Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying craft beer outdoors anytime soon! September, October, and some of November are still prime months for patios, breweries, and beer gardens. In no particular order, here are five Westchester craft havens that we like, not only for their outdoor ambiance, but for their beer selection as well.
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The area around Bridge View Tavern is already known for its stunning views of the Hudson River, especially at sunset, but anytime of day is prime for you to assemble your crew and chill in their backyard beer garden. Decked out with tap handles, beer signage, and community high tops, this small addition can fill up fast when the weather is optimal for crushing pints. It’s first come, first serve so expect a wait and to share a table with strangers that will hopefully turn into your new beer buddies.
What’s On Tap: The 18 draft lines predominantly feature New York breweries. SingleCut, Grimm, and Alewife are some usual suspects, but you’ll see — and hopefully taste — rarer out-of-state brews, too.
Food Pick: House-smoked wings, The BVT Burger (topped with pulled pork), or one of their wild game burgers (boar chorizo, elk, or bison).
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Plenty of seating, hardwood tables, string lights, occasional live music, and a fireplace to cozy up to when temps get chilly, make Village Beer Garden one of Westchester’s ideal outdoor drinking venues. Located right at the Port Chester Metro-North station, it’s also convenient if you commute, or if you’re catching a show at The Capitol Theatre.
What’s On Tap: Try one of seven different German beers on draft. If hefeweizens, pilsners, and doppelbocks aren’t your thing, there are a handful of local pale ales and IPAs to choose from.
Food Pick: Beer and fried food is a perfect pairing, so snatch an order of their already legendary beer-battered onion rings.
Birdsall House’s iron-gated beer garden is unrivaled. It’s an actual garden — reminiscent of something you’d see in NYC — with trees that provide shade, ivy growing on concrete walls, and veggies that show up on the restaurant’s menu. Outdoor live music is a staple here, so grab a can of Heady Topper (they get drops from The Alchemist), take a seat at a picnic table, and zone out.
What’s On Tap: BH keeps a well-balanced list as far as styles are concerned, and it rotates frequently, so finding something suitable is not a problem. If you like something and want it to go, they fill growlers.
Food Pick: The prix-fixed Sunday brunch is a good deal, with two courses plus a Bloody Mary, mimosa, or beer for $21.
Growlers has the smallest patio of all the spots on this list — just tables and chairs in front, and around the side of its brick building — but size doesn’t always matter. I’m a fan because they showcase the little guy, craft breweries that aren’t bought up by InBev. (You can’t get a Bud Light here). Snobby? Maybe. Cool? Absolutely! What’s also cool is Trivia Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. and retro video games inside on Wednesdays.
What’s On Tap: Lots of NY and East Coast stuff, including regular appearances by smaller breweries and a couple draft lines for cider. Keep an eye out for tap takeovers, when Growlers brings legit craft breweries in house.
Food Pick: Burgers are an often bragged about offering, but, if you’re not starving, the cheesy, bubbling hot artichoke dip will do the trick.
Photo by Enormous Creative
One brewery had to make the list, and Captain Lawrence is the obvious choice. They’ve got a sizeable patio with plenty of picnic tables and barrels to rest your beer on when the place is packed. Our recommendation: Make friends and challenge them to a game of cornhole or bocce.
What’s On Tap: Captain Lawrence beer. Lately, CLBC has been cranking out some fine IPAs like Tears of Green and variants of Powder Dreams. I like their sours best of all. If you’re planning on trying a lot of CLBC’s beers, check the calendar for upcoming events.
Food Pick: Captain Lawrence just unveiled a revamped menu with lots of Asian-inspired pub grub.
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