Probably the most famous beer bar within walking distance of where we stayed is The Blind Tiger Alehouse in the West Village, but on our first day in New York the sun was beating down and we wanted to sit outside with a drink and make the most of the weather. Luckily Brass Monkey is right around the corner and thanks to a little* prior research I knew it was a decent craft beer bar which had a rooftop terrace - perfect.
As my reference to Shoreditch before may have alluded, the Meatpacking District can feel a little try hard, but Brass Monkey is a down to earth boozer if ever there was one. From the outside it looks like a small corner pub, but inside it has two expansive air conditioned floors (each with a bar) and a good sized rooftop terrace where table service is efficient and friendly.
You aren't going to get that über rare Imperial Smoked Black IPA you read about in Brass Monkey, but you will get a choice of some quality American Craft beer from some of the big hitters, and plenty of seasonals. I didn't drink a bad beer in here and there was always at least a few pump handles that tickled my fancy.
The seasonal 'Summer Ales' were everywhere during our stay in New York and I tried a few decent ones while sat in the sunshine at Brass Monkey, my favourite of which was actually from Sam Adams - A zesty, pithy, refreshing ale with a great bitterly hoppy finish, it was a perfect Summer beer which I later found out to be a wheat ale (but perfectly clear) brewed with lemon zest.
We came back more than once and I drank the likes of Lagunitas IPA and Goose Island, all of which tasted much, much hoppier served freshly on draft as apposed to the bottles that make their way over here.
If it's sunny and you fancy a beer in the Meatpacking District, this is the place to go.
*Colette would argue my "research" was exhaustive to the point of obsessive, but I hate wasting my time in shit bars and restaurants.