A recent Best of the Big A online poll asked for readers’ opinions on the best beer selection at metro area bars.
Not surprisingly, Brick Store Pub in Decatur, a perennial top pick of beer geeks around the world, was named most often. Even though it’s not in metro Atlanta, Trappeze Pub in Athens was mentioned by a surprising number of readers.
But how do you define “best”?
If it’s quantity, there are many bars around Atlanta that can claim to have more taps and more beer. If it’s quality, happily there are now dozens of metro bars and restaurants that feature what critics consider the finest beers in the world.
Maybe what sets Brick Store and Trappeze apart is something different — like a serious approach to beer that borders on obsession.
That shows up in all the big and little things the owners and staff do every day. Besides procuring great and rare beers, and presenting them with knowledge and authority, they store them and pour them with care, and as often as possible serve them in the proper glassware.
Every bit as important, the atmosphere of each place offers a distinct homage to the venerable tradition of the neighborhood pub — that oasis of conviviality where you can find conversation and a sense of community.
Of course, in the crazy crush of any given night, those things might be much less apparent — which brings up another point. Just because you belly up to the bar at Brick Store or Trappeze doesn’t mean you really, deeply care about what’s on the beer list.
I’m constantly amazed at the depth of knowledge and passion revealed by so many beer enthusiasts during casual conversations at bars around Atlanta. But there are other people packing the Brick or Porter or Bookhouse, mostly because “beer is cool,” as my wine columnist colleague, Gil Kulers, likes to say.
Beer is cool, there’s no doubt. But sometimes I just don’t feel like being cool. Even though I’mtoo often tagged as a beer snob, there are moments in life when the best beer selection or even the best beer doesn’t matter.
A sweaty can of PBR at the Clermont Lounge or a solid bottle of Anchor Steam at the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club can be just as sublime as a rare glass of cask ale in the members-only confines of the Fred.
In addition to the EAYC, which does have a pretty good beer selection, there were a number of worthy spots that didn’t make it to the final Best of the Big A vote.
Among them: Brockett Pub House & Grill in Clarkston, Cypress Street Plate & Pint in Midtown, Manuel’s near Little Points, Melton’s App & Tap in Decatur, the Midway Pub in East Atlanta Village, Muss & Turner’s in Smyrna, Thinking Man Tavern in Decatur, the two Atlanta locations of the Vortex, Young Augustine’s in Grant Park.
Who do you think has the best beer selection in Atlanta? Where do go to drink beer?