By James Reddicliffe
Over the past few years New York City has seen an explosion in craft breweries, predominantly in Brooklyn and Queens. Many of them make outstanding beer and have inviting bars for their patrons. You can go to Threes and sit outside, or bring your friends who aren’t partial to beer for the full bar. You could hit Grimm for its wide variety of styles and unique food. If you’re headed to Queens, Singlecut is always popular and on Staten Island the vibes and beers are excellent at Killsboro. It is hard to go wrong in New York.
But one place that is rarely mentioned is Circa Brewing, in downtown Brooklyn. Their beer is solid, the space is inviting and the food is tasty yet the place never seems too jammed. It’s something of a mystery.
Circa’s beer is legit. The brewers turn out strong examples across a range of styles. The tap list is constantly changing but we’ve been impressed by the mild bitter, the pilsner and the rotating IPA series. They may not be brewing the most hyped beers right now--nothing with marshmallows, or quadruple-hopped ales--but they make honest, delicious beer that you can have more than one of. It happens to pair nicely with their food options.
Speaking of Circa’s food, it is excellent and varied. They are well known for their pizzas which always hit the spot--we’re partial to the margherita and salumi but there isn’t a more classic combo than pizza and beer. In addition, the other bar food staples like burgers and wings are standouts and there are larger entrees like organic chicken and wild boar bucatini plus salads and starters. It’s a nice place to gather with friends for a meal or just have a nibble while at the bar.
Two other factors that make Circa shine are the atmosphere and the fully stocked bar. The service at Circa is always friendly, the space is large without feeling empty and there are different seating options and areas depending on your mood. Plus there are cocktails and wine for those who aren’t beer drinkers. Obviously we believe there is a beer out there that everyone will enjoy but for those who don’t, or can’t due to dietary restrictions, Circa has options.
So combine all of these qualities and what do you get? Brooklyn’s most underrated brewpub.