Best Brewpub in America
Stumbled across this today: http://www.chow.com/best-brewpubs
As much as I love brackets these things are often dangerous when it comes to ranking businesses (Ive seen them for bars and restaurants too). That list seems somewhat random (and clearly should have had 64 or more contestants considering the sheer number of brewpubs in the US right now). It makes you wonder how did they pick the places in the first place. After many complaints in the comments section of certain obvious choices not being included, someone (staff?) mentioned that the list was "only for brewpubs that didn't start as a brewery first." Seems arbitrary. Why go through those gymnastics to carve out a strange subset of the full brewpub list? Are there aficionados of brewpub ONLY brewpubs out there in such numbers that they would demand their own tournament? The concept that places like Stone and Deschutes and Russian River and Three Floyds cant be considered seems ridiculous to me. Not that they are the best brewpubs out there but you are essentially eliminating them because their beer is too good (thus allowing them to get rich and build a brewpub).
I will say of those listed that Cambridge Brewing has a top notch brewpub/restaurant and makes some great product. Magnolia is a cool place with some interesting beers and eclectic food choices (and the clientele is at least as interesting...). Nodding Head is good. Grumpy Troll is ok (I give them bonus points for being across the street from the National Mustard Museum). and Appalachian Brewing I have to say is kind of weak although Ive only been to the Gettysburg location. Havent been to any others on the list I dont think although I have heard good things about Wynkoop and Pizza Port.