The Bavarian Lodge Named Best Beer Bar
El Bait Shop, 8 Degrees Plato, HopCat and Mekong Restaurant & Bar in top five
It's not an easy feat deciding what you want when going out for a beer at one of these 10 bars, nominated by a panel of beer experts and voted as the best in the U.S. by 10Best readers. Each offers a stellar selection of draft and bottled beers, many with a focus on regional or Belgian beers. Pair that with a relaxed atmosphere and knowledgable bar staff ready to help any guest become a beer junkie, and you've got a recipe for a great beer bar.
The Bavarian Lodge (Lisle, Ill.)
Family-owned and operated since 1986, The Bavarian Lodge in the Chicago
suburb of Lisle has a beer selection that changes daily, so there's always something new to drink. The variety includes 38 taps and more than 130 bottles and cans, with an emphasis on Belgians and regional craft beers. Photo courtesy of Bavarian Lodge
El Bait Shop (Des Moines)
El Bait Shop in Des Moines claims to boast the largest selection of American microbeers in the world, and that's easy to believe. As of writing, bar patrons can choose from 199 taps, 67 bottles and 2 cans, served alongside a sizable menu of sandwiches, burgers and other pub fare. Photo courtesy of El Bait Shop
8 Degrees Plato (Detroit)
Located in the heart of Detroit
, 8 Degrees Plato takes the business of beer seriously with a stand out selection of bottled and canned beers and ciders, as well as draft beers – including many local brews – to fill up growlers to go. The bottle shop also has taps, so beer lovers can enjoy a beer while shopping for beer. Photo courtesy of 8 Degrees Plato / Facebook
HopCat (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
HopCat – now with several locations – started in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2008 and has garnered heaps of praise and many awards for its selection of great beer from around the world. Some of the best local, regional and global craft beers are on tap, and more than 250 bottles expands the offerings. It could be their famous “crack fries,” but more likely it’s the wide range of beers, passionate bartenders, a fun atmosphere and a year-round patio that make HopCat a top destination for beer aficionados. Photo courtesy of HopCat
Mekong Restaurant & Bar (Richmond, Va.)
A destination for beer lovers in a Vietnamese restaurant? That’s right – Mekong Restaurant in Richmond, Va. has more than 50 taps and 200 bottles featuring some of the best American craft beers, European imports and an impressive range of styles. The knowledgeable bartenders are keen to assist by recommending specific beer pairings that compliment selections from the extensive menu of authentically flavorful Vietnamese cuisine. Photo courtesy of Mekong Restaurant / Facebook
Belmont Station (Portland, Ore.)
Founded in 1997, Belmont Station has become a favorite destination for beer drinkers in Portland
, thanks to its more than 20 rotating taps in the Biercafe and 1,200-plus bottles in the adjacent bottle shop. Many draft beers are also available for growlers to go. Photo courtesy of Bart Van der Perre
The Happy Gnome (St. Paul)
The Happy Gnome
in Saint Paul
pairs "craft beer exploration and culinary adventure" with its menu of 89 domestic craft and imported beers. Each month, the bar hosts a beer dinner highlighting a single brewery, where guests can meet the brewer and enjoy food pairings. For non-beer drinkers, The Happy Gnome also has a menu of more than 250 whiskeys. Photo courtesy of The Happy Gnome / Facebook
The Avenue Pub (New Orleans)
The Avenue Pub
's motto is "drink what you love," and that's easy to do at this New Orleans bar celebrating American craft beer. Guests can choose from more than 40 taps (31 rotating) and dozens of bottles. Local breweries, like Abita, Bayou Teche, Lazy Magnolia and NOLA Brewing, are well represented. Photo courtesy of Donovan Fannon / The Avenue Pub
The Bier Stein (Eugene, Ore.)
With 30 rotating taps and more than 1,000 bottles of craft beer from all over the world, Bier Stein in Eugene is a beer enthusiast’s heaven and one of the best craft beer bars in the Pacific Northwest. Cicerone-certified “beer stewards” help patrons make informed decisions, and style-specific glassware adds to the experience. In addition to enjoying a pint in the pub, a huge selection of bottles are available for purchase in the shop. Photo courtesy of The Bier Stein
Bailey's Taproom (Portland, Ore.)
There's always something new and interesting pouring from Bailey's Taproom's 26 rotating taps, though this beer bar does place an emphasis on Oregon brews. Patrons at this Portland
bar are welcome to bring their own food to enjoy (no food is served on-site) while sipping a beer, and bottled beers can be enjoyed on site or purchased to-go. Photo courtesy of Bailey's Taproom
The top 10 winners in the category Best Beer Bar are as follows:
- The Bavarian Lodge - Lisle, Ill.
- El Bait Shop - Des Moines
- 8 Degrees Plato - Detroit
- HopCat - Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Mekong Restaurant & Bar - Richmond, Va.
- Belmont Station - Portland, Ore.
- The Happy Gnome - St. Paul
- The Avenue Pub - New Orleans
- The Bier Stein - Eugene, Ore.
- Bailey’s Taproom - Portland, Ore.
A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Julia Herz (Brewers Association), Jack Muldowney (The Hop Review) and Ale Sharpton (AleSharpton.com) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience in the American beer industry.
Congratulations to all these amazing beer bars from coast to coast!