Craft Bars (any success stories in smaller population areas?)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by bubseymour, Sep 1, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,160) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Just seems that most of the higher quality craft bars / establishments are either in big cities, on the outskirts of big cities or if they do happen to be in medium or smaller cities they usually are in the downtown district areas that are more challenging to get in and out of easily. Anyone have a local watering holes in small towns/rural bars that are craft beer centric? Lets say around 5+ quality craft tap handles lets say excluding the basic Sam Adams/Sierra Nevada/New Belgium/Shock Top/Blue Moon standard stuff.
  2. SLewis

    SLewis Initiate (0) Jun 17, 2014 North Carolina

    Coasters Downtown Draught House in Elizabeth City, NC.
    They usually have 20 beers on tap at all times. There are a few of the craft standards, but for the most part they have a nice selection on tap that includes options from Bell's, Southern Tier, Terrapin, and Founders to name a few.
    Each Wednesday night they feature a brewery with around 3 of their offerings, and with each pint you get a free glass from the brewery. $5 a beer and free glass is a good deal.

    This place is a beer oasis in the desert of options in Eastern NC.
    OldhouseRecs, surfcaster and Geuzedad like this.
  3. flyone

    flyone Initiate (0) Jan 5, 2008 California

    Thai me up/Melvin brewing in jackson hole wyoming. 20 taps all craft. 10-13 house brews the rest rotate with various craft brews.
    Wu Tang
    Diversify your hops
  4. LaeliaPumila

    LaeliaPumila Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Elwood's Pub in Rural Ridge PA. In the hills far north of Pittsburgh, great music, food and atmosphere with 14 all-craft beer selections. I especially like that they feature local start-up brewers like Grist House, Helltown, Hop Farm and All Saints along with Victory, Troegs, Yards, etc.
  5. pgrenvicz

    pgrenvicz Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2013 Georgia

    Pizza Boy (Al's of Hampden) is in the middle of nowhere. That place kicks ass!
    Sludgeman likes this.
  6. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,915) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    I would take a wild guess that more than half of the places in small towns across Washington and Oregon fit this description.
  7. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,160) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Actually I just recalled 2. Gunner's Grill just outside Taneytown MD (but they closed recently so I guess they weren't a success story). Dan's Taphouse in Boonsboro, MD (they post their rotating taps online...very solid tap list for a small rural town). Just a few minutes from the Antietam Battlefield.
  8. BMMillsy

    BMMillsy Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2012 Florida

    Depends on definition of small.

    Ashley's in Ann Arbor is excellent, let alone many other places and the 4 or 5 breweries there.

    In Gainesvile we have Swamp Head and a new brewery called First Magnitude, plus Alligator brewing. The Top has a fantastic beer selection, and we have two chain beer bars:Brass Tap and World of Beer; along with a German pub with 40 taps and 500 bottles, plus a small private craft beer bar with 40 taps and plenty of bottles next door to that.
    cambabeer likes this.
  9. hopsputin

    hopsputin Poo-Bah (2,323) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    How far away from a major city do you consider to be outskirts?

    Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell NJ. Nice local atmosphere, good selection, good rotation, good programs to keep you coming back
    KingforaDay likes this.
  10. Vitacca

    Vitacca Crusader (785) Sep 15, 2010 Alaska
    Society Trader

    Ortmanns Red Iron Tavern in Woodstock, IL.
  11. Geuzedad

    Geuzedad Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2010 Arizona

    I loved this place (From Norfolk Virginia and had good friend who lived in EC) Will definitely go back when I go home to visit.
    SLewis likes this.
  12. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (553) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Ebenezers is in a pretty remote area.
    trep and imscotty like this.
  13. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,091) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    The Eddy and Saxapahaw Market in Saxapahaw, between Greensboro and Chapel Hill, are real jewels. There's also The Haw River Ballroom. All are located- along with apartments, condos- in the old Jordan Mill building sitting on the Haw River. This is a fantastic area with good food and drink. Draws from across Piedmont North Carolina. It is a tiny town and a pleasure to visit.
  14. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,160) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Post some website/ current tap lists if you can from your examples. It will be fun to check them out as we read along.
  15. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,160) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Only 18 miles from the center of Pittsburgh (a 3 pro sport franchise city) and you call that far north of Pittsburgh? That's suburbs/outskirts IMO.
    Mitchell57 likes this.
  16. imscotty

    imscotty Aspirant (213) Mar 23, 2007 Massachusetts

  17. Buschyfor3

    Buschyfor3 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2009 Kentucky

    I would argue any of the craft bars/bottle shops that have popped up in Kentucky, particularly in Louisville and Lexington. While not "small" cities in terms of population (at least not for Louisville - 28th largest city in the U.S., depending on whose demographic data you use and whether it covers the entire city/county metro government scheme), they are nonetheless right in the heart of bourbon country. Bourbon typically runs the show around these parts, so to see some of our craft bars making "Best beer bar in the Region/US"-type lists is quite a nice success story when most of the publicity is usually focused on which of our bourbon bars has been recently voted best in the U.S./World. Here's to you: Holy Grale & The Beer Trappe.
    BEERchitect likes this.
  18. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,160) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Now this place looks/sounds awesome IMO. I love goingot google maps, then drop in to street view. Really gives you a feel for the area.
  19. Hrodebert

    Hrodebert Aspirant (265) Sep 2, 2013 Michigan

    Big T Food & Spirits in Lawton Mi.
    46 handles of quality craft and 250 + bottles with to go prices that will rival any big city bottle shop.
    Lawton doesn't even have a stop light.
  20. Roxie_B

    Roxie_B Initiate (0) Jun 1, 2014 Alabama

    The Nook in Huntsville AL.
    Not sure how you would designate the size of it, our metro area has a population of 417,593 but that's just anything within a thirty minute drive or so. They have about 35 different beers on tap and over 450 varieties of beer in general.
  21. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,858) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I think Callicoon Brewing Co., in the western Catskills of NY, would fit the bill. They only have two of their own beers out of their 14 taps. The rest are usually from the likes of Southern Tier, Victory, or other local brewers.

    They are going on their second year, now, and seem to be picking up steam as a pretty cool local hang-out. It definitely has that small-town vibe.
    bubseymour likes this.
  22. Tmyhre802

    Tmyhre802 Initiate (156) Apr 4, 2014 Vermont

    Natty Greene's in North Attleboro, MA. Outside both Providence and Boston, unbelievably surprised the couple times i've been there and it's definitely a little off the beaten path.
  23. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,824) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    My local, Palate in Milford MI with 32 taps will celebrate their second anniversary Sept 4. The list is crazy good. Located in a small village of 6000 about 45 mi. from Detroit.
  24. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (12,911) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    It depends on what small is. I know everyone on the east coast would think Columbia, MO is small and isolated. At 113,000 people and 2 hours from KC and STL. But we have numerous great craft beer bars.
  25. Hrodebert

    Hrodebert Aspirant (265) Sep 2, 2013 Michigan

    OK I am officially jealous.
    This sounds like an incredible place.
    Although it is probably best it is so far away from me.
  26. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,091) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Natty Greene's? Is it named after Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island and American (Quaker at that) general sent south by George Washington to confound the British? Seems A-B InBev should seek legal action against that name just as it has against Natty Greene's here in namesake Greensboro. If so, this looks like a good legal point for the name being common parlance in more than one locale.
  27. AntG21

    AntG21 Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2014 Syria in Reading, PA (definitely not a "big city). No BCM since the early 1980's!
    3letters3numbers likes this.
  28. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,142) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Pretty much in the middle of nowhere when I visited about a decade ago while staying outside Woodstock, NY -
    The Country Inn, Krumville, NY (click on "Map" for further proof).
  29. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (648) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    That describes the majority of bars in Vermont.

    EDIT: In my area (SEPA) Spinnerstown Hotel comes to mind...
  30. AntG21

    AntG21 Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2014 Syria

    Eh, not so much. There's plenty of BCM joints and not all Vermonter's like Phish. Plenty of 4x4 boys.
  31. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (648) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I grew up in VT, parents still live there...[and yeah, I don't like Phish or downhill ski/snowboard]. VT probably has the strongest buy local sentiment that I've seen anywhere (it's almost annoying), which extends to their beer too.
    AntG21 likes this.
  32. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Initiate (0) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    I think the perception of quality bars/brewpubs being only in big cities is based on
    A) more buzz because of bigger numbers of people frequenting those places;
    2) more people means more income means more return of investment means more probability of a successful business;
    III) in many states beer laws have only recently changed to make breweries in smaller population areas viable.

    To answer the OP's question, in Ohio:
    Jackie O's in Athens
    Weasel Boy in Zanesville
    JAFB in Wooster
    ...all have some pretty good beers.
  33. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    Can you provide some sort of subjective idea of what you consider a big city, a medium or smaller city and how far away
    from one of these a town needs to be for consideration as a small town/rural area. I'm not trying to be snarky or anything, just get a handle on exactly you are looking for because one person's idea of a medium city may be anothers' idea of a big city and another person's idea of a medium city may be someone's idea of a small town or rural area. And IMO people who live in or near big cities do have a tendency to think everything else is small.
  34. carteravebrew

    carteravebrew Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2010 Colorado

    Brick N' Brew has become a saving grace for trips back to my otherwise craft-beer-dry hometown of Napoleon, OH - population about 9,000. Food is pretty good too.

    Also, the small brewery in the town just south (Holgate, population about 1,100) is expanding and coming into Napoleon.
  35. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (158) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    Even the dive bars in Washington/Oregon have at least 2 IPA's to choose from...
    chinochino likes this.
  36. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon

    Brewer's Union Local 180 in Oakridge, OR (pop. ~3,000) is a brewery/public house in the woods 50 miles from Eugene, OR. They are an exclusively cask ale brewery, but they also feature four rotating "Co2" craft beer guest taps, a rotating cider tap, and rotating mead tap for those who don't like cask.
  37. chinochino

    chinochino Initiate (0) Jul 29, 2013 Washington

    And Manny's Pale Ale. Always amazes me. Middle of nowhere or in the thick of things. There it is.
    checktherhyme likes this.
  38. troygreer

    troygreer Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I would add House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA. 24 Taps and a great bottle shop. Last time I was there (in April) they had Sweet Repute and Curieux on tap. Also Spring House Lil' Gruesome.
    OneDropSoup likes this.
  39. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (158) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    Haha, yes they have an account with basically every liquor license in WA it seems.
  40. russpowell

    russpowell Poo-Bah (10,680) May 24, 2005 Arkansas
    Society Trader

    The Silver Dollar Café & Saloon in Collinsville, OK. It truly is a podunk town, but the beer selection is pretty good. About 15 craft beers on tap. Kin Folks in Manitou Springs CO used to be pretty good. Haven't been there in 5 years:slight_frown:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.