What's Your Favorite Chain Restaurant for Craft Beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by pro45, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. pro45

    pro45 Aspirant (274) Sep 11, 2016 New York

    Mine would have to be Recovery Sports Bar and Grille. They are prevalent here in NY and have an awesome lineup of craft beer on tap. Enjoyed a couple of pints of Flower Power yesterday in upstate NY. What's your fave??
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,379) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    A chain which lots of locations near me and they all have a good selection of craft beer on tap is Uno Pizzeria & Grill.

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  3. ICTguy21

    ICTguy21 Aspirant (263) Jul 18, 2017 Kansas

    I don't frequent enough chain restaurants to know the craft offerings at many of them but Old Chicago usually has some good stuff, found some La Fin du Monde there a few weeks back, and Applebee's can be ok.
  4. BruChef

    BruChef Aspirant (224) Nov 8, 2009 New York

  5. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,337) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I'll go with Iron Hill, a local chain of brewpubs serving both reasonable quality food and some consistently enjoyable house beers to be found at any of their 10-12 locations. In addition the on-site brewer for each location is able to create some "this-site-ony" beers, several of which have one medals at the GABF.
  6. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,775) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Our local chains consider Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada their craft beers but hey, at least they're trying.
  7. CFCforlife

    CFCforlife Initiate (181) Jun 13, 2015 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I'll go with Pies & Pints, a pizza chain with locations in the Midwest and Southeast. They had KBS and Frootwood on tap when I went, as well as several quality IPAs and Belgian offerings. The pizza was pretty darn good too...
  8. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,245) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    None of them around here have a great beer selection. I would probably have to go with Buffalo Wild Wings, because they always have 2-3 IPAs, plus Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, and Guinness.
  9. stephens101

    stephens101 Poo-Bah (2,150) May 5, 2006 Oklahoma
    Beer Trader

    I was thinking about this the other day after I read the article in the last BA concerning the sales challenges facing SN, BBC, New Belgium Etc. I have been stuck in rural Oklahoma before and remember finding a sixer of Boston Lager or a SNPA on tap at a restaurant like Chilis or Applebees and feeling like I found an oasis in the desert. That being said, many times the beer was old and sometimes even undrinkable because it had been setting for so long. I don't think the rural areas ever really embraced any kind of "non-bmc" beer here. In some sense you would think rural beer drinkers would've gravitated to these beers and supplied some sales to the craft bigs at some point, but it never seemed to have happened. BMC still rules, and in some sense I think it's a cultural, fuck your "craft" beer thing to some extent (gathered from some of the conversations I've had with people). Probably a cost thing too.
  10. kool-aid

    kool-aid Initiate (187) Apr 3, 2017 Vermont

    There aren't a lot of chains in VT but many of them carry Fiddlehead IPA, Switchback, and Zero Gravity beers. Applebee's in the mall and the (awful) South Burlington Buffalo Wild Wings are two examples of this. Of course, if you're here, why would you even bother...?
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  11. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (667) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Do nt go to any so I can't say. Much rather try some local joint if I'm away and need some food.

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  12. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,638) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I +1 for Old Chicago.
  13. nater919

    nater919 Defender (667) Aug 26, 2016 New York
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    World of Beer is my favorite chain place. They always have a really good selection of local taps and a nice variety of cans and bottles from across the country. The food is nothing special but its edible.
  14. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,128) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Premium Member

    Without a doubt it is HopCat here in Michigan and a couple of the surrounding states. It seems like they are always in the top 5 best beer bars in the polls that track that, and a bonus is that they serve great food too. (Think crack fries.)
  15. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (816) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I don’t think there are any in NJ.
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  16. Jay_P22

    Jay_P22 Disciple (303) Mar 17, 2016 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Yard house
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    JMFBOSTON Devotee (427) Apr 17, 2011 Massachusetts
    Premium Member

    Do any of the chains carry horseheads brewery ?
  18. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Meyvn (1,186) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Said it once I'll say it again.

    Applebees in my town is amazing with their beer list

    100% of the time they'll have at least 1 of each:
    -Lone Eagle
  19. cryptichead

    cryptichead Champion (848) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
    Beer Trader


    A relatively new Midwestern chain. Over 100 beers on tap at each location. All craft, all local, no macro, each with a unique theme, knowledgeable barkeeps. Overall a pretty awesome little chain
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  20. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,282) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    :open_mouth: :laughing:
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  21. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Poo-Bah (2,096) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    Il Vicino pizza. Their only beer offerings are usually New Belgium but a) it's usually good and b) I rarely drink in restaurants.
  22. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Meyvn (1,186) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    just aren't looking hard enough
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  23. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,145) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    World of Beer. Last time there was some arsehole there muttering about me having samples of beer (which were offered to me by the bartender). I should have said something to him, but I was trying to appear polite in front of the cute bartender.
  24. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,510) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I can't think of a chain can't miss. There's a few places with a zillion beers on tap, but surely they can't all be movers, once they tap it it's staying till it's dead. Maybe Brixx Pizza or Mellow Mushroom , enough beers to find something you like , but not 50 plus beers you don't.
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  25. jkrich

    jkrich Champion (810) Nov 1, 2001 Florida

    I will have to agree with Hopcat; one was just opened in my hometown, Louisville, KY. Besides a great selection of beer on tap, they also have very good food. I would also include Gordon Biersch, but they only include their own beers which are pretty good.
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  26. Fitzy01

    Fitzy01 Aspirant (233) Sep 6, 2014 Maine

    I guess I'd go with Buffalo Wild Wings. I'd go with BLAZE wood fire pizza. They have a huge selection unlike any other, but don't really consider them a chain.
  27. OKbrew89

    OKbrew89 Defender (677) May 13, 2013 Oklahoma
    Beer Trader

    Louie's Bar and Grill
    They have at least 4 OK microbrews at their locations.
    It's not great but there are worse chains.
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  28. tzieser

    tzieser Champion (898) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Not to be a dick, but why bother contributing then? It would be like me going into a "What's your favorite Sahti?" thread and saying "None. I don't like Sahti"

    That being said, I don't really frequent chain restaurants. However, I'll choose two:

    99 Restaurant & Pub (New England chain)
    Gordon Biersch (west coast chain)
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  29. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Devotee (400) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    Barrio (a local chain with 4 locations). They have about 12 taps, most of which are interesting.
    #29 CaptainHate, Oct 8, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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  30. KingCobra686

    KingCobra686 Aspirant (202) Aug 13, 2014 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I love World of Beer but their taplist has too much filler. About 75% of the list or more is stuff you could walk down the street and grab from the package store.

    Its a good beer location otherwise though. The food is decent, the atmosphere is fun, and the environment is conducive to drinking a lot of craft beer.
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  31. tzieser

    tzieser Champion (898) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Where is this heavenly Applebee's you speak of?

    (Please don't say north jersey, please don't say north jersey, please don't say north jersey......)

    ......it's in north jersey isn't it?
    Forgot about World of Beer. I went to their Tucson location a couple times. Good spot, it's basically Yard House without all of the faux-New American cuisine bullshit
    #31 tzieser, Oct 8, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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  32. tzieser

    tzieser Champion (898) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I hear what your saying. FWIW, some of the best shitty beer I've had (Stag, I'm looking at you) comes from the middle of the country. Probably because of the high turnover rate lol. I had some Schmidt's a few months here in NJ and it tasted a decade old at least
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  33. Brolo75

    Brolo75 Poo-Bah (1,792) Aug 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Don't go there much because they're pricey but Yard House has a great selection. The restaurant nearest to me has 160 beers on tap, at least that's what I've been told.
  34. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (9,212) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'll fourth the Yard House. World of Beer seems sloppy and the food isn't as good. Brick House Tavern & Tap isn't bad either. And I'll also agree with Pizzeria Uno as they actually have a brewpub in Metuchen, NJ.
  35. The_Snow_Bird

    The_Snow_Bird Meyvn (1,415) May 7, 2015 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Mellow Mushroom, Good pizza and great craft beer selection

    IRS4MEPLEASE Aspirant (267) Jul 20, 2008 California

    Slater’s 50/50 has a lot of decent beers on tap most of the time. The grub is good as well. I have been to several of their locations. Cheers!
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  37. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,138) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I think of chain restaurants as what you'd find next the the chain hotels near airports or off the interstate highways and also what you'd find in big chain retail shopping districts and outlet malls. I really haven't frequented enough to find any trends though. I'll have to go to Unos. It's in my town but probably been over 10 years since I've been. Doesn't help that it's right next to a local brewpub.
  38. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,844) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Member

    Sickie's Garage is a regional restaurant chain in North Dakota, South Dakota, and soon Minnesota. Food is hit and miss, some good - and their craft selection is OKish. At least it's not all BMC-owned. They had Abyss on tap once when I stopped in.
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  39. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,510) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I forgot about Gordon Biersch , there's one in Myrtle Beach and I love the place. It's usually a Czech Pils and maybe some fish tacos. The beer is quite inexpensive as well.
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  40. WSchmidt

    WSchmidt Initiate (124) Jul 3, 2011 Virginia

    Does Whole Foods count? Otherwise I'd go with Mellow Mushroom. The Yard House is solid, but there aren't any around me in Northern Virginia.
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