Bars / New York / Restaurants/Bars

Harlem Hops

When Harlem Hops opened this summer, there was literally a line around the block on day one. Around that time, Mark and Allison were booking their trip to NYC and since both my brother and my beau are huge beer fans, we saved our first excursion for their visit.

The proprietors wanted to bring craft beer culture to Harlem, since that’s something that has been distinctly missing. They also wanted to celebrate Harlem itself, which is why they feature plenty of beers by local, family-owned, small batch brewers, many of whom are POC. You’re going to want to try several so I highly recommend getting a flight.

This place looks like it could be in Brooklyn, and for good reason – why should uptown residents need to travel to another borough for a craft beer experience?! It’s got an industrial vibe with neon, marquee lights, and a chalkboard wall bathroom (where we had to leave our mark, of course).

What better to soak up the beer than a large hot pretzel with a trio of dips? I focused my attention on the beer cheese but the spicy mustard and honey mustard were also good. If we didn’t have dinner plans I would have also tried one of the spicy meat pies. Incidentally, this menu section exists because it has roots in Africa, just like beer itself (you’ve got to read the history of beer written on a column – I love learning while I’m drinking).

Something else this neighborhood is no longer lacking, thanks to this bar? A beer garden. The backyard area isn’t huge but it’s so nice to have a patio spot. This is the perfect place to host a bday party.

I love patronizing businesses that stand for something. I particularly like those that seek to improve the educational system. That’s yet another reason to love Harlem Hops. All owners are graduates of HBCUs and intend to create a college scholarship for a local graduating senior.

I wish only big things for this spot. (PS – how cute is the glassware?!)

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