TØRST: The Best Beer Bar in NYC (Maybe the Country)

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When I visit a new place my mind always goes to one thing: Where is the nearest brewery?

I’m sure that I am not alone in this quest to find the new local brewery to throw back a few pints rather than stumbling into any number of Irish bars or Buffalo Wild Wings with lackluster beer lists.

I am in no way a “beer snob.” To me there is nothing better than sitting in the local bar whilst drinking a pint of cheap bear with a side of Jameson and a bartender who has no filter. (Check out The Library in the East Village for this experience.) Dive bars have my heart.

But, when I realized I had a full day in New York City, I  knew there was one place I had to visit.

TØRST.

Torst Above

TØRST is a lot of things. It’s hard to find, snooty, and a something that every beer drinking should experience once in their life. It is the exact opposite of my beloved dive bars of the country. It puts beer drinking on a pedestal.

It was something that I didn’t think I would enjoy. I hate when breweries try to be something they aren’t. You brew beer. Beer is simple. Beer is supposed to be made for the everyday person. Don’t make it something that will exclude everyone.

TØRST does all of these things. It makes beer complicated and out of reach. Somehow, it works.

Before we get into the beers and technical things, TØRST is another entity along with a bucket list beer bar. It acts as a semi-taproom for Evil Twin Brewing to showcase its latest borderline insane creation.

Torst Beer

For example: Aun Mas Chili Jesus is their “normal” imperial stout brewed with peppers with a fudgy body that tempers the peppers without sacrificing heat.

For those of you who have heard of TØRST, you might have hear of their infamous “Flux Capacitor.”

This device allows the bar to control the ratio of CO2 to nitro that is present in each beer. It does make difference. I noticed the difference in the three stouts and an IPA I had while I sat in the empty bar.

Each stout had a different feel. Some had the smoother creamier taste that you get from a nitro tap, while others were highly carbonated.

Porticus

Like this Porticus by Bayerischer Bahnhof Leipziger. It’s an imperial porter brewed with brett. It was a roasty sour treat. Yes, the Germans are making more than lagers these days and they are doing a damn good job with them.

TØRST also stores their beers at different temperatures. Half of the bar is stored at a colder temp than the other. Another great thing to get the full flavors out of the beer.

Berserker was my final beer. It was an imperial stout brewed with molasses and maple syrup that was split into red wine and bourbon barrels then married again right before kegging.

Torst Outside

Even the decor, or lack there of, in TØRST is odd. As you can see, there is nothing on the outside to suggest that anything even exists here, let alone a wold class beer bar.

Torst Door

With all this being said, whether you have perceived the notion that I hate or love this place (it’s a bit of both), you need to go. It’s a very simple subway ride from Manhattan, where I was for most of the day. But a trip to Brooklyn isn’t anything complicated.

One thing to know: It’s not cheap. All of the beers I tried were generous 5 oz. samples with none coming in under $5. A full pint could run you almost $13. Maybe this is a “New York” thing that I’m not used to, but I had a bit of sticker shock when I first looked at the menu.

Yes, TØRST does have food. And it seemed interesting, but I had my mind set on another New York delicacy that day.

So yes, go hand over your credit card to the bartender and pretend like money doesn’t matter, because as soon as you sit down you won’t want to get up.

James Werner
Author: James Werner

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