CraftBeer.com Readers Name Best Beer Bar in Every State
With more than 4,100 small and independent craft breweries operating in the country, there are more options than ever to enjoy great beer. Bars specializing in craft beer have become a common site in American cities and beer lists in restaurants and pubs are expanding to keep up with customer demands.
In the 2016 Great American Beer Bar’s competition, CraftBeer.com expanded its search to name the best beer bar in every state and Washington, D.C. More than 9,000 of our readers responded to our survey and here are their picks for the 51 best beer bars in the country. Use the drop-down menu on the right to choose a specific state, or download the 2016 winner’s list.
Methodology: CraftBeer.com readers were asked to nominate their favorite craft beer bar in their state and fill out a short survey about what makes it so great including atmosphere, staff, beer selection and special events. Craft beer fans cast over 9,000 votes in total from August to December 2015.
The J. Clyde
The most unique aspect of our restaurant is that the passion of the Brewer is served in every glass. We can’t assume to be in the head of every brewer out there, but if we stick to proper glassware, attention to detail, quality product, clean draught lines with a good atmosphere and servers who care about what is in your glass, that’s important. We at The J Clyde take pride in what you drink, and hope all the folks out there understand that and respect us for what we are trying to do.
Prospectors Pizzeria and Ale House
Denali Park, Alaska
We bring beers in from around the world and showcase them in their specific glassware in a remote seasonal location located one mile from the entrance of Denali Park Alaska. We also make all our pizza fresh and by hand. If a patron drinks all 53 beers during our open season, they get a free t-shirt. If someone completes that four times, they get a round trip ticket from Alaska to Hawaii!
We also have hundreds of photos of historic people and events in Alaska that we have collected for years adorning our walls. The location is a museum as well as bar and restaurant.
Fate Brewing Company
We’re a true neighborhood gathering spot with a huge dog-friendly beer garden and a great display of our brewing operation and equipment if you enter through the side door. In just over three years, we’ve brewed over 200 different varieties and styles of beer, so you can always count on something new.
Big Orange Midtown
Little Rock, Arkansas
Big Orange Midtown strikes a rare balance between a bar that is committed to ambitious, creative, thoughtful cocktails and a bar that is committed to cultivating an exceptional craft beer program that keeps our guests and staff excited and inspired. We apply the same sense of balance to our atmosphere, which is a true blend of thoughtful locally crafted furniture and finishes combined with striking angles, and modern industrial sensibility.
The bar at Big Orange Midtown rides the line of upscale, casual, modern and rustic while being singularly focused on quality beverages and intriguing offerings. With 12 beers on draft that rotate constantly and over 100 craft bottle offerings, there is always something to experience and learn.
Twisted Oak Tavern
Agoura Hills, California
Falling Rock Tap House
The Falling Rock Tap House features a large outside street level patio, perfect for a beer before or after a Rockies game. Inside the upper level, there is roomy seating at the bar, booths or tables. Our lower level has more seating around the pool tables and two dart boards. Many people ask about the 2200+ beer bottles lining the walls in the bar. No, these are not the beers we offer, they are Owner Chris Black’s personal collection.
Willimantic Brewing Company
We are located in a granite and limestone 1909 U.S. Post Office Building. Abandoned in 1967 by the Federal Government this building lay vacant for nearly 30 years. When used as a post office, our dining room was the post office work room, our pub was the customer lobby, and the private dining room was the Postmaster‘s office. Although extensive renovations have been made to the building, we wanted to retain the early 20th-century architecture as well as create a pleasant atmosphere for dining. We have a 60-foot hand-built mahogany bar that compliments our pub that also features the original terrazzo floors.
Our attention to detail and unparalleled quality control as it pertains to the service of the beers in which we offer. This includes our meticulous cleaning regimen for our taps, the three unique temperature controls for service of beer, our glassware selections and in depth staff training. This, coupled with the constantly rotating selections and rare releases, make ChurchKey a unique experience for beer lovers.
Two Stones Pub
Within our blood-red building, nestled on Miami’s historic ‘Coral Way,’ we have created a contemporary take on the classic neighborhood bar and eatery. We’ve taken our scratch-made motto past the kitchen and even handmade all of our tables from locally salvaged lumber.
Besides boasting an extensive list of saisons, sours and Belgian styles, we also make excellent house-made sausages, offer up rare keg tappings, serve upgraded bar fare and host a yearly event celebrating the repeal of prohibition on December 5.
Brick Store Pub
Patrons come to Brick Store Pub for all that we passionately offer but also because we provide an environment that boasts no televisions, no neon, no obnoxious music and no major domestic beers. What you find at our main bar are local, regional and nationally acclaimed American craft beers, German and English specialty beers and our vintage and reserve bottled beer list which is ten years in the making and features thousands of vintages from all over the world.
One of our most popular events each year is Pancake Yardsale. We open early and serve coffee beers and imperial stouts alongside a special breakfast menu.
REAL a gastropub
REAL a gastropub is Hawaii’s first beer-centric pub dedicated to providing the largest and finest selection of high-quality craft beers sourced from all corners of the world and the Hawaiian Islands.
We have a very relaxing atmosphere throughout the main floor. Upstairs there’s with a seating area for 45 (that can be used for beer dinners, tastings or private events) and a dog-friendly lanai for 25. We frequently get told by our guests that REAL reminds them of their hometown beer bar and love the atmosphere, music and ambiance. That is a great and rewarding feeling.
Our beer cellar usually gets a pretty big reaction from people. It is a bricked off temp controlled room at the bottom of a spiral staircase with a collection of age worthy kegs and bottles. By extension, our bottle list is unique in that it features back vintages of sought after beers. We also utilize that to do large events with tap lists that feature vintage beers.
Another super popular part of our place is the large black tiger statue that’s been in various locations around the bar since day one, 20 years ago. We call him Hoppy, and he has seen some weird stuff.
The Bavarian Lodge
We have a passion for being eclectic. You never know what might pop up on our beer list, but you know it will be worthy of your attention. We don’t ignore the basic roots of brewing from the German and Czech forefathers, but we’re also willing to try things that are wildly atypical.
We feature beers from all over the world and all over the country, with particular attention to Chicago’s great local brewing scene of course. If we don’t like it, we won’t pour it. If it excites or intrigues us, we’ll give it a try no matter how experimental.
HopCat Broad Ripple, our first location outside of Michigan, adopts many of the traits that made HopCat a success in Michigan. In Indianapolis, we’ve embraced Indiana’s great brewers while also providing a showcase for some of its up-and-coming stars.
We recycle and compost 90 percent of the waste generated at HopCat. Guests love our custom, velvet rock star paintings, well-curated music lists and warm, welcoming environment serving 130 varieties of craft beer. HopCat is proud to serve Indiana’s largest selection of craft beer (and only craft beer) on tap.
The Cellar Peanut Pub
Our building is a former train depot built in 1875, complete with a twisted chimney on our second floor and a caboose outside. However, it is the atmosphere and the culture of the variety of people and the education and spirit of our pub tenders that make this place special.
We are located in a small town surrounded by corn fields and people of all ages and from all walks of life come here to talk about beer. It is truly magical to see the friendships that have formed over good beer.
Tallgrass Tap House
Tallgrass is the largest restaurant in Manhattan, with seating for 260 indoors and a rooftop patio with additional seating for 60. The Dirty Firkin is an English-style pub tucked away in the rear of the building, with rustic wooden accents and stained-glass booths styled after several of the Tallgrass brands.
We offer a rotating lineup of a half-dozen brews exclusive to the brewpub, which also acts as a “test kitchen” for the main brewery. A successful beer made at the brewpub could be graduated to a full-scale production beer, packaged in cans and kegs and sold across the Tallgrass distribution territory (15 states as of this publication).
Sergio’s World Beers
New Orleans, Louisiana
Though we have no records as to the exact date the Pub was originally built; it’s architecture and construction place it somewhere about 1845. Many of the original features have been retained including the tin ceiling in the main bar and the fireplaces on the second floor. Of course, like all classic New Orleans buildings, it has large shuttered windows that occasionally pass for doors, and one of the largest balconies overlooking St. Charles Avenue; perfect for parade watching during Mardi Gras!
We’re very well known for our sour collection. We pretty much always have sours on tap, and our bottle collection is geared toward sour and aged beers. We also put the “kegged on” date on our menu. We believe very strongly in freshness, so we try to keep the freshest product on draft at all times.
Novare Res Bier Cafe
Ours is a beer drinking revolution, with the passion for change being channeled through the amazing array of beer that you will find on our menu. We strive to serve what we feel are the best beers legally available to us in the state of Maine combined with the determination to try to support the small craft movement all over the world.
We do many unique events with breweries around the world, including Cantillon Zwanze Day, Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel Day and many other friends. We also hold our annual Where The Wild Biers Are event during Portland Beer Week, which features 33+ wild kegs, foraged foods and game meats.
Max’s Taphouse is known for our extremely fresh, rotating drafts and extensive bottled/canned beer list. We’re also known worldwide for our Belgian Beer Festival, which occurs annually on Presidents Day Weekend, followed on Monday by our Sour Beer Festival.
During the Belgian Beer Festival, every draught line is a different Belgian beer and this year we have over 250 different bottled Belgian beers. Many of the Belgian brewers make a special beer that is imported for the festival and is not available anywhere else in the U.S. There are more Belgian beers available under one roof than you can even get in Belgium!
Armsby Abbey features a one of a kind custom built bar, draft tower, chalkboards and reclaimed drink rails. Every aspect of the bar was carefully curated for the space by local artisans.
Our most popular event of the year is Stoutfest (April 9-10, 2016), which kicks off on Saturday morning with a three-course stout inspired breakfast, followed by 22 of the worlds best stouts tapped at noon and topped off with more stout rarities and a stout inspired brunch on Sunday.
Brown Iron Brewhouse
Washington Township, Michigan
We are modeled after a modern German-style beer hall. We have very high ceilings, a very open space and community seating. The owners loved the community feeling when they would visit Germany, and they wanted to bring that feeling to Macomb County, Michigan. We also have a huge patio, which seats 100 and includes two gas fireplaces and an outdoor bar.
Our yoga and beer brunch (Breathe and Brew) is extremely popular. Patrons enjoy an hour of yoga in the brewhouse (on the patio in the summer), followed by a beer and light lunch.
The Happy Gnome
Saint Paul, Minnesota
The Happy Gnome tap list is exclusively domestic craft and quality import, rotating through seasonal selections and maintaining some favorites. Promoting craft beer is also fun: every month we feature a different brewery, hosting a beer dinner where the brewer comes out and explains their beers in detail while our chef creates a pairing for each course.
Our building was one of the first firehouses in Saint Paul. In addition to the bar, we also have a banquet space on the second floor and a 100-seat patio. Patrons really enjoy our annual Firkin Fest, which features over 60 cask ales.
Keg and Barrel
Keg and Barrel is housed in a 1905 traditional Southern home with original woodwork and features a wrap around porch, outside deck bar and back patio with a stage, corn hole and bocce ball.
Scratch food from our newly remodeled kitchen includes local grass fed beef and pork and combines pub food with a unique southern flair. Dogs are welcome on our patio. We’re proud to say we hosted Mississippi’s first homebrew competition in 2009.
Kansas City, Missouri
We are an unusual blend of a neighborhood tavern with lots of regulars who walk up frequently and a nationally recognized beer bar. The regular who lives down the street may be sitting next to a “beer tourist” (as we call them) who visiting from out of town. This makes for a very casual, laid-back environment.
Our fans particularly love our Best of the Midwest beer fest that celebrates the best beers we can find from Midwest breweries.
The Dram Shop
The Dram Shop is Montana’s first dedicated, stand-alone growler fill station. We offer growler fills of beer, draught wine and cider. The Dram Shop is a family-friendly place where you can sit back, have a bite to eat, and fill a growler with whatever you would like to take home with you, or on your next adventure!
Crescent Moon Ale House
We have three distinct bars and a bottle shop under one roof. Crescent Moon (the original) features American Craft Beer, Huber Haus our German Bier Hall and Max and Joe’s our Belgian beer tavern. Beertopia is our bottle shop that features upwards of 600 hand selected craft beers. These all come together to form Beer Corner USA.
Not exactly beer related, but our Reuben sandwich has also won many awards, and we sell more than 22,000 of them every year.
Aces & Ales
Las Vegas, Nevada
Our mission here at Aces & Ales is to provide all patrons with the most incredible beers we can offer paired with a full scratch kitchen and an inviting atmosphere and vibe! Spring and fall our favorite times of year at the pub as our customers to spend under the stars on our patio and fireplace.
We’re lucky to have a strong alliance with our brothers at Stone Brewing Co. and will hosting the 7th annual Stone Domination in May 2016. We’ll once again welcome Greg Koch, Mitch Steele, and Dr. Bill and feature 50 Stone beers on draft, food pairing and this year a special Stone/Aces & Ales collaboration beer.
Concord, New Hampshire
Caldwell, New Jersey
We’ve been serving local beer since 1933, before “craft beer” as we know it. The actual bar was purchased “used” by my grandfather for $325 and is estimated to have been built in the mid-1800s. We were recently recognized by the town as the oldest business in Caldwell. While we do not have the most beers available at any given time, we pride ourselves on frequently rotating our selection. In 2015, we served over 1,000 different beers.
Nob Hill Bar & Grill
Albuquerque, New Mexico
We are known for our Wednesday weekly tappings. Also, our beer week events are huge; they’ve really helped put us on the map. We’re passionate about beer and food and are lucky to have one of the best chefs and best pastry chefs in the city. They do great work and allow us to pair great beer with their food.
Brooklyn, New York
Tørst was created by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, the brewer behind Denmark’s Evil Twin and Daniel Burnswho of Noma and Momofuku Labs. In addition to being a world-class beer bar, the team has also recently opened Luksus, a 25-seat full-service restaurant in the back of the bar which features “Scandinavian-influenced American fare.”
Asheville, North Carolina
The different floors of our bar are very distinct spaces. The Belgian bar, in the basement level, is a dark, cozy space where customers can enjoy pours of some of the finest Belgians available. The street level floor is more open and airy and focused on American craft beer, and the top floor features a roof deck and our speakeasy-styled cocktail bar, Top of the Monk.
We pride in having a constantly rotating tap list where, other than our house-brewed beers, we never tap the same keg twice in a row. We like to think of ourselves as a candy store for beer lovers.
Wurst Bier Hall
Fargo, North Dakota
We are the only German-themed bar in town! We have long communal tables like the ones in Germany. The look and feel of our bar is unlike anything else in Fargo. We are known for our great German beer and our unique food menu. We also celebrate Maifest and Oktoberfest. Every year we have three weekends of Oktoberfest celebrations, and people in our area seem to love it!
Lizardville Beer Store and Whiskey Bar
Bedford Heights, Ohio
We are known for anything and everything beer and whiskey. Whether it’s a huge beer release party, a specialty tapping or a meet and greet with a master brewer, you can be sure to have a great time enjoying some world class beverages at Lizardville.
The unique aspect of Lizardville is our beer and whiskey walls. We have a massive selection of beers and whiskeys to choose from, and they are all displayed very proudly on our shelves for our guests to peruse while they enjoy a glass of draft beer or a pour of whiskey.
McNellie’s South City
While Owner Elliot was a student at Notre Dame, he spent a semester studying in Dublin. While there, he became enchanted by the country’s unique pub culture. When he returned home to Oklahoma after graduation, he kept searching for a pub similar to those he frequented in Dublin. In 2004, he opened the first McNellie’s in Tulsa. The pubs feature menus with fresh, reasonably priced food and an atmosphere that is ideal for everyone, including families with young children.
The Bier Stein Bottleshop and Pub
We strive to provide a true connoisseur beer experience with numerous beer dinners, brewery tastings, new beer releases and beer education classes each month. From proper glassware to educated servers, we love beer and want to share it with all our local customers. We have over 1,000 different beers and cider in our bottle cooler and a constantly revolving tap list.
Bulls Head Public House
Modeled after a traditional British pub, the Bulls Head offers great food, friendly conversation, and of course, quality beers. Choose from 14 rotating beers on tap, two cask-conditioned ales and 80 bottles.
Keeping with the traditional practices of a British pub, you will be greeted with a smile from the barman, seat yourself, choose your food and drink from our extensive menu, then place your order at the bar. It’s a great way to meet friends or make new ones while enjoying great beer and food.
Newport, Rhode Island
Besides having a unique, world-class beer selection, our food is above and beyond amazing. We feature fresh, daily-made pasta, locally grown produce and local farm raised meats. All desserts are homemade daily, and our ambiance is cozy and inviting. Our monthly tap takeovers are something we’re very proud of. Some months we feature a specific brewery and others a particular beer style.
Charleston, South Carolina
Our focus is not just beer (though we do have an onsite house brewery). The food is stand alone amazing, as is our cocktail program. People can come to Edmund’s Oast and have a wide variety of food and drink experiences. Some are very beer-centric, some are not.
Our place is unique because it’s sort of a “choose your own adventure” style of eating and drinking. There’s a lot of great architecture at Edmund’s Oast; the bar included. People probably recognize our large wall of tap signs the most. It’s huge. The goal was to have a very clear, readable list of the beers on tap behind the bar, and we think it was very successful.
Independent Ale House
Rapid City, South Dakota
Our building was built in the 1890s and was original a mercantile. We stuck with the historic theme with exposed brick upstairs and a back bar that look like the original shelving. The lower bar has the exposed rock foundation. We have a patio that we use seasonally.
Many of our 40 draught beers are seasonal or small production, and once they’re gone…let’s just say we don’t want you to live with regrets. With an average of 145 different bottles available Independent Ale House has the largest selection of beer available in the region.
We are the only beer bar in Nashville that also sells packaged beer and is a homebrew supply shop all under one roof. If you are looking for a bar that has something on tap that you haven’t had before, we have it. If you are looking for a new beer to take home or some rare bottle not found anywhere else, we have it. Or if you are a homebrewing expert or a complete novice, we have the ingredients and equipment available to make your own beer.
We were also the first place in Nashville to have a crowler machine. Since many of our local breweries don’t can or bottle, we’re proud to be able to offer their beers to-go at an affordable price and with a longer shelf life. Crowlers are a great way for our customers to have their favorite beer from their favorite local brewery in their fridge.
The Brass Tap
Round Rock, Texas
The Brass Tap Round Rock has 60 rotating taps devoted exclusively to craft beers. Our tap wall changes every single day. We’re located in a beautiful 110-year-old building on Main Street in the historic district of downtown Round Rock.
The one thing we have that very few other bars have is the presence of two ghosts who have resided in the building for decades. One of the ghosts is a young woman in a white wedding dress who has been seen gliding up and down our staircase. The other ghost is a little boy who can be heard bouncing a ball on the second floor. Some female guests swear that they have heard him knocking on the bathroom doors and then running away. Both of our ghosts are friendly and have never intentionally harmed or scared anyone, but some of our staff members are still very reluctant to be alone in the building after closing time!
Slackwater Pub & Pizzeria
We sit right on the banks of the Ogden River and have a patio where you can sit and enjoy a beer right on the river. Our atrium also has big garage doors so if you do choose to sit inside it still has a nice indoor/outdoor feel.
Utah’s tap laws are a little different than most places. If it’s coming out of a tap, it has to be 3.2 percent ABV, however there is no regulation on bottles, which is what makes our bottle list so popular.
The Farmhouse Tap & Grill
We are a farm-to-table gastropub serving award winning burgers, innovative entrees and a world class craft beer menu. We have 30 draught lines dedicated to the best beer we can pour from Vermont and beyond. In the colder months, we have a subterranean parlor bar with a fireplace and darts. It has what some may call a speakeasy vibe. When it warms up, we close the parlor and open our beer garden for people to enjoy the beautiful Vermont summers!
We take pride in getting patrons to step outside of their comfort zone and try new beer. Our staff is trained to identify and suggest new options based on a customer’s description of what they like. With four to eight new beers appearing weekly, our crowds always like to try what’s new.
Besides our amazing staff and beer list, we’re extremely proud of our unique building. It’s a newly renovated, 100-year-old, five-story, former furniture store. Original hardwood floors and tin ceilings give it a historic feel while new and old electric and acoustic guitars adorn the walls and bar. It’s just a cool space to hang out and drink beer in.
Parkway Tavern was founded more than 80 years ago in a beautiful residential setting in Tacoma, just north of Wright Park. The relaxed atmosphere, frequently rotating draft selection and great customers make it a perfect place to try a new beer or enjoy one of your favorites from Washington’s all-star lineup of craft breweries.
Summit Beer Station
Huntington, West Virginia
We continuously offer unique beers that you can’t find anywhere else in West Virginia. Many customers have the expectation that they will find something new and unusual every time they visit. We’ve also somewhat become the de facto launch site for new breweries and beers in our area. We’ve had the privilege to introduce West Virginians to many new beers. We’d like to believe that we are leading the charge for craft beer in the state. The most unique aspect about us is that we are located in an old train loading dock that was built in the late 1800s. We even kept the original wood brick floor.
Built in 1885 as a stagecoach stop and roadhouse, this landmark saloon eventually became a neighborhood gathering place, even operating as a speakeasy during Prohibition. The pub was owned by the same family from 1919 until Mike Romans purchased it in 1978. We have been offering specialty beers since 1996 and are proud to serve more than 30 beers on draught and one beer engine.
Q Roadhouse & Brewing Co.
Q Roadhouse & Brewing Co. is a brewery, bar and vibrant restaurant. Chef de cuisine Matty Melehes was even recently featured as a contestant on Food Network’s Chopped Grill Masters. Our Jackson Hole location boasts views of the Tetons and Grand Teton National Park.
Our in-house brewed beers by Roadhouse Brewing Co. are built on the spirit of exploration that already exudes from Jackson Hole and help cultivate and strengthen the local craft beer adventure. These rotating brews are served on tap right next to other artisan brews from neighboring breweries.