New York City is tritely referred to as The City That Never Sleeps and, in accordance with this reputation, has a wide array of drinking establishments to keep you going until 4 a.m. Several of these places are obscenely loud and overcrowded, however, and if you’re not careful you might find your foot (or purse, or hair) in the splatter zone of a vomiting NYU student. If that doesn’t sound like fun to you, look no further than Burp Castle in New York’s East Village, where such behavior is regulated by staunch monks.
As an homage to the Trappist monks who have been brewing beer in Europe for hundreds of years, Burp Castle treats beer as a thing to be worshiped in a quite literal fashion — when patrons enter the tucked-away bar they are greeted by the ambient sound of Gregorian chants, sprawling murals depicting scenes of holy debauchery, and a bartender shrouded in something akin to a friar’s robes. The overall effect makes you feel like you should be sticking out your tongue for a Communion wafer rather than tossing back a few pints.
Don’t be fooled, however — just because you’re in a more reserved environment doesn’t mean you’re foregoing inebriation. Trappist beers are notorious for being some of the strongest brewskis in the business, and Burp Castle has plenty to choose from among their wide selection of up to 600 bottles and 12 draughts. Just try to watch your noise level when you get nice and buzzed, because if it gets too loud the cloaked figure behind the bar will let out a hearty “Shhhhh!” until you simmer down. This is a place of beer worship, after all.
Word on the street is that the bartenders don’t enforce the “inside voice” rule as harshly as they used to, which takes away some of the kitschy appeal of the establishment. But don’t let that discourage you — whether you’re a weirdo who has always wondered what it would be like to get hammered in a holy place or just a regular Joe looking for a calm location to sip on a beer, Burp Castle is about as close as you can get to imbibing in a monastery without being smote by the Lord.
41 E. 7th Street
New York, NY 10003