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Friday, July 27th 2012

15 Most Cantastic Places to Grab
a Can of Craft Beer in America

Plenty of beer bars are carrying cans of craft beer these days. Bars and restaurants are featuring can nights, putting on beer dinners with courses paired with different cans and even throwing their own canned beer fests. We did our best to identify 15 different places from around the country that really showed that they embraced the canned beer revolution. We hope you enjoy and if we missed a place that totally rocks just let us know. Cheers!

15.  Memphis Taproom | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Memphis Taproom is almost two drinking establshments in one. Upfront you've got a beer bar with a great tap selection and some amazing food options. Head out to the beer garden and you enter a whole new world - a more can-friendly world. This is where you'll find a stationary food truck that dishes out 10 different amazing-sounding hot dogs and a dozen different craft cans - no bottles in the beer garden. Grab a dog and a can and watch the Phillies game on the projection screen or swing by for an episode of Twin Peaks - they're showing all 29 episodes this summer with cans of Twin Lakes Greenville Pale Ale on special for $3.

Local Cans - Sly Fox Brewing and Twin Lakes Brewing Company

14.  Star Bar | Denver, Colorado

First opened over 50 years ago, Denver's Star Bar was renovated a couple years ago and has since been racking up awards as one of the city's most beloved dive bars. Star Bar is located close to Coors Field in an area filled with great watering holes and places to grab a bite to eat. They've got some amazing beers on tap at all times with 14 taps inside and another 4 outside. They also pride themselves on serving some of the best canned craft beers Colorado has to offer. Stop in on Wednesday's for their "$3 Fuh CAN Eh Night" when most craft cans are only $3 all night. They don't serve food but you can bring your own! 

Local Cans - 20 different cans from Colorado craft breweries

13.  Tokio Pub | Schaumberg, Illinois

Tacos and sushi on the same menu? Finally! Located northwest of Chicago, Tokio Pub offers up choices you may need to hit up 2 or 3 different restaurants to find (check out the menu). From tacos made with tortillas made in house to sushi rolls and even barbecue, this place seems to have it all and it all sounds delicious. Wash it all down with one of their twenty or so canned craft beer choices. What really makes Tokio Pub so cantastic is their canned beer dinners involving different cans from local breweries paired with some amazing sounding dishes. 

Local Cans - Finch's Beer, Half Acre Beer Company, Goose IslandWild Onion Brewery and Two Brothers Brewing.




12.  Billy Jack's Wing & Draft Shack | Harrisonburg, Virginia

If the name alone doesn't pique your interest perhaps the look and feel if Billy Jack's Wing & Draft Shack will! Billy Jack's has all the character you could ever want from a bar and couples it nicely with a menu that features wings with a plethora of home made sauces, fried chicken and waffles, loaded french fries and dougnuts! Are you kidding us? All of that sounds awesome. Billy Jack's also boasts Virginia's largest canned craft beer selection! They've hosted several canned beer nights and are devoted to the craft beer cause. Swing by and do their wing challenge sometime or just grab a stool and have some wings and a few beers. Either way this place rocks!


Local Cans - Full Nelson Virgina Pale Ale from Blue Mountain Brewing

11.  Spenard Roadhouse | Anchorage, Alaska

If you've been following the news in the world of canned craft beer you've probably noticed a lot of action going on up in Alaska. Four different breweries are now canning their beers and one of our favorite Alaskan beer experts, Dr. Fermento, recently wrote a great piece for the Anchorage Press about the movement to cans up in the Final Frontier. Spenard Roadhouse features over a dozen different canned craft beers including those from Midnight Sun Brewing Company and Kenai River Brewing Company. Did we mention this place serves things like "super" tots, reindeer Polish sausages, s'mores, and they even have a "Bacon of the Month"? Yeah, this place is fantastic to say the least. One day Alaska, one day. I'll come and visit, I promise. 

Local Cans - Midnight Sun Brewing Company and Kenai River Brewing Company


10.  BAR Philadelphia | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Unpretentious is probably the best way to describe BAR. The name isn't fancy, the place isn't fancy, the website isn't fancy (probably because they don't have one), and the ambience is that of a comfortable dive bar. However, BAR has a canned beer list that is close to out of control. A mix of industrial tallboys, imports, ciders, and close to 50 different craft cans makes this place well worthy of a spot on this list. Between beers be sure to throw down one of their famouse "picklebacks" - a shot of whiskey with a pickle juice chaser. 


Local Cans - Sly Fox Brewing Company, Lancaster Brewing Companyand of course plenty of Yuengling.



9.  Idle Hands | New York, New York


Located in the East Village, Idle Hands is one of NYC's best bars for "BourbonBeer and Rock". Barely a day goes by that this place doesn't have some sort of kick ass event going on (check out the calendar) - from beer tastings paired with tater tots and special sauce made from one of the beers to the occasional Emo/Post-Hardcore music night. Recently Idle Hands decided to do away with their glass bottles for the summer and made a shift to all cans. They've been rotating through 70 different options and you can definitely find one that pairs well with a burger from That Burger, which is conveniently located upstairs. This past January 24th, Idle Hands held a "Beer Can Apprecation Day" with $20 all you can drink craft cans with all empties forming a "Beeramid". We're looking forward to seeing what they do next year!


Local Cans - Sixpoint, Butternuts and Bluepoint Brewing.

8.  HD1 | Atlanta, Georgia

HD stands for Haute Dogs and that is no understatement. HD1 serves up some ridiculously delectible sounding dogs (and some "not dogs" as well) in a very cool, very hip environment. Why not wash down that "East Bound and Down" - a hot dog with Carolina pulled pork, country slaw, and mop sauce - with one of their close to 40 different craft cans? Don't forget to order some of their waffle fry poutine! 

Local Cans - Georgia's first canned craft beer - Long Day Lager (Red Hare Brewing Company)

7.  Jackson's Garage | St. Augustine, Florida

Instead of a mug club Jackson's Garage sports a "koozie club" that gives patrons a koozie with their name on it and 10% off their bill. They've also just started giving out punch cards that enable beer lovers to buy 5 cans/drafts and get the 6th one free! Jackson's Garage sports a substantial canned beer selection with something for everyone. They also feature some great local drafts and a menu that includes personal pizzas, sandwiches and other comfort pub food all served up in a casual atmosphere "with a home garage hangout feel".

Local Cans - Intuition Ale Works and Cigar City Brewing Company (soon)

6.  Denver Bicycle Cafe | Denver, Colorado

Let's face it, Colorado has no shortage of canned craft beers. In fact, it leads the entire country with over 80 different craft beers currently offered in cans. Denver Bicycle Cafe is doing their part to showcase what the state has to offer. They have over 40 different cans and ALL of them are from Colorado - or shall we say CANorado. Oh yeah, they also serve some serious coffee and if your bike happens to have some issues they're also a full-service bicycle repair shop. So, if you happen to love riding a bike, sipping good coffee, and drinking great beer than this is the place for you. You can start and end your day at the same place, talk about efficient!

Local Cans - a lot! (over 40 different Colorado cans) Check out the list...


5.  Bar of Soap | Asheville, North Carolina


It seems only fitting that one of America's top beer cities (it tied for Beer City USA this year) should posess a laundromat that also just so happens to have a pretty amazing craft beer selection. Asheville, North Carolina's Bar of Soap is also probably the only place on earth that will make you wish that you didn't have a washer and dryer at home. This place is one part laundromat, one part used book store, and all kick ass beer bar. It features a serious canned craft beer selection with over 25 different craft cans available and, oh yeah, they even make and sell their own laundry detergent and none of the books cost more than $5. We need to check this place out even if it means showing up without any dirty laundry.


Local Cans - Asheville Brewing Company, Catawba Valley Brewing Company, and soon to be local beers from Oskar Blues Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewery and New Belgium Brewing Company.


4.  Full Circle Bar | Brooklyn, New York


Located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, Full Circle Bar is the "National Home of Brewskee-Ball". That's right, Full Circle hosts their own Skee-Ball league in the back of the bar. At the front of the bar is where you can order one of 40 or so different cans of craft beer and enjoy a hot dog or a soft pretzel - they're free on Tuesdays & Thursdays and so is the Skee-Ball. This little bar has a lot going on and is definitely a cool place to check out and relive some childhood memories by playing a little Skee-Ball - think Chuck E. Cheese when you were 8 - its even more fun with beer now that you're all grown up. Full Circle has also hosted two "Candemonium" events, one of which celebrated their first anniversary and the other, which took place this past May, coincided with the Brewskee-Ball National Championships.


Local Cans - Sixpoint, Bluepoint and Butternuts




3.  Tasty Weasel Tap Room | Longmont, Colorado


Did you expect this place NOT to make the list? C'mon, the Tasty Weasel is attached to the Oskar Blues Brewery! That means its the place with the freshest cans of their beer in the entire country, not to mention plenty of special kegs and casks. Recently they added a big deck with plenty of outdoor seating - perfect for sipping a Dale's Pale Ale before doing the brewery tour. Hey, they've also got Brew-Skee Ball leagues (see above - Full Circle Bar)! This place is a must if you're out in Colorado for any reason whatsoever. CANsider it a pilgrimmage of sorts...


Local Cans - Oskar Blues Brewery




2.  The Watering Hole (Whole Foods) | Chandler, Arizona


Recently "King" James Swann was awarded the honor of being named the "Most Beerfluential Person in Arizona" by The Brew Bros. James, who originally hails from England, is fully devoted to spreading the merits of craft beer in his adopted homeland. James is the man behind making the Whole Foods in Chandler, Arizona unlike any other you might visit. He is the bartender, beer class teacher, as well as the head beer guru at the store's Watering Hole bar. The bar, located directly inside the store, features over 30 beers on draft and is a place which allows customers to take a break from shopping and sit down and have a pint - or they can grab one to take with them as they shop! If you're like many beer-loving folks then your main destination inside the store is The Watering Whole. Plain and simple. What pushes this place close to the top of our list is not only the store's substantial offering of canned craft beers for purchase but also that James hosts a "Canned Craft Beer Night" every Thursday evening with $2.50 cans and more than 25 on offer - plenty of cans from Arizona as well.


Local Cans - Lumberyard Brewing, Four Peaks Brewing, SanTan Brewing, Mudshark Brewing, Grand Canyon Brewing, Mogollon Brewing and Prescott Brewing.




1.  Percy Street Barbecue | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 


Over the past couple years Aric Ferrell, Manager at Philadelphia's Percy Street Barbecue, has been on a mission. He has been on a campaign to have Percy Street feature the largest selection of canned craft beers in the country and we are proud to say that he has definitely accomplished his goal. But, its not just the vast array of craft cans available (at last count there are over 100) at this South Street eatery that put it at the top of the list. Nope, Percy Street is also home to some of the most amazing barbecue in the northeast. Two words: Turkey Tails. Everything we've had there was delicious and you can even get cans to go now! If it comes in a can and is available in Pennsylvania than Aric has done everything he can to put it on his can menu. Serving up Texas-style BBQ in a clean, modern environment with a ridicu-list of canned craft beers available as well as a serious whiskey list, Percy Street is our top choice for best place to grab a can of beer in America. They've earned it.

You can read more about Percy Street Barbecue in this Q & A we did with Aric Ferrell last summer. Cheers!


Local Cans - Sly Fox Brewing, Lancaster Brewing, Old Forge Brewing, Twin Lakes Brewing Company


Posted by Russ