Jan 18, 2012

Top 100 Beer Bars for 2012....

It’s that time of year, that time when we see the Top of this, and that for the year. Most of the time, these lists are the best of that previous year. Well, Draft Magazine does it slightly different, they list the top 100 Beer Bars you should check out in 2012. These are bars that have proven themselves in the previous year(s) and they have no reason to believe they won’t have even more to offer in the upcoming 12 months. I wanted to share this list with you, as well share with you some of my first hand experience I have with a few of them I have been too, as well as a few that I am familiar with, and have friends that have given me reports on them in which I trust. First, let’s talk about the ones I have had the pleasure of actually stepping foot into myself.

First up;


The bar at Falling Rock
 I had the pleasure of checking this place out a few years ago when I was in town for a friend’s wedding. My dad was with me (to officiate the wedding). We had most of the day to kill the day of the wedding, so after touring the Coors Brewery in Golden, we made our way back to the city for a beer, and literally stumbled upon this place. As soon as we stepped in, I knew I was in a top notch, world class beer bar. As is typical with most laid back beer bars, the service was very friendly, and painfully slow, which is fine with me. I was in no hurry. Selection is amazing, and the décor is what you would expect from a place with 75+ taps of mostly American Craft Beer. AWESOME place, check it out!


PAPAGO BREWING COMPANY, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Arguably the best beer bar in Arizona! Only about 30 taps, but this place is not about quantity, it’s all about quality. Those 30 taps are guaranteed to be all awesome beers. If you are a hophead, this place normally is well stocked with a number of great IPA’s. If you go there, look for my sister and brother in law, they live in that area, and are there quite often! Tell them the Beer Czar says hello!


THE GREAT LOST BEAR, Portland, Maine

Taps at the Great Lost Bear
Now, I will admit, it has been a good number of years since I have been here (about 15 to be truthful). I was just starting down my road to craft beer when I was lucky enough to have a friend take me here. In fact, you could make a case this hang is partly responsible for opening my eyes to the fact that there are more than fizzy yellow light lager beers available to us. I know a few folks that go here often, and are constantly raving about the selection of great beers. They specialize in regional brews and you can always find a fantastic selection of what I consider Maine's best brewery, Allagash. Also, according to draftmag, “.…tap list… with four cask-conditioned pours, a revolving list of Belgian and extreme beers, old favorites like Shipyard Export Ale, and a slew of taps in “Allagash Alley,” a set of faucets dedicated to the brewery’s rarer offerings.”


Love the look of this place!
THE MOAN AND DOVE, Amherst, Mass.

It wasn’t long after I was at the Lost Bear, that I heard about this place, and checked it out. Again, I was just getting into craft beer, when my trip to the Lost Bear opened my eyes to great beer, and I heard the brewer at the local pub I was hanging out at at the time (Elm City Brewing in Keene NH) told me about this place. This is basically a college hangout with a great beer selection. I would recommend going there when school is out of session, as it gets a little crazy, but its well worth putting up with obnoxious frat boys and sorority girls if you can’t go at that time. When in Western Mass, check this place out, it’s got a cool vibe to go along with a stellar tap and bottle list.


Now, here are a few places I have heard great things about, and have a little second hand knowledge of them, from friends and family I trust.

HOPCAT, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Hopcat, Grand Rapids MI, what a cool looking place!
As many of you know, I married a lovely lady from the great state of Michigan. Not only do I love Michigan women, but the beer in that state is world class. You could make a case that Michigan is among the best states for craft beer in America, a very good one in fact. And Hopcat, from what is here, is among the best places to get that beer in Michigan. 200+ taps, you are bound to find some great stuff! Never having been there myself, but hearing a lot about it from friends as well as internet forums, I would recommend checking the place out, and in the mean time, I plan on sending our roving Beer Czar correspondent Uncle Gary out to Hopcat to write up a review to share with us. Check back soon for that!


Soft lighting, sexy beer, yup, its Beer Porn!

I have heard a lot of this place from friends and family members. I don’t know much about it, so I’ll just share with you what draftmag.com has to say about it….”Ever find yourself choosing between a night at an English-style pub, German beer hall or Belgian café? At Novare Res, you get three in one trip. Here, you’ll find no fewer than 13 Cantillon labels, rauch and altbiers, and a lengthy list of English-style barleywines—plus delicious culture clashes like the Novare Belgian Waffles with Young’s Chocolate Stout ice cream.”


EBENEZER’S PUB, Lovell, Maine

The Bar at Ebenezer's
Now this one is very near and dear to my heart. Many of you reading this will look at the town this is in and say “where the hell is Lovell Maine”, in fact, even people reading this in Maine may be asking that. Lovell is a small beautiful little town (under 1,000 residents) in western Maine, where, in fact, I happened to grow up. Sadly, I moved away before Ebenezer’s opened its doors. Now, I have yet to see a list of great beer bars in America without seeing Eb’s on it. If you are into Belgians beers, this is the place to go. While there is only around 30 or so taps (last time I checked) there are some 700+ quality QUALITY bottles to choose from, many vintage and hard to find outside of Lovell. So next time you find yourself in Lovell (and let’s face it, the only time you find yourself in Lovell, is when you are planning on going to Lovell) check out this world class beer bar, it’s one of the, if not THE best in the country!


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