(credit: Bierkraft)

(credit: Bierkraft)

Sometimes the best way to kick back and relax is simply by putting your legs up at home with a good beer. Instead of heading to the bars, where a beer could cost you double what it costs you at home, stop by one of the shops below selling the best craft beers. You’ll find great variety and artistry in craft beers that you simply cannot find in your typical six pack. Here are the top five stores to find a pack of cold ones.

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Good Beer
422 E. 9 St.
New York, NY 10009
(212) 677-4836
www.goodbeernyc.comWhat better place to find good beer than a shop named “Good Beer”? A craft beer shop in the East Village, this is where you’ll get both bottled beer and beer on tap to fill your growler. There are a dozen beers on tap, mostly domestic but also imports from parts of Europe. If you feel like trying the beer beforehand, there’s also a small food menu to pair with your pint.

Alphabet City Beer Co.
96 Ave. C
New York, NY 10009
(646) 422-7103
www.abcbeer.coABC Beer is a great place to grab a pint with friends or to take a growler home to share later. Both a bar and store, this East Village spot provides beer lovers with over 350 varieties. There are 12 beers on tap plus craft meat and cheese plates as well as other items from the bar menu. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also fresh bread and groceries for you to take home along with your growler.

City Swiggers
320 E. 86 St.
New York, NY 10028
(212) 750-2000
www.cityswiggers.comCity Swiggers is an Upper East Side establishment in Manhattan that combines both bar and store in one. Over 800 beers are available in bottles to go, including domestic and imported beers and ciders. This shop has received some great reviews and is a popular spot for locals to meet up. Free tastings are often offered, and the shop is open seven days a week. If you have your own growler, City Swiggers will fill it for you.

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191 Fifth Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 230-7600
www.facebook.com/bierkraftbkThis Park Slope shop is open seven days a week, offering craft beers for either dine-in or take-out. Choose from over 1,000 different brews here, which often change seasonally. A tasting occurs every Tuesday night and brewers are often included in talks. The shop also sells sandwiches made fresh on the spot. Bring your growler, have a bite, and head home with your drink for later.

Noble Grains NYC
313 E. 95 St.
New York, NY 10128
(212) 996-2337
www.noblegrainsnyc.comOne of the newer craft beer shops in town, this Upper East Side spot houses both craft beer and gourmet food. A small convenience shop, here is where you’ll find some local bottled craft beers from breweries, like Sixpoint. There are also other beers from Southern Tier, Lagunitas, and Ballast Point. New beers are added regularly. If you’ve got an impromptu party to throw, you’ll find both drinks and snacks all in one place here.

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Jennifer Eberhart is a writer, reader, crafter, traveler and New Yorker. She works in midtown New York City for non-profit organizations. Her degrees are in communication studies and art history.You can contact Jennifer on Twitter at @egyptologist. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.