20 Best Bars for Beer Geeks
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).
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.