New York Magazine Best Of Issue 2005

BEST - Beer Bar.

No bar in the city pays more loving and thorough homage to beer—specifically Belgian beer, arguably the world’s best—than Spuyten Duyvil. In a neighborhood where $2 PBR rules the day, it’s built an almost cultlike following around obscure imported microbrews. Beer geeks from Manhattan, Jersey, Connecticut, and beyond make the trek for a stunning selection of Belgian brews that’s broken down by region—Flemish, Wallonian, and Lambic. After that, there are nine more countries to sample, and a grand total of about 100 often-rare bottles, plus a rotating hand-pulled cask ale. The simple mahogany bar offers the best view of the voluminous chalkboard beer listings and a chance to chat up passionate owners Joe Carroll and Kim Barbour. Snacks—plates of cheese, meat, and Brooklyn-made pickles—stand up well to that $19 bottle of rare Wallonian Blaugies.


New York Times, October, 13 2004

Guaranteed, you won't recognize a single beer's brand name at Spuyten Duyvil, a busy Williamsburg brewpub in a country kitchen setting. There are scores of beer selections, listed on chalk tablets by nation of origin ?including Belgium, France, Sweden, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and Finland ?but not even those hip to Chimay, Duvel and other recent imports will find familiar territory. Start by telling proprietor and resident grog expert Joe Carroll what sort of brew's for you and his mental lexicon rolls out a few tasty options from Belgian lambics and tart saisons to English stouts and German weissbier, mostly priced from $7 on up to the high teens for a pint. Sake, Mexican hot chocolate and gluhwein (a cider-like hot spiced wine) provide alternative libations; nibbles include pungent cheese and meat plates.

The homey space comprises thrift shop furniture and a large table in the back, reminiscent of a beer hall's long tables, where the Billyburg bohemian crowd gathers nightly.

The origins of the spot's name, which is a bastardization of the old Dutch "spuit den duyvil" or "in spite of the devil," may have something to do with its beer selection (one category of which is labelled "Flemish"). It is presumably unrelated to the channel that divides Manhattan and the Bronx, which shares the same moniker.


Citysearch Editorial Rating

The Scene - Inhabiting a former railroad apartment, this Williamsburg beer and wine bar has a cozy radiance that attracts a crowd of neighborhood regulars. The slender room is decorated with a red-painted pressed-tin ceiling, chalkboard beer listings and an assortment of price-tagged vintage finds--including wooden tool boxes, '50s diner tables, anatomical posters and Chinese checker sets.

The Draw - The bar (whose name loosely translates as "spitting devil" in Dutch) stocks more than 80 international beers by the bottle, six on tap and a rotating cask-pulled ale. Belgian brews--such as the hearty blond Bink and smooth, pungent Lunacy--make up the majority of the list, which is enhanced by a selection of wines, sakes and even mead--a honey wine with notes of sherry. Robust snacks of spicy olives, hot sopressata and creamy pave d'auge cheese, as well as terrines and fruit and nut pies, match up beautifully with the drinks.


Village Voice, January 14-20, 2004

You'd have to be crazy to open a bar in Williamsburg that specializes in pricey Belgian ales, right? Wrong. Everyone knows that most "artists" in Brooklyn's trendiest neighborhood are hardly starving, and the folks behind Spuyten Duyvil are onto them. But even so, they seem less driven by mere capitalism than by sharing their expertise: Ask these young connoisseurs about any one of the 100-plus rare beers—including the malty, rich, and potent (9.3 percent alcohol) Trappistes Rochefort ($7) or the nutty and smooth Double Kross Brown ($6)—and they'll offer a thorough description. Aside from tasty brews, they also have an impressive wine selection that ranges from the full-bodied and aromatic Santi Solane valpolicella (Veneto, Italy; $9 a glass) to the lean and tannic Necken Markt Vinis Unitis (Austria; $7 a glass). The bartenders-owners gladly advise sophisticated hipsters on which wine will go best with their plate ($10) of, say, Gjetost (caramelized goat cheese), Tasso (ham), and lamb. The name of the bar means "spitting devil" in Dutch, but aside from the fiery red and yellow walls, there's nothing hellish about it. The decor has a charming country-kitchen/general-store feel to it: wooden tool chests, oversize glass jars, and other antiques (some of which are for sale) fill this former railroad apartment. And the jukebox—featuring music from Louis Armstrong to Mercury Rev—is as satisfying as anything on the menu. With many a cold night on the horizon, this is the perfect place to hole up till spring.


NYC Good Beer Guide

Spuyten Duyvil is a smart, cosy bar which first opened September 2003; there are six ever-changing taps and a cask-conditioned beer engine, all pouring microbrews and unusual imports, and a truly amazing selection of bottled beers from around the world. Belgium alone has a large blackboard listing the range available from that country - and even divided into the two language regions. The available taps are deliberately kept to a limited number to ensure freshness and frequent changes. The interior features much wood; antiques and old stuff abound (many of which are for sale), and bizarrely there are medical posters and props on the walls. There is a good-sized beer garden, torchlit after dark. Food is limited to cheese (yum yum!!!) and pate/meat boards. Opens 5pm, sometimes a little before. 10 out of 10 for range, quality, and effort - this bar will be hard to beat anywhere - even in Belgium itself. This bar attained no.1 position in Beer's New York bar ratings within 3 months of opening.




Voted Best Beer Bar In New York

and # 2 in the USA