The 100 Best Beer Bars in America

The current issue of Draft Magazine showed up in the mailbox the other day. The cover story: The 100 Best Beer Bars in America. I am always excited to get this particular issue. I love to travel so I especially enjoy reading about the top-rated bars in other parts of the country. I’m quite familiar with the ones that made the list here in the Northwest, but I enjoy reading about the best beer bars in far-off places like Austin, Texas and Athens, Georgia. I must admit that I also enjoy the controversy that these kinds of “best of” lists always seem to stir up.

This year, as far as the Pacific Northwest is concerned, the following bars made the list: Apex, Bailey’s, Belmont Station, Beveridge Place Pub (blog sponsor), Horse Brass Pub, Naked City Taphouse, The Pine Box, Saraveza, and Stumbling Monk.

I can live with that list. Sure, there are some glaring omissions, but having compiled these kinds of lists myself, I am keenly aware of the challenges. There simply is not enough room for every deserving candidate to be on the list. Thank God!

So why isn’t Brouwer’s Café on the list? Well, because there are so many others that also deserve to be on the list. Is that a bad thing? Should the Green Dragon be on the list in place of Bailey’s or Apex? Instead of crying about the fact that Bellingham’s Green Frog Acoustic Tavern or Ballard’s Noble Fir did not make the list, I am choosing to celebrate the fact that there were so many other worthy candidates.

According to Draft Magazine, nine out of 100 of the country’s best beer bars are in either Portland or Seattle. I am not sure what that means. Should that number be higher? I don’t know. I haven’t been to all of the other 91, though I have been fortunate enough to imbibe at a number of them. I cannot honestly say that another Seattle bar should be on the list at the expense of San Diego’s Small Bar or San Francisco’s Toronado.

I am  curious which bars you think deserve to be on the list, or at least deserve consideration. What place(s) would you absolutely and positively put on this list? I am also curious to know which of the bars on the list (that you have actually visited) you would omit?  You can view the list here.


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One comment

  1. was at Toronado last week for 1st time. Big deal!!! Seattle and Portland ale houses have come along way in the last 6 yrs and the nano-micro craft rivals any that I found in SF. Don’t believe the hype.

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