Sure, you love your local bar where everybody knows your name and they’re glad you came. . . . Yada, yada, yada. You know the rest. But when you’re on the road, check out these bars that turn beer drinking into a true art form.
The drinks are free when you’re on the strip—but they’re also crappy. Instead, drive a couple of miles over to the Freakin’ Frog, a little hole-in-the-wall that serves more than 500 beers. Don’t forget to go upstairs to the Whisky Attic to sample its collection of almost as many whiskies.
The Map Room
Chicago is a beer-drinking town, and one of the best places to get a pint is the Map Room. Located in the hip Bucktown neighborhood, the bar serves more than 200 brands of beer and has 26 taps. Once a month, it even offers a beer school with classes taught by visiting brewmasters.
Kennedy School’s Courtyard Restaurant
The Courtyard Restaurant is old-school. No, really, it’s in an old school that’s been turned into a restaurant, bar, concert hall, and movie theater. The restaurant is housed in the Kennedy School’s former cafeteria and serves pub food and beer made at the onsite brewery. And should your partying get out of hand, you don’t even have to go home—just sleep it off in the brewery’s adjacent hotel.
Just a few miles east of Manhattan, across the Williamsburg Bridge, lies Hipsterville, aka Williamsburg. In addition to being home to the Brooklyn Brewery, the area boasts one of the country’s best beer bars—Spuyten Duyvil. It serves all kinds of rare beers and specializes in brews from Belgium. The selection is so diverse, in fact, that the menu lists available beers by the region of each country they’re produced in.
This Georgetown institution has been serving cheap food—and offering an incredible selection of beers—since 1957. Housed in the Brickskeller Inn, the bar offers an exhaustive list of beers from around the world. How about a cold Zagorka from Bulgaria?
BEST MICRO BREWS
Ready for a change from your standard Coors or Corona? We asked Ray Daniels of the Brewers Association and Julie Bradford of All About Beer magazine to weigh in on some of the best microbreweries currently in operation. Pop open any bottle from these companies, they say, and it’s almost impossible to end up disappointed.
- Allagash Brewing Company
- Brooklyn Brewery
- Deschutes Brewery
- Firestone Walker Brewing Company
- New Glarus Brewing Company
- Odell Brewing Company
- Rogue Ales
- Russian River Brewing Company
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
- North Coast Brewing Company