20 Best Beer Towns in America

Here’s Matador’s (matadornetwork.com) list of the 20 best American cities for beer drinkers. Cheers!


1. Boston, Massachusetts
Samuel Adams is just one of the many lagers travelers will find in Beantown. You can party with rowdy Red Sox fans at Boston Beer Works, or head out of town to Allston, where you will find the Sunset Grill and Tap with an amazing 112 beers on tap.
  Feature photo by Thomas Hawk. Photo above by GregPC.
2. Portland, Maine
It’s hard to beat the allure of a cold beer and a fresh, affordable lobster roll. Tour the sprawling Shipyard Brewing Company, or partake in a menagerie of “taster glasses” at Great Lost Bear, just one dollar per sample.

3. New York, New York
New York is known for its diversity, and the pubs and bars are no exception. From dive bars to gastro-pubs, beer lovers can find the atmosphere that suits them best. If you can’t decide between drinks or dessert, try the Chocolate Stout Float at The Chocolate Room in Park Slope. Check out Matador’s list of the top 10 nightlife spots in NYC for more inspiration.
20080905-sarah02Photo by design|wanderer.

4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Rumor has it that the Declaration of Independence was drafted in Philly’s taverns. Why not walk in our Founding Fathers’ footsteps? Play darts with the locals at Brownie’s Irish Pub, or just hang out and listen to live music at The Khyber, Philadelphia’s oldest beer bar.


5. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a small town but their beers carry big flavor. Climb Shining Rock or take a long hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Then cool off with a Highland Oatmeal Porter at Thirsty Monk or Barley’s Taproom.

6. Tampa Bay, Florida
Whether you like imports or domestics, Tampa and St. Petersburg both have terrific beer selections. World of Beer touts 30 taps and another 300 bottled brews. For satisfying pub grub, check out the Et Tu Brewte salad at Dunedin Brewery, or stick with the authentic fish ‘n’ chips at Four Green Fields.
20080905-sarah06 Photo by dannebrog.

7. Atlanta, Georgia
For such a big city with a large college student population, it’s a little surprising that there aren’t more breweries and brewpubs in the ATL. Fear not, however, because what they do have in Atlanta is quality. The all-organic food and drink menu at Five Seasons Brewing will make you a believer.
20080905-sarah07 Photo by jsmjr.

8. New Orleans, Louisiana
Take a break from drinking Hurricanes and check out the awesome beer selection at Cooter Brown’s Tavern. Then stumble on down to The Bulldog and do it all over again; be sure to bring your pooch!

9. The Triangle, North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill)
Thousands of college students wouldn’t steer you wrong. Get some bang for your buck with the five dollar menu at Hi5 in Raleigh. For a more elegant night out, enjoy the view at Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery in Chapel Hill.
20080905-sarah09 Photo by eTombotron.


10. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
Marvel at the many, many taps at The Ginger Man, found in both Dallas and Fort Worth. Or be a giddy juvenile (like me) and order the Buttface at Humperdink’s.

11. Albuquerque, New Mexico
Get your kicks with pizza and beer at Il Vicino, located on old Route 66. Sip award-winning craft brews at Chama River Brewing Company, where the chile is as inspired as a Georgia O’Keefe painting.
20080905-sarah11 Photo by ANOXLOU


12. Cleveland, Ohio
Admire Great Lakes Brewing Company for their delicious Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Tour the brewery and you will admire them more for their responsible, sustainable practices.

13. Chicago, Illinois
Travelers will love The Map Room, with its weekly International Nights and fun atmosphere. Chat over soccer with Irish ex-pats at The Globe Pub.
20080905-sarah13 Photo by mfajardo.

14. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Don’t discount Milwaukee as simply the home of Miller Brewing Company. Eat (and drink!) well at the Hinterland Restaurant and Brewery. Homesick Germans can get a fix at the Old German Beer Hall, a great spot that serves Hofbrauhaus Munchen beers. Explore The Safe House if you’re into James Bond-inspired kitsch.


15. Missoula, Montana
As if the scenery wasn’t intoxicating enough, Missoula also produces some excellent beer. Sample the German treats from Bayern Brewing, self-proclaimed “the only German microbrewery in the Rockies.” Or mosey over to Big Sky for some Moose Drool.
20080905-sarah15 Photo by goatopolis.

16. Denver, Colorado
You know a city is serious about beer when they have seven homebrew supply stores. Need more proof? How about the weekly “Mr. Beer” column in The Denver Post? Still not convinced? Join 30,000 beer drinkers each October at the Great American Beer Festival.
20080905-sarah16 Photo by SchultzLabs.

17. San Diego, California
Good beer is easy to find in the San Diego area, and these “pubs” are not your typical dive bars. Relax in the beautiful gardens at Stone Brewing Company, or admire the view from the rooftop deck at Pacific Beach Ale House.
20080905-sarah17 Photo by HolyHolySnappers.

18. Seattle, Washington
The Pacific Northwest is truly a beer drinker’s Mecca. From the Laughing Buddha Brewing Company to The Stumbling Monk, your time in Seattle will be a spiritual experience.
20080905-sarah18 Photo by Dead Air.

19. San Francisco, California
Foodies know about San Francisco’s wine and culinary offerings, but did you know that they are also the home of exceptional and creative beer? In one evening pub-crawl, bar hoppers have the opportunity to encounter framboise, vanilla beer, and oysterhead stout! Magnolia Pub and Brewery, Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, and 21st Amendment are worth the trip out west.
20080905-sarah19 Photo by Thomas Hawk.

20. Portland, Oregon
Beer is an integral part of Portland’s culture. The quickest way to assimilate and blend with the locals is to hang outside at one of the many McMenamin’s bars with a few local brews and an order of tots. (Get ‘em Cajunized if you like a little spice!) The Horse Brass is also a terrific place to drink, as long as you don’t mind the smoke.

20080905-sarah20 Photo by richclement.com
By Sarah Lancaster, MatadorNetwork


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