Best Beer Bars in America, Chosen by Readers

There are more than 6,000 small and independent breweries in the United States. Craft beer bars have played a pivotal role in the growth of craft beer by filling their taps and menus with local, independently-owned breweries. But which of those beer bars stand out?

As a beer lover, you know what sets apart an average bar from a great craft beer bar, and that’s why we turned to you to help select a list of Great American Beer Bars. More than 7,000 people responded to our survey and their choices may surprise you. Half the bars readers selected are different from bars that made the 2017 edition.

Below is the list of the winners. Use the above drop-down menu to browse for a specific state.

Methodology: readers were asked to nominate their favorite craft beer bar in their state and fill out a brief survey about what makes it so great including atmosphere, staff, beer selection and extraordinary events. Craft beer fans cast nearly 8,000 votes between November and December 2017.


Loosa Brews

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Loosa Brews
  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Bottles/Cans: 300
  • Draft: 63

Part bottle shop, part arcade bar, Loosa Brews prides itself on offering the freshest Alabama beers from independent brewers, as well as rare and exciting beer from around the world. While beer fans love the ability to fill a growler, Loosa gets a Great American Beer Bar nod from readers for the ability to kick back, grab a beer, play a round (or two) of ping pong and simply hang Loosa.


Prospectors Historic Pizzeria & Alehouse

Denali Park, Alaska

  • Year Founded: 2010
  • Bottles/Cans:
  • Draft: 53

As far as bucket list destinations go, Alaska’s Denali National Park needs no help. But for beer fans, having a place like Prospectors Historic Pizzeria and Alehouse sure makes a trip a no-brainer. From an expertly curated list of draft beers to award-winning pizza, majestic patio views and more Alaskan history on the walls than you can shake a fur pelt at, Prospectors is a beer lover’s dream in one of the most beautiful places on earth.


Tap & Bottle

Tucson, Arizona

  • Year Founded: 2013
  • Bottles/Cans: 500+
  • Draft: 20 + 1 cask

Tap & Bottle prides itself on being a gathering place for “all to come together for the love of beer.” Catch one of this beer bar’s highly acclaimed beer events, like the sour beer festival “Where the Wild Things Pour” in May, November’s “Barrel Down” barrel festival or simply post up at the bar and order a bar favorite, Borderland’s Toole Avenue IPA, and get lost in a list of more than 500 beers.


Flying Saucer

Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Year Founded: 1998
  • Bottles/Cans: 170
  • Draft: 75

With a staff as passionate about beer as the staff at Flying Saucer Little Rock, we know that Arkansas beer fans are in good hands, but it is Flying Saucer’s Ghost Beer program that puts the beer decisions in the hands of the locals. The program is a blind beer tasting of local beers. Patrons give them a score of 1 to 5 stars, and at the end of the 2 weeks, the beer with the most votes wins a spot on the menu. Beerknurds unite!


Crazy Harry’s Bar

Winnetka, California

  • Year Founded: 2011
  • Bottles/Cans:
  • Draft: 18

Crazy Harry’s is the ultimate local spot, and Crazy Harry’s owner, Chris Zaferis – call him Z – makes sure that the local brewers aren’t left out of the equation: “We’ve had some amazing rare beers but it is the local stuff from 8one8 Brewing, MacLeod’s, Hand-Brewed Beer and San Fernando Brewery that really seem to pump life into our bar. We’re lucky to have some really great local breweries.”



Longmont, Colorado

Samples World Bistro, Colorado
  • Year Founded: 2015
  • Bottles/Cans: 40
  • Draft: 28

Consider yourself a connoisseur? SAMPLES is the place (and challenge) for you. Test your palate with SAMPLES’ Beerquator Challenge — identify all 20 beers in a flight and earn yourself 500 smack-a-roos! Think it’s easy? SAMPLES is still waiting for their first winner.


Willimantic Brewing Company

Willimantic, Connecticut

  • Year Founded: 1996
  • Bottles/Cans: 30
  • Draft: 41

Willimantic is the perennial Great American Beer Bar, and it’s easy to see why. Brewer and owner, David Wollner, has transformed the former 1900s post office into a beacon of good beer and good vibes. His staff is more than well versed at helping you select a beer that you’ll enjoy.


Pizzeria Paradiso – Dupont Circle

Washington, DC

  • Year Founded: 1991
  • Bottles/Cans: 200
  • Draft: 12 + 1 cask

It’s tough to go wrong with craft beer and pizza, but the staff at Pizzeria Paradiso know how to make it an art. Here, you’ll find a stellar selection of highly sought-after independent craft beers from DC and surrounding area. After a visit, you’re sure to see why this bar is the Capitol’s Great American Beer Bar selection.


Two Stones Pub

Newark, Delaware

  • Year Founded: 2011
  • Bottles/Cans: 150+
  • Draft: 25

Two Stones Pub is known for its Smokehouse Brunch, which brings together the dream team of meat and craft beer. One of the bar’s most popular features is the 6-foot-tall concrete Buddha smack dab in the middle of the place — it’s there to oversee their “Beer Temple.”


Growler Country

Tallahassee, Florida

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Bottles/Cans: 50
  • Draft: 32

In Growler Country you’ll appreciate an ever-changing but always up-to-date beer menu. Owner Bobby Carbonell tells us he takes pride in his staff’s training in all things beer and his bar’s welcoming atmosphere. Grab a seat and order up a Proof La La Land and soak in your visit to Growler Country.


River Street Tavern

Ellijay, Georgia

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Bottles/Cans: 31
  • Draft: 21

While you may never have heard of the town of Ellijay, Georgia, talk to owner Brad Simmons and he’ll leave you believing that Ellijay is the nexus of the universe. Situated near the start of the Appalachian Trail and considered to be in the Apple Capital of Georgia, Simmons has set up in a historic brick building serving up the universe of good beer — with a special focus on the state’s independent breweries — to weary travelers.


Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room

Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Year Founded: 2016
  • Bottles/Cans: 500+
  • Draft: 16

Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room is the first combined bottle shop and tasting room in the state of Hawaii. Customers can purchase bottles/cans to go or enjoy beer at the bar. Village Bottle Shop hosts a monthly bar crawl with neighboring bars that feature one brewery with beers spread out between the bars. With over 500 bottles and cans to keep you occupied, a bar crawl comes in handy to stretch your legs.


Bittercreek Alehouse

Boise, Idaho

  • Year Founded: 1995
  • Bottles/Cans: 400+
  • Draft: 41

Peruse Bittercreek Alehouse’s beer list and you can see how much they value local brewers. “Our commitment to independent beer is probably the most unique aspect of our beer program,” David Roberts of Bittercreek Alehouse tells “We’ve been buying exclusively independent beer for about 15 years now.”

Combine that with a welcoming atmosphere and expansive menu, it’s no wonder readers want to recognize Bittercreek in Idaho.


The Brass Tap – Orland Park

Orland Park, Illinois

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Bottles/Cans: 130
  • Draft: 60

Fans of The Brass Tap Orland Park tell General Manager Kerri Gatz that a night at The Brass Tap is the “ultimate night out,” offering that the four-year-old beer-centric restaurant has a lot to offer. This beer bar has an impressive list of draft beers, like Pollyanna, Maplewood and Noon Whistle, to name a few. Add a great food menu and plenty of events and that’s how you get named a Great American Beer Bar.


Heorot Pub & Draught House

Muncie, Indiana

  • Year Founded: 1994
  • Bottles/Cans: 300 - 350
  • Draft: 73

The menu at Heorot Pub is “pretty simple, pizza and sandwiches,” says owner, Stan Stephens.

That’s where simplicity stops. With a bottle list approaching 500, the authentic 36-foot Viking Long House that is on the second floor, the 40-foot dragon on the wall or the wolf dog that roams the premises on most days, you know you’re in an extraordinary spot.


The Cellar Peanut Pub

Pella, Iowa

  • Year Founded: 2002
  • Bottles/Cans: 23
  • Draft: 50

With 50 craft beers on draft and some of the most knowledgeable staff, The Cellar Peanut Pub prides itself on not only the selection of beer but also beer education. Each pub tender is a Certified Beer Server through the Cicerone Program® and are more than happy to chat about craft beer.


The Anchor

Wichita, Kansas

  • Year Founded: 2004
  • Bottles/Cans: 175
  • Draft: 58

The Anchor is a woman-owned craft beer-centric neighborhood bar that has evolved with Wichita’s burgeoning downtown district. The Anchor’s brick building and tin ceiling remind customers of Wichita’s past, lending a nostalgic ambience. Local pride is on display with its own butcher shop attached  — Douglas Avenue Chop Shop — which allows the bar to take control over its meat and cheeses.


Holy Grale

Louisville, Kentucky

  • Year Founded: 2010
  • Bottles/Cans: 75
  • Draft: 27

Built in 1905, Holy Grale was originally a small Unitarian Church in the heart of Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood. Since 2010, Holy Grale has developed a reputation for amazing beer, food and events. In our search for the holy grail of beer experiences, readers say they found it in Kentucky.


The Bull Dog Uptown

New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Year Founded:
  • Bottles/Cans: 100+
  • Draft: 48

Located on the corner of Magazine and Pleasant Streets in the heart of New Orleans’ famous Garden District and Magazine Street entertainment district, The Bulldog offers one of the best dog-friendly patios in town. Enjoy any of the four dozen fine draft beers, which are mostly craft and local, or 100+ bottled beers along with their award-winning pub fare. A visit to New Orleans isn’t complete without a visit to The Bulldog-Uptown.


The Great Lost Bear

Portland, Maine

  • Year Founded: 1979
  • Bottles/Cans: 25
  • Draft: 80

The Great Lost Bear is the longest running bar on our list. We talk a lot about craft beer pioneers and The Great Lost Bear fits the mold. The beer city of Portland, Maine, certainly has The Bear to thank for a flourishing interest in area brewers. The Great Lost Bear will continue to thrive and score highly in the eyes of readers.


Max’s Taphouse

Baltimore, Maryland

  • Year Founded: 1986
  • Bottles/Cans: 2,000+
  • Draft: 105 + 5 hand pumps

Max’s Taphouse is known for its extremely fresh, rotating draughts and extensive bottled and canned beer list. Max’s Taphouse is also known worldwide for its Belgian Beer Festival, which occurs annually on Presidents Day weekend, followed on Monday by their Sour Beer Festival. During the Belgian Beer Festival, every draft line is a different Belgian beer. Many of the Belgian brewers produce a special beer for the festival that is not available anywhere else in the U.S.


Armsby Abbey

Worcester, Massachusetts

  • Year Founded: 2008
  • Bottles/Cans: 100
  • Draft: 22

Few beer bars have been recognized through this search as much as Armsby Abbey. We believe that speaks for itself, from the atmosphere to the beer selection that Armsby Abbey prides itself on. In a state as beer-centric as Massachusetts, our readers say Armsby Abbey continues to lead the way.


Brown Iron Brewhouse

Washington Township, Michigan

  • Year Founded: 2015
  • Bottles/Cans: 4
  • Draft: 70

The Brown Iron strategy is to get customers to fall in love with craft beer as much as they do , and they LOVE craft beer. It’s why Brown Iron Brewhouse continues to score high with readers in our search of the Great American Beer Bar. Brown Iron’s dedication to their customers and their love for independent beer will likely have them showing up on this list in the future.


Mankato Brewery

Mankato, Minnesota

  • Year Founded: 2010
  • Bottles/Cans: 17
  • Draft: 12

Mankato Brewery started producing beers in 2012, becoming the first production brewery in the Key City since 1967. Focused on creating authentic beers that reflect the heritage of the region and its people, the crew at Mankato Brewery invites you to try their beer and experience local flavor.


The Porter

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

  • Year Founded: 2016
  • Bottles/Cans: 100+
  • Draft: 24

The Porter offers a true public house experience by offering American pub fare and locally brewed beers from Mississippi’s independent breweries. Opened in 2016, The Porter is known for promoting the best beers Mississippi has to offer. You go to The Porter to drink Mississippi.


Bier Station

Kansas City, Missouri

  • Year Founded: 2012
  • Bottles/Cans: 400
  • Draft: 28

Whether you are new to beer or consider yourself a connoisseur, the staff at Bier Station is eager to help match you with something you’ll love. Founded in 2012, Bier Station blends a tavern environment with a package store.


The Dram Shop

Missoula, Montana

Dram Shop Jim Chapman
  • Year Founded: 2015
  • Bottles/Cans: 110
  • Draft: 40

The Dram Shop is Montana’s first standalone growler fill station and taproom. Education is big at The Dram Shop. Monthly beer style features offer insight into the variety of beer types available. The Dram Shop’s popular “After Hours” seated tastings have a strong exploratory bent and include discounted bottle sales for participants. Local beer lovers also look forward to several tap takeovers each month featuring brewery personnel. Make The Dram Shop the beer bar to get your learn on. Photo Credit: Jim Chapman


The Happy Raven

Lincoln, Nebraska

The Happy Raven, Nebraska
  • Year Founded: 2015
  • Bottles/Cans: 100+
  • Draft: 18

Located in an old bank, Happy Raven has turned itself into a destination for independent craft beer and conversation. “We like to think we do an excellent job on a well curated, unique tap list,” says owner Matt Meyers. “We pride ourselves on that point.”


Aces & Ales

Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Bottles/Cans: 150
  • Draft: 50

At Aces & Ales you’ll find incredible beers paired with a full scratch kitchen and an inviting atmosphere. You’ll love spring and fall here, too, when you can spend nights under the stars on the patio and fireplace. As their website says, Aces & Ales is proudly leading the revolution for Las Vegas craft beer drinkers longing to break free from the ‘norm’, and remains high on reader’s list of Great American Beer Bars.

New Hampshire

Portsmouth Brewery

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

  • Year Founded: 1991
  • Bottles/Cans:
  • Draft: 20

New Hampshire’s original brewpub has been serving great food and outstanding handcrafted beers in a friendly, lively atmosphere since 1991. You have the option of two unique beer bar experiences. Head upstairs to the Up Bar, right off the front entrance, where you’ll find 15 seats, four booths and a glassed-in area called the Fishbowl that looks out over the street. Downstairs, in the Jimmy Lapanza Lounge, you can lounge on sofas, comfy chairs and stools. You’ll also find downtown’s only shuffleboard game at Portsmouth Brewery.

New Jersey

Cork City Ale House

Hoboken, New Jersey

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Bottles/Cans: 151
  • Draft: 42 + 6 casks

Aside from traditional brewery tap takeovers, Cork City Ale House is most known for their theme based tap takeovers. Cork City’s most popular is Cellar Raid, held annually in February, where they tap their rarest kegs which have been aging in the climate controlled cellar.

New Mexico

Rowley Farmhouse Ales

Santa Fe, New Mexico

  • Year Founded: 2016
  • Bottles/Cans: 20+
  • Draft: 24

Rowley Farmhouse Ales is a small independently-owned brewery and farm to table gastropub focused on brewing rustic farmhouse and sour ales. In addition to their own beers, they have an extensive draft and bottle list of the best available beers from New Mexico and around the world.

New York

Copper City Brewing Co.

Rome, New York

  • Year Founded: 2016
  • Bottles/Cans:
  • Draft: 12

Copper City is the first brewery in Rome, New York, in over 70 years and it’s serving beer lovers incredibly fresh beer made from New York state products. Those who voted for Copper City likely enjoy a brew with a view since the brewery is in plain sight of the bar.

North Carolina

Craft Centric Taproom & Bottleshop

Arden, North Carolina

  • Year Founded: 2017
  • Bottles/Cans: 375
  • Draft: 16

Known for a unique take on the bottle shop/taproom concept, Craft Centric’s atmosphere focuses more on an artistic approach rather than a brewery tin tacker theme. The bar commissioned a local artist to paint a skull exploding hops from his head, among other artistic endeavours. The plan is to make a comfortable environment where you can relax and enjoy a few awesome brews.

North Dakota

Wurst Bier Hall

Fargo, North Dakota

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Bottles/Cans: 20
  • Draft: 41

Fargo’s Wurst Bier Hall is the only German-themed bar in town and you can sit at long communal tables, just like you would in Germany. Keeping with tradition, Wurst celebrates Maifest as well as a three-weekend-long Oktoberfest that locals love.



Bellefontaine, Ohio

  • Year Founded: 2015
  • Bottles/Cans: 60
  • Draft: 16

Brewfontaine boasts an ever-changing draft list. “We’re known for being the place that never has the same beer lineup,” says owner Adam Rammel. “If you visit us today and again tomorrow, the tap list will not be the same.” Rammel describes the staff as passionate about homebrewing and beer education, capable of setting anyone up with a beer paired with one of their unique sandwiches; fitting, since the building once held Bellefontaine’s iconic Johnson’s deli in the 1950s.


Oak & Ore

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oak & Ore, Oregon
  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Bottles/Cans:
  • Draft: 36

Educated staff is one thing, but to be serious about the beer, “you have to have the right tools. Our unique draft system allows us to dial in each tap for the perfect pour in the appropriate glassware at four different style-appropriate temperatures,” says owner Micah Andrews. “Every aspect of how we handle beer — from hand-washing glasses, cleaning our lines biweekly using a recirculation pump, using all stainless-steel components and adjusting pressure and restriction for each beer to maintain carbonation from keg to glass — allows us to serve every beer as the brewer intended.”


The BeerMongers

Portland, Oregon

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Bottles/Cans: 600
  • Draft: 11

Owner Sean Campbell calls BeerMongers more a community than a bar. The BeerMongers began in September 2009 as an idea conceived by two friends who loved beer. They wanted to sell (or “monger”) beer in the best way possible in the greatest beer city in the world. Their goal was to create a comfortable environment for all beer lovers to shop, taste and enjoy the incredible variety Portland offers.


Bulls Head Public House

Lititz, Pennsylvania

  • Year Founded:
  • Bottles/Cans: 70
  • Draft: 17

Modeled after a traditional British pub, Bulls Head offers great food, friendly conversation, and of course, quality beers. You can choose from 14 rotating beers on tap, two cask-conditioned ales and 80 bottles. They aim to bring the atmosphere of a traditional British pub to Pennsylvania, from a seat-yourself policy to ordering at the bar. Locals and tourists alike say it’s a wonderful place to meet friends and make new ones.

Rhode Island


Newport, Rhode Island

  • Year Founded: 2000
  • Bottles/Cans: 110
  • Draft: 21

It’s tough for Norey’s chef and owner, Tyler Cullen, to say what makes the 18-year-old beer bar stand out. “Just about a little of everything is unique: beer selection, our staff, the food is cooked right in front of you in open kitchen.”

Whatever it is, Norey’s has garnered quite a following and is a destination to seek out when you’re in Rhode Island.

South Carolina

The Craft Stand

Lancaster, South Carolina

  • Year Founded: 2016
  • Bottles/Cans: 200+
  • Draft: 24

The Craft Stand resides in a historic building in Lancaster, South Carolina, and is the dream business for owners Don and Brandy Geraghty. Offering 24 draft beers and a couple hundred packaged selections, The Craft Stand has become the town’s go-to craft beer destination.

South Dakota

Independent Ale House

Rapid City, South Dakota

Independent Ale House, South Dakota
  • Year Founded: 2011
  • Bottles/Cans: 120
  • Draft: 40

Owner Justin Henrichsen’s passion for independent craft beer flows like his 40 taps on a Friday night. The bar is in a remodeled historic building (built in 1889) in the heart of downtown Rapid City. Heavy rotation of craft beers with “no crap on tap” the Independent Ale House focuses on craft beer and artisanal pizza.


Hops and Hollers

Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Bottles/Cans: 140
  • Draft: 32

Hops and Hollers is built on quality craft beer and service. The real game-changer is the upperbiergarten — a large outdoor space that’s hard to come by within city limits. You and your furry friends can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities on any given night of the week. Catch the Knoxville Bocce Club on Monday and Tuesday Nights, and Pints and Poses Yoga on Wednesday.


Imperial Taproom

Canyon, Texas

Imperial Taproom, Texas
  • Year Founded: 2016
  • Bottles/Cans: 100+
  • Draft: 22

We’re not surprised that readers once again selected Imperial as their beer bar for the great state of Texas. The bar’s ability to curate a world class tap list in an area with limited beer distribution while stubbornly refusing to carry macro beer on its menu isn’t just impressive — it’s dedication.


Beerhive Pub

Salt Lake City, Utah

Beerhive Bar, Utah
  • Year Founded: 2008
  • Bottles/Cans: 300
  • Draft: 24

Featuring top beers from Utah craft brewers and around the world, the Beerhive Pub boasts the best selection of beer in the historic downtown. Opening in 2008, a pilgrimage to the pub has become a mission for beer enthusiasts in the Beehive State and around the country. Sip on a Later Day Stout, Big Bad Baptist or Polygamy Porter and toast an ever growing culture that the Beehive has helped shape.


Whetstone Station

Brattleboro, Vermont

  • Year Founded: 2012
  • Bottles/Cans: 60
  • Draft: 24

We know Vermonters take their beer and food seriously, which is why Whetstone Station was selected this year. With so much competition elevating Vermont beer, what set Whetstone apart? We’re going to go out on a deck and say the view.


Harry’s Alehouse

Fredericksburg, Virginia

  • Year Founded: 2016
  • Bottles/Cans: 20
  • Draft: 24

Great beer and a scratch kitchen is great, but anyone who owns a pet knows craft beer is best enjoyed in the company of our furry pals. That’s why Harry’s displays pictures of their K9 guests on the wall at the entrance. You might say Harry’s Alehouse is for craft beer and dog lovers.


North Jetty Brewing

Seaview, Washington

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Bottles/Cans: 5
  • Draft: 15

The town of Seaview sits along the Pacific Ocean offering Seattleites an escape from the city and a relaxed beercation. So grab a Leadbetter Red and enjoy yourself.

West Virginia

Summit Beer Station

Huntington, West Virginia

  • Year Founded: 2013
  • Bottles/Cans: 120
  • Draft: 24

A recent expansion to a larger location has only made Summit Beer Station more deserving of the West Virginia selection. The new digs gives you more space to spread out and enjoy the best beers from West Virginia and abroad.


The Brass Tap – Greenfield

Greenfield, Wisconsin

  • Year Founded: 2015
  • Bottles/Cans: 135
  • Draft: 80

The 80 draft taps at The Brass Tap in Greenfield, Wisconsin, is the most in the area, says owner Nick Marking. But it’s the friendly, neighborhood atmosphere complete with a dog-friendly patio and fun beer-centric events that helps this brass shine.


Black Tooth Brewing Co.

Sheridan, Wyoming

  • Year Founded: 2010
  • Bottles/Cans: 6
  • Draft: 13

Black Tooth Brewing is no stranger to accolades. Co-founder Travis Zeilstra and Black Tooth Brewing have garnered prestigious awards from multiple beer competitions, including the Great American Beer Festival. Great beer deserves a great taproom and General Manager Jess Wood has that on lock by ensuring servers are well trained and confident in serving award-winning beers.