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Best beer bar FAQs

Answers to your FAQs on our annual list.
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We have, once again, posted our picks for the (drum roll, please!) 100 Best Beer Bars in America! After spending another year compiling this annual list, zig-zagging around the country, drinking pints, chatting with bartenders and spinning around in bar stools, we’ve now turned it over to you for your thoughts, applause, comments and riotous exclamations of “Fail!”  Today, I’m addressing your most pressing questions from Facebook. Keep posting away! We read everything you say (yes, everything) and will continue to respond.

Why not Mekong?
We love Mekong; it has an outstanding beer list. It was even named “America’s best beer bar” in a Brewers Association survey. But, in our view, Mekong is definitely a restaurant (we’ve covered it as such), so we don’t consider it for our Best Bars list. We also don’t consider breweries or brewpubs that primarily serve their own beer.

Where are Bangers & Lace and HopCat?
We separate multilocation spots from bars with one or two locations, and run them in another list, because places like World of Beer and Flying Saucer are simply fantastic wherever they are. Bangers & Lace opened a third location, and HopCat added a couple (with more on the way!), so they’ve graduated from the main list to the chain gang.

What about (super-famous fill-in-the-blank bar) that always makes every list?
We’ve been there. More than once. Maybe a bartender humorlessly offered me a “pink martini, sweetheart” in a place that only serves beer. Maybe a server’s engrossed texting left our group with empty glasses for so long we abandoned all hope and sent a search party to find a drinking fountain. A bar can have thousands of white whales in a building as glorious as the Taj Mahal, but shitty service is a dealbreaker.

What about my favorite bar that opened five months ago?
There are tons of new bars out there, and a lot of them are worthy of consideration: Time will prove consistency. We’ll put them on our travel roster, so keep telling us about the places you think are deserving for next year’s list.


Erika Rietz is DRAFT’s Editor-in-chief. Reach her at erika.rietz [at]

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