Straight from the middle man

Ever wish you could economize on beer by getting it straight from the brewery? You can’t. Due to antiquated liquor laws and an oversized Annheuser-Busch lobby in Washington, breweries can’t even sell their beer directly to retail stores. They have to sell to distributors, who then sell to your corner deli or supermarket. Of course, there’s a price markup every time the beer changes hands.

nbdBut there is a way to cut in early: most distributors have warehouses in the city where they sell beer directly to the thirsty consumer. Unlike NYC retailers, they sell in bulk–kegs, 30-packs, and cases, meaning you can stock up for a fraction of what you’d pay at a deli.

For the bottle sipper, pick up a case of Brooklyn Pennant Ale for $33.59 at American Beer Distributors (256 Court St., Brooklyn–map), or a case of Dos Equis Amber for $25.99 at Carousel Beverages (436 3rd Ave., Brooklyn–map). If you’re really looking to save dough, grab a 30-pack of Genessee Cream Ale (it’s better and cheaper than Bud Light) for $15.99 at New Beer Distributors (167 Chrystie St., Manhattan–map).

Warehouses can be a Mecca even for the consummate beer snob, sporting celebrated but hard-to-find American micros like Left Hand, Allagash, and North Coast, and imports like Orval and Sinebrychoff. At around $10 per six pack they’re not cheap, but they’re cheaper than you’ll find them anywhere else in the city.

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Happy Hour of the Week: Moe’s

moes1In some ways, the Moe’s in Fort Greene (80 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn–map) is like the Moe’s in The Simpsons. It’s a comfortable bar where the neighborhood crowd gathers after a long day of work. Just replace the bitter old man with a young, friendly bartender, the homogenous yellow power plant crowd with a conglomeration of all ages, colors, and styles, and the drunken warbling with an eclectic playlist, and often a live DJ spinning vinyl.

Add 2 for 1 pints and $1 off well drinks from 3:00 to 7:30 every day, and you get a lively yet intimate spot in a classy little neighborhood, just a couple of blocks from the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Atlantic Avenue subway hub. Dos Equis dark pints are just $3 normally, so during Happy Hour you’ll ring up at $1.50 apiece.