It is now time for me to share with you my next “best of” list. And this time, it’s about BEER.
If you haven’t already, check out my Top 5 FOOD spots. And coming soon, my Top 5 COCKTAIL spots (which I will post after Thursday night, when I get to visit my favorite cocktail spot in the city wheeee!!).
I must explain one thing before I begin. These are my favorite beer spots (among those I visited while on my drinking travels). By this I mean, these are the places whose beer lists truly impressed me. Some of these do overlap with my food list (duh, beer and food go well together), but the intention of this list is different. Just wanted to clarify.
And so, without further ado…BEER!
1. The Map Room [5/5 Awesomeness points]
For those of you who know it, this is an obvious choice. It is a place that many people know and talk about, and after my extensive bar-hopping travels, I can assure you that it truly is not overrated. The Map Room really is the place to be to drink beer. They have 26 beers on draft at all times, almost all of which rotate daily or weekly. You will find things you have never heard of before, and the bottle list is almost too long to handle.
And if that’s not enough, the atmosphere is really mellow and laid-back, making it a comfortable spot to chill with a cold brew. For beer connoisseurs, it’s definitely your spot. And for those of you who don’t know as much about beer, the bartenders are very willing, no, eager, to help you out. It’s quite lovely.
2. Bangers and Lace [4.5/5 Awesomeness points]
This place looks snooty and kind of upscale from the outside. And in a way it sort of is. It is intended as an upscale beer bar, with an impressive beer list boasting numerous rare and unusual brews. They serve high-quality sausage alongside the beer. And the bartenders truly know their shit.
Even so, it’s a really nice place to hang out. The decor is kind of rustic, and they have a little patio out front. And the beer really is worth it. Best part: The Six Pack, a selection of six rare brews, generally grouped by style and rotating seasonally, and which come in a tasting flight for $9. Definitely worth the visit.
3. Public House [4/5 Awesomeness points]
It’s really hard to think about this place without drooling everywhere. The food is just that good. But we’re here to talk about the beer, and Public House knows beer. With over 100 beers in house and 25 on draft, there is a lot to choose from.
To be fair, the draft beers they have are not as unique and rare as those at The Map Room or Bangers. But here’s the kicker: you can get any three draft beers in a flight for $9, and they serve it to you on a cute little chalkboard tray so you know which one is which. It’s a great way to try new things, and chances are you will like one so much that you’ll just order a pint of it afterwards.
And if that’s still not enough for you, Public House is currently the only bar in the city to have their own in-house brew in collaboration with Goose Island. And it changes seasonally. Now that’s something to brag about.
4. Sheffield’s [4/5 Awesomeness points]
Again, you may notice this is a repeat from my Food list (BBQ, yummmm). But damn, their beer list is incredible. If craft beer is your thing, you definitely need to check this place out. They have more beers on tap than I was able to count. And the best part: there are three rooms each with its own bar, and each bar has different beers on tap! So you get to walk around and find your favorites, which is pretty cool.
Another thing: only American microbrews. So for you patriotic beer-drinkers out there, check out Sheffield’s. And if you like PBR, well, don’t. Because they don’t serve cheap mainstream beer. It’s awesome.
5. Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar [3.5/5 Awesomeness points]
Again, a repeat. But it deserves mention. And the reason it gets only 3.5 points is because the food dramatically outweighs the beer, but the beer is still really really good.
The point is, this place is a lot like Bangers & Lace when it comes to beer: rare, unusual, international. Things you don’t see every day. And, in keeping with its organic food trend, most of their beer is craft brewed with organic hops and all that other environmental jazz that I don’t really understand.
Go for dinner. Please, you must eat the food. But check out the beer too. The list is really creative, and you’ll likely see stuff on there that you won’t find anywhere else in the city. It’s totally worth the trek. (And its neighbor, The California Clipper, will be appearing on my cocktail list, so it’s a 2-for-1 deal!)
That’s all for now. Go forth and drink beer! And if you find somewhere that you think is even better than these, please do let me know. I love beer. Hooray beer!
Stay tuned this weekend for my Top 5 Cocktail spots!