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Draft's Top 100 Beer Bars

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Mantooth, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. pjl44

    pjl44 Initiate (0) Massachusetts Oct 3, 2008

    Nailed Boston, except I'd replace Sunset with Lord Hobo.
  2. jtg5678

    jtg5678 Savant (330) Illinois Nov 27, 2012 Beer Trader

    They pretty much hit the mark with the Chicago spots. You could possibly argue for Small Bar and Maria's, but they aren't as knowledgable as the others mentioned.
  3. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Champion (865) North Carolina May 13, 2011 Beer Trader

    Hell yeah, Mr. Beery's!
  4. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poobah (1,270) Indiana Aug 11, 2012 Beer Trader

    Falling Rock is the best I've been to. I went to Sergio's and sure there's an amazing selection but the pricing is insane. In December they had a 2012 Hopslam for $10. That's just wrong.

    The Tap where I live in Bloomington, IN has had a pretty impressive selection of world class beers since they've opened a couple of months ago.
    WoodburyMN likes this.
  5. Yeah, you're right, Eulogy is nothing special. I would have added Standard Tap instead. Also maybe some suburban spots like Hulmeville Inn, Railroad Bar, or Craft Ale House.
  6. CASK1

    CASK1 Savant (475) Florida Jan 7, 2010 Verified

    Completely agree. Any "best beer bar" list that doesn't include Kickbacks in the south region is worthless.
  7. ficklenicholas

    ficklenicholas Savant (350) California Jul 26, 2011 Beer Trader

    Surprised to not see Blue Palms Brewhouse for Los Angeles. Besides Tony's Darts Away and Boneyard Bistro its my favorite spot. Surly Goat is awesome, as is Father's office, but i've never been to the other LA spots on the list. Toronado (SF) is still my favorite beer bar ive ever been to. Had a great time at Hamilton's the one time ive been there.
    blackcloud likes this.
  8. starrdogg

    starrdogg Advocate (640) District of Columbia Jun 21, 2010 Beer Trader

    I'd been a craft beer fan pre-ChurchKey, but that place really took my interest in beer to the next level, and I think it did for a lot of other folks in the city too. Its success showed other bars in town that there was a demand for craft beer and a number of existing places (Paradiso, Big Hunt, Black Squirrel) were forced to step up their game to stay competitive. And even in less beer-oriented bars, I see a lot more craft choices than I did before ChurchKey arrived. We wouldn't even have bars like Meridian Pint and Smoke and Barrel if ChurchKey hadn't been so successful. Admittedly I barely go there any more except for special events because it's often so damn crowded, but you've gotta give ChurchKey some respect for what it did for this city's beer scene.
    smakawhat and Thorpe429 like this.
  9. Nectar

    Nectar Savant (310) New Jersey Jan 17, 2013

    The bar close to me has 60+ taps. While its its probably a dime a dozen in some places, im happy I have it so close. Ive had KBS, 120 MIN, BCBS, and others on tap there and thats good enough for me.
    jglowe77 likes this.
  10. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    They've got all the best San Diego area bars on there. The only place missing is Live Wire, but I haven't been there in long enough that I can't say whether or not it's as good as the others.

    Edit: Oh yeah, and I didn't see Toronado S.D. on the list either.
  11. digita7693

    digita7693 Advocate (690) Germany Jan 19, 2010 Beer Trader

    Steve, the proprietor, is absolutely dedicated to craft beer. 84 taps, mostly rotating, and 100s of bottles. Simply an insane selection. Add in his dedication to local and regional breweries (see his Spiked Wake N Bake collab) and a great food menu and you have a testament to what a great beer locale is. Additionally, he is the reason for the growth and continuation of craft beer in the riverside area, just look at what has popped up around him since hes opened ( 2 breweries and 2 other solid beer places) and his upcoming restaurant and bar that will be adjacent to kickbacks. I think the people who do these list, much to their detriment, simply pass by Jacksonville on their way to Orlando and Tampa. I should also add that Steve is a great and welcoming guy, I may be biased as he is a good friend, but the place is amazing and a must visit.

    cheers to Kickbacks, always one of my top bars!
  12. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,475) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    Congrats to Little Bear for making the list this year. A very cozy Belgian-focused gastropub.
  13. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Advocate (700) Pennsylvania Nov 4, 2008 Verified

    Let me break down Philadelphia for y'all:

    I completely disagree. The choices from Philadelphia seem like somebody paid somebody else under the table in order to get votes so that all of the naive newcomers might add a helpful "boom" to business.

    Why? It's outdated, has some of the shittiest service I've ever experienced, and is a total shitshow for any interesting keg taps. The north side of Spring Garden could run circles around Monk's in every field: bang for your buck, quality of food, serving sizes, lower rate of pompous assholes, surrounding area. Monk's has been on life support for a few years, now. If they didn't get Zwanze Day every year or have people flocking based on old recommendations, they'd be under.

    I don't want to talk shit on Eulogy, because their bartenders are some of the best in the city, period, but I agree with both of your statements completely. I wanted to continue going to Eulogy, but they're just left in the dust from all of those Liberties/Kenzo pubs that opened up over the past three years; primarily Standard Tap.

    Brauhaus shouldn't have been left off of this list under any circumstances. It, along with Standard Tap, ranks at the top of my list for all-around solid pubs in the city, not to mention the only other German beer pub is Bierstrube (a Eulogy owned Americanized, psuedo-German pub on Market Street), which doesn't commit entirely to German representation or serve authentic cuisine. It's one of a kind at what it does and could literally throat-stomp any potential competitor with excellence.
  14. Irishace9

    Irishace9 Savant (480) Illinois Sep 7, 2012 Beer Trader

    Have been to Map Room, Hopleaf, and Local Option within the last year and all are as advertised...
    socon67 and BEERchitect like this.
  15. MichiBrew

    MichiBrew Aficionado (170) Michigan Nov 26, 2010

    Ashleys in A2...
  16. xanok

    xanok Advocate (500) Connecticut Aug 13, 2009 Beer Trader

    Been to a few of these in the northeast. Connecticut not having a single bar on the list is criminal.
  17. DovaliHops

    DovaliHops Advocate (540) California Nov 16, 2009 Beer Trader

  18. Mantooth

    Mantooth Poobah (1,055) North Carolina Dec 6, 2011 Beer Trader

    How dare you question my authority?
  19. Looks like I'm headed to Growlers Pourhouse in Charlotte tonight to check it out.
  20. Jwale73

    Jwale73 Champion (870) Rhode Island Aug 15, 2007 Beer Trader

    What are your hours? ;)
  21. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    Surprised Banger's in Austin isn't on the list... it's independent and has the most taps in Texas that I know of (101 draft and 2 cask).

    Also, no Gingerman in Houston. I haven't been there in a couple years though.
  22. TNGabe

    TNGabe Initiate (0) Tennessee Feb 6, 2012

    Lists like this are crap:

    THIRSTY MONK | Asheville, N.C.
    More than 50 taps pour inside the two bars at Thirsty Monk’s bright and airy downtown location (plus an additional 200 bottles), but what’s most impressive are the little details: Thorough tasting notes accompany every beer, so a night of sampling becomes an extensive education. 92 Patton Ave.,monkpub.com
    For those who haven't been here, half the bar is in a basement, which as you might guess is neither bright nor airy. I wouldn't describe the upstairs as airy. Sweltering hot and stuffy in the summer.
    TRAPPEZE PUB | Athens, Ga.
    College town Athens gets a higher-level beer education at the orange-walled, craft-savvy Trappeze Pub. The beer list’s mapped out by style, and with more than 200 bottles (plus 30 on tap) and the half-glass option, you can sip (and learn) like a true beer scholar. 269 N. Hill St., Suite 6, trappezepub.com
    Really? Not even the best beer bar in Athens. Food is bad and everything is overpriced.
  23. DefenCorps

    DefenCorps Advocate (700) Oregon Jan 18, 2007 Beer Trader

    Agreed on Big Hunt and Black Squirrel, but would you really say Paradiso has stepped its game up? IMO, they've been excellent, and always so. I mean, way before there was talk of CK opening, this is where you went to get Dark Lord, to get New Glarus, to get fresh Belgian stuff, and if you were lucky, Bell's -bal 7000.

    In hindsight, I do regret living in Columbia Heights for a year and never stopping by Meridian Pint, despite going to Red Rocks across the street extremely often...
  24. Spikester

    Spikester Savant (490) Oregon Jul 14, 2007

    It's on the list.
  25. BradStokley

    BradStokley Savant (450) Maryland Jan 19, 2013 Beer Trader

    If you're ever in Des Moines, IA then El Bait Shop (on the list) is an awesome little place to go. Went out there for a wedding and spent all day there the day before.

    If you're in MD, (it's not on the list but) the Roasthouse Pub in Frederick is a very cool place. They have a rotation of 20 craft beers that is constantly changing. When one runs out, they switch to the next (plus they have great wings).
  26. hopsputin

    hopsputin Advocate (710) New Jersey Apr 1, 2012 Verified

    I think for the west, I would have substituted Library Alehouse for Surly Goat
  27. troymeier

    troymeier Aficionado (120) Missouri Nov 17, 2005

    iTap and The Bridge are STL's best beer bars
    cubbyswans likes this.
  28. DrAwkward82

    DrAwkward82 Savant (325) California Apr 16, 2005

    I've made it to 45 spots so far, but the list is immediately suspect for its omission of Beachwood BBQ.
  29. ChrisPro

    ChrisPro Savant (375) Illinois Oct 16, 2009

    OLD TOWN POUR HOUSE on the list, no legitamacy.
    lurchingbeast likes this.
  30. Stinger80OH

    Stinger80OH Advocate (720) Ohio Nov 11, 2011 Beer Trader

    I partially agree with you. La Cave is good cuz you can find some real treats in there fairly frequently (such as Cantillons, etc). Bier Markt does belong on that list cuz there are Belgians you can't find at most other bars in the region. As far as those who got snubbed, Tremont Tap House, Ballantine/1899 in Willoughby, Winking Lizard as a whole are some that come to mind that have very good beer selections that are unique and that rotate frequently.
  31. Live in Michigan and was just at Falling Rock in Denver. Completely awesome. Used to spend too much time and money at The Local Option in Chicago when I lived there. With that said, I am from Philly and Monks is the best beer bar in America. The lack of Capones, though, is nothing short of criminal.
  32. macster

    macster Savant (340) Florida Dec 16, 2003

    May sound like a homer, but disagree with Redlight Redlight makin' the list over Kickbacks (80 taps) Jacksonville and Engine 15 (50 taps) in Jax Beach. Been to Redlight twice and it doesn't hold a candle to the 2 mentioned above.
  33. macster

    macster Savant (340) Florida Dec 16, 2003

    Exactly!!! Along with Engine 15!!
  34. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Savant (340) California Nov 29, 2012

    i'm kind of surprised too, but Tony's does have their shit together. for my money, Mohawk bend is better than Tony's, despite being CA only.
  35. No Tap and Mallet either ........ BOO HISS
  36. ficklenicholas

    ficklenicholas Savant (350) California Jul 26, 2011 Beer Trader

    Tony's is all California as well. I love Tony's, I used to go there weekly when i lived in Toluca Lake. I live in Sherman Oaks now and its not so easy to get over to Tony's (though i still find a way), so Boneyard is where i've been going more often.
  37. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Savant (340) California Nov 29, 2012

    ah, you're right. i always thought Tony's had non CA stuff. i would still vote Mohawk then, just because they have more, and it's closer to me.

    still haven't been to Boneyard but i've heard great things
  38. On my trip to DC I hit both. I see your point, but sticky tables and dingy digs at Bier Baron were unpleasant. Churchkey's selection and atmosphere was awesome.

    Chicago: I was debating this with a friend of mine. While I think Local Option is great is it a top 100 beer bar? Not sure. Tap selection was pretty amazing. But HopLeaf and MapRoom are several notches better, imho.

    Finally, Clubhouse BFD outside Detroit. Went there last week to see if it was worth making the list after barely being open a year. Sorry, no. Not yet. Tap selection was ok, food was ok. But there was no vibe there. It is a former chain restaurant turned beer bar. And when they have Pliny and DL bottles (empty) lined up in the atrium window sill and I ask for a cellar list they should be inclined to share, no? ;)
  39. azorie

    azorie Champion (770) Florida Mar 18, 2006 Verified

    Well if they had a panel of experts and they visited every beer bar and ranked them. Then I could maybe believe a list like this.:rolleyes:

    Most likely its all local favors and marketing bs and who subscribes to their magazine, yep call me cynical to these lists. a huge waste of time.;)

    even ba lists are a only a opinion of a few. My taste buds and places I like never seem to mesh with these lists.;)
  40. Cugabuh

    Cugabuh Aficionado (220) Massachusetts Dec 6, 2012 Verified

    This does not have The Dirty Truth/The Moan and Dove (sister bars) from the Northampton/Amherst area, therefore it is inaccurate and untrue.

    Seriously. Plenty of Cantillon to choose from. A wall of vinyl records that they play throughout the day. Giant homemade pretzels with their own homemade IPA mustard. Dogs are welcome.

    That being said...I need to find me this bar in Worcester. A respectable draft list for sure!