Tørst Is The Best Beer Bar In New York City

torst greenpoint beer bar tapsA bold claim, but I stand by it. And having been to most of the better hops ‘n’ malts establishments here (plus worked in one of them for over a year), I have at least marginal credibility.

The long-awaited bar by Momofuku vet Daniel Burns and Evil Twin brewery’s Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø had a lot of hype, and so far has completely exceeded expectations. It’s most obviously laudable attribute is the unique temperature-controlled “flux capacitator” draft line. A red control panel under the bar keeps each of the 22 drafts at optimum temperatures and carbonations, ensuring the beer tastes and behaves exactly as the brewer intended. For beer geeks used to bartenders pouring foamy Michelob the same way they’d pour your Mikkeller (that is, not properly), this is a much appreciated touch.

Fancy pouring systems aside, where Tørst really shines is by filling the gaps between ubiquitous IPAs and German-style wheats that tend to proliferate, well, everywhere. Sure, you’ll find both those styles among the drafts and extensive, two-page bottle list, but you’ll also find red ryes, barrel-aged ports, American barleywines, and a blueberry weissbier by the name of Justin Blåbaer. Which means if you’re going with less adventurous friends, everyone will find something to quench their tørst (it means “thirst” in Norwegian). And, though the listed breweries are rare and normally pricey—Evil Twin, Hopfenstark, De Mollen—the drafts were all reasonably priced: no more than $11 for a 14oz, and with $5 8oz pours available for maximum sampling capacity without breaking the bank (or getting too tipsy—most of the offerings are high ABV). Best recommendation: One of the two in-house English style barleywines, the Tørst Front Room and the Back Room, that are as deliciously subtle as they are high-impact.

Even more refreshing is the light-filled, open space and crisp white marble bar—a welcome sight in the land of dark, reclaimed wood bars all with the same chalkboard signs and tchotchke decor.

$12 meat and cheese plates are available for pairings and to soak up the booze until May or so, when the full tasting restaurant, Luksus (“luxury”) opens in the back.  Until then, you’ll find me very happily nestled at the bar.

165 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint

all photos via Gothamist

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