The Best Beer Pubs in All 50 States (and D.C.)
Quigley's Pint and Plate
Pawley's Island, S.C.
South Carolina may not be blessed with the same large number of brewing establishments as its neighbor to the north, but the quality doesn't drop off as you head south. Quigley's, in particular, revels in its southern climes by offering distinctly regional flavors such as a peach wheat ale and a 13% ABV "angel's share" English stout alongside its surprisingly strong-hopped 7% ABV Swamp Fox IPA. The tap list is a good match for the menu, which is stocked with local- and tourist-pleasing southern-inspired dishes such as black-eyed pea hummus, fried green tomatoes, lump crab cakes, brown ale chili, ale-poached clams, shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles. Looking for a pairing? Try the Neck Red Ale with a low country roll: grits, shrimp, andoullie sausage and carmelized onions rolled in seaweed, tempura battered, deep-fried and served with ale mustard and barbecue dip.
Rapid City, S.C.
There are just about a handful of breweries in South Dakota, and all of them have brewpubs. Not all of them sit in a historic downtown district with statues of former presidents on every corner and a steady stream of Mount Rushmore tourists streaming in each day. Firehouse would do excellent business here if it had a couple of fizzy beers on tap and served frozen bar pies. It excels not only because of great brews such as its Smoke Jumper Stout, Strong Arm Porter and Brown Cow Ale, but because of an extensive menue that includes bison burgers, burritos, fish tacos, skillet steaks, souvlaki and milkshakes that used ice cream infused with spent stout malt and grain. It does all of this in the huge, three-level building that was once the city's firehouse, but now houses the two-story restaurant, a dining patio and a dinner theater. It's tough to find a good brewpub in a state this large, but Firehouse Brewing make it easy for folks just passing through.
The Terminal Brewhouse
From the outside, the tall, skinny former rail-terminal hotel that's now the Terminal Brewhouse looks like a whole lot of utilitarian nothingness. The open layout inside that give patrons a full view of the kettles, brewing operations and dining space on each floor only hints toward what awaits. Pot roast nachos, cheese-and-beer pairings, slow-cooked short ribs, stuffed sandwiches and a "Philosopher's Burger" of ground lamb seasoned with cinnamon, oregano and shallots would be the marquee attraction anywhere else, but the orange-spiced White Shadow witbier, coffee-and-chocolate-laden Stouthsidenstein oatmeal stout and smooth, hoppy Surrender Monkey saison shan't be ignored.
Draught House Pub and Brewery
The weird little town seemingly built on Shiner Bock empties knows its beer. The Draught House soaks the city's broad beer palate with 75 taps, including a handful of house brews such as the sessionable 3.9% ABV Guy Smiley mild ale and citrusy Sunburst pale ale. The other dozen or so handles are a who's who of Texas, Midwest and West Coast brews with a smattering of Northeast and Euro beers thrown in for good measure. The five-item menu of pizza, calzones, nachos, quesadillas and chips and salsa isn't exactly overwhelming, but the items are more than adequate when paired with weekly specials such as $2.75 themed pints and free bratwurst.
Salt Lake City
So remember all that stuff you thought you knew about Utah drinking laws? The weak beer, the weird "private club" system for getting into bars? Yeah, all that became old news back in 2009. You can still buy all the underpowered 4% ABV beer you want in taverns and grocery stores, but bars and especially brewpubs can now sell beer in as many styles or as much alcohol by volume as they like. That's great news for Utah brewers, but even better for Uinta Brewing, which has been producing low-buzz beers for Utah and higher-potency beers for the rest of the U.S. for 19 years. Now visitors to the Salt Lake City brewpub can get the full 5.7% ABV version of the brewery's 19th anniversary Birthday Suit sour cherry ale, 7.3% Hop Notch IPA or 9.2% Dubhe Imperial Black IPA with its roast beef, pastrami and provolone sandwich on a Uinta roll. In a state that's now a growth market for craft brewers, bringing out your best at the brewpub never hurts.
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