The Best Craft Beer Bar in Every State
1102 W Webster Ave
When in Chicago hunting some Goose Island Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, ease your nerves with a pint at Local Option. While you have plenty of great craft beer options in Chi-Town, Local Option is our pick for their solid in-house brews and extensive bottle list. With over 30 taps and close to a hundred really, really good bottles, you can quench your thirst with every style imaginable. When there’s a place with its own solid beers; plenty of Three Floyds, Surly; and lots of “local options” on tap; plus a range of po’ boys; we’d highly recommend going. Link
Heorot Pub & Draught House
219 S. Walnut St
If ever there was a craft beer institution, it’s The Heorot Pub & Draught House. Listen, we’ll be honest, we don’t know what you do all day in Muncie, but if we lived there, our days would be spent saddled up at Heorot. With a 99 rating on BeerAdvocate and numerous “Best of Indiana” awards under its belt, Heorot is legendary. Sun King, 3 Floyds, Upland, and other nearby breweries are well-represented, as are other great breweries from far away. The food is just meant to fill your stomach so you can drink more beer. In other words, this isn’t The French Laundry. But for a round of Zombie Dusts while The Walking Dead plays on the TVs, it’s where we always want to go. Link
El Bait Shop
200 SW 2nd St.
Des Moines, IA
With over 100 beers on tap, El Bait Shop sure knows how to reel us in. (We are so sorry.) Head over to drink your fill of beer from Toppling Goliath, Confluence, and other Iowa-based breweries. It’s also worth visiting on a Thursday evening when, during Jimmy Carter Happy Hour, they serve up samples from local homebrewers. Link
1109 E Douglas Ave
With 58 crafts on tap, there’s little doubt you can find the right brew to compliment the restaurant’s Smoked Maple Bourbon Pork Chop or seriously good Original Beef Reuben. Tallgrass is well represented, with sours and and hoppy numbers dotting the draught list. If you’re looking to try something new and interesting, select a beer off the Owner’s Local Picks section of the menu. Link
7 Monks Taproom
128 S. Union St.
Traverse City, MI
Yes, we love HopCat. And yes, this was one of the tougher decisions on this list. That said, we went with a personal favorite for Michigan: 7 Monks Taproom. There are a few reasons for this. First, we love their events: Game of Thrones Beer Dinners, Wood-Aged Sour Ale Night, and many others. Those are fun. Second, their 46 taps are always balanced. Styles are spread out and tougher-to-find brews sit next to amazing everyday drinkers—we’re looking at you Hopslam tap handle resting by Fat Tire. They also seem to always have new stuff from Short’s for us to try when we pop in. Link
The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave.
St. Paul, MN
The Happy Gnome is “where you experience craft beer exploration and culinary adventure, together.” And while we’re all for “culinary adventure,” we head there for the beer that flows from the 77 rotating taps. To be more precise, we head there for some beer and a relaxing evening out on their killer patio. The Happy Gnome even features a different brewery every month, hosting a dinner with the brewer and some specially designed pairings. And since you’re in Minnesota, you’ll find plenty of Surly brews to enjoy. Link
Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar
1004 Locust St.
St. Louis, MO
Bridge strives for a balanced tap list that showcases both local and regional brews. They even take suggestions for beers customers really want them to offer. There are plenty we’d love to see—most completely unreasonable—but, based on the 4 Hands, 2nd Shift, Perennial, and others, it seems they’ve got things under control. The setting is a bit more elegant than many a draft house, but we sort of dig the upscale vibe. Link
36th & Farnam
With a slow-growing stable of craft breweries—currently around 30—Nebraska is starting to become more craft-focused. And if you want to experience what Nebraska has to offer, we recommend a few rounds at Crescent Moon. With a nice mixture of Nebraska beers and area goodies from Tallgrass and others, “Omaha’s Original Alehouse” is a killer spot. Since 1996, the Crescent Moon has been the premiere brew stop in Omaha and has since been joined by three other worthy joints from the same parent company. Link
518 1st Ave
Vintage Abyss? You have our attention, JL Beers. Actually, that’s just one of the interesting brews the burger joint has offered recently. Besides the old Deschutes, you’ll find rarities from Surly, taps dedicated to Fargo Brewing Co., and really clever selections from all over the United States. It feels like a throwback burger joint that just happened to get clued in on the beers of the future. Link
Small City Taphouse
202 Columbus Ave
Normally when we go out for sushi, our beer of choice is Asahi. Not because we wouldn’t like something a little more boundary-pushing, but because there aren’t many sushi joints with a craft-focused tap list. Small City Taphouse, with a name that in no way indicates they serve sushi, is a destination for both craft beer lovers and raw fish fanatics. Try pairing your yellowtail with some Hop Juju from Fat Head’s, or enjoy your sashimi dinner with some Speedway Stout, as wrong as that seems. Link
Monks House of Ale Repute
420 East 8th Street
Sioux Falls, SD
“Monks House of Ale Repute was established to provide an oasis for beer aficionados seeking better beer.” And, with that message, Monks began providing Sioux Falls residents with tremendous craft beer. With a relaxed atmosphere—there’s shuffleboard and a fireplace inside—Monks offers customers over 40 draft beers and 150 bottles to choose from. Named one of the best bars in the country by multiple outlets, Monks offers local, regional, and worldly brews that would delight hopheads and all other beer fanatics. You can also expect to find killer events throughout the year like vertical tastings and their epic Beer Bash. Link
441 E. Lincoln Ave.
For quite some time, Milwaukee was known as “the beer capital of the world.” And while that may have been the case, trends and times have changed, and Milwaukee is no longer the epicenter it once was. That said, with places like Sugar Maple, the future is bright. With the goal of providing a relaxed and welcoming environment filled with American craft beer, Sugar Maple succeeds on every level. The 60+ taps include beer from local staples like New Glarus, Sprecher, Lakefront, and more, along with plenty of 3 Floyds, Alesmith, and others. Link