BEST BEER SELECTION IN A BAR (1999)
For sheer, ridiculous variety, Williams has a lock on this category. With over 300 different bottled beers available upstairs, 70-odd tap varieties in the basement peanut bar, and a selection that changes every week, this place really moves the suds and draws the crowds. Sure, you can get an Abita Purple Haze (brewed in Louisiana) with a subtle taste of raspberries ($4.25), or a rich Christoffel Blond from Holland ($4.75), or try a new kind of alcoholic cider (recently there were nine available). But bring your patience as well: Most nights are frighteningly busy, and you might have to wait more than a couple of minutes for service, or fight your way to the bar through a phalanx of well-coiffed partiers. Downstairs things are a bit more laid-back, what with all the peanut shells on the floor and the grungy atmosphere. It's easier down here to get in a good beer-drinkin' mood. Go for a pint--they're the best deal, unless you can down a liter before the room-temperature warmth sets in. Williams also has numerous, albeit undistinguished, drink and food specials; the kitchen is open until midnight.