Creating a Great Environment to Discover Craft Beer

“I fell into beer by accident” Justin Philips says, “I was really into wine…someone had me try a few beers that totally changed the way I thought about beer.” Shortly thereafter he became a rep for B. United International, an importer that specializes in European and Japanese drinks. During his time at B. United, Justin traveled extensively and became familiar with many international specialty brewers.

One look at the beer lists of Beer Table in Park Slope and Beer Table Pantry, the businesses Justin owns with his wife Tricia, and you can see the dividends of that experience, beers from Denmark and Italy mix with the more well known brewing cultures of Germany and England.

Justin and Tricia own and operate Beer Table in Park Slope and Beer Table Pantry in Grand Central Terminal. Justin characterized the two locations as two different sides of the New York craft beer scene. At Beer Table, the couple seeks to create the perfect environment to drink craft beer. Communal tables and a warm greeting keep you relaxed and focus friendly discussion on the beers being ordered and what is on the menu. Regular educational events keep local clientele well-informed and interested in craft beer.

At the Pantry, Justin and Tricia sought to create a “beer convenience store” where commuters could buy “fancy brown paper bag beer.” The small storefront is packed with a wide variety of beer that staff help navigate for novices and seasoned craft beer drinkers alike.

The beer list at Beer Table is a product of both careful selection and impulse. Justin chooses beers from reputable craft and artisinal beer producers but he often does so based on “instinct.” He orders small amounts of beer to try them out and keep the beer list interesting, as a result many beers are only on the menu for a short time. The exploration of the beer world does not stop at the beer list. When putting together beer and food pairings, Justin and Tricia enjoy breaking out of the conventional pairings to find surprisingly successful pairings or discuss why some do not work. Beers are paired with dishes like shredded chicken with barley and sausage with cabbage and potatoes.

We think Justin and Tricia accomplish exactly what they intended: the atmosphere of Beer Table and Beer Table Pantry both maintain the fun of beer while still introducing drinkers to high-quality craft and artisinal beer.

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