Ten places that served and respected beer in 2012

The Best Beer Bars in Boston
By JASON AND TODD ALSTROM  |  December 18, 2012

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One of the top questions we get asked on a weekly basis is: "Where do you guys drink in the Boston area?" That's a tough one, as there are a ton of places that serve great beer. But if we had to create a list of 10 places dedicated to respecting beer in 2012, it would look like this.

ATWOOD'S TAVERN:: 877 Cambridge St, Cambridge :: 617.864.2792 or atwoodstavern.com » Taps: 24 :: Bottles: 40

Your neighborhood bar. Local love is strong, with half the beers on tap hailing from New England. A spacious outdoor patio for warmer days, live music, and a killer Double J Farm burger make Atwood's a must-visit.

BUKOWSKI TAVERN:: 50 Dalton St, Boston & 1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge :: 617.437.999 & 617.497.7077 or bukowskitavern.net » Taps: 22 & 33 :: Bottles: 150 & 134

A bar with attitude. At "Buks," the music is always loud, F-bombs are welcomed, bottled offerings are served from ice tubs, drafts are always rotating, and mug-club members rule; we're proud Boston members. Their White Trash Cheese Dip and Peanut Butter Burger (add bacon!) are favorites.

DEEP ELLUM:: 477 Cambridge St, Allston :: 617.787.2337 or deepellum-boston.com » Taps: 28 :: Bottles: 50

Highly curated. Looking for obscure offerings from Europe? Gravity-poured casks of German lagers? Maybe even a delicious cocktail? (We're not judging.) You've come to the right place. The beers are exceptional, and let's not forget the deviled eggs. Bonus: Lone Star Taco Bar, their sister location, is right next door.

LORD HOBO:: 92 Hampshire St, Cambridge :: 617.250.8454 or lordhobo.com » Taps: 40 :: Bottles: 40

Lord what? Doesn't matter. You've come for the beer — solid offerings, mostly aimed at beer geeks, with a hand-picked menu that leans toward American, Belgian, and Scandinavian brews. Dark and cozy, Hobo is a great place to hunker down for a long beer-drinking session.

THE LOWER DEPTHS:: 476 Comm Ave, Boston :: 617.266.6662 or thelowerdepths.com » Taps: 16 :: Bottles: 180

Yeah, they've got 40s, too. This is a great alternative for grabbing a pint near Fenway Park, with a well-rounded cast of craft and macro brews. And the food is fun: check out their Fat Kid salad (with fried chicken, tater tots, cheese, bacon, and ranch) and poutine tater tots.

MEADHALL:: 4 Cambridge Ctr, Cambridge :: 617.714.4372 or themeadhall.com » Taps: 112 :: Bottles: 14

Multi-tap done right. Meadhall offers the largest lineup of craft beer on draft in town. Inspired by bars in Belgium, it serves every beer in the appropriate branded glassware. No glass available? No beer! Plus, the bites are solid, and the mezzanine is available for parties.

THE PUBLICK HOUSE & MONK'S CELL:: 1648 Beacon St, Brookline :: 617.277.2880 » Taps: 35 :: Bottles: 130

Belgium comes to Brookline. It's got the largest selection of Belgian ales in town and arguably the highest-quality pours, especially since they recently converted their lines to straight carbon dioxide. We tend to hide in the Monk's Cell (the side bar) for goblets of Belgian ale paired with waterzooi or moules frites.

RUSSELL HOUSE TAVERN:: 14 JFK St, Cambridge :: 617.500.3055 or russellhousecambridge.com » Taps: 13 :: Bottles: 40

Local, local, local. Not only does it source local ingredients for the awesome food menu, but Russell House is one of the only bars in town that serves 100 percent New England–brewed beers — most from Massachusetts. We dig the downstairs bar area and raw bar.

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