Best beer bars in America

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by nucmedmario, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. nucmedmario

    nucmedmario Aspirant (283) Sep 1, 2010 Illinois
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  2. KCUnited

    KCUnited Aspirant (248) Nov 11, 2014 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Not sure if you intended it, but you linked (no pun intended) the Illinois top vote getter. The link to the main article, which includes all the states, is within your link, but it might be helpful to post it in your OP so people outside of IL can more easily see which bar in their state received the most votes.
  3. A_lack_of_surprise

    A_lack_of_surprise Initiate (118) Feb 15, 2017 Colorado

    I have never been to the place listed as the best in Colorado, but I can say that it is hard to believe it compares to Choice City Deli in Fort Collins.
    raynmoon likes this.
  4. rkarimi

    rkarimi Devotee (459) Nov 6, 2010 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I've been to the Colorado bar. It is far from the best in Colorado. I can think of 15 that are easily better.
    raynmoon likes this.
  5. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (747) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Or Tap n Handle or Falling Rock or Backcountry Pizza.
  6. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,382) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    That's open crowdsourced internet voting for you!
    Bitterbill likes this.
  7. BrewsOverHoes

    BrewsOverHoes Defender (629) Nov 17, 2013 Georgia
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    May be a little biased but I think Brick Store Pub in Decatur, wins for Georgia. To me they get a more balanced tap rotation and it's always rotating. Certain beers don't last 24 hours, which is a positive yet a negative. I love The Porter and Little Five, but it's not for everyone down there. They do have a nice whiskey and scotch list however.
  8. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (220) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    I've been to Samples in Longmont, CO. Its got great atmosphere, great food and great beer. I'd definitely rate it as one of the better places I've been in the country but I'm not sure I'd say its the best beer bar. Its taplist was great but then again most bars in CO have great taplists and many better than Samples.

    Armsby Abbey in MA is definitely one of the best bars in the country. I can't say its the best in MA for sure but it is incredible and I've never heard anyone disagree. Their tap list might be one of the best I've ever seen.

    I haven't been to the Happy Raven in Nebraska but I am a bit shocked that they picked a place in Lincoln rather than Omaha. Omaha has some great bars and actually has a population on more than just football days :slight_smile:. The Crescent Moon in Omaha has been on many best of lists previously and always has an incredible tap list. Omaha has a bunch of great bars so until I go to Lincoln I'll be a bit skeptical.

    I don't think I've been to any of the other bars and don't have any strong feelings about the other states to really comment. Busy Bee in North Carolina is another winner that could be on the list.
    meefmoff and Harrison8 like this.
  9. akolb

    akolb Crusader (709) Aug 8, 2015 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I'd have to go with a local favorite, the Mayor of Old Town, for Colorado.
    Harrison8 likes this.
  10. scream

    scream Zealot (578) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    I've been to El Bait Shop in Des Moines which is the winner for # of taps from this listing. Nice place !
    Mothergoose03 and hopfenunmaltz like this.
  11. A_Rad

    A_Rad Disciple (367) May 8, 2015 Wisconsin
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    This list seems to be focused too much on quantity of taps and food. I wouldn't put Hopcat in the top 20 bars in WI.
    Harrison8 likes this.
  12. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,230) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    This is the link to the list.

    This is the methodology...

    Methodology: readers were asked to nominate their favorite craft beer bar in their state and fill out a short survey about what makes it so great including atmosphere, staff, beer selection and special events. Craft beer fans cast over 7,000 votes between November and December 2016.

    So it is basically a fan poll that means very little.
    meefmoff, ryhayes, drtth and 3 others like this.
  13. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,443) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    That was the one place I couldn't fit into my last Colorado trip. I'm making another trip out that way and plan on spending at least one night there. I hear great things.
    akolb likes this.
  14. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,443) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    But... but... so many places taught having even more taps then the previous bar!

    Kansas City just got a Hopcat. I really do want to check it out. They had several years of Abyss, some Firestone Walker Reserve beers, and something like KBS on tap for their grand opening. I'll be interested to see how the tap list holds up over time. With that sort of opening, I'm expecting quite a lot.

    By the way, love the avatar. I celebrate Halloween and weekends dressed as Rod Kimble far too often.
    A_Rad likes this.
  15. beersite

    beersite Initiate (124) Nov 8, 2016 Illinois

    Links in Chicago is a worthy choice its pretty good. It wouldn't be my personal choice for IL and prob not even in my top 10 for Chicago but its sorta a trendy joint these days, I can see why it scored so high
  16. KCUnited

    KCUnited Aspirant (248) Nov 11, 2014 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I don't know about best, but I do like the IL vote getter, Links Taproom in the OP. It's my neighborhood bar and they do a lot of the little things that may go unnoticed like usually not televising sports to keep the sports bar crowd out. Providing an adequate number of restrooms for the size of the space and playing music at a reasonable level, which is a rarity in Chicago (I'm an avid music and sports fan, btw). It's also on a major bus route and near an L stop, so public transportation is made easy.

    My biggest gripe with them is they don't provide wait service on drinks, so if it's crowded, you're either sitting at the bar with people crawling up your back trying to get a beer, or you're the person crawling up someone sitting at the bar trying to get a beer. Neither are fun. Also, their drink menu is on tablets which can get kind of gnarly.
    Harrison8 likes this.
  17. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,443) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Instant Karma may be good for Joplin, Missouri. If you're in Kansas City, I'd recommend Bierstation. They have a nice assortment of bottles and cans to go, and a sometimes impressive selection of beers on draft. I've noticed they often take their heavy hitting beers off tap on Fridays/Saturdays, so if you want some heavy sippers, visit on a weeknight or Sunday. While I don't fancy going out for a beer often, Bierstation is one I'll commonly visit.

    And I'm not affiliated with Bierstation in any way :slight_smile:
    rhino88888888 likes this.
  18. NCMonte

    NCMonte Aspirant (296) Jan 28, 2014 North Carolina

    Nothing against the NC offering, but that wouldn't be in the top 5 in Asheville, forget the rest of North Carolina.
    winehead247 and rgordon like this.
  19. NNN

    NNN Initiate (165) Feb 9, 2017 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I live in Chicago, and even spent the Superbowl at Links for the Surly tap takeover but still probably gotta give Local Option my love for best in IL because I've been going for so long. Chicago has so many good bars though it's really hard to split hairs here.
    Hopgoddess312 likes this.
  20. zstef99

    zstef99 Initiate (52) Dec 25, 2008 New York

    Torst is not my favorite NYC beer bar, but it is the most unique so I can see why it got the nod.

    Blackback in Waterbury, VT, is great but there are also two great bars literally right across the street. I'm glad I don't have to choose between them when I'm there :wink:
  21. scream

    scream Zealot (578) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    Look at the posts here where someone does not agree w the previous poster. It's all opinions and like something else most of us at least have one.
    matthewp likes this.
  22. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (1,692) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    Having done a good share of travelling, I've been to some of the ones selected. The one I'd argue the strongest about is Oak & Ore in Oklahoma. Nice place, but I'll take Tapwerks any day.
  23. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,367) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    No matter how one does any of these lists, all they are, in the end, is just a bunch of stuff you might enjoy if you come across them. It's especially difficult to pick a "best" bar, because everyone's opinion of a great taplist, or great atmosphere, are different from one another. My own may even change depending on my mood of a particular day.
    matthewp and Bitterbill like this.
  24. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Zealot (555) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    The Wharf Pub in Newport?! Maybe I'm missing something but that doesnt seem to be the best bar in Newport let alone Rhode Island. Seems like a crowdsourcing request ran up those votes. Also I've been to several better bars in CT than Willimantic.

    That said the other states I am knowledgeable about seem well represented. Max's Taphouse in MD and Edmund's Oast in SC are both great, I can't think of much better.
    woodchipper likes this.
  25. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,186) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    When I was on vacation up there last September, I got the great privaledget to enjoy lunch & drinks at several of those in Waterbury. I think Blackback was my favorite considering all the factors (food, beer, vibe, comfort, service, conversation with others etc). Had that Old World UK pub feel as well. All places up there in Vermont are incredible though. Every beer and/or nature geek should do a trip up there sometime in their lives.
    nc41 likes this.
  26. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,186) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I like the article to get to see pictures of the establishments. One thing I noticed with many of the bars (not all but a large percentage) that is many have no leg room if you are sitting at the bar. That is one of my biggest pet peeves (have to sit sideways or with legs spread etc. for knee room). And I'm not even 6ft tall. Need at least 1 ft. of overhanging bar space for anyone.
  27. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,230) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Oh for sure, I try not to be the one that says "this list sucks, they left off x," but this seems more like fans of a particular bar stuffing the ballot box, than an actual publication or blog doing research to come up with something a little entertaining. Not that you can't get entertainment from this list, or that the places here are in anyway inferior. Just not something I personally would give a lot of weight to.
    TongoRad likes this.
  28. Scott17Taylor

    Scott17Taylor Meyvn (1,333) Oct 28, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    El bait shop is hands down the best beer bar in Iowa, but we also have the Iowa taproom, 100ish Iowa beers on tap, or the keg stand, not as good of a selection, but they've got a great tap list and it's a sports bar, so I watch games there. The keg stand also runs great growler specials, on the last few days of 2016 they did $5 growler fills of anything, darkness and BA pentagram plus other great beers for $5 64 oz growlers, also got a $10 32oz BA darkness last Tuesday.
    hopfenunmaltz likes this.
  29. RC51Mike

    RC51Mike Initiate (173) Dec 17, 2004 Maryland

    Yep, lists and opinions and unscientific polls. That's fine as that's all there seems to be on the internet anymore.

    But some of those places looked downright post-apocalyptic dystopian depressing, e.g. Torst among others.
  30. thuey

    thuey Aspirant (274) Nov 13, 2015 California

    Yeah, that list has been going around in the Bay Area/CA since San Francisco's The Crafty Fox was named best in the state.

    I like the spot, don't get me wrong - and they have a great taplist. But I don't know anyone here who thinks it's the best beer bar in the city, much less the state. Among their shortcomings are:

    - Maybe the 2nd most expensive beer bar in the city, after Monk's Kettle. (Both high prices and lower volumes poured)
    - Small'ish space around the bar area
    - Probably no fault of their own, but they don't carry the best Bay Area brewery on their taps (Cellarmaker)
  31. needMIbeer

    needMIbeer Defender (696) Feb 5, 2014 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    Max's in Baltimore was a no brainer and was one of the things I loved most about living there.

    I was surprised to see the Texas winner being from a small town up in the panhandle and not in Austin or one of the major metro areas. Gives me another excuse to drive up and see Palo Duro Canyon this year.
  32. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,536) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I love Blackback, kinda of a dive bar with great beers on tap. Love Pro Pig for the BBQ and a Heady. I also liked 3 Penny Taproom.
  33. woodchipper

    woodchipper Savant (968) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut
    Premium Member

    It's a click-bait listicle. Just be entertained by it (unless you're one of the snubbed establishments).
  34. stirgy

    stirgy Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2002 Pennsylvania

    My local, The Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia unfortunately, did not make the list. However, nice article with great photos that makes me want to visit every single one of them! Thanks for posting.
    TongoRad and cavedave like this.
  35. tripledbrew

    tripledbrew Devotee (434) Dec 2, 2011 Kentucky

    Cant say I agree with the one from Ky. I've been to the White squirrel and they brew okay beers and as far as a beer bar their not even close to Sergio's in Lousiville.
  36. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,154) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Rating a bar seems even more subjective than selecting a top beer. A person's preference for a bar or why they maintain that preference does not seem like a quantifiable task. Eschewed by the sample, to say the least. I pontificate because of the larger swath of Virginia beer drinkers, it seems highly questionable that a bar from way off the beaten path Roanoke would surpass Mekong, The Answer, Commercial Taphouse any Cap Ale, or even Sedona. Actually, I'd think most anyone's basement with two or more kegs could beat Sedona, but I digress.... Point being, a list is good for placing a pin on a map should you be in an area, but don't rely on it (list) to predict your highest level of enjoyment.
  37. Hoppy_Time

    Hoppy_Time Disciple (318) Jan 3, 2016 Maine
    Beer Trader

    As soon as I saw this I immediately thought of Novare Res so they are probably a show in for Maine. There are a couple other great ones in Maine as well, like the Lovell Ebeneezers, and for local only stuff and great food The Maine House.
  38. dogbert617

    dogbert617 Initiate (143) Jan 6, 2015 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I saw that article, and nah I do not agree that Links Taproom is the best beer bar in Chicago. To me, it's definitely Hopleaf without a doubt! Although don't get me wrong, Links is still a decent beer bar. And in a neighborhood where too many bars(especially near the North/Milwaukee/Damen intersection) feel blah to me, it's a nice relief to see a place like Links in operation.

    And I do have to say that I wish a LOT more bars had a computer display, that showed a real time display of how much of the keg is left of each tapped beer via a color coded icon. That's a feature I really love, about Links.
  39. mecmd

    mecmd Savant (910) Jan 7, 2012 Georgia
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Some of my favorite bars are Falling Rock Tap House, Armsby Abbey, Prohibition Pig, The Farmhouse Tap and Grill, Porter Beer Bar, Brickstore Pub, Hamilton's, and Three Penny Taproom. I know some of these are more eateries but all of these have excellent tap lists.
    dogbert617 likes this.
  40. dogbert617

    dogbert617 Initiate (143) Jan 6, 2015 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    My dad's side of the family is from Georgia, and I'd always heard a lot about Porter Beer Bar and Brick Store from reviews online. I'd love to try those other places out in the Atlanta area, as well!
    mecmd likes this.