As much as we love a pint poured straight from the source at a local taproom — say, Somerville Brewing Company’s American Fresh Brewhouse, Notch Brewing in Salem, or any Trillium location — the best beer bars are brewery agnostic, with a variety of styles from all over the world. Our favorites offer sophisticated but approachable draft lists in an atmosphere that invites appreciation without feeling intimidating or pretentious.
With soaring ceilings and 100 drafts, Kendall Square’s Meadhall evokes a medieval cathedral devoted to the holy trinity of hops, barley, and yeast. Behind the shimmering penny-topped bar at Worden Hall in Southie, 40 rotating tap lines furnish a well-rounded mix of craft stalwarts and lucky-to-find limited releases. In Allston, Lulu’s pairs its carefully curated, roughly 50-deep draft list with cheerful mid-century modern decor and crave-inducing comfort food. And between the 100-strong draft list and equally deep vault of bottles and cans, you’re sure to find your beer at The Ginger Man near Faneuil Hall Marketplace, whether it’s a porter or a pilsner, a DIPA or a dunkel, or a flight with all four.
1. Meadhall — 90 Broadway, Cambridge, 617-714-4372, themeadhall.com
2. Worden Hall — 22 West Broadway, South Boston, 617-752-4206, wordenhall.com
3. Lulu’s — 421 Cambridge Street, Allston, 617-787-1117, lulusallston.com
4. The Ginger Man — 148 State Street, Boston, 617-936-4241, gingerman-bos.com
Did your favorite craft beer bar make the list? Tell us about your favorite in the online comments section.