The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Beer Bars
West Virginia

 

 

Davis

Huntington

Morgantown

 

Summit Beer Station
210 11th St
Huntington, WV 25701
(304) 399-1247

This place is small.
Think one room loft apartment.
In a train station.
The bar has four seats and they are tight. If you want one you must move the stool straight back, as if from a slot, step into the slot and pull the stool back in.
This place is also a gem and it is clearly the best beer bar in the Huntington-Charleston metropolis. The Summit Beer Station known locally as The Tap House is the invention of a friendly sole proprietor who is well-versed in the names and business of West Virginia's brewers.

Don't come here for camaraderie. You will find locals hanging together or out of towners saying things like, “I know I am boring you…” and yet they keep talking to you.
There is no food, not a crumb.
The glass washer is made from a used bidet.
The loft seats 15 people.
The one-seater restroom has a humulus lupulus theme.
Above the bar is a nice high tech beer menu that is likely going to change at least once during your stay. Expect about 16 different craft beers that often reflect a theme. That theme might be chocolate beers, or hoppy beers, it could be a Blue Mountain tap takeover or any number of other fun beer events. Despite the theme you can also expect a wide swath of the beer spectrum here.

Out-of-state questors will find a serious interest in fine beers and in local beers if local includes a few adjacent states. We arrived on the tails of a DuClaw event (MD) and departed during a Blue Mountian event (VA). In between There were some good German beers, nicely made American Belgians, anchor crafts from Southern Tier and other names you'd recognize.
This writer was ecstatic to find Great Lakes Chillwave, a rare on tap find in the Eastern US that is a premier double IPA.

One of the special treats at the Summit is the owner's commitment to serving the right beer in the right glass. If you sit and observe the pour you will see a meticulous style that is its own thing of beauty. Servings are more often 10, 12, 14 or 20 ounces than 16, and some beers are a little pricey, but hey, if you balk at the price go to Fat Patty's.
You'll be back here.

A little bonus is if you order a beer when the keg kicks your drink is free. My first visit I had two kegs kick on me and I went back two more times during my week in Huntington, seeking that thrill unsuccessfully. I know I saw thirty different beers in a four-seat bar that was a little piece of Heaven in West-by-God Virginia.

 

 

 

Black Sheep Burrito & Brews
1555 3rd Ave
Huntington, WV 25701
(304) 523-1555

The bartender owner of the Summit Beer Station (go there) told us that Black Sheep Burrito and Brews was a nice place.
It may be.
It is hard to get into.
The front door says go to the next door. The next door is clearly closed, so just when you suspect it is a Candid Beer Camera joke you find the third door; go in and walk back toward the first door.
Not that there is anything wrong with that.

The brick-walled bar back is attractive and the big blackboard sign announcing the name is fun.
The burrito offerings, which we did not sample on this visit, truly did look inspired and if we had eaten any food, it may have changed this review.
But it won't because we didn't.
On this visit they had 14 beers on tap.
I started with a Green Flash IPA, eschewing the Southern Tier, Country Boy, and Great Lakes selections. I had my eye on the Greenbrier Valley Winter Run IPA for my next.
My beer was a 14 oz. serving for $7.50.
I got up and walked outside thinking perhaps I was in Manhattan and not in Huntington.
But I was in Huntington because they have a big ol' floodwall down the street.

I was way past the age that the lady beertender could care about as she hovered around the Marshall crowd down the other end of the bar.
Service was not their strong point.
In fact, as I look at their web page to jot these thoughts, I feel like I was duped or could have been duped had I looked at the web page first.

Do you remember going into a lunch counter and looking above the mirror at those enticing photographs of stacked delicious sandwiches? Remember that burger that looked six inches tall?
Remember ordering it and how you felt when they brought out an uninspired grilled burger about half an inch tall with the top half of the bun falling off?
That was the Black Sheep; it was nothing like those webpage photos.
That is the place I want to go to, not the noisy overpriced place with the indifferent service.
Visit the webpage, have a virtual beer, then go to the Summit.

 

 

 

 

Fat Patty's
1935 3rd Ave
Huntington, WV 25703
(304) 781-2555

Fat Patty's.
That is where my WV relative-in-law, a bit of a beer snob himself, said to go for the best beer in Huntington.
He has to get back to Huntington more often. No doubt that was, and still is, the favorite of legions of Marshall University graduates this is no place for a Questor.

It is a college bar.
Mediocre food in good quantities at reasonable prices and cheap(er) beer is what they feature. Knowing my RIL was a beer afficianado I looked forward to the visit and grabbed at the menu's beer list somewhat skeptically once I got inside.
The beers in the bar are not as ‘extensive' as the beers on the online menu and that sad fact will make you cry.
Bud, Michelob, Coor's, Heineken, Blue Moon, that sort of thing are the tap list. But the menu said ask the server for the craft beer list.
Oh, by the way, that is the craft beer list.
Okay, let's try something in a bottle.
Well, that is the bottle list too.

I had Heniken bottle (no draft). It was warm. Chicken tenders did not suck.
Nuff said? Go to the Summit.

 

 

 

McClafferty's Irish Pub
1301 University Ave.
Morgantown WV 26505
(304) 292-1110

A pretty nice beer bar just across the street from Morgantown Brewing Company, McClafferty's boasts 21 taps, and 40 bottles, which is pretty darn good for West Virginia. Barkeep and customers were friendly. Locals spoke highly of it.

 

 

123 Pleasant St.
Morgantown, WV 26505

Phone: (304) 292-0800

As you can see from the chalkboard, 123 qualifies as a beer bar on attitude alone. The crowd is young, clad mostly in black, and although Carling Black Label seems to be the drink of choice, 123 offers a Rogue Dead Guy tap and a selection of 30 good bottles. You won't find much better in WV. 6.0% seems to be the state limit on ABV. It's a rock venue with lots of energy and a lively place to drink good beers.

 

The Purple Fiddle

21 East Ave. Davis,WV

 

Located in an historic building, The Purple Fiddle is a country-funk amalgamation of restaurant, mountain market, and blue grass emporium...and yes, it just happens to be a stop for good beers.
Two of the Fiddle's three taps are local, and it's 50 or so bottles allowed it to claim the largest beer selection in West Virginia.
But that was in about 2005.