20 Best Bars for Beer Geeks

Spots across the U.S. where suds enthusiasts go to nerd out


Today’s serious beer drinkers have it pretty good. OK, like, really good.

It’s no secret that the country’s craft beer revolution has been growing with fervor over the last decade — filling taps, bottles, and cans with a richly diverse array of inspired and boundary-pushing creations dreamed up by breweries both large and small.

There are the intensely hopped and aggressively aromatic double IPAs — its fans’ faces happily affected by the bitterness of the brews. For those looking to channel a different taste, there is an uprising of Belgian-inspired sour ales, daringly inoculated with various strains of wild yeasts and bacteria before receiving the barrel-aged treatment. And to satiate the curious, there is a constant stream of new elixirs to try — perhaps fashioned from a just-discovered strain of hops or a less traditional grain (we’re looking at you rye beer fanatics).

Click here for the 20 Best Bars for Beer Geeks Slideshow.

More so now than ever before, it seems as though beer has come into its own as a drink that demands to be taken seriously. The passion and excitement with which the knowledgeable community of beer geeks and hop-heads approaches the drink helps make it so. They’re a tight but mostly inclusive crew, whose nerdy but infectious enthusiasm is eagerly shared.

For these folks, a unique breed of bar exists. Places like San Francisco's Toronado Pub, favored for its well-curated list and divey, unpretentious vibe. Or ChurchKey, in Washington, D.C., whose menu includes a staggering collection of some 500 craft labels. You can find them everywhere, in major metropolitan brewing hubs (Monk's Café in Philadelphia, for example) to off-the-beaten-path locales (Belgian beer destination Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, Maine).

To that end, we've put together a list of favorite and highly acclaimed bars across the country where the suds-swilling crowds go to geek out.

 

 

Additional research and captions by Kenji Magrann-Wells.


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13 Comments

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this list could make room for some excellent beer bars by removing The Avenue in NO. That place is extremely overrated. It is an ugly, filthy dive filled with drunks.

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The Pony Bar in Hells Kitchen, NYC is the best beer bar in NYC. Rattle and Hum is 2nd best.

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Kickbacks in Jacksonville Fl, 600 Bottles, 84 beers on tap, and the servers know all of them inside and out.

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Three of the top ten beer bars in the world (according to rate beer) that are in the US didn't make this list. The Porter(4) and the Brickstore(7) are both world-class.

http://www.ratebeer.com/RateBeerBest/table_2011.asp?title=Best+Beer+Bars...

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Sergio's! Yes. Awesome place!

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Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia is way over rated! A much better choice is Eulogy.

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Barley's Taproom in Asheville NC is one of the best around with over 75 on tap. Funny how Asheville won the "Beer City USA" contest for 2 years in a row, and has had a craft brewing scene for over 20 years and absolutely no mention. New Belgium is looking at Asheville for their expansion and we already have over 10 microbreweries in production. We at least deserve a look by the author.

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This list is geographically impared. The Northeast appears to be well represented but most of the rest of the US has been ignored. For example, The Gingerman in Austin, Texas has been serving craft beers for 15 years. A well-trained staff pulls from about 75 taps that include many local breweries and several cask-conditions options. Or how about The Library Alehouse in Santa Monica, California? They have 29 carefully selected taps + many bottles served with good local foods.

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Bogus list! How could you not include the Sunset Grill and Tap in Allston, MA? 112 beers on tap and 380 microbrews and imports not to mention what some say is the best pub food in the city!!!

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Ummmm, have you been to the Pacific NW? I doubt it since you only listed ONE bar in Portland...you are seriously missing out!!

Maryse Chevriere's picture

You're right it's a great area for beer, what are some of your favorites there?

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Apex and Bailey's Taproom are the two best in Portland, but there are other good beer bars like Roscoe's, Concordia Ale House, Saraveza, Beermongers, Belmont Station, The Horse Brass just to name a few. With 40 breweries within the city limits, good beer is never far away.

Maryse Chevriere's picture

Awesome, thanks so much for the info!

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