St. Louis Bars For People Who Are Serious About Beer

If you like a good beer list, here are the places to go

click to enlarge Crow's Nest. - THEO WELLING
Crow's Nest.

There are bars that serve beer, and then there are beer bars. You can recognize a beer bar by the number of taps. Four taps? You may be in a wine bar. Eight taps.... possibly a restaurant. Twenty taps? You're getting closer to beer bar territory. You know beer bars cause they have your favorite beer and your friend's favorite beer and they have beers you can't find anywhere else. They have the beer you had that one time you tried an English ale in a backstreet London pub. These bars have got the beer, is what we're saying.

21st Street Brewers Bar
2017 Chouteau Avenue, 314-241-6969

Part of Paul and Wendy Hamilton's empire on the edge of Lafayette Square, 21st Street Brewers Bar fills the patio and basement of the building better known as the home of Vin de Set and PW Pizza. But this near-hidden gem deserves wider acclaim. With 50 beers on tap and another 80 offered by the bottle, the cozy cellar bar has something for everyone — and that includes wine drinkers (there's a short roster of basics by the glass) and even non-drinkers (the food is genuinely good and you can order from PW's menu of pub grub and pizza). Friendly service, an array of seating options (including some couches) and later hours than anywhere in the Square make this a nightcap destination. —Sarah Fenske

Amsterdam Tavern
3175 Morgan Ford Road, 314-772-8224

They say St. Louis is a soccer city, and nowhere is that more apparent than at Amsterdam Tavern. Self-dubbed the "Home of the Beautiful Game," Amsterdam Tavern is St. Louis' go-to bar to watch soccer games. There are soccer jerseys, flags, scarves and even a picture of Bob Marley wearing a soccer jersey covering the walls. But don't let this distract you: The Amsterdam Tavern wouldn't be a European-style bar without some good beer. The diverse beer selection includes 17 beers on tap and more than 30 can and bottle beers, including local favorites such as Schafly's Dry Hop APA and Logboat Brewing's Snapper IPA. —Benjamin Simon

The Crow's Nest
7336 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-781-0989

Over the years, Maplewood hot spot the Crow's Nest has increasingly made its identity that of a restaurant first and a bar second, with customers more likely to seek out its delicious poutine, top-notch sandwiches and, of course, its ever-popular Metal Brunch than the suds it has on offer. That's all well and good, but it overlooks one crucial detail: The Crow's Nest is one of only a small handful of bars to carry Trooper in the St. Louis area. Brought to you by legendary new wave of British heavy metal act Iron Maiden, the beer sports the band's iconic mascot Eddie and brings the full-bodied taste of a deep golden ale with a side of ass-kicking heavy metal — plenty of reason for hopheads and metalheads alike to make the Crow's Nest a go-to drinking destination. —Daniel Hill

click to enlarge Gezellig. - THEO WELLING

4191 Manchester Avenue, no phone

At any time, you can pop onto the Gezellig Tap House & Bottleshop's website for a preview of what's on tap and how full the casks are. That's cool, but it's nothing compared to the sight of Gezellig's giant, wall-to-wall coolers filled with brews from around the world. Patrons serve themselves and can drink in-house or make a four or six pack to take home. Those enjoying beverages on location can supplement their brews with a slice from Pie Guy Pizza. Gezellig is an untranslatable Dutch word that roughly equates to cozy, comfortable and enjoyable, and though the bar's large, open and industrial space isn't exactly cozy, Gezellig is undeniably a welcoming spot to find a previously unknown beer. —Jessica Rogen

Hair of the Dog
1212 Washington Avenue, 314-241-3644

A Washington Avenue mainstay, Hair of the Dog is where to go when you're trying to get away from the bros and bachelorette parties that sometimes frequent Washington Avenue ­— or when you just want a really good beer. Hair of the Dog has 250 of them, 43 of those on tap. Plus, this no-frills place is easy on the wallet with a Wednesday happy hour and a wide selection of affordable drafts and bottles. Still not sold? Where else can you see graffiti artist Peat Wolleager's work honoring beloved "Dead Fat Comedians"? —Rosalind Early

International Tap House
Multiple locations including 1711 South Ninth Street, 314-621-4333

Now with two locations, iTAP has one of the best beer selections in all the city. The St. Bernardus ABT 12 from Belgium is a reliable place to start if you find the selection overwhelming. iTAP's bottle game is even more extensive. Standouts include Xingu, a Brazilian black lager, and Weihenstephaner, a light bready malt from Germany that has been brewed the same way since the year 1040. iTAP also has an extensive nonalcoholic selection for the teetotaler in the group. The array of big screens tuned to the Cards or Blues is the perfect way for your eyes to pass the time while your taste buds are out trotting the globe. —Ryan Krull

Pop's Blue Moon
5249 Pattison Avenue, 314-776-4200

If you're new to sober life but want to find a place where you can still hang out with your drinking friends, the best option for you is Pop's Blue Moon. This bar on the north side of the Hill neighborhood serves all people, whether they're drinking alcohol or not. In addition to having a full bar with a robust liquor and beer selection, Pop's Blue Moon also offers nonalcoholic beers so you can crack open a cold one right alongside your buddies. There's even a selection of canned CBD drinks available, in case you don't do alcohol but you're "California sober." So if you're thinking about quitting but don't want to miss out on the socialization, make Pop's Blue Moon your new home base. —Jaime Lees

SOHA Bar & Grill
2605 Hampton Avenue, 314-802-7877

You'll find 40 beers on tap and an even wider selection of canned beers at SOHA Bar & Grill. The bar welcomes patrons with a tavern-like atmosphere that includes a fireplace and flat screens tuned to sports. Between drinks, tinker with SOHA's various games including Skee-Ball and arcade basketball. The kitchen serves up typical yet tasty bar food, with options ranging from pizzas and salads to burgers and fried pickles. Situated right next to the Hampton exit off Highway 44, SOHA isn't too far from anywhere, and the bar-and-grill's friendly service makes it a great south-city watering hole to have a relaxed weeknight beer. —Monica Obradovic

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