New York City-Lower East Manhattan

  • Great food
2 / 5

May 11, 2018

There is a certain stereotype about the sort of people who enjoy craft beer, and Proletariat lives up to that image.

With its seating capacity of less than 20, half-hidden location, high prices, and roster of ‘rare, new and unusual beers’, in less experienced hands this bar could be way too hipster to handle. Luckily, this bar is in the hands of Ravi DeRossi, who already has two successful NYC bars under his belt; Death & Company and Cienfuegos. This place is no exception to his success.

This is partly down to the choices of decor, which keep it simple. In such a small space, tucked behind Jane’s Sweet Buns in the East Village, anything too elaborate would make the space feel claustrophobic. Instead, DeRossi chose to install ten basic black bar stools splitting the space into the bar area, with its mural and black shelves, and the seating area, decorated with dozens of small picture frames featuring tattoo art.

The biggest thing that stops Proletariat from slipping into poser purgatory, however, is the sheer quality of the beer menu. Since opening in 2012, the team have maintained a rotating roster of beers across ten taps and thirty or so varieties of bottles. Adventurous drinkers will find beers full of unusual flavours, inspired by the best global beers but brewed across the United States. This careful compiling of the craft menu, however, does not come cheap, with beers averaging around $10 for an 8 oz. glass.

We’ll leave you with two important pieces of insider information before you make your pilgrimage to Proletariat. Firstly, don’t ask for a menu: the bar’s current list of beverages can be accessed by scanning a QR code on your own smartphone or one of the handy spares they keep for those without smartphones. Secondly, come hungry, as Jane (of the neighbouring Jane’s Sweet Buns) prepares pretzel rolls for the drinkers. Enjoy!

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