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The Best Craft Beer And Baseball Bars Across America

Eno Sarris, March 31, 2014 -   

I asked our writers to write up their favorite craft beer bars for baseball watching. See this all in list form at the end of the piece, if you're more into brevity and all that. Feel free to add in the comments and we'll improve the list!

The best place to drink and watch the game in San Francisco is definitely Public House, which is attached to AT&T Park. There's a reason BeerGraphs meetups take place here, they have a dozen big screens, great beers on tap and an extensive bottle list. It's a mandatory pre-game drinking spot, and on one occasion I even sold my tickets so I could stay there to drink and watch they game. While that's a little extreme, it's also a bit unnecessary. You can enter the stadium through Public House and bring your drink with you! If you looking to avoid all the Giants traffic, I'd recommend Giordano Bros in the Mission. They've got a bunch of TVs, the MLB Extra Innings package, and couple dozen beers on tap. The variety ranges from macro to micro to nano, so there's a little something for everyone. Pair that with a shuffleboard table and Pittsburgh style sandwiches and we've got a winner. -- Chris Matthiessen

Denver boasts a number of terrific breweries and bars within easy walking distance of Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. For my money, though, you can't beat Wynkoop Brewery. They feature a strong menu of delicious, in-house suds (their B3K Black Lager is my favorite) to compliment a full lunch or dinner menu. I'll be bringing my Dad there in May for the Mets series, and I can't wait. -- Nate Gismot

San Diego's best beer bar for baseball is South Park Abbey. There are many large, nice TVs, MLB extra innings, a willingness to put the sound on whatever game you want, great smoked buffalo wings and over 30 curated taps that mostly feature San Diego's best beers, though it's a great place to get some San Francisco beers that aren't always available. It's in walking distance of the city's most celebrated beer bar, Hamilton's, as well as the Stone tasting room, and is a short bike or Uber ride from Thorn Street Brewery, Monkey Paw and  Mike Hess Brewing. -- Andrew Keatts

Sheffield’s Beer & Wine Garden • 3258 North Sheffield Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60657
Sheffield’s, on the corner of School and Sheffield in Lakeview, is one of Chicago’s best places to enjoy a craft beer while watching a game – particular a Chicago Cubs baseball game, given that Wrigley Field is located a mere three (ish) blocks away. Sheffield’s features one of the Chicago's most diverse lineups on a regular basis, with well over 200 beers available (from over 30 different countries) on a daily basis for even the most picky beer nerd (i.e. myself) to choose from. Sheffield’s features four distinct “beer rooms” (they used to be more theme-oriented, if I recall correctly), including an outdoor beer garden, each with its own unique tap offerings of fresh beer from a series of rotating kegs ranging from every day local releases (e.g. Revolution Brewing’s Anti-Hero IPA) to out-of-state seasonal brews (e.g. Great Lakes Nosferatu) to limited rare releases and exciting tap takeovers (for example, on the stout spectrum, we have seen everything from Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout variants and Bell’s Black Note to Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout and Surly Darkness). The atmosphere of the bar is very relaxed and friendly, and the serving staff is (usually) pretty helpful as well. These features are key to convincing your friends and co-workers to joining you for a drink there – you know, the ones that think you are utterly insane because you just spend $35 on a 12 ounce bottle of the ultra-delicious Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer Geek Vanilla Shake that Mikkeller recently released. Beyond the beer, Sheffield’s spirits list is solid, and their food menu features a variety of above-average offerings, including substantive vegan-friendly options (i.e. more than just French fries). Sheffield’s is readily accessible by Chicago’s brown and red lines on the “L,” which gives the bar a high rating on my “responsible quaffing meter.” The bottom line is that while Sheffield’s is not the best craft beer bar in Chicago, it is a friendly and inviting place (well, unless you’re a St. Louis Cardinals fan) where everyone can find something to eat and drink that they will enjoy. Oh, and they have a good number of TV’s. I guess that’s important too. -- Jeff Gross, Sabeermetrics

The best place in New York City that I've found to watch baseball and enjoy a tasty brew (or six) is The Pony Bar. As I live on the Upper West Side, I've only frequented the Hell's Kitchen location and have never been to the establishment on the Upper East Side, but from what I've gathered the experience is much the same. The Pony Bar is somewhat unique in that they rotate every beer they carry constantly-while it might seem ludicrous that a bar has an iPhone app, in this case it's quite handy to check what they have on a given day or week. Everything is reasonably priced, the food is more than palatable, and the viewing experience is excellent. I watched most of the playoffs last year here, and during the dog days of summer it's tough to beat. Be adventurous and try something you've never heard of and you'll be sure to have a great time! -- Ben Sally

If you woke up to find yourself in Foley's NY Pub and Restaurant in New York City, you might think that you had died and gone to baseball heaven. This "Irish bar with a baseball attitude" is home to thousands of pieces of sports memorabilia covering the walls and ceiling, from autographed baseballs to game-used equipment to World Series rings. The beer selection is nothing to sneeze at either, with over 25 rotating taps featuring NY staples such as Sixpoint, Brooklyn, Ommegang and Blue Point. -- Matt Murphy

Taphouse Grille in Wayne, NJ: Comfortable bar area with about 16 taps and one cask featuring rotating selections of good craft beer in many styles and offer sampler flights. They have plenty of TVs always tuned to sports and a tasty bar menu as well as a full sit-down restaurant. -- Michael Donato

Mulholland's (Grand and Havemayer, Brooklyn): Mulholland's is the one of the more traditional sports bars you might find on a craft list. Lots of screens, lots of food, lots of space. Beer-wise, they tap 22 beers, both cheap and craft. You won't find the Other Half's latest limited edition batch here, but you also won't top out at Blue Moon. Definitely a couple of drafts here for everyone, even if you know them all. What really shines, though, are the wings. A lot of people claim them to be the best in the City. I think they're too saucy, but they are damn good, probably second or thirdrd in my mind (Pro tip: Wogies) Clientele's younger and hipper than the others, but most know their sports. Staff will find your game if things aren't too crazy. You'll need to take either the G or L to get here. For me, Mulholland's could tone down on the sports bar-aspect and work at building a bit more character. It's by no means a neighborhood bar, and it definitely gets a bit overwhelming at times. But it works, and it works well. As far as I know Mulholland's is the best option for catching your game in Williamsburg. -- William Willis

Dram Shop (9th St. between 5th Ave. and 6th Ave, Brooklyn): Dram Shop's the South Brooklyn rival to Mulholland's, I would say. And for my money, I'll side with Dram. About the same number of beers, but better cheap options and better craft options. Living up to its Tex-Mex beginnings, every dish but the wings are unquestionably better and bigger here too, especially the burger. Crowd's neither as loose nor as spirited as Mulholland's, but you can still talk baseball to anyone paying attention. If there is one downside, it's that it's a bit farther out than either of the other bars on the list. Dram Shop's still not my favorite on the list. It's still a bit too sports bar for my taste. And yea, on Saturday night it can get a little overrun. But like Mulholland's, it works, and it works well. -- William Willis

Pacific Standard (St. Mark's Place and 4th Ave, Brooklyn): The NorCal Pacific Standard tops the list. The large line of on-tap microbrews, headlined by its cast of West Coast IPA and blondes, is second to no baseball-friendly bar that I'm aware of. They don't serve food but they more than welcome delivery and take out from any of the surrounding joints (Pro tip: Bonnie's for burgers and wings, Joe's for pizza, Geido takeout for sushi). The atmosphere and staff are what you'd expect from south Brooklyn meets Mission--relaxed but with it, not too crowded but not too empty, Pavement but Interpol. Oh, and being that it's about a five minute walk away from Atlantic Terminal, it's an easy commute from nearly anywhere. All around one of the best bars in the entire city, and definitely the City's best for baseball. If your game's not on, they'll try to find it. But really, it doesn't matter. Pacific Standard's the kind of place you could watch a 3-2 Cubs-Brewers snoozer in the muggy hell of August and still feel good just because of how... right it feels.  And I say this as someone who's never lived more than a mile away from the Atlantic. Seriously, it's the best and it's not even close. -- William Willis

Long Island, Croxley Ale House: English-style bar with dozens of different craft beers as well a handful of rotating taps. Plenty of TVs all over the place and some locations have an outdoor beer garden. They've got a signature Croxley Blonde that's a great session ale. They serve some of the best wings you'll find outside of Buffalo and the rest of their menu is pretty good too. -- Michael Donato

Located a 10 minute walk north up Eutaw Street, Alewife is an eclectic departure from the typical bar fare around downtown Baltimore and Camden Yards. Housed in an old renovated bank, the décor and ambience are what you'd find at your stereotypical British Isles pub and their 40 taps have a little bit of everything for everyone; they do a great job of keeping local offerings such as Brewer's Art, Flying Dog, and Heavy Seas on tap as well as a number of New England, Midwest, and West Coast regionals, running the gamut of beer styles. If draught's not your game, their bottle selection (over 100) will not having you lacking choices. While their TV quota is limited, they will typically have games on; many establishments of this type and quality in Baltimore City do not have TVs, so being able to quench both your craft beer and sports thirst in one place is somewhat unique. If the atmosphere and beer selection weren't enough, they have arguably one of the best burgers in town. Whether you're fueling up for or winding down after a trip to Birdland, Alewife is a must. -- Stuart Wallace

Perch Pub in Philadelphia: Good tap list with an excellent and varied bottle/can list. Taps will generally lean towards the local-area offerings (Victory, PBC, Yards, and so on) but the bottle list is from all over, including some Mikkeller options I've yet to see elsewhere. They'll be showing the Phillies daily (with audio, which is a pretty significant plus for me). -- Alex Fossi

Fox & Hound in Philadelphia: Inconsistent tap list (though they always have many good options for $2 on Tuesdays), but they have a ton of screens and will be showing several games at a time. Even when they do have better beers on tap, I've found that they don't always have the cleanest lines, so your IPA may taste like it's been mixed with PBR. If your first priority is being able to watch several games at once and you're willing to overlook the iffy atmosphere and beer options, Fox & Hound should work for you. -- Alex Fossi

Bainbridge Barrel House in Philadelphia: Probably has the best beer selection of any of these Philly bars, but also a little less baseball-inclined than the others. They still have TVs, but I don't think you'll get game audio, and the other patrons may or may not be paying much attention to the game. If that doesn't bother you, BBH is absolutely worth a look. They've got around 30 taps, and as of today those include options like Stillwater Why Can't IBU, Bruery Hottenroth, and several Carton offerings. If those don't strike your fancy, the bottle list features Alesmith, Cigar City, Evil Twin, and Eclipse 50/50, so you should be able to find something appealing in just about any style. -- Alex Fossi

In Phoenix, there's a very big beer bar called Copper Blues that's pretty close to the stadium. It's not the most memorable place but it gets the job done — though if a baseball fan is in the mood for more ambience after the game, they'd probably do better to go to Crescent Ballroom, one of the city's best rock venues and also a very nice lounge, or Lost Leaf, a terrific bar that doubles as an art gallery and music venue. They don't have food, but Nachobot next door has truly excellent nachos, and Jobot next door has quite good coffee, making it perfect for a very late night. -- Alex Remington

Papago Brewing in Phoenix may not blow you away with their brewery beers, but their tap list is extensive, and then you've got that beautiful fridge. That fridge full of near-rares and exciting seasonals from anywhere from Colorado to Portland to Delaware is a great backup plan should you fail to find a beer on tap that gets your giggles. With easy-to-see tvs from every spot in the bar (except for the second room), you're good on baseball. If you're in Scottsdale, this is easily a definite for at least one night on your trip. -- Eno Sarris

If you love baseball and craft beer, Richmond, VA is definitely worth the trip. The Richmond Flying Squirrels are the AA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants in the Eastern League. Led by award winning executive and creative mastermind Todd “Parney” Parnell, the front office puts on a fun-filled show 70 nights a year. The excitement is not only in the stands, but on the field too, as you’ll get to watch top prospect Kyle Crick take the mound. Looking for great local craft beer? The Squirrels feature several beers from local and regional breweries. This year they are debuting “Chin Music” -- an amber lager brewed in collaboration with local brewery Center of the Universe (aka “COTU”), which is owned by former Oriole pitcher Chris Ray and his brother. If that isn’t enough, there are two breweries within a couple of miles of the stadium (Hardywood Park and Isley), with several others within a quick drive. I’d also recommend a trip to MeKong, which won CraftBeer.com’s award for “Best American Beer Bar” for the second straight year. -- Erik Hernquist

Portland, Oregon isn’t a baseball city. There is no major or minor league team in the city limits, and in fact, there is no team that even calls itself the Portland whatevers. There is baseball on television in Portland though, there are bars in Portland, and God knows there is beer in Portland. So you’d think there would be some pretty good beer bars to watch a ball game in. And there probably are, but I don’t know what they are. I write things and take care of two five-year-olds for a living, so my chances to go out and watch baseball are limited. As in they don’t exist. That’s why I’m calling the Morrison Hotel the best baseball and beer bar in the City of Portland. It’s not that it is, it’s that it’s all I know. The Morrison Hotel is a Red Sox bar and they have Red Sox games on their TVs. They have some local beer on draught, not a whole lot, but some. During Happy Hour (4-7) it’s $3, which, this being the West Coast, is pretty much exactly when Red Sox games take place. So it’s got that going for it, which is nice. There might be better beer bars in Portland. There probably are. There might be better places to watch baseball in Portland. Quite possibly there are. But the Morrison Hotel is the best place to watch a baseball game and drink a good local beer in the city of Portland, Ore that I’ve been to. How’s that for some honesty? -- Matthew Kory

Los Angeles, CA: The key things for me are 1. They have the MLB package and 2. They have multiple TVs easily viewable from one seat (for those Saturday afternoons when little else is on and they'll happily put on three games for me).
Barney's Beanery (any location) -- Best for NCAA games too.  HD screens stacked and slapped everywhere.  At the bar it's easy to watch like three or four at once.
Blue Palms Brewhouse (Hollywood) -- The TV setup isn't ideal but the beer selection is amazing and the owner is a big sports fan.
The Short Stop (Echo Park? Near Chavez Ravine) -- Great stop on the way to a Dodger game (you can park there if you're careful, and walk up to the game, it's that close) to have a few. Big space, lots of sports stuff on the walls, nice enough TV setup.
T. Boyle's Tavern (Pasadena) -- Not as sports bar-ish as some of the other places, but lots of TVs and a nice, mostly quiet atmosphere. -- Dan Port

Gallos Tap Room is a bar/grill at 5019 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH 43214. Great wings, and great onion/bacon grilled cheese.  Lots of beers on tap and in bottle. Good enough beer bar to occasionally host tappings off "one off" casks from local breweries like Columbus Brewing Company. What sets it apart, though, is the combination of the strong food and the incredible sports viewing atmosphere. The walls are plastered with gigantic televisions, often showing 8-10 different sports events, and several of the booths even have small televisions. For example, I am a big Giants fan, and was looking for somewhere fun to watch one of the 2010 playoff games. Because there were a lot of other sports events on, including some really important Ohio State games, we couldn't get the game on any of the really premium big screens, and certainly not with any sound. The four of us ended up at one of the booths with the televisions, of which we had channel and volume control. Happily ever after. -- Benjamin Leland

In the Peninsula south of San Francisco, there are lots of great beer bars. Many of them don't care about baseball viewing. One of the must-gos for the two together is The Refuge, which pairs a Belgian-heavy beer list with great pastrami sandwiches. There's one in San Carlos and one in Menlo Park. But the Rose & Crown in Palo Alto might be the best place to go for rotating taps of stouts and IPAs, and as long as you're okay with small-ish televesion screens and a bar full of people who don't really care about baseball, you can sneak your sport in with a great beer. -- Eno Sarris

If you find yourself at vacationing in Myrtle Beach, SC this baseball season, you should definitely swing by and watch a Myrtle Beach Pelicans game. This Texas Rangers affiliate in the Carolina League team’s features three of Baseball America’s “Top 100” prospects on their opening day roster: Jorge Alfaro, Joey Gallo and Nick Williams. If you are looking for craft beers, you’ll find quite an assortment, including several local & regional brews. Run out there on a Tuesday and get craft beer for $2 until 8pm. The Pelicans also have their own hop garden, which is used to brew “Pelicans Summer Tide” in conjunction with New South Brewery. $10 from each keg of this beer sold goes to support local hospice. In summary – you get the beach, solid baseball, $2 craft beer, and a cause worthy brew made from fresh hops grown at the ballpark. Myrtle Beach is definitely worth the trip. -- Erik Hernquist

Phoenix, AZ
Papago Brewing
Copper Blues
Angel's Trumpet Ale House

Los Angeles, CA
Barney's Beanery
Blue Palms Brewhouse
The Short Stop
T. Boyle's Tavern
Haven Gastropub

San Francisco Metro, CA
Giordano Bros
Public House
Francesca's (Mountain View)
The Refuge (Menlo Park, San Carlos)
The Rose & Crown (Palo Alto)
St. John's (Sunnyvale)
Harry's Hofbrau (San Jose, Redwood City, San Leandro)
Original Gravity (San Jose)
TL Beer Garden (Sunnyvale)
Smoke Eaters (Santa Clara)
Englander (San Leandro)
Caps & Taps (Dublin)

San Diego, CA
South Park Abbey

Denver, CO
Wynkoop Brewery
Old Chicago (Colorado Springs)

Washington, DC
Bluejacket in Navy Yard

Orlando, FL
Cask & Larder

Atlanta, GA
Taco Mac
Square Pub

Chicago, IL
Merkle's
Sheffield’s Beer & Wine Garden
Crew

Munster, IN
Three Floyds Brewhouse

Kansas City, KC
The Flying Sauce

Boston, MA
Publick House
Parlor Sports
Harry's Bar and Grill

Baltimore, MD
Alewife

Kalamazoo, MI
Shakespeare Pub

St Louis, MO
The Flying Saucer

New Jersey, NJ
Taphouse Grille (Wayne)

New York City Metro, NY
Pony Bar (Manhattan)
Standings (Manhattan)
Foley's (Manhattan)
The Malt House (Manhattan)
Mulholland's (Brooklyn)
Dram Shop (Brooklyn)
Pacific Standard (Brooklyn)
The Gate (Brooklyn)
Croxley Ale House (Long Island)

Cincinnati, OH
Rhinegeist Brewing
Christian Moerlein Lager House
Rhinehaus Bar

Cleveland, OH
Winking Lizard

Columbus, OH
Gallos Tap Room

Portland, OR
Spirit of '77
The Morrison Hotel

Philadelphia, PA
Fox & Hound
Bainbridge Barrel House
Perch
Misconduct
Eulogy
Devil's Den
Local 44
Doobie's
Bar
Copperhead Grille (Allentown)
 

Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Dallas, TX
Holy Grail Pub

Houston, TX
The Flying Saucer

Richmond, VA
The Richmond Flying Squirrels
MeKong

Seattle, WA
Sully's Snow Goose
Elysian Fields
Century Link
Copper Hog (Bellingham)

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