Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2012 wasn't easy. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this RFT Music series, we're beeboping and scattin' our way through notable runners up in a number of categories. This week: The eight bars with the best beer selections in St. Louis.
International Tap House (1711 South Ninth Street, 314-621-4333) International Tap House offers the most extensive beer selection in St. Louis, with 500 beers representing twenty countries. The 40 taps, and what iTap considers to be the "cooler spectacle" of bottled beers, spans everything from local brews to national front-runners like Great Divide and Bell's, not to mention the huge list of international heavy hitters and obscure collector's items. Keeping track of every drink consumed has never been easier than it is with the iTap Passport: Work your way through the categories (like drinking one beer from each of the twenty countries) in order to win prizes and personal beer prestige. Seriously, how many bars reward you for heavily drinking their entire selection?
Iron Barley (5510 Virginia Avenue, 314-351-4500) This Food Network-featured St. Louis institution carefully authorizes its taps and bottles. Chef and owner Tom Coghill appropriately selects beer to complement his savory, sweet and salty menu of classic ingredients. Each specialty bottled beer is accompanied by an informative description. Oh, and no worries if you're not privy to beer lingo: The wait staff at this hidden south-side gem is sure to help you pair the perfect brew with your meal.
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (900 Spruce Street; 314-932-1456) New to St. Louis, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium stares directly at Stan the Man from the bottom floor of the Cupples 9 building across from Busch Stadium. It boasts 80 taps, a quarter of which are made here in Missouri, and approximately 150 bottles. But don't expect to find Budweiser here: This craft-brew-only pub doesn't carry standard A-B products, but that's OK. Beers from Avery to Green Flash to Sierra Nevada to Weihenstephaner are all available.
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