Bangers & Lace
Now with three locations across Chicago and Evanston, Illinois, this sausage-and-beer-bar feels different in each iteration; rarely do beers repeat. Rotation is frequent, bringing in the new and unfamiliar, plus standbys worth revisiting.
Each of this Midwest chain’s 10 locations has ingrained itself into the local fabric of its city, mostly through excellent buyers who find the best of what’s brewing in town. The Crack Fries probably have something to do with its charm, too.
World of Beer
With nearly 80 locations, WOB is like the Starbucks of good beer: ubiquitous and reliable. Plus, the chain’s loyalty program lets you rack up points and prizes no matter where you go.
The nearly 30-year-old San Francisco location of this varied group was a beer geek bastion long before such things were fashionable; spots in San Diego and Seattle present beer lists and legendary events that live up to its celebrated name.
What started in 1985 in Houston has expanded to seven Texas locations, all of which have a laid-back neighborhood vibe and top-notch beer lists. East Coasters shouldn’t feel left out: There are two more Ginger Man outposts in Connecticut and one in New York City.
There are a lot of stellar beer bars in the south, but from North Carolina to Texas, Flying Saucer has set the standard since 1995. There are now 16 locations and one big reason to keep coming back: Drinkers can swipe their U.F.O. club cards to track what they’ve tried, and if they get to 200 beers their names go on the wall’s Ring of Honor.