Best of the Boat bar: Laundry and The Barley Tap and Tavern (tie) |

Best of the Boat bar: Laundry and The Barley Tap and Tavern (tie)

Tod “JJ” Johnson at the controls of the Laundry. (Photo by John F. Russell)

Why’d the Laundry tie for Best Bar this year? The atmosphere and staff, General Manager Michael Guerrero said, and the fact that when it comes to mixers, “We don’t use anything out of a bottle or can at all.”

Indeed, the juice for all of its cocktails is fresh squeezed, be it orange, lemon or lime. It also house-infuses all of its spirits and has a happy hour to die for, including discounts on beers, infused cocktails, and select wines that are “the same price as the time.”

The Barley Colorado Craft & Draft in downtown Steamboat Springs offers 31 craft brews on tap. (Photo by Audrey Dwyer)

Taking over ownership of The Barley Tap and Tavern last fall, it didn’t take long for Justin Keys to see it tie for first in this year’s contest. With 31 beers on tap, and a list that rotates almost daily, it’s easy to see why.

Keys brings his connections to the booming craft beer scene to every tap on the Barley’s menu.

“Craft beer is at our heart,” Keys said, who also offers a new wine, cocktail and food program. “It’s those beers that are unique, rare and not on other taps you see around town. There’s no formula for what we have. It’s constantly changing. We try to balance it so even the pickiest beer drinker has at least three beers to choose from that they can enjoy.”

Best Bar

• Winners: Laundry and The Barley Tap and Tavern (tie)

• Runner-up: Sunpie’s Bistro

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