The Recipe for Outdoor Drinking
Sitting in the back patio of your favorite bar imbibing your favorite brew is one of the joys of spring and summer (at least until it's too hot to even be outside). But not all outdoor drinking spaces are created equal. Here are the basic ingredients for a backyard patio that provide for optimal beer enjoyment.
: Feeling transported is one wonderful aspect of drinking outside. Always be on the lookout for a dingy bar that has a beautiful outdoor patio for warm weather, one with ivy-coated walls, potted plants or trees. There's something particularly mysterious and special about a dive bar that has a beautiful, green-filled patio, something like the Fourth Avenue Pub in Brooklyn's Park Slope. You'd never know it from the facade – or even inside – but venturing out back and sitting among the foliage, you can feel like you're in a totally different place.
: Part of the beauty of sitting in an outdoor space is a completely changed ambiance when the sun sets. Seek out a back patio that has generous – but not complete – sun exposure during the day and sufficient, yet subtle lighting in the evening, achieved through strings of white lights and outdoor lamps. During the day you'll feel relaxed and sun-kissed. At night the space will be intimate, romantic and picturesque. The back patio at Washington Commons in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, has beautiful nighttime lighting.
It may go without saying that you'd like your drinking environment to be comfortable. But there are different levels of comfort worth noting here. Picnic tables so long that you move when someone sitting on your bench 10 feet away gets up, and rickety old lawn chairs don't really cut it. Look for a patio with an assorment of tables and chairs of many different sizes.
: The most memorable outdoor patios have a unique defining feature that makes them stand out among the sea of bars you've been to and may go to in the future. Maybe it's a staircase you decend out the back that takes you to the patio below. Maybe it's a separate bar outside alltogether. Or maybe there's an actual cable car that you can climb into to enjoy your beverage!
in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is one such bar. They even have a gondola on their patio!
: Of course, the most important part of outdoor drinking is the beer itself. In the heat, you don't want to drink something too heavy or sticky.
, a 2013 winner at the
, is a tart and refreshing Belgian Style sour.
from Oskar Blues, is hoppy and crisp.
is a light and tropical fruity session beer, with just enough of a hoppy finish to feel satisfying. All would be excellent, light, and easy drinking choices to enjoy outside on a warm day.
Here's to long, lazy spring and summer days spent drinking outside!