Establishments

Don’t drink alone! Craft beer has infiltrated popular culture enough that most cities will have at least A FEW bars that serve something other than Bud Light and Blue Moon (by the way, have you seen this article? Shameful). Here are some of the great beer bars, pubs, cocktail bars, and beer stores that I have visited and recommend, organized by region.

WEST   |   MIDWEST   |   SOUTH   |   NORTHEAST


WEST:

Toronado – Beer Bar – Awesome bar in the Lower Haight of SF that always has incredible beers on tap and rotates them regularly. They don’t serve any food, but if you’re lucky, the tamale lady will stop by, peddling her delicious masa and corn husk-wrapped meat for a couple bucks a pop.  You can also go next door to Rosamunde for a gourmet sausage, and bring it back in. Outside food is welcome.  Love this place.  547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Elixir – Bar – Many a Friday night were spent in this tiny bar in the Mission in SF. Just a great little bar with a small but usually decent beer list. I got my first bulls-eye playing darts here. So that’s something. 3200 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Bourbon and Branch  – Cocktail Bar – This place was an established speakeasy whiskey bar before speakeasies were cool (at least before they were cool in THIS century). Complete with a required spoken password to get in and a “library room,” this place just does everything right.  I feel like Stefon right now but this place really does have EVERYTHING. Great cocktails and whiskey selection as well, of course. Make sure you have reservations and you remember the password! 501 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Church Key

Rogue Ale House – Beer Bar – One of the hardest quizzo’s I’ve ever played, but the beer is right on. 673 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94133

21st Amendment

Monk’s Kettle

City Beer Store – Beer Store – Best beer store in the history of beer stores.  Super chill, super knowledgeable staff, you can purchase your beer as well as hang out and drink here. They also have beers on draft and small plates to snack on while drinking your beer.  Tasting events are almost daily here with samples and Q&A sessions with representatives from different breweries from around the world. It’s brilliant. 1168 Folsom Street, Suite 101, San Francisco, CA 94103

Father’s Office

Seven Grand

The Varnish

Bigfoot Lodge

The Neighborhood

The Noble Experiment


MIDWEST:

TBD


SOUTH:

Dogfish Head Brewpub – Brewpub – The famous brewery’s lesser-known brewpub and restaurant, located about 10 minutes away in Downtown Rehoboth Beach. This brewpub is where DFH started, and they still make experimental brews here as well as dabble in distilling.  You can get a sampling of DFH spirits, including their rum, honey brown rum, vodka, and “jin.” I’ve eaten here twice and was never really impressed by the food, but if you’ve always wanted to try some of your favorite DFH brews on draft and never had the chance, you have a pretty good shot of trying it here. Also, Rehoboth Beach is just lovely in the summer. 320 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Buffalo Trace Distillery – Bourbon Distillery – Awesome slice of Americana here, filled with history, a lot of the storehouses here are original buildings from back in the day. Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Blanton’s, and the coveted Pappy Van Winkle’s is bottled here at this facility. Really interesting tour, generous tastings, and just a cool place to visit if you’re ever in Bourbon Country. I mean, what else are you gonna do in Kentucky? 113 Great Buffalo Trace, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601


NORTHEAST:

Local 44

The Foodery

Bottle Bar East

Memphis Taproom

Bishop’s Collar

Monk’s Cafe

The Abbaye  – Bar – I have a soft spot for this place because we used to live literally a block away in Northern Liberties, but these guys have a decent rotating tap list, solid burger, and – not many people know this – some of the best wings in Philly. They also have karaoke night which is just hilarious, because no one is there. 637 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123

North 3rd

Varga Bar

Johnny Brenda’s – Beer Bar/Music Venue – This place is incredible. Great food, great beer, great vibes, and there’s a music venue upstairs that books local bands on the regular. Nothing wrong with this place. 1201 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Fette Sau

Ranstead Room

Franklin Mortgage and Investments

Black Swan

Tuthilltown Spirit

Deep Ellum

Drink

Craft Beer Cellar

Social Wines

Novare Res – Beer Bar – I’m convinced this is the best beer bar in New England. A little off the beaten path but you can find it from the main street with their little sign they leave on the sidewalk. Great ambiance, bartenders that are a little rough around the edges but still super friendly and knowledgeable, build-your-own meat and cheese plates, and kim chi hot dogs. What more could you want? I want to live here. 4 Canal Plaza, Portland, ME 04101

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