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  WHERE TO DRINK

Place you don't just ask, What's on tap?

taps at taco maco in sandy springs The first Old Chicago Restaurant on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colo., seemed exotic a dozen years ago, when it offered more than 20 beers on tap. Today, there are 39 Old Chicagos operating across the country and most offer more than 30 draft choices.

Of course, when Sunset Grill and Tap opened for business in Boston (actually, Allston) in 1987, there was a single picnic pump for draft beer. Today there are 112 taps and business is so good that owner Marc Kadish had to open another multi-tap (Big City) right next door.

Generally, multi-taps offer an experience akin to being a kid with a jar full of pennies in a giant candy store. There are places with scores of taps with little interesting beer, but those are rare.

A bigger potential problem is how the beers are handled. Are the lines clean? Are the beers fresh? Of course, those questions aren't unique to multi-taps. "There are a lot of places that don't really have that many taps, but the beer still goes old because they are not moving it," Kadish points out.

So if you really want to order a beer that intrigues you but you are worried about what shape it is in, don't be shy about asking the beertender. At the Dublin Pub in Portland, Ore., for instance, you could find out exactly when the keg was tapped. And many places, such as the Bulldog in New Orleans, you may even be able to try a small sip.

Find them by states

ARIZONA
Tempe
Club Rio
430 N. Scottsdale, 602-894-0533
Dance club with 100 taps, but not nearly that many different beers.

Tucson
Wildcat House
1801 N. Stone Ave., 520-622-1302
50 taps.

ARKANSAS
Little Rock
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
323 E. Markham St., 501-372-8032
Part of the chain that started in Fort Worth. 70 beers here, limited in part by Arkansas laws.

CALIFORNIA
Berkeley
Henry's Publick House and Grille
2600 Durant Ave., 510-845-8981
Restaurant and lounge in Hotel Durant have a decidedly Victorian feel. Plenty of English beers mixed in with micros served from 51 taps.

Costa Mesa
Goat Hill Tavern
1380 Newport Blvd., 714-548-8428
Place with a convivial atmosphere that's one part dive, one part garage sale, two parts sports bar and three parts local bar. That's a lotta parts, but it's a big place. Most often between 90 and 110 different beers available as well as a massive selection of spirits.

Davis
Cantina del Cabo
139 G Street, 916-756-2226
70 taps.

Fullerton
Heroes Bar & Grill
305 N. Harbor #128, 714-738-4356
102 handles, none repeated -- gourmet hamburgers at day, steaks at night.

Long Beach
The Yard House
401 Shoreline Drive, 562-628-0455
250 taps, usually offering between 180 and 190 different beers.

Napa
Billco's Billiard's & Darts
1234 Third Ave., 707-226-7506
60 taps.

Redondo Beach
Naja's Place
154 International Boardwalk, 310-376-9951
77 taps and 700 bottled beers. Food ranges from Middle Eastern to pub grub. You can literally stroll across the boardwalk and fall into the marina.

Sacramento
River's End Brewpub
3535 Fair Oaks Blvd., 916-978-8080
Inside Fountain Plaza. Not a brewpub, but more than 50 taps.

San Diego
San Diego Brewing Co.
10450 Friars Road, 619-284-2739
Brewpub usually uses three of 50 handles for its own beers, reserves the rest for a wide range of guest beers.

San Leandro
Englander Sports Pub, 101 Parrott St., 510-357-3571
Sports bar with British bent -- TVs and darts. Fifty-plus taps.

COLORADO
Denver
Falling Rock, 1919 Blake St., 303-293-8338
Rare taphouse in an area, just south of Coors Field, swarming with brewpubs. 69 taps.

FLORIDA
Jacksonville Beach
Paradise Alley
831 N. 1st. St., 904-246-2837
50-plus beers on tap (with plans to expand) and about 1,000 in bottles.

GEORGIA
Cumming

Summits Wayside Tavern
525 Lake Center Parkway, 770-886-4374
The largest of three Summits Wayside Taverns run by Andy Klubock. A different beer poured from each of 224 taps. These were once known as Taco Mac, but broke off from the still thriving chain (most Taco Macs still feature and excellent beer selection).

Sandy Springs
Summits Wayside Tavern
5830 Roswell Road, 404-257-0735
More than 100 taps and a massive selection of bottle beers and high-end spirits in a sports bar known for its wings.

Snellville
Summits Wayside Tavern
3334 U.S. 78, 404-736-1333
So many taps -- 130, 150, it depends on whose counting, usually more than 120 different beers offered -- that the beertender sometimes draws beer from towers all around the four-sided bar and other times leaves the bar area to get beer from the wall of taps off to one side.

KANSAS
Overland Park
Barley's Brewhaus & Restaurant
11924 W. 119th St., 913-663-4099
99 taps.

Shawnee
Barley's Brewhaus & Restaurant
I-435 & Midland Drive, 913-268-5160
99 taps.

LOUISIANA
Metairie
Lager's
3501 Veteran's Blvd., 504-887-9923
75 taps.

New Orleans
Cooter Brown's
509 S. Carrollton, 504-866-9104
62 taps in a New Orleans oyster bar, some repeat handles.

The Balcony Bar
3201 Magazine St., 504-895-1600
70 taps. The bar is actually on the first floor, with dining and a balcony on the second. Great place to people watch on a pleasant stretch of Magazine Street.

The Bulldog
3236 Magazine St., 504-891-1516
50 taps and large bottle selection, and just two blocks from the Balcony Bar. Great neighborhood.

MAINE
Portland
The Great Lost Bear
540 Forest Ave., 207-772-0300
65 taps with a heavy emphasis on regional beers (80-90 percent of the handles), and you'll often find as many as 15 different Maine breweries represented.

MARYLAND
Baltimore
Max's on Broadway
737 S. Broadway, 410-675-6297
62 taps for beer. Located in Fells Point. Weekly beer tastings each Tuesday.

Columbia
Last Chance Saloon
5888-A Robert Oliver Place, 410-730-5656
53 taps in a family friendly setting.

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston
Sunset Grill & Tap
130 Brighton Ave., 617-254-1331
112 taps, and the food is also a major draw. Little wonder it's packed much of the time. Guarantees no keg will remain on more than 13 days.

Big City, 138 Brighton Ave.
617-782-2020
Next door to Sunset Grill and under the same ownership. Upstairs bar has 82 taps.

Hudson
Horseshoe Pub & Eatery
29 South Street, 508-568-1265,50
50 taps.

MICHIGAN
Ann Arbor
Ashley's Restaurant & Pub
335 S. State, 313-996-9191
British-pub influenced with 65 taps.

Berkley
Berkley Front
3087 W 12 Mile Rd., 810-547-3331
50 taps, 'No rice, no ice' and decorated in modern pop culture items.

MINNESOTA
Mnneapolis
William's Uptown
2911 Hennepin Ave., 612-823-6271
Minneapolis institution with 50 taps on display in a glass cooler.

MONTANA
Missoula
The Rhinocerous
158 Ryman St., 406-721-6061
A western tavern in the finest sense of the words. Forty of the 50 taps go to Northwest craft beers.

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque
Billy's Long Bar
4800 San Mateo NE, 505-889-0573
Usually packed with a diverse crowd -- Bud Light meets Anchor Old Foghorn. 51 taps strong on imports and micros, but offers few New Mexico beers.

NEW YORK
New York City
The Ginger Man
11 E. 36th St., 212-532-3740
Offspring of the Texas chain, with 66 taps here.

Wall Street Kitchen & Bar
70 Broad St., 212-797-7070
50 taps.

Rochester
MacGregor's Grill & Tap
381 Gregory St., 716-271-3592
First spot in what has become a chain, a fine corner spot with a black-and-white tile floor and great light. Recently expanded to 70 taps.

Rockville Center
Croxley Ales
7-9 S. Park Ave., 516-764--0470
The red phone booth and six British ales on tap are tributes to this pub's heritage, but most the 56 taps go to American craft beers.

Syracuse
Blue Tusk
165 Walton St., 315-479-1934
65 taps, excellent cross-section.

MacGregor's Grill & Tap
253 E. Water St., 315-425-7740
Spinoff of MacGregors in Rochester, with 60 taps but still the same strong neighborhood feel.

NORTH CAROLINA
Raleigh
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
328 W. Morgan St., 919-821-PINT
82 taps

OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma City
TapWerks Alehouse & Cafe
5700 N. Western, 405-842-6769
A pioneer in Oklahoma, with 84 taps. Strength is in imports (has offered as many as nine Belgian beers on tap at one time), but American micros represented. Two-for-one 3.2 beers at happy hour.

TapWerks Bricktown
121 E. Sheridan, 405-319-9599
This second location opened in August and offers 115 different beers on tap and almost 150 more in bottles. There are more than 200 taps in the two-story ale house with bars on both floors and some repeat handles.

OREGON
Portland
Dublin Pub
6821 SW Beaverton-Hillside Hwy, 503-297-2889
104 tap handles sprount from every where behind the bar. fine Irish music venue.

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh
Sharp Edge Beer Emporium
302 S. Saint Clair St., 412-661-3537,50
A great neighborhood tavern with 50 taps.

TENNESSEE
Memphis
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
130 Peabody Place, 901-523-PINT
Like others in the chain, decorated with plenty of plates, and there's a whole wall of Elvis plates. 75 taps.

Nashville
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
111 10th Ave. S., 615-259-PINT
75 taps.

TEXAS
Addison
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
14994 Montfort, 214-991-7093
Largest of the chain with 114 taps.

Arlington
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
770 Road to Six Flags, 817-226-7468
90 beers on tap at this location.

Austin
The Draught House
4112 Medical Parkway, 512-452-6258
Brewpub that makes beer from historic recipes and also serves 70 or so guest beers.

The Ginger Man
304 W. Fourth, 512-473-8801
Largest selection in the Ginger Man chain 80 taps.

Dallas
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
1520 Greenville Ave., 214-824-7468
96 taps.

Stan's Blue Note
2908 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9653,50
50 taps.

The Ginger Man
2718 Boll St., 214-754-8771,70
70 taps.

Fort Worth
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
111 E. Fourth, 817-336-7468,65
The first member of the chain, located in the historic Bank Draft building, with 70 beers served from taps where the teller's cages once stood.

Houston
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
705 Main, 713-228-PINT
9th in the Saucer fleet. 80 taps.

The Ginger Man
5607 Morningside, 713-526-2770
The original Ginger Man, cosy with 69 taps and fine decks in both the front and back.

The Richmond Arms
5920 Richmond Ave., 713-784-7722
A rambling British pub with a cross-section of beers.

Lubbock
Cricket's Draft House
2412 Broadway, 806-744-4677
76 taps.

San Antonio
Hills & Dales Ice House
15403 White Fawn Dr., 210-695-8309
54 taps, but bring your own glass mug or drink from plastic.

Seabrook
Boondoggles' Pizzeria & Brewery
4106 NASA Road One, 281-326-2739
The brewpub has 50 taps, with 40-plus guest beers available.

Waco
Cricket's Grill & Draft House
221 Mary Ave., 254-754-4677
97 taps.

WASHINGTON
Tacoma
Ale House Pub & Eatery
2122 Mildred St. W., 205-565-9367
63 taps.


More fine choices
- Corner bars
- Historic taverns
- British pubs
- Irish pubs
- 4-star spots
- Multi-taps
- German gems


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