The current issue of Draft magazine includes a listing of the Top 150 Beer Bars in the country (Draft magazine, Jan-Feb 2010). Six of our local beer joints made the list.
If you were conducting this important research, what would be your criteria? Draft kept things rather ambiguous, stating only that they were looking for: “The bars where you’re guaranteed to sip unmatched suds. The 150 places where craft is king and fun comes in all fashions.”
I read it for the articles
Draft magazine is great, but by no stretch of the imagination is it the gospel of beer. Ben Stiller movies make me laugh, but that doesn’t mean he’s a comic genius. Draft is a slick rag, for sure: glossy pages, airbrushed pictures of perfect beer, and page after page of beautifully poured pints described in delicious detail. It never fails to make me thirsty. Sure, it’s beer porn, but I read it for the articles. When Draft, or anyone like them, publishes a list of “the best” anything, I take it with a grain of salt.
Congrats to our locals
I suppose congratulations are in order for our local spots that made the list. To say Draft magazine missed a few would be an understatement. If you lived in Denver or Boston you’d probably say the same thing. It’s a tall order, scouring the entire U.S.A. searching out the best beer bars, spending enough time in each to really get a good feel for the place, and then moving on to the next. I’d like to offer my services next time Draft magazine conducts such important research.
Let’s face it, when listing the country’s 150 best beer bars, Washington is probably only going to get five or six on the list. Are these the ones that you would choose?
Beveridge Place. The description provided in the magazine is amazingly accurate. They’re right when they say, “This spot feels less like an international beer mecca and more like your place… the rec room you wish you had.” I was particularly impressed that they spelled the name correctly.
Brouwer’s Cafe. Um, duh. I’m not entirely sure I agree with the observation, “This is one of the best looking bars in Seattle.” Actually, what would I know? Whenever I walk into Brouwer’s I get tunnel vision and all I see is beer. Draft says, “Its Flemish cafe-inspired vittles and brew will quickly transport you to bucolic Belgian life.”
Naked City Taphouse. Way to go Don and Don. You’re still pretty darn new and your pub is getting national pub like this. Right on! About Naked City, Draft said, “Capturing Seattle’s attention with beer isn’t easy, but this new spot has turned heads.” I’m not sure the Dons knew what they were getting themselves into.
Stumbling Monk. They’re right when they say, “This subdued corner pub is easy to miss, but try not to.” I often miss it, and that’s a personal problem. The Stumbling Monk is classic. It’s a cozy little spot where they take beer very seriously. I admit that I’m a local beer freak, so sometimes I’m a bit overwhelmed by the worldliness of the menu at the Stumbling Monk. Again, my problem.
Über Tavern. Draft magazine rightly points out that Über is “closet small,” but they also mention that the beer selection is not. They also describe the staff as being “amicable” and “knowledgeable.” That’s like saying a girl is handsome and has a nice personality. I have a feeling they were at a loss for words when they described Über. Doesn’t really matter, locals know what Über is all about: good beer and a lot of it.
Zayda Buddy’s Pizza and Bar. Of all the Washington beer bars listed in the Draft 150, this one got the longest write-up. Mostly, Draft tells us about their pizza. Also, we learn that Zayda Buddy’s serves Old Milwaukee, Stroh’s, Hamms, and Blatz, as well as local beers like Manny’s Pale Ale. Maybe they just needed a place with a name that started with a Z.
Who do you think they missed? Or do you agree that the six bars listed above are Seattle’s best?