Newport’s Top Five Craft Beer Bars

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Newport Craft Beer Bar Flare

If you’re big on craft beer, these are the the Newport spots to hit!

When it comes to craft beer bars, Newport, like the rest of the country, has come a long way. A decade ago, bars might throw Newport Storm’s Hurricane Amber on a tap line and call it a day. The pubs of that time (and a few today) looked abroad to find their variety, making sure a sailing community (hailing mostly from Great Britain and her former colonies) would feel right at home.

At the time, all you had to do to show off your beer sophistication was to order a Black & Tan(Guinness & Bass Ale). That showed bartenders that you weren’t some newbie to be trifled with (or, more likely, the opposite).

Today, all that has changed.

Newport was a bit slow on the uptake, given that the hospitality industry aims to cater to a slighter older demographic (or a bunch of drunks who’ll drink anything).

Now, craft beer is all the rage. “Macro” beers (Budweiser aka “America”, Miller, Coors, etc.) are relegated to the bottles, leaving bars’ taplines free for the hoppier, stronger, tastier (and pricer) brews from smaller breweries.

This is generally regarded as a good thing.

Of course, several bars in town have gone above and beyond to make themselves “Craft Beer Bars”.

Craft Beer Bars

Craft beer bars are a bit different than bars that happen to carry craft beer.

What makes a bar a craft beer bar?

  • Lots of taps. At a minimum, a dozen. Preferably 20 or more.
  • Pouring actual “craft beer”. The definition of craft beer has long been held in the beer world’s basement while lawyers, accountants and executives go at it with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch, but if there’s four types of Shock Top or Blue Moon on tap, the only people calling it a craft beer bar are going to be macr0-beer reps.
  • Rotating selections. If I come in once a month, I’m going to be very disappointed if at least half of the bar’s draft menu hasn’t changed.
  • “Whales”. A whale is craft beer lingo for a limited-edition beer that you have to hunt down, a la Moby Dick. Often times, they’re high ABV barrel-aged stouts like Founder’s KBS. These rare, allocated items are typically given to bars as a reward for the efforts they put into selling a brewery’s more “year-round” beers.

So what are the best craft beer bars in Newport?

Here they are (in no particular order)nextpage-button

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