New LIC pub gives great beers a stage

Michael Bewley is one of two co-owners of Alewife Queens, a new Long Island City bar that has 28 different types of draft beer. Photo by Rebecca Henely
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Michael Bewley, co-owner of new pub Alewife Queens, at 514 51st Ave. in Long Island City, said he and his partner Daniel Lanigan came to the neighborhood through luck, but have found themselves already embraced by their neighbors.

“The general consensus is this is the right place in the area and this is what the neighborhood is looking for,” Bewley said.

Alewife Queens, which opened Oct. 2, is the third bar created by the partnership between Bewley, Lanigan and Bryan Palombo and their first in New York City. Bewley said the concept behind all three of their bars — the others being Alewife Baltimore in Maryland and Lord Hobo in Cambridge, Mass. — is having a large selection of goods and often little-known but highly acclaimed beers.

“We’re just trying to take good beer wherever we can,” Bewley said.

Alewife Queens has a staggering 28 different types of beer on tap and 100 different types of bottles. Bewley said beers are sold in 12-ounce glasses with stems or 20-ounce mugs. Drafts and bottled beers cost about $7 to $10, although some of the rare bottles of beer can be higher, with the highest currently on the menu at $48.

For those who may find the menu unfamiliar, Bewley said the educated staff makes an effort to encourage patrons to try new things.

“When people come in and they look at the draft list, they won’t recognize 95 percent of the menu, and that’s OK,” Bewley said.

For those uninterested in beer, Alewife Queens offers a variety of cocktails, wines and spirits. Also on the menu is a wide range of food, including starters, appetizers, entrees and desserts. Most food items range from $8 to $10, although some entrees can cost as much as $29. In the early morning hours, the bar’s menu changes to pizzas, beer floats, cookies and ice cream.

“We flip it a little bit toward the later hours,” Bewley said of the menu.

Hours for Alewife Queens are 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 2 a.m. Saturday through Sunday. Bewley said the kitchen stays open until closing.

Alewife Baltimore has been open a year and has already been recognized in local publications, and Bewley hopes that trend will continue with its sister bar in Queens. He said while Long Island City was not his nor his partners’ choice for Alewife’s new location for this reason, he hopes the bar will become part of Long Island City’s growth as a destination neighborhood in Queens.

“It’s all about word of mouth,” Bewley said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Posted 6:55 pm, October 26, 2011
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