Wanting to try some of New York City’s most unique (and delicious) beers? If so, you should head to Big Alice Brewing in Long Island City, Queens. Located just across the East River from Manhattan, it’s not too far to travel from anywhere in the city. Big Alice gets its name from the Big Allis electric power generator, also located in Long Island City. The founders of Big Alice changed the spelling to incorporate the initials for Long Island City: aLICe!
The brewery and taproom are located in a neighborhood with a distinct industrial feel – it’s situated in a brick building with an understated entrance. As you can see from the photo below, some people actually bike to the brewery. But it’s only a short walk from the subway as well.
Inside, the taproom is cozy yet comfortable. In addition to the area near the taps, there is another seating area near the brew tanks. That’s one of the things I love about visiting microbreweries like Big Alice – I have the opportunity to see where the beers are brewed as well.
At Big Alice, you can choose a tasting flight (either 4 or 6 beers), or you can purchase beers individually by the glass. One of the benefits of visiting a place like Big Alice with a friend – you can try more beers if you share them! We started with a 6-beer tasting flight and then ordered a few more samples as well.
During our visit we tried the following beers:
- Peppermint Stout
- LIC Native White Stout
- Galena Single Hop Blended Sour
- Jalepeño Rye
- Gunpowder Tea Rye Ale
- Sour One with Kiwi Cask
- Sweet Potato Farmhouse Ale
- “Date Night, Bro? (coffee and doughnut stout)
Everything was delicious! Among our favorites: the Sour One with Kiwi was a truly excellent sour ale, for those who love sours. And the Jalepeño Rye, which always gets positive reviews online, was also really good (much better than I had expected, actually!). I enjoyed the Sweet Potato Farmhouse Ale, and surprisingly – that coffee and doughnut stout! And yes, it really was brewed with doughnuts! It looked a bit like chocolate milk, but it tasted like a seriously tasty stout. The bitterness of the coffee balanced the sweetness of the doughnuts. There actually wasn’t a beer that we regretted tasting, a rare feat for any beer tasting.
Big Alice constantly adds to beers to their repertoire, so you may not find every one of these beers on tap when you visit. But, based upon our experience tasting their beers, you will not go away disappointed. And Big Alice is classified as a farm brewery, meaning that they source their ingredients from farms in New York State.
How do you get to Big Alice Brewing? It’s located at 8-08 43rd Road, between 9th Street and Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City. The closest subway station is the Court Square-23rd Street Station, where you can catch the E, 7, or G (and the M on weekdays). While you’re in the area, check out the Top to Bottom Mural Project, which is only a short walk from the brewery.