Sitting back and cracking open an ice cold beer is pretty much a time-honored American tradition, but when it comes to hunting down craft beer and sampling intriguing new flavor combinations, finding something truly attention getting – or just locating a bar that does good beer really well – isn’t as easy as you might think. Never fear, we’re here with our list of the 10 places in America every beer lover must visit at least once.
Much about New York City screams innovation and all things shiny and new, but step into McSorely’s Old Ale House and it’s immediately obvious that this place is no hipster flash in the pan. Slotted into a row of stores in the East Village, this unassuming spot was established way back in 1854, and is the city’s oldest continuously operated saloon. Step through the swinging doors, saunter across the sawdust covered floors, and order your beer (they only serve two kinds, a pale ale and a porter, both on draft, and no hard liquor) and you’ll be joining the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Woody Guthrie, e. e. cummings (who wrote a poem about drinking in McSorley’s), and John Lennon, legends who have all visited at one time or another. Women were only allowed in starting in 1970, so ladies, you have a lot of ground to make up.
Most people come to Las Vegas for the gambling, celebrity chefs, nightlife, and entertainment like those surreal Cirque du Soleil shows, but just in case watching a giant neon baby ride around on a tricycle doesn’t make you feel drunk enough, Sin City is also home to the largest beer bar in America, called the Freakin’ Frog. Also known as Las Vegas’ first craft beer bar, this joint has a vast selection totaling a jaw-dropping 1,200 different brews, all served by well-trained and knowledgeable bartenders ready to make your pit stop a very memorable experience. The Freakin’ Frog is only 5 minutes from the Vegas strip, so in the event you can somehow manage to turn down those free tickets to see Carrot Top, you can be firmly ensconced in a cornucopia of sudsy bliss in no time.
For those days when you’re craving a cold one but you can’t decide whether to go out or just sneak out in your sweats, fetch a quick six pack, and head back home, the brilliant minds behind Belmont Station have you covered. The Biercafe half of the business is home to more than 20 rotating taps that serve beer using a “beer engine” system that they claim is the cleanest in Portland. Have one or two, then take the next round to-go by heading over to the neighboring bottle shop, which features over 1,200 beers all stored under UV-filtered light to ensure the freshest, best tasting product possible. These people are serious about their beer.
It happens all the time. One half of the couple is a cork dork, so in love with wine they can’t stop talking about tannins and finish and the blah blah fruity bouquet, while their mate just wants to kick back with a nice simple microbrew infused with a proprietary combination of a dozen different malts and hops. What’s a split-focus couple to do?! Relax, dude(ess). Head to Bridge, a tap house and wine bar that blends the best of both worlds, topping many a beer-lover’s list due to both quantity and quality. More than 200 beers, 36 of which are on tap, are on offer alongside more than 100 wines, ensuring that there is something for everyone – including a chandelier and a cheese board. Word.