Some group nights call for a beer bar. And not just any beer bar, one that takes its suds seriously, like The Pony Bar in Hell’s Kitchen. You’ll feel the warm buzz of the room right when you come in. The space is small and convivial, with vintage gear on the walls, and growlers doing double duty as lighting fixtures over the bar. Take a moment to size up the tap list, which will impress even the biggest beer snobs in your crowd. The options are easy to scan on a lighted screen—no smeared chalkboards here. You’ll be pleasing a spectrum of drinkers, from IPA lovers to fans of shandies, doppelbocks, and barley wines. Two cask ales complete the rarified list, but there’s nothing pretentious about the surroundings. This crowd is dressed to spill, and you’ll feel right at home adding your voice to the dull roar. Food is anything but an afterthought. Pulled pork or fried oyster and bacon sandwiches make perfect complements to the brews. Pretzels were invented to help people drink longer, and the jumbo ones here are awesome, served with beer mustard (or course). At the end of the night, tip your head back and admire the canoe nailed into the ceiling. It shouldn’t be too hard to picture yourself paddling away on a river of beer.