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Hot tables: 4 of the best seats in beer right now

New and revamped restaurants where the beer is no sideshow
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Vessel restaurant in New Orleans | Photo by Joe Pilié

Vessel restaurant in New Orleans | Photo by Joe Pilié

1. It’s always been Twin Cities-only on the draft lines at St. Paul’s modern farmhouse restaurant Heirloom Kitchen; recently the bottled and canned beer list has also been retooled to focus almost completely on Minnesota breweries. It’s a shared ethos in the kitchen: local-first sourcing.

2. Philly now has a dedicated destination for sour beer, cider and wood-fired pizza. Cinder opened in early 2017 in Rittenhouse with 32 taps and 70-plus bottles dedicated to Belgian and American wild ales, U.S. and European ciders, farmhouse and abbey ales and more. Four styles of mussels are designed to complement specific categories of beer, making ordering apps a snap.

3. Don’t be afraid to eat off the plates of your fellow congregants at Vessel. Not only was the mid-town New Orleans restaurant’s menu of cast-iron-cooked flatbreads, snackable charcuterie and large-format beer bottles designed for sharing, but Vessel is located inside a former historic church— stained-glass windows, gothic architecture and all.

4. In June, Seattle’s Pike Brewing Co. debuts Tankard & Tun, a new restaurant and brew deck above the The Pike Pub in Pike Place Market. Expect Northwest-sourced seafood with thoughtful beer pairings, best enjoyed at the tables in full view of the mash tun and adjoining beer cellar.

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