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America’s 100 Best Beer Bars 2014

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After six years of making this annual list, we had to rethink the definition of a top-notch beer bar. New ones are opening every second, and “good beer bar” no longer equals a zillion taps; there’s just more to it now. We needed to walk out of these places saying, “Now there’s a bar that really, really cares about your experience with beer.” So what does that mean? Having well-cared for, thoughtfully selected beer with an eye toward variety, trends and tradition, in the kind of place you’d want to stay awhile, delivered by someone who knows their stuff. We don’t want to send you to a place where the server doesn’t look up from her texting when you ask questions, or where you’ll be told a saison “is basically a lager.” (And yes, both of those things happened on our visits.) We’d rather you to go to ChurchKey in D.C., where beers are smartly grouped by flavor (citrusy, woodsy, etc.), rather than just by style. We want you to go to Bailey’s Taproom in Portland, Ore., which cares so much about beer freshness, the digital menu says when each keg was tapped and how much is left. We want you to go to all 100 of these places, because they really are a cut above the rest.


3025 El Cajon Blvd., North Park, Calif.;
This popular bar might be San Diego’s most iconoclastic; what other spot would organize an annual day-long bike caravan (with beer breaks!) to pick up kegs from a local brewery? Tiger! Tiger! recently celebrated its second anniversary with a slew of special events like these, including the grand opening of its IPA bar, a bar-within-the-bar for the hop-obsessed. Fashioned from repurposed wood, the IPA bar occupies a corner of Tiger! Tiger!ʼs twinkly, light-strung, shipping container-enclosed back patio, and for the moment, is only open Friday and Saturday nights. Though the main indoor bar hosts 23 taps and the outdoor bar has just four, theyʼre consistently stocked with the best of the West, from Russian Riverʼs Pliny the Elder to hoppy offerings from Automatic Brewing Co., the small brewhouse helmed by co-founder Lee Chase at Blind Lady Ale House, Tiger! Tiger!’s older and equally admired sibling. This bar’s also one of the handful of local brew-centric eateries that serves food as good as the beer; a wood-fired oven bakes oysters under a creamy Rockefeller-like sauce and roasts meat for sandwiches. And the Sunday brunch is one of the cityʼs best; the beer and house-made donut pairing is a killer way to start the day. –Candice Woo

1702 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, Ariz.;

Bailey’s TapRoom
213 SW Broadway, Portland, Ore.;

Bazi Bierbrasserie
1522 SE 32nd Ave., Portland, Ore.;

Beer Revolution
464 3rd St., Oakland, Calif.;

Belmont Station
4500 SE Stark St., Portland, Ore.;

Beveridge Place Pub
6413 California Ave. SW, Seattle;

Blind Lady Ale House
3416 Adams Ave., San Diego;

Craft and Growler
3601 Parry Ave., Dallas;

Craft Pride
61 Rainey St., Austin, Texas;

Draught House & Brewery
4112 Medical Pkwy., Austin, Texas;

Encinitas Ale House
1044 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, Calif.;

Falling Rock
1919 Blake St., Denver;

Hamilton’s Tavern
1521 30th St., San Diego;

The Hay Merchant
1100 Westheimer Rd., Houston;

Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom
3090 SE Division St., Portland, Ore.;

Mayor of Old Town
632 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, Colo.;

Mikkeller Bar
34 Mason St., San Francisco;

Mongoose Versus Cobra
1011 McGowen, Houston;

O’Brien’s Pub
4646 Convoy St., San Diego;

Petrol Station
985 Wakefield, Houston;

Pine Box
1600 Melrose Ave., Seattle;

Saraveza Bottle Shop & Pasty Tavern
1004 N. Killingsworth St., Portland, Ore.;

The Sixgill
3417 Evanston Ave. N., Seattle;

2429 N. Fitzhugh, Dallas; 214.823.7800

Stumbling Monk
1635 E. Olive Way, Seattle; 206.860.0916

Surly Goat
7929 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, Calif.;

Tap and Handle
307 S. College Ave., Fort Collins, Colo.;

Tony’s Darts Away
1710 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, Calif.;

547 Haight St., San Francisco;

4026 30th St., San Diego;

The Trappist
460 8th St., Oakland, Calif.;


Palm Tavern
2989 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee;  414.744.0393
You might wonder about the metal pineapple. It has kitsch appeal, but the story behind it is quite charming: The artist who restored the ornate pressed-tin ceiling created the cutout to represent the international symbol of hospitality and friendship. And that’s Palm Tavern. In the last decade, its Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood has transitioned from a traditional Polish enclave to the stomping ground for bohemians and young families; there’s an old-meets-new feeling in local bars and restaurants to match. In 2003, Palm Tavern opened with a humble locale and a huge list of rare Belgians, though now the menu leans toward American riffs; a binder offers Brother Thelonious on draft or a bottle of a New Belgium-Russian River collaboration. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but bartenders heed the pineapple and are quick with samples and suggestions. Or, you can always take a cue from the jazz that fills the cozy, low-lit room, and improvise. –Tim Cigelske

7 Monks Taproom
128 S. Union St., Traverse City, Mich.;

Bangers & Lace
1670 W. Division St., Chicago;

Bier Station
120 E. Gregory Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.;

1004 Locust St., St. Louis;

Clubhouse BFD
2265 Crooks Rd., Rochester Hills, Mich.;

Crescent Moon
3578 Farnam St., Omaha, Neb.;

El Bait Shop
200 SW 2nd St., Des Moines, Iowa;

1970 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago;

The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave., St. Paul, Minn.;

219 S. Walnut St., Muncie, Ind.;

25 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, Mich.;

5148 N. Clark St., Chicago;

International Tap House
1711 S. 9th St., St. Louis;

Krug Park
6205 Maple St., Omaha, Neb.;

Local Option
1102 W. Webster Ave., Chicago;

Map Room
1949 N. Hoyne Ave., Chicago;

The Mitten Bar
109 W. Ludington Ave., Ludington, Mich.;

Nano Brew
1859 W. 25th St., Cleveland;

3001 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis;

Romans’ Pub
3475 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee;

Sugar Maple
441 E. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee;


Mahogany Bar
3810 Hardy St., Hattiesburg, Miss.;
A massive boar’s head watches over the scene; in these parts, he’s lovingly known as “The Hog.” Vinyl spins behind the bar, sometimes wavering through White Stripes songs I haven’t heard in years. After positioning myself between a few 30- and 40-somethings, I got down to the business of ordering: No small task, mind you, given there are 180 beers (give or take) on the menu. But here’s what’s so great about this place: Not only is every bartender Cicerone-certified, but on this particular day, two of the Hog’s Cicerones walked me through their beer selection, making particular note of Mississippi’s beloved locals and the most stellar IPAs they had on nitro. I chose from the latter, and one of the bartenders offered up an extra hop-shot: Using a French press, he infused my pint with fresh California hops for a custom brew unlike any I’d had before. Talk about Southern hospitality. –Carolyn Heneghan

Avenue Pub
1732 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans;

Beer Run
156 Carlton Rd. Suite 203, Charlottesville, Va.;

The Birch
1231 W. Olney Rd., Norfolk, Va.;

Brickstore Pub
125 E. Court Square, Decatur, Ga.;

Busy Bee Cafe
225 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, N.C.;

Closed For Business
453 King St., Charleston, S.C.;

Growlers Pourhouse
3120 N. Davidson St., Charlotte, N.C.;

Holy Grale
1034 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, Ky.;

Hops + Crafts
319 12th Ave. S., Nashville, Tenn.;

901 Progresso Dr., Suite 101, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.;

Mr. Beery’s
2645 Mall Dr., Sarasota, Fla.;

The Nook
3305 Bob Wallace Ave. SW, Huntsville, Ala.;

Oak Barrel Tavern
825 Savannah Hwy., Charleston, S.C.; 843.789.3686

Porter Beer Bar
1156 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta;

The Raleigh Times Bar
14 E. Hargett St., Raleigh, N.C.;

Redlight Redlight
2810 Corrine Dr., Orlando, Fla.;

Sergio’s World Beers
1605 Story Ave., Louisville, Ky.;

Tapwerks Alehouse & Café
121 E. Sheridan Ave., Oklahoma City;


615 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.;
You walk into Tørst on a chilly November evening to find a handful of Brooklynites sitting on Scandinavian chairs from the ’60s. They huddle comfortably in small groups around a few of the dozen reclaimed wood tables. A lone man with a worn leather Macbook sleeve hunkers down at the bar with a copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The House of the Seven Gables.” He sips a thick, delectable-looking beer from a wine glass. A “Shazam”-worthy playlist of R&B, Motown, funk and Greenpoint-approved indie rock plays unobtrusively from above. (“Your Woman,” from one-hit wonder White Town, will be the only song you recognize all night.) You read the beer list corraling 21 drafts and roughly 200 bottles. You order an 8-ounce Omnipollo Nebuchadnezzar double IPA fresh from Sweden; your friends, Olvisholt’s Lava and Thornbridge’s Raven Black IPA. A friendly bartender pours them from taps protruding from the wall, the color of the wooden handles arranged simply and elegantly from lightest to darkest. Your trio chats at one of the tables where tile meets wood on the wall at eye level. You enjoy the beer and the casual atmosphere. You consider another round. Perhaps a Brett Peat Daydream, a Maine Beer Co. Pepper or a B Space Invader? You struggle to decide. You end the night with a can of Hipster Ale from proprietor Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø’s Evil Twin brewing company. It tastes familiar but boasts a nice twist on tradition. –Noah Davis

Armsby Abbey
144 N. Main St., Worcester, Mass.;

Beer Street
413 Graham Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.;

191 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.;

Blind Tiger
281 Bleecker St., New York City;

The Brewer’s Art
1106 N. Charles St., Baltimore;

Brouwerij Lane
78 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.;

1337 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.;

Deep Ellum
477 Cambridge St., Allston, Mass.;

Ebenezer’s Pub
44 Allen Rd., Lovell, Maine;

Eulogy Belgian Tavern
136 Chestnut St., Philadelphia;

The Great Lost Bear
540 Forest Ave., Portland, Maine;

The Grey Lodge Public House
6235 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia;

The Jeffrey
311 E. 60th St., New York City;

Lord Hobo
92 Hampshire St., Cambridge, Mass.;

Max’s Taphouse
737 S. Broadway, Baltimore;

Memphis Taproom
2331 E. Cumberland St., Philadelphia;

Monk’s Café
264 S. 16th St., Philadelphia;

Novare Res
4 Canal Plaza, Portland, Maine;

102 St. Marks Place, New York City;

The Publick House
1648 Beacon St., Brookline, Mass.;

Rattle N Hum
14 E. 33rd St., New York City;

216 S. 11th St., Philadelphia;

Spuyten Duyvil
359 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.;

Teresa’s Next Door
124 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne, Pa.;

Three Penny Taproom
108 Main St., Montpelier, Vt.;

Top Hops Beer Shop
94 Orchard St., New York City;


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  • Casey says:

    Leaving the Bier Stein in Eugene off this list must be a mistake.

  • Drewbie says:

    The Rail Trail in Hudson is just as good as Armsby and lord hobo why didn’t they make the cut ?

  • FOnatic says:

    Father’s Office in Santa Monica, CA not on this list?? Has to be a misprint. Amazing beers. Best-trained staff I’ve ever seen. They set the bar.

  • Chris says:

    Independent Ale House in Rapid City South Dakota offers more interesting are rare beers than most pubs on this list..I’ve been to Rattle an d Hum, Torst, and Blind Tiger in the last few months….and they all made me appreciate my hometown pub

  • Tony Hart says:

    What a yuppie scum, Hipster list. You ignore some of the best beer bars in an area, and promote a place that is plastic chic. how sad. Guess your list is more about what a place looks like. than on the types and kinds of beers they stock.

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