If you're in need of spirituous, malty refreshment on-the-go in the East Village or Lower East Side, there are plenty of options. Whole Foods has a decent selection of cold stuff, and New Beer Distributors makes up for warm storage with sheer volume, but the recently opened ABC Beer strikes a nice balance between a specialty shop and a comfy tavern.
On a recent sweltering day, ABC was gloriously chilly (and appropriately dark—so dark our cellphone pictures look like memories after a growler). Two self-serve coolers greet you on the way in and the prices are pretty solid if you're craving something other than the bodega standby of a $2 Coors deuce (although there's nothing wrong with that). $2.09 for Lagunitas IPAs, $2.29 for Victory ales, $1.49 for Sessions lager.
If you want to stick around for a drink the back hall resembles a Medieval Times dining room if it was located in your fun uncle's basement, with a huge common table and plush leather chairs. There's also WiFi if you're one of those people. Or sidle up to the bar and nibble on a 3-piece cheese board ($12), pate plate ($10 for two types) a herbed ham and pecorino sandwich ($7) or just a fresh Sigmund's Salted Pretzel ($3).
ABC shines in their selection of twelve draft beers that you can take home in a half-gallon growler. There are standbys like Sierra Nevada ($12) and Brooklyn Pilsner ($12) but also gems like the sensationally crisp Lefthand Sawtooth ($15) or the knock-you-on-your-ass Maredsous Dubbel Brown ($25). Show off your Loisaida savvy by picking up some Bobwhite's fried chicken next door, and a growler to go: it makes a perfect rooftop picnic.
Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for info on what's currently on-tap, scheduled tastings and meet-the-brewer events.