Going out for a beer doesn’t necessarily mean just sitting elbow-to-elbow with strangers in a dark-paneled room. Nor does it imply being acoustically accosted by a Top 40 hit while the suggestively clad feverishly gyrate nearby.
Today’s drinkers seek more enriching experiences. From the meditative to the exhilaratingly daring, tipplers can find boozy activities to match their mood.
NYC Outdoor Bars Built For Summer
Namaste with Beer
Some people do yoga to relax. Others have a beer for the same reason. Why not marry the two?
Thought to originate at a Burning Man Festival (are you surprised?), Beer Fit Club brings beer and yoga to craft breweries around Long Island pairing holistic movements with appreciative gulps of locally-produced brews. Founder and CEO Sophia Del Gigante felt that this was a good way “to make fitness more fun and accessible to everyday people.” People of all ages and skill sets participate in their sessions.
“It’s very important for me that every person feels accepted and acknowledged when they come to one of our events. I never want someone to feel out of place or unworthy of getting fit,” said Del Gigante. She is especially proud to be able to support local breweries. Beer Fit Club hosts beer yoga sessions at craft breweries all over Long Island and has a residency at Great South Bay Brewing Company holding bi-monthly classes.
Brew it Yourself
Offering an insider’s view of the process, Patchogue’s BrickHouse Brewery gives folks a chance to work with actual brewers. The Brewer’s Experience runs from 8am to about noon with a light breakfast and a 24oz beer to accompany the hands-on session.
Brewmaster Paul Komsic doesn’t “oversee” anything in the sense that this is not simply didactic but an immersive event where participants lift, spray, grind and mix. Though some homebrewers attend, many are brand new to the craft and join seeking a deeper understanding of the process.
“[They] come in and see that it’s not [just] throwing hops in water and getting drunk. They leave with a newfound respect for the craft in general, especially when they realize I have two hours of cleaning after they leave,” said Komsic.
The experience also allows Komsic to create new converts to the craft beer movement as he expands palates and introduces new drinkers to breweries that they may not have even realized were right next door. His devotion to the cause has infused his staff and steered patrons towards something more flavorful (and local).
Budding brewers also get a voucher for a free pint of the day’s creation (redeemable a few weeks later when the beer is good and ready).
Bike and Taste
Care for a little cardio? Grab a few of your friends and hop aboard Brew Crew Cycles, a family business that is proudly run by women. Using communal pedal power, guests climb aboard a mechanized behemoth that can hold 14 and are steered to select Riverhead craft breweries to sample tasty suds.
Beginning at a new address (205B Marcy Street in Riverhead) the mile and a half route takes roughly two and a half hours featuring stops at Moustache Brewing Company, Long Ireland Beer Company, Crooked Ladder Brewing Company and a potential stop at The Birchwood of Polish Town.
“We really love what we do [and] are super appreciative of the great partners we’ve made in the area: breweries, restaurants, hotels,” said co-owner and marketing director Vicki Clacherty. “Riverhead is on the rise and we’re really proud to be a part of it.”
Brew Crew Cycles enters its fourth season. Get ready to earn those beers!
Dart and Drink
Throwing sharp objects while drinking? Stop by your favorite, local craft brewery and see if you’ve got the stuff to make the team!
Long Island Brewer’s Dart League is a recently-formed, loose conglomerate of craft breweries and their fans that regularly meet to compete for bragging rights. Matches currently consist of combinations of Cricket, 301, 501 and 701 games that are played solo or with partners. Snacks are typically provided by the home team, but it’s highly recommended you get some chow in your belly first.
Enter a Danger Zone
It’s Monday morning. Co-workers ask what you did this weekend. You tell them. There is a brief silence. “You did what?” At Brooklyn’s Kick Axe, patrons get the chance to chuck a hatchet at nearby targets while enjoying an adult libation.
The founders, husband and wife Darren Sonnier and Ginger Flesher, find that the chance to throw axes is much like darts except “more edgy and satisfying.”
Throwing ranges accommodate 8-12 people and anyone over the age of seven can participate in the carnage (soft, foam axes are provided for the wee ones). Specially trained “Ax-perts” explain the rules, provide a short tutorial on technique and will remain with you throughout.