Consider it the antithesis of The Blind Tiger.

Selection menu is just like Rattle 'n' Hum. Menu divides everything into style. I ordered what I had specifically come for, and was told that it was out. The bartender then crossed out several beers that were no longer available, which was discouraging. I think I said, "Oh, such-and-such a beer is out too. Hmmm." And the bartender then suggested Yeti, which kind of annoyed me as I was asking about moreesoteric stuff, and I would figure she'd know I wanted to try something unique. All of the staff were chomping on gum and texting on their phone, which I found...annoying. It seemed to put things into a, "Yeah, whaddya want?" kind of thing. I was considering getting some of the rarer Bourbon County Stouts there, but decided against it as I was just getting bored of the whole thing and didn't want to spend all my night there.

Eh. I don't think I would bother going back. They clearly are raking in the money and don't care about my business.

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Photo of Gmann
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25

The place is located right next to the Port Authority so there is a lot of foot traffic right in front of the place. As such, it also has a lot of "mainstream" folks that pack it up. The bar has 3 floors; a smallish bar on the first floor, a sizable 2nd floor, and an open ended 3rd floor (I think, as it was closed when I went). There were several TVs on the walls showing some European futbol events. The large windows on the 2nd floor are nice for some people watching. One interesting note, you get your one personal bathroom when you need to go. Overall, a big plus for the size of the place.

The draft list had a good amount of quality brews, definitely a beer bar selection. The bar does cater to non beer drinkers but overall it is more beer focused. On draft, they didn't have anything I couldn't easily find elsewhere. Their bottle selection was just a glass cooler in which you had to figure out what was what, no menu. They had some nice selections but if you weren't around the cooler, you wouldn't know that they had these.

The service was kind of poor the night I went. I received 2 different beers than what I ordered and they didn't do anything extraordinary. The beers were served in proper glasses.

A decent selection across the styles. Could use a bit more diversity. I appreciate the printed menu so you could see what they have.

Overall, an above average beer bar. It gets pluses for being in a touristy area. Attractive bar area and the deck would be nice during warmer weather. Needs to offer some harder to find brews.

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Photo of laurastradford
4.61/5  rDev +19.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Being a big fan of Rattle n Hum I was excited to try their new place Beer Authority. I always like to have somewhere near Times Square and Port Authority for when I am stuck up there. I tried the roof garden on my first visit. The selection is not as large as it is on the second floor and the view of Port Authority isn't exactly scenic; however, somewhere to sit outside and get fresh air in NYC is always nice. My second visit I sat at the bar on the second floor. The bartender was friendly and great. My beers were poured perfectly and I had an awesome time. Still haven't tried any of the food, but very happy to have and escape when I'm stuck in the area.

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Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Located near the Port Authority, it is easy to spot with the restaurant name in large letters outside on the top of building. Upon entering, the first floor has a smallish bar area, and the second floor is the main dining area and it has a decent size bar that can seat about 20 people. There is a roof top area, but I did not venture there. We sat at the bar on the second floor, and the decor was heavy on dark woods, but the walls had nice craft beer logos painted on them. Big windows provide some natural light in the daytime.

There was a large selection of beers that are listed on a menu. The taps are visible behind the bar. There were no real hard to find beers here, but a solid selection - beers from Stone, Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Anderson Valley, Great Divide, Ommegang, Blue Point, Coney Island, Flying Dog, Brooklyn, and Victory. I did enjoy a Sculpin on cask which was very fresh, followed by a Yeti. Beers were served in proper glassware with the brewery logos.

We sampled some of the food, and the duck flatbread was very good. The sandwiches were also good. Service was prompt and friendly. The bartender did state it is tough to stay up on the daily changes with the drafts, so they must have a good turnaround here.

Definitely a place worth stopping in if you are in the theater area or coming into the city via Port Authority.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.44/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I like the vibe of the place though I am not as excited about the vibe of the neighborhood (not that expected anything different right by the Port Authority Bus Station). Big inside and has three floors that offer seating and lots of windows inside and a nice rooftop area.

The beers were super fresh and very well poured - proper glassware for the different styles of beer.

Service was knowledgeable about the beers and even checked to make sure I was familiar with a particular style (Berliner Weisse) before serving it to me to make sure I knew what I was ordering. Service was attentive but not overbearing and took good care of me (though the place was not too busy in the middle of the afternoon). The bartender even made sure to check back with me to make sure I was enjoying my selection. Very personable.

I thought the selection at this place was very good - even better than what is at Rattle N Hum currently. They had both taps and casks and featured many excellent beers that are very fresh (Tartare and Ruination 10th Anniversary along with many others) and not a lot of standard stuff that you always see.

I looked over the menu and certainly saw several offerings that seemed like a slight twist on traditional Irish pub fare and home style food. The menu is more impressive than at Rattle N Hum. The gent sitting next to me got the sausage and claimed it was a very good version of the traditional bangers and mash.

So I visited during the day and got my beverages at happy hour prices so I don't feel like it is any pricey than other places in Manhattan (roughly the same price as Rattle N Hum). I'm sure the draft prices are more competitive than the bottles and I only had draft beers.

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Photo of sholland119
4.4/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ah, a Manhattan beer place with plenty of tables and room to stretch out. I mean, I love Pony Bar and Ginger Man and Rattle 'N Hum and Blind Tiger, but try getting a table or spot at the bar at 9pm on a Friday when you just get to town and need refreshment. Beer Authority, while crowded, was still able to seat our party of three (then five when friends dropped by unannounced) immediately. Union Jack in hand three minutes later, some delicious deviled eggs five minutes after that, awesome.

A big big place by the standards of this or any other city, Beer Authority sits right across the street from the Port Authority, so a short walk or subway ride from public transit. The night was pleasant for August but after the heat of the subway station we opted to sit on the comfy, air conditioned second floor rather than the open rooftop. Next time.

Selection was excellent, not "blow your mind" rare but that's fine. Fresh Union Jack, Sublimely Self-Righteous, Raging Bitch will certainly do the trick.

Food was very good, better than my meals at RnH. The Authority sandwich was right up my alley. We all enjoyed our selections.

Service was always prompt. I'll be back here soon.


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Beer Authority in New York, NY
3.86 out of 5 based on 50 ratings.
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