Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 04 January 2013
The Brazen Head- Cobble Hill: Drink Here Now correspondent Link Cromwell vowed to have a drink at every bar in Hoboken before running the 2011 New York City Marathon. With every bar visit in the “Sixth Borough” now completed along with a successful race now finished, it’s time to reel our reporting back toward the City. And as such, every single Friday we’ll be taking over where Link left off, showing you distinctive bars in each borough perhaps for the very first time, perhaps to refresh your memory of a fun place you’ve ducked into, or perhaps to suggest a new spot for you to check out. You can follow our travels as we approach each weekend on Friday mornings with’s “Drink Here Now.”

The Brazen Head
228 Atlantic Ave, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Getting There: F or G to Bergen Street

Just south of Park Slope and caddy cornered with the highly popular Skylight One Hanson venue you will find a terrific beer bar set out all on its own. No, the joint is far from being on a deserted island, it’s more like an oasis of craft beer and good times. Enter The Brazen Head Cobble Hill ale house serving the surrounding neighborhoods for several years. My fellow brew crew members and I have hit the lion’s share of craft-centric establishments throughout the city and for the most part, they have all been exceptional. But after our first Brazen visit, it must be said that we are seriously head over heels for this place. Trust us, that’s a hard thing to do with a mug in hand!

The way in which we found the bar was unplanned- a total surprise. After a unsuccessful shopping trip to the bustling Atlantic Center we needed a beer, stat. Luckily the area is filled with bars to fit any taste. But as we strolled down Atlantic Avenue we spotted The Brazen Head, uniquely hugging both the Cobble Hill and Boreum Hill neighborhoods respectively. The mystery was too much and we simply had to head inside. Once through the doors our eyes were transfixed on the rather large relaxed space perfectly filled up by those imbibing with a smile. Patrons were seen holding different beer types while chatting and listening to some rock at a pleasurable volume. The sheer amount of fine crafted ales they have at any given time deserves to be labeled a rainbow of boozy goodness. Before we even sat at the long classic pub styled wooden bar, we checked out the drink menu up top. “The Head” boasts: 2 casks, 15 drafts, 7 bottles and 1 can. Seriously, if you can’t find something here maybe you don’t like drinking.

As soon as our small party sat down “Norm Side” (Side corner sat by Norm of Cheers), the friendly bartender came over to take our order. And even though the place was busy for an afternoon, she still took the time to go over beers that matched our distinct tastes. Since our visit was during the colder months we opted to ask for winter recommendations. For yours truly, it was the cask. It was a Brooklyn Winter Ale (16oz. $7), and it literally stopped me in my tracks because of how bold it was. This black as night beer contained none of the spice you would expect from a typical winter beer. Instead it was malty like none other. Other members in our party looked for lighter ales to sip on and were poured the Saratoga Lager (16oz. $5), described as crisp, refreshing and perfect for repeat pints. If you think you’ve hit all of NYC’s top craft beer bars you haven’t. Be sure to make The Brazen Head a major stop on any brew tour or crawl and please, “Drink Here Now!”

Bar Type – Lively craft beer bar who’s quirkiness sets itself apart from the rest of the pack. Brazen Head is also the home to beer-centric events and holiday parties.

When to Visit – We are partial to weekend Saturdays in the afternoons. There’s something just so relaxing about imbibing during the day, rather than at night. All day you will find the bar comfortably busy with the occasional surprise of bagels, chili and other free munchies around.

Value – Weekday Happy Hours (5-8pm Monday-Friday) are the norm and add up when it comes to craft beer. But how about free wings on Mondays, are you listening now?

The Lowdown – If you head to “Brazen” I swear your attitude will be far from it. This spacious joint is one of NYC’s most notable craft beer haunts but without a drop of pretension or hipster posturing. Basically it’s a flat out fun place to have one beer during an afternoon or to spend the entire night.

- Alex Corrine

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