Cocktail and craft beer culture continue to expand in 2012, meaning greater diversity on the scene. Part of this diversity manifests itself via cutting-edge bars like Momofuku's Booker and Dax, or super-niche beer joints like Proletariat.
For the casual drinker, this diversity can be felt as the backlash against connoisseur conversation, which has given rise to bars that, though they offer great drinks and draught selections, aren't inaccessible dens of snobbery. These bars are about having a fun night, without having to swill Miller or well drinks.
Going along with this is the bottle shop model, where a spot will function primarily as a grab-and-go beer retailer, but also provide a space for drinking on the premises. This allows for an unfettered drinking experience that encourages conversation—no music, no throwing elbows to get the bartender's attention, just relaxation over a pour.
All of this is great news for alcohol lovers the city over.