Brewmasters Bar and Grill (Raleigh)
What we’d order on tap: Foothills Jade IPA
The pour: First, your hit by a map of North Carolina all “starred up” with brewery locations across the state, then you see the 66 taps which feature a shocking number of those starred breweries. Brewmasters also hosts fun homebrewer “slams,” where basement jockeys compete for top honors. Plus, they put fried eggs on their hamburgers, and we like fried eggs on our hamburgers.
The Thirsty Monk (Asheville)?
What we’d order on tap: Tripel Karmeliet
The pour: Asheville is the hidden gem of the South, and The Thirsty Monk’s upstairs pinthouse is the hidden gem of Asheville. But the Belgian beer bar in the basement is the hidden gem of The Thirsty Monk. We’ll leave it to you to discover the treasures of the basement’s 14 extra taps, but our money is on the Italians. Oh, and now there’s a rooftop cocktail bar where Old Fashioned’s are reasonably priced and come with bacon snacks.
James E. McNellie’s Public House (Tulsa)?
What we’d order on tap: The “Oklahoma” flight of five local beers?
The pour: There are admittedly some terrible beers found at McNellies in Tulsa, but you don’t have drink all 350. Skip the Stella Artois on the Belgian list and enjoy the ambiance of a true public house. Plus we hear the sweet potato fries are amazing.
Horse Brass Pub (Portland)
What we’d order on tap: Rogue Younger’s Special Bitter
The pour: This English pub keeps its taps mostly local. Fortunately, there are some great breweries nearby. But with soccer on the telly and a choice selection of imports, it could make a nice home away from home for any limey soul.
Monk’s Café (Philadelphia)
What we’d order on tap: Allagash PNC Broken Elevator (aged in wood barrels since 2010)
The pour: Monk’s Cafe prides itself on being “The soul of Belgium in the heart of Philadelphia.” And between its front and back bars, it has most of Belgium on tap. You can also order mussels cooked in a half dozen different Belgian ales.
Closed for Business (Charleston)
What we’d order on tap: Brooklyn Cuvee La Boite
The pour: On Charleston’s happening Upper King, Closed has probably the best beer selection in South Carolina, and for some reason, a really good selection of schnapps. And you can order your beer by the liter, if you want.
The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden (Nashville)
What we’d order on tap: Leipzeig Gose
The pour: The Pharmacy cures what ales you (get it?!) with a beer list that leans heavy on the Germans. Since opening in 2012, the pub has won the town over with its burgers, which are inventive to say the least. We like the house made sodas and sprawling beer gardens. And the beer.
Hay Merchant (Houston)
What we’d order on tap: Bear Republic Racer 5
The pour: The Hay Merchant pays as much attention to the glass they give you as the beer that’s in it, and that attention to detail makes this bar shine like a diamond in the rough. You can get growlers to go, partake in the “Mud Turtle” beer education program, or just sidle up for a pint of something from their well-curated tap list.
The Gingerman (Houston)
What we’d order on tap: Rahr Winter Warmer
The pour: With additional bars in Dallas, Austin and New York, Houston’s Gingerman proves that sometimes a franchise can seem like a series of originals. Opened in 1985 near the Rice University campus, The Gingerman was a beer connoisseur’s dream before there was a culture of beer.
What we’d order on tap: Real Ale Sisyphus Barleywine on cask
The pour: More than 100 beers on tap, and almost as many options for sausage. Yeah. It’s a sausage fest. Bangers has an impressive selection of Belgians and gluten-free beers, showing they don’t discriminate for better or worse. Keep an eye out for the occasional cornhole tournament.
Easy Tiger (Austin)
What we’d order on tap:
30th St. Pale Ale
The pour: It’s a bakery, it’s a beer garden. It’s a beer garden, it’s a bakery. Visit, and you’ll wonder why all beer gardens aren’t bakeries and vice versa. Outdoor ping pong, pop up restaurants, tap takeovers…Easy Tiger is so hip, it could only be in Austin. After making your way through the beer list, take a gander at the whiskies.
Mekong Restaurant (Richmond)
What we’d order on tap: Maine Beer Company’s Lunch IPA
The pour: We’re willing to go out on a limb and say Mekong has the best selection of craft beer at any Vietnamese restaurant in the country. We’re gonna put that out there and see what happens. Someone prove us wrong. The food is killer, the beer is more killer.
Über Tavern (Seattle)?
What we’d order on tap: Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza
?The pour: I get a little jealous of anyone who lives in a state where growlers are legal. I get a lot jealous when they also live near Über Tavern, where you can fill up your growler with Affligem Noël, Stone Ruination or Gordon’s Gubna. You can even special order kegs of more than 100 different beers for your own events.