Esquire magazine has unleashed its annual roster of the Best Bars in America, a compilation of the top 100 degenerate dives, sultry saloons, blue collar pubs and highbrow haunts across America, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, that are apparently worth their weight in fine (and not so fine) liquids. Not surprisingly, California came in strong with 34 watering holes making the list, followed by New York with 29.
Exactly three Colorado bars -- Minturn Saloon, El Chapultepec (the original) and the Cruise Room -- graced Esquire's slate. Three isn't exactly a celebratory number, and it just gets bleaker when you scrutinize the list a bit more closely and notice that cities like Birmingham; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Des Moines; Lawrence-effing-Kansas and Milwaukee all drank Denver under the table.
Not one mention of a Colorado microbrewery? No Boulder bars? (The snub of West End Tavern is especially flagrant.) What about the Kentucky Inn, Don's Mixed Drinks, Gabor's or Candlelight Tavern? And how can you not include Pint's Pub, keeper of the largest selection of single malt whiskey in the country?
Don't get me wrong: The Pec, Minturn Saloon and the Cruise Room are all fine picks, but we should have been good for a helluva lot more than a meager trifecta.
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If you've read this far, then you obviously drink. So we'll ask you: What Colorado bars would you have chosen for Esquire's list? Think about it while you're drinking another beer and then mouth off in the white space below.