I know a lot of Manhattanites would sooner eat at Domino’s than cross a river to leave their beloved island. But I maintain that for some things, the journey is well worth it. Big Alice in Long Island City is one of those places. Hell, I cross TWO rivers to get there all the time (from Jersey), and it is so worth the trip.
I first got to know the guys at Big Alice because their brewery is literally right around the corner from my old job. Naturally, being the red-blooded American beer enthusiast that I am, I had to pop in. I was greeted by a couple very personable guys and a plethora of super unique beer options. I mentioned I liked home-brewing, and they said sometimes local beer enthusiasts would come by on brew days to lend a hand. That was all I needed to hear. I’ve put in over a dozen brew sessions with them to date, and I am a huge fan of both the beer and the people there.
Kyle and Jon are the head and assistant brewmasters, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a cooler couple of gents. They are straight-up hilarious, and working/drinking with them is always a good time. You’ll usually find at least one of them in the tap room during business hours. (Note: if you dig the tunes at the taproom, don’t be afraid to complement them. They put a lot of love into The Playlist, and it shows.)
Big Alice has pulled off some crazy growth over the last two years, and I’m super excited to see what the future holds for them. They have already made an incredible number of creative, ever-changing brews. Some of my favorites so far: Hibiscus Gose, White Coffee Stout, Queens Honey Brown, Smoked Saison, and Cranberry Imperial Stout.
On any given day they’ll have about eight beer varieties available for purchase at the tap room. The fun thing is, in three months every one of them will probably be something new! But you can ALWAYS count on the quality. They’re very careful about balancing out each brew’s flavor profile, and they only use the best ingredients available. They’re also good about re-introducing some of the most popular brews on a seasonal basis too, so don’t be too distressed when your favorite brew gets kicked off the menu. It could still come back to visit someday.
The tap room is open every day from Wednesday-Sunday. Start off with a tasting flight to get yourself acquainted with the current brews (comes in flights of four or six). When you find your favorite, get a Big Alice growler full of it to take home with you! Share it with your craft beer-loving friends and revel in their jealous admiration.
My favorite way to Big Alice is to make a whole day of it on the weekend. You can get to Long Island city on the E/M, NQR, or the 7– just get out at the first Queens stop. Check out the beautiful city views from the river, have brunch downtown, and head to Big Alice for some wicked awesome beer. (One of my FAVORITE brunch places is also out there, to be featured in an upcoming post.) Or if you’ve got serious tolerance, you could hit up all four LIC microbreweries in a day! The Rockaway and Transmitter breweries have some great stuff, and now there’s LIC Beer Project to add to the mix. (I haven’t made it there yet but plan to soon.)
However you attack it, LIC is a great recipe for some kick-ass day drinking and a relaxing, riverside vibe. Just make sure Big Alice is a part of that recipe. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
Big Alice Brewing
8-08 43rd Rd, Long Island City