So the fine folks at 225 Magazine asked me to be a part of their February beer issue, and I was more than happy to oblige. I was asked to let the readers know my favorite Baton Rouge beer bars. It was a tough job, but I was up to the task.
There are more establishments in town than ever to grab a pint of your favorite brew. But there are some that stand out above the rest when you’re looking for that new release—or just want to be assured your old standby will be in stock. These are some of my favorite local beer joints.
Many of us in the craft beer scene, myself included, got our start with the Around the World at The Chimes competition drinking skunky Euro lagers. Today, there is still a massive selection of great beers to be found at the original Highland Road location and Chimes East on Coursey Boulevard. Founders Breakfast Stout and Gnarly Barley Jucifer are terrific coffee and orange juice substitutes during brunch. thechimes.com
Corporate Brew & Draft
With one of the most diverse draft selections in town, CBD is the place to go when you’re looking for something new. Whether you’re into barrel-aged stouts or puckering sours, there’s something amongst its more than 70 taps for everyone. There’s even a separate section of the bar featuring only local brews. facebook.com/CBDBR
Olive or Twist
While it is known more for its craft cocktails, Olive or Twist has a surprisingly well-curated craft beer menu. There are only eight taps, but you won’t find any fillers in the lineup. The tap list is constantly revolving, so this Perkins Road hideaway is well worth a visit. Try a pint of Saint Arnold Raspberry AF, an easy drinking tart Berliner Weisse that lives up to its name. oliveortwistbr.com
This New Orleans-based beer bar opened in the Southdowns Shopping Center in 2009 and quickly became a favorite hangout. I like to enjoy a pint while sitting next to the famous beer tap fountain on the dog-friendly patio. The Bulldog has more than 80 beers on tap and more than 200 different bottles. The bar hosted Tin Roof Brewing’s initial launch party in 2010, so it’d only be appropriate to grab a pint of the newly revamped Voodoo Pale Ale while there. bulldog-batonrouge.draftfreak.com
The Overpass Merchant
The Perkins Road overpass area restaurant has a small but diverse selection of drafts to go with a surprisingly large can and bottle list. Pair the Weihenstephaner hefeweizen with the cheese curds appetizer and Parish Envie Pale Ale with the fried chicken skins. Just trust me. theoverpassmerchant.com
Ascension Parish used to be a virtual beer wasteland, but that’s no longer the case thanks to Tiger Tavern. Located nearby in Gonzales, visitors willing to make the short drive are rewarded with 44 craft taps. Even the choosiest of beer drinkers can find something to enjoy. Try Urban South’s Holy Roller IPA. facebook.com/tigertavern