BEST BEER SELECTION IN A BAR - 2004
Yeah, we know that William's Uptown Pub and Peanut Bar has something like 300 bottled brews and its fair share of taps and that Old Chicago can boast high numbers of what Kurt Vonnegut once called "yeast farts" with a bit of hops, malt, and water. But is selection all about numbers? Serious beer drinkers should avoid the family restaurant ambience and the Uptown meat market where a bunch of WASPs buzz about, looking each other up and down. So it's time to get outta Uptown, chump, and while the banana brew and bartender wisdom at the Blue Nile draws honorable mention, it's the Old World grit and newcomer's potential of this Selby-Dale pub that wins us over. Just old enough to drink at 21 months, the Muddy Pig has a premium beer collection primarily from European and North American stock, although a bit unbalanced with more than 25 beers from Belgium. Nevertheless, its horseshoe bar and cozy confines offer the drinker just the right atmosphere for doing what he or she does best, whether it comes in the form of a Maudite red ale from Quebec, a Gales Conquest from England, or a Lake Superior Bock from up north. And those of you naysayers who believe that only Uptown prices are worthy of your beer money should know that a 750-milliliter bottle of Cantillon Iris is $19 at the Muddy Pig. Stick that in your deep yuppie pockets.