I recently stumbled upon a new microbrewery in Astoria, Queens, and I must say that this one immediately became one of my favorites. Named ICONYC Brewing Company, it’s owned by three friends who grew up together in the nearby neighborhood. The beer is brewed down the street, but there’s a tasting room on 34th Avenue.
First, let’s talk about the tasting room itself. It isn’t particularly large, but it’s comfortable and the tap wall is creative and fun. There’s a nice bar, and bar-level seating continues across the front of the space as well, allowing visitors to watch the world pass by outside. It’s a great place to hang out with friends.
Now for the beer.
We chose to order samplers, which allowed us to each choose 4 beers (5 ounces each) to sample. Kristy chose Uptown Haze (described as a “juicy, hazy, New England IPA”), Resonance (“rotating hop IPA, dry hopped with vic secret”), Never Settle (“white IPA, brewed with Moteuka and Centenial hops”), and a bottle pour – High Ryse (“rye saison fermented with Brett and Saison yeasts”). I went in a different direction: Steamline Lager (“California Common-style lager with 5 different specialty malts”), Spaaz (“Kolsch dry hopped with Spatz and Saaz”), Witbier (“tradition Belgian wheat beer), and the Sour Cherry Stout (“stout aged on sour cherries”). (Note: Two of my glasses are larger because they temporarily ran out of the tasting glasses – I’m not complaining.)
All of the beers were delicious – and it’s rare to say that when tasting such a variety of beers. The brewery is turning out high quality beers, and there’s something to please pretty much any beer lover’s preferences. (Not tasted this time: a grapefruit sour; a saison brewed with hibiscus, rose hips, and lemon grass; a cucumber saison; and a dry-hopped blonde ale.) In fact, ICONYC was so good that we returned the following weekend, and this time I ordered a full glass of my favorite, the Sour Cherry Stout. It has the coffee and chocolate notes of a traditional stout without being too heavy. The sour cherry hints are subtle, but somehow give the beer a hint of freshness. It’s so good that it will be my beer of choice any time I can find it.
ICONYC doesn’t have a kitchen, but they offer takeout menus for nearby restaurants. As a result, we discovered Homemade Taqueria next door. Their tacos, made with fresh corn tortillas, were absolutely delicious. We’ve been talking about them ever since and plan to make another visit soon.
Want to visit the ICONYC Brewing Company’s taproom and taste their beer? They are located at 45-13 34th Avenue in Astoria. If taking the subway, take the R train to the 46th Street station. Walk one block south/southwest down 46th Avenue to 34 Street and then turn right. The tasting room is only a short distance away.