Birreria Eataly

4 Jul

Birreria isn’t a particularly easy word to say – especially if you have a few said birra under your belt and a mouthful of formaggio.  But foreign tongue-twisters are the last thing to get in the way of this city’s boutique-beerophiles.  Drop in the words ‘rooftop’ and ‘artisanal sausage’ and the throngs of people waiting at the elevator hidden at the back of Eataly suddenly make sense.

New York’s newest rooftop beer garden is all bright red metal chairs and not-too-long wooden tables under an enormous retractable roof. (That’s to ensure perfect drinking conditions in every season. I know, I love them too.) Copper tanks gleam at the garden’s entrance, brewing the masterpiece unfiltered ales created by birra afficionados Sam Calagione (of Dogfish Head Brewery), Italian experts Teo Musso and Leonardo Di Vincenzo, and house brewmaster Brook Carretta.

One thing’s for sure here: it’s beer first, food second — so the menu has been designed with liquid amber firmly in mind. And what goes better with a perky craft ale than a chunky sausage, a braised pork shoulder or a hefty cheese board? Exactly. Nothing.

A word of warning: the all-important elevators to get you up there aren’t easy to find.  One might get lost in the labyrinthine deli, disoriented by pyramids of imported Italian biscotti, distracted by gleaming plates of fresh oysters, or lured into having a glass of merlot at an open marble bar.

The trick is to ignore Eataly’s culinary red-herrings, outsmart your stomach. Your reward? A merry courtyard filled to bursting with over-excited barflies sipping house-brewed ales.

With practice, it might get easier to SAY ‘Birreria’ — but it’ll always be hard to leave it.

Images from Hoptopia, Eater NY and DNA Info

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