8/06/2012 11:24:00 AM

First Look: The Kent Ale House Debuts in Williamsburg

It’s always nice to see hipster celebrities hanging out at normal people places, and on a recent Saturday night, David Cross was chilling at the newly opened Kent Ale House in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. While there certainly was a certain romance to watching the comedic actor drink, eat, and then peddle away on his bicycle, that’s not the only reason to try Patrick Burke’s (owner of Brickyard in Hell’s Kitchen) Brooklyn gastropub. Actually, there are three other strong incentives to head to the Brooklyn side of the East River, grab a seat at the pre-prohibition mahogany bar, and throw some back.

The first reason is the list of 24 draft beers. In keeping with the craft craze, Kent Ale House serves a large amount of local brews. If you're obsessed with your carbon-footprint, the menu also lists how many miles your beer has traveled to get into your mouth. For example, if you want a pint of Six Point’s Sweet Action, it ambled a mere 8.4 miles from Red Hook, Brooklyn. The Founders Red’s Rye has journeyed 622 miles. That’s not as bad as say the Radeberger pilsner, which comes 4,032 miles from Germany, or the Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA that hales from Scotland and is a 3,285-mile journey. Aside from the ever-changing draft selection, they also serve bottles and you can take beer home in growlers.

Next on the list of good excuses to hit up this place is the food. It’s not exceptional grub, but they do serve fine pub fare and have a “build your own burger or hot dog” program. That means you can get the spicy Argentinean sausage topped with chipotle barbecue sauce and avocado, or a bison burger with bleu cheese and bacon. They also serve a decent house-made veggie burger, crispy truffle shoestring potatoes, sweet potato fries, spicy popcorn, and an array of adult grilled cheese sandwiches. We were partial to the gooey one with pear, bacon, and cheddar, which they dub “The Kids.”

Finally, if solid pub food, delicious beer, and David Cross isn’t enough, you should go for the location. It might not have a crystal-clear view of Manhattan, but it’s so close to the East River that when the sun sets, the sky turns brilliant shades of pink and orange, which in turn makes the glittering water look like a liquid party. Plus, it’s just far enough away from the main drag so, save for when there are concerts across the street at the Williamsburg Waterfront, the people who are hanging out didn't just wander in like Zombies after the L Train let them off at Bedford.

The Details: 51 Kent Ave., Brooklyn; 347-227-8624;


  1. I was there a few weeks ago, and it was great. The outdoor seating was tight, but atmosphere was amazingly laid back. Large windows. Very open dining room area. Chill

  2. I've been there twice, and absolutely loved the staff and the vibe. The beer list is as good as it gets in this neighborhood, and the food is very solid - the fries particularly marvelous.