City Guides » Coldest Beer in Boise

Boise Weekly's 10th Annual Coldest Beer

One-tenth of a century of frosty, cold beer


Cue the fanfare and start the parade: Boise Weekly is officially celebrating a full decade of cold beer.

It's hard to believe that it has been 10 whole years since we made our fledgling steps into the world of cheap, cold beer, like a college student at his or her first kegger. But unlike those coeds, whose taste in brews usually becomes more refined with age, we've doggedly stuck to those beers that are best served at a temperature that induces instant brain-freeze.

And what has that frosty tunnel vision gotten us besides a hefty bar tab? We proudly boast a deep repository of knowledge of all things that come out of beer taps in Ada County. OK, so it's not really a marketable skill, but it still earns us some coolness cred--at least judging by the amount of times we hear, "How do I get your job?" while out testing said beers.

Some may accuse us of being fanatics for undertaking such a completely unscientific and overwhelming project like testing nearly 200 bars across the county. But to them we say, if not beer, then what better is there to spend our time on?

Undoubtedly we will get at least one annual lecture on the fact that not all beer is supposed to be served below the freezing point. To that argument, well, we agree, but the Warmest Beer contest just doesn't have the same ring to it. Besides those fine ale establishments that take pride in precise serving temperatures can now point to the official record of their non-frostiness.

As in recent years, we have limited our testing to only locally owned and operated establishments that serve beer on tap. If a business has multiple locations in the valley, we only test one.

Once again, we relied on an army of volunteer beer testers to help BW staff scour the valley in search of the coldest taps around. We offer our unending gratitude to these brave souls who go forth with little more than a kitchen thermometer between them and a raging hangover.

Now soak in the sudsy results of all our hard work. After all, continually lifting a pint glass can lead to a repetitive-motion injury.

--Deanna Darr


El Gallo Giro

The Dos Equis Amber is plenty cold but that's just a bonus. The real goal here is satisfied taste buds and bellies filled with authentic Mexican fare. Don't miss the tableside, made-to-order guacamole service at dinner. The menu features molcajetes, a stew-like dish served in a sizzling hot stone bowl. 482 W. Main St., Kuna, 208-922-5169,


Shorty's Saloon

Despite its authentic-feeling Western interior, this ain't your daddy's saloon. Cowgirls and fly girls dance the Cupid Shuffle atop two long, marble-topped bars to earn free drinks and giveaways. 5467 Glenwood St., Garden City, 208-322-6699,


Hooligan's Pub

The bar is like a peninsula, jutting out from the wall and making itself the centerpiece of this pub, which hosts three pool tables, various video games, and a day crowd that is ready to drink when you are. 10704 Overland Road, Boise, 208-376-9800



Lindy's makes the short list for tried-and-true Boise bars. With a casual, welcoming bar on one side and a family friendly steakhouse on the other, the crew at Lindy's prides itself on hospitality. Soak up that beer with some of the famous pressure-cooked finger steaks--easily some of the best in town. 12249 W. Chinden Blvd., Boise, 208-375-1310


Torch Lounge

A dark and sexy gentleman's club that's moderately smoky but cool and comfortable. Friendly staff with interesting interior signage: Stripper Street, Sex Drive and Bitch Corner to name a few. 1826 W. Main St., Boise, 208-344-0218,



This suburban bar and grill has waitresses in tiny uniforms, two massive TVs flanking the dining area and a sports info ticker. 3541 N. Eagle Road, Meridian, 208-939-9209,



Take refuge in the safari-themed, classy and dimly lit bar for an ice-cold martini or kick back on the patio, which is draped in greenery and surrounded by grass, with an ice-cold beer in hand. 999 W. Main St., Boise, 208-342-4900,, @angellsboise



Get ready to spread out. First, wine and dine on the grill side, loading up before you head over to the lounge, where the real fun begins. 1065 E. Winding Creek Drive, Eagle, 208-938-3010,



There's not much around it but that makes Gino's all the more of a destination not only for fine dining but also for one of the only bars in the area. You can go for just a beer, but we're pretty sure you'll end up with dinner. 3015 McMillan Road, Meridian, 208-887-7710


The Ranch Club

That giant, rearing horse on the roof beckons the crowd into a dark-paneled interior that opened in 1947. Reclining bucket seats mounted at the bar provide cushy seating between games of beer pong and horseshoes. 3544 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-343-7447



Chandlers is a classy place, with a cool color scheme, glass architecture and high-backed leather chairs--like the hotel bars in movies, where one can go to lay out their problems over a cold bud, finding wisdom in the sly and subtle bartender, and though he may not have the answers, you'll feel better all the same. 918 W. Grove St., Boise, 208-383-4300,, @chandlersboise


The Beerhouse

It's a house party in a quiet little neighborhood at The Beerhouse and everyone is invited. With horseshoes and volleyball nets in the back yard, this house should be home sweet home for the summer. 9751 Cory Lane, Boise, 208-322-9958



It's a neighborhood sports/Nascar bar, with daily drink and food specials. It seems like the place where former frat guys congregate now that they are relegated to a life in the suburbs. 2032 E. Overland Road, Meridian, 208-888-9868


McCleary's Pub

Step into the grassy back yard behind this dark, smoky dive bar and you'll be rewarded with horseshoe pits, a volleyball court, dart boards, a picnic pavilion and all the fresh air you can breathe. 9155 W. State St., Boise, 208-853-9910,


Creekside Lounge

In the same building as Peregrine Steaks and Spirits, the lounge also serves appetizers, lunch, dinner and an $8.50 Sunday brunch buffet. Ten taps, a big dance floor and an outdoor patio overlooking Indian Creek and the Owyhee Mountains. 751 W. Fourth St., Kuna, 208-922-4421,


Outpost Cafe

Sure, it's in the Boise Airport, but a dependably ice-cold beer might make that "enhanced screening" a little more interesting. 3201 Airport Way, Boise



With emphasis on local microbrews and a central BODO patio, Solid is the only state of matter that matters. Indoors a polished granite bar classes up the hardwood and brick, creating unexpected elegance. 405 S. Eighth St., Boise, 208-345-6620,, @solidboise


20th Century Lanes

The Big Lebowski meets King Pin. Bowling accoutrements, everywhere and ample gaming opportunities are to be expected from such an establishment. 4712 W. State St., Boise, 208-342-8695,, @20thcenturylane


Turner's Sports Bar

Formerly Turner's Stage Stop, this old Boise establishment has character. Horseshoe pits out back, 25-cent pool tables, bar arcade games galore and a vintage barn give this place a rustic fit and feel. 4022 W. State St., Boise, 208-342-9090



A swanky Meridian eatery with muted modern decor and an open kitchen, Jakers is packed for weekday lunch with the business-casual crowd. Who wouldn't be content in a place where, if you're seated in the bar, there are happy-hour specials all day. 3268 E. Pine Ave., Meridian, 208-288-0898,


Sockeye Brewery

The beer at Sockeye is so good they don't even have domestic beers on tap. The outdoor patio that rests along Cole Road provides a welcome change from downtown Boise, allowing you to enjoy one of Sockeye's delicious brews without the hustle and bustle of the 9-to-5ers. 3019 N. Cole Road, Boise, 208-658-1533,, @sockeyebrew



Yes, there are TVs aplenty tuned in to sports and countless photographs of hall of famers. But it'd be a mistake to lump this place in with all the other Treasure Valley sports bars. The wood paneling, leaded-glass lamp lighting and absence of over-stimulating noise and bustle sets this place apart. There are 16 beer taps, and a star on the menu is the hand-breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. 2902 N. Eagle Road, Meridian, 208-884-4400,


Stagecoach Inn

Giant prawns, enormous steaks and friendly service have endeared generations of regulars for 52 years. The old-school steak house menu and distinctive Western theme are both nostalgic and comfortably kitschy. 3132 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-342-4161,, @boisestagecoach


Boulevard Bar
Boulevard Bar - LAURIE PEARMAN

Looking for a new hideout? This cozy little working man's bar is hidden in plain sight near a bustling intersection. The giant rocking chair perched above the business next door is a convenient distraction--they'll never think to look for you here. 4079 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-383-9035


Sam's Saloon

The only bar in Star for smokers, karaoke crooners and anyone with attitude. There's nothing fancy about this corner tavern, and the clients wouldn't have it any other way. 10937 W. State St., Star, 208-286-7794


Cafe Ole

Sombreros, tequila shots and a two-for-one happy hour that can't be beat. Who needs Mexico for a vacation? 210 N. Milwaukee Road, Boise, 208-322-0222,


Idaho Pizza Company

Local, delicious and fully equipped with beers on tap, Idaho Pizza Company is a great place to have a party for kids ... even those older than 21. 3053 S. Cole Road, Boise, 208-362-7702,, @idahopizzaco


Montego Bay

Montego Bay's view of the private pond out back makes for a comfortable vibe. Thong pong Wednesday and lengthy happy hours throughout the week. 3000 N. Lakeharbor Lane, Boise, 208-853-5070,


Boise Fry Company

Boise Fry Company has an earthy, local feel, with a multitude of starch options. Its crisp micros are a welcome delight, washing away the salt-induced thirst. 111 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-495-3858,, @boisefryco



Italian food and decor meet a traditional brick-wall corner bar. It's relaxing enough for a Sunday afternoon beer meet-up, yet classy enough for a date. 190 E. State St., Eagle, 208-939-2500,


Goodwood Barbecue Company

Beer and barbecue is a timeless combo, like PB and J or vodka O.J., so sipping on a cold one with the smell of braised and sauced meat hanging in the air is nice--even if it's in chain restaurant-style digs. However it does have a sweet wine rack made of railroad ties. 1140 N. Eagle Road, Meridian, 208-884-1021,, @goodwoodbbq



No doubt about the theme here: If you're into Boise State football, NFL and UFC, this is your watering hole. For sports derelicts, there's pool, darts and video games to work up a thirst. Check out the 10 beers on tap, $5 lunch specials and a menu boasting a Super Burrito: one regular tortilla burrito wrapped around a deep-fried burrito. Ouch. 501 S. Main St., Meridian, 208-898-9470,


Lulu's Fine Pizza

New York-style pie goes down easier when chased by frosty lager and faster after a calorie-burning mountain bike ride leaves you collapsed on the parking lot patio of this neighborhood joint. 2594 N. Bogus Basin Road, Boise, 208-387-4992,


R Bar

This well-kept pub nestled just off the Boise State campus provides a comfortable haven for after-class drinkers looking for a game of Nintendo or just a cushy bar seat. 1041 S. Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-629-0029,


Strikers Bar

One of the region's many bars inside a bowling alley. Patrons say the bowling ball pitchers that resemble giant bongs and the good "value" on well drinks--bar-speak for healthy pours--make the place stand out. Try beating this for a Great Recession special: unlimited bowling, burger, fries and a soft drink for $8 every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 324 S. Meridian Road, Meridian, 208-888-2048,


The Red Room Tavern

Eclectic velvet art and vinyl album covers glow eerily under red lighting, lending cred to the descriptive moniker of this downtown fringe bar. A surprisingly laid-back staff and clientele provide a non-judgmental audience for local musicians. 1519 W. Main St., Boise, 208-331-0956, @red_roomboise


White Water Pizza: and Pasta

Description: open, airy, family-owned and family-friendly restaurant with stone fireplace and kayak-theme decor. The menu features pizzas with wheat or sourdough crust, and a wide variety of salads and sandwiches. The fruit cobbler is baked to order, so plan on waiting a few minutes for desert. 1510 N. Eagle Road, Meridian, 208-888-6611,


4-E's Bar

Good luck finding any frills at this longstanding Kuna tavern. Long bar, quarter pool tables and photographs of customers, parties and other hijinks cover the walls. As for the name: The bar was bought in the late 1960s by the Forreys, a longtime Kuna ranching family with 4-Es as its cattle brand. 379 W. Main St., Kuna, 208-922-1853


Casa Del Sol

A classy yet eclectic version of a mom-and-pop Mexican restaurant, complete with an easy-going atmosphere and a two-for-one happy hour. 409 S. Eighth St., Boise, 208-287-3660,


The Bar at the Grove

This is one hotel lobby bar that's almost exclusively for out-of-towners, so snag a piece of sofa and play like you're on vacation. 245 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-333-8000,


Berryhill's Plan B
Berryhill's Plan B - LAURIE PEARMAN

This little nook between Berryhill proper and Bacon is a proper man cave, decked out with leather furniture, flatscreens and good-looking drink slingers. 121 N. Ninth St., Boise, 208-387-3553,, @johnberryhill


Longhorn Lounge

Another of downtown Kuna's venerable watering holes. Nothing fancy but be prepared to joke and jab with the regulars lined around the horseshoe-shaped bar. Drink specials rotate daily and free food gets laid out for Monday Night Football. 458 W. Main St., Kuna, 208-922-4163


The Buffalo Club

Deer and elk heads draped with Christmas lights, fake palm trees and a huge projection screen to watch sports on makes the Buffalo Club seem like you're drinking inside a Cabela's in Jamaica. Could you pass me that there shotgun, mon? 10206 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-321-1811



Chill hotel bar with plentiful games, ample dinner menu until midnight, and limited commotion. 1800 Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-344-7691


Crescent No Lawyers Bar/Grill

Whether baking in the sun on the large patio or witnessing current sporting events on the theater-sized projection screens, the Crescent can play a gracious host, just make sure your lawyer friends miss the memo. 5500 W. Franklin Road, Boise, 208-322-9856,



With a neighborhood serving as the backdrop of this dive, Crickets feels like the malt shop in Grease, only with adult beverages and fewer leather jackets. 1228 Oakland Ave., Boise, 208-344-6235


Smoky Mountain: Pizza & Pasta

Family friendly dining spot with a big selection of beer, wine and edibles. The outside patio was recently renovated, making it one of the more intimate spots for drinking/dining in north Boise. 1805 W. State St., Boise, 208-387-2727,


Sam's Place

Almost as if we were in the early 1900s, this bar looks like it was ordered out of a catalog and installed at Ustick and Five Mile roads. Whose place? Sam's Place. 3395 N. Five Mile Road, Boise, 208-376-0074



Mostly known for its grub, this west Boise haunt serves up a solid array of beer and wine as well. The vibe is set by tons of music memorabilia on the walls and a fairly impressive cactus collection near the kitchen. The owner's band plays Saturday nights. 7330 W. State St., Boise, 208-853-7757,


Charlie Brown's

With elk paintings on the walls, Charlie Brown's feels like grandpa's house, only with a full bar and enough arcade games to entertain an army of drunken competitors. 5783 Overland Road, Boise, 208-375-6541


Dry Creek Mercantile

A tin ceiling, plank flooring and turn-of-the-century style outfit the interior of this family friendly community hub at Hidden Springs. Watch the sunset turn the Foothills purple while sipping chilled refreshment on the big front porch. 5892 Hidden Springs Drive, Boise, 208-229-2001,


Mickey Ray's

Do not enter with an empty stomach: The thick wafts of smoky barbecue ensure a peek at the menu. The barbecue, Southern hospitality and cold beer make Mickey Ray's one to write home about. 395 W. State St., Eagle, 208-939-7427,, @mickeyrays


Broadway Bar

The atmosphere is akin to drinking at your buddy's--you can even bring your own food--but the bar full of happy-go-lucky customers, staff and booze makes it a little different than chilling on your friend's couch. 1712 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-342-9951


TK's Bar

The sort of small and dusty roadside place that's bustling with people who will give you suspicious glances on a Tuesday afternoon. The bartender's shock at their beer temp says it all: "We're usually really warm." 3231 Federal Way, Boise, 208-331-0654.


Red Eye Saloon

This venerable Kuna watering hole reopened in early June, to the delight of its faithful clientele. So what's new? No more faux-wood paneling and a fresh coat of paint have brightened up what was once a dark tavern. Dinner specials and Biker Night on Thursdays mean $5 burger-and-fries combos. No Harley required. 414 W. Main St., Kuna, 208-922-9797


Brews Brothers

Shuffleboard, Golden Tee and ample TV selections can be found at this sporty spot. With 23 beers on tap, this is truly a classic beer bar. 6928 W. State St., Boise, 208-853-0526,



This quintessential neighborhood bar and restaurant adheres to a simple formula--friendly service, warm patrons, quality food and a hearty selection of liquors and domestics. 1005 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 208-345-0135,


Busted Shovel

This is just your average neighborhood bar that happens to be biker-friendly. Its name refers to an older Harley engine known for breaking down. 704 N. Main St., Meridian, 208-288-2217,


The Flicks

A Boise institution that needs no introduction. Art house films accompanied by beer, wine and gourmet noshery make The Flicks a true Boise one-and-only. 646 Fulton St., Boise, 208-342-4222,


The Office

Pool on one of three tables, a game of darts, a couple karaoke songs, and catching the late game on one of the flat-screen TVs that are in every corner of this large bar ... it's just another day at The Office. 6125 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-672-0087


Q's Billiard

Walk in and feel like you've entered a pool tournament. Patrons at Q's know how to rack 'em up, and if you feel like you brought your A-game, this is where you want to be. 6570 Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-322-9122



Tiki torches light the way to the thatched roof-on-a-rooftop bar. This urban island is a convenient tropical getaway--no surfboard required. No cheesy pink umbrella in your drink, either. 105 S. Sixth St., Boise, 208-287-9200,, @reefboise


Tom Grainey's

An historic establishment with more than 30 years in the biz, Grainey's boasts local and regional bands on two stages and two different floors, five days a week. Do shots of booze while you shoot the breeze with loyal patrons. 109 S. Sixth St., Boise, 208-345-2505,


Bill-n-Lynn's Place

This place has dive bar written all over it in the best possible way, including the lively bartender who would be a customer if she weren't serving up shots from the fireball machine. Featuring dark mixed-wood walls, shuffleboard and weekend karaoke. 229 W. Franklin Road, Meridian, 208-888-4075.



From the outside, this cavernous, family friendly sports bar is cleverly disguised as a bowling alley watering hole. Inside you'll find clean white walls, scratch-made soups and a $4 burger-fries-drink deal that completely removes any smoky stigma. 5504 W. Alworth, Garden City, 208-376-6555,


The Kit Kat Club

No bar in Ada County has been serving up beer and scantily clad dancers longer than the folks at this fixture on Meridian's western outskirts. For those looking for something other than the brass pole ballet, there are pool tables and televisions everywhere. 4842 W. Franklin Road, Meridian, 208-888-7731


Donnie Mac's

Intentionally themed as an old mechanic's garage, complete with old cars as booths, this place has a style all its own. It also features burgers, bingo Tuesdays, Old English 40s and brass monkeys. 1515 W. Grove St., Boise, 208-384-9008


Village Pub

This pub is hidden, so much so that you might not have heard of it. But you will be greeted with smiles, Golden Tee and 50-cent pool tables. 9936 Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-375-3085


Falcon Tavern

A cozy neighborhood gastropub with a large patio, hardwood decor, flatscreen TVs for various sporting events and no fancypants required. 705 W. Bannock St., Boise, 208-947-3111,


White Water Saloon

There's an unmistakable blue-collar vibe to this place. On Sundays the owners lay out free finger food for patrons who partake in pool, darts and games. 1646 N. Meridian Road, Meridian, 208-888-3063


Happy Fish

Sushi and martinis are the order of business here. There's only one beer on tap: Japan's Kirin Ichiban. But darn it, the cold beer goes perfectly with a hot Fire Roll. 855 Broad St., Ste. 250, Boise, 208-343-4810,


Jim's Alibi

Horseshoe pits, open barbecue grill, dog-friendly back yard, weekly pool and beer pong tourneys ... it all adds up to one of the most kick-ass neighborhood bars in town. 2710 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-342-9220,


Visual Arts Collective

As the venue that hosts an array of events including movie screenings, live theater, art shows and the recording of live concerts, VAC is where like-minded creative types gather to entertain and find inspiration. 3638 Osage St., Garden City, 208-424-8297,, @vacuber


Alterknit Lounge at KFCH

Boise's go-to venue to enjoy your favorite band as it breezes through town. The upstairs bar is a welcome break from the action. 416 Ninth St., Boise, 208-367-1212,, @knitboise


The Huddle

New downtown sports joint, complete with all the regalia a fan could ask for. The large windows and patio will allow you to say: Damn it, I like sports, and I don't care who knows it. 205 N. 10th St., Ste. 110, Boise, 208-338-5454. @thehuddlegrill


Quarter Barrel

When the Quarter Barrel is not hosting open mic comedy night on Tuesday, or an open blues jam on Wednesday, and not holding karaoke on Thursday and Sunday nights, or the weekly pool tourney on Sunday, you can browse a 2.2 million-song library on the bar's spiffy Touch Tunes jukebox. 4902 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-322-3430


Baan Thai

Classy Thai restaurant with a bar on the side: Think Thai finger foods with your beer. Get some Eastern elegance as you drink, all in the heart of Eagle. 78 Eagle River St., Eagle, 208-938-8424,, @baanthaieagle


Gil's K-9 Bar

Folksy bar in west downtown boasting the basics: beer, shuffle board, pool table, juke box and comfortable barstools. 2506 Main St., Boise, 208-345-4420


Pitchers and Pints

Proud to be a "hole in the wall," this simple, cozy, smoke-free peripheral downtown bar boasts a bumping jukebox and straightforward beer menu. The year-round back patio has a pool table if you need to get some fresh air. 1108 W. Front St., Boise, 208-906-1355,


The Pocket

There are two ways to experience this bar: With a poolstick and quarters in hand or in the dimly lit bar area, allowing the beer to chill you out to the fullest. Either way, the Pocket will have you in its pocket. 1487 N. Curtis Road, Boise, 208-375-2474, @thepocketboise


Berryhill and Co.

Beer is happily served here, though you'll certainly be better off letting the bartenders showcase their martini skills. It's a posh destination for when you want to impress and a super-fab patio for when you just want to be seen. 121 N. Ninth St., Boise, 208-387-3553,, @johnberryhill


End Zone

This sports bar's cozy wooden interior provides a friendly atmosphere with an above-par selection of microbrews. The exterior boasts a spacious deck loaded with flat screens and horseshoe pits. 1010 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-384-0613


Leku Ona

Bright, friendly and simple, with the sort of comforting feel you expect from your mom's kitchen more than a bar. 117 S. Sixth St., Boise, 208-345-6665,


Busters Sports Bar

This blue-and-orange-themed sports bar houses 14 taps, a burger-centric menu and enough Broncos memorabilia to keep any sports fan comfortably entertained. 1326 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-345-5688,


Humpin' Hannah's

A large two-floored club with a warmer, wackier vibe than most dance clubs. And that's how they like it. 621 Main St., Boise, 208-345-7557,


36th Street Bistro

A babbling fountain creates a Zen-like experience on the brick patio surrounded by flowers and foliage. Try a wine-paired dinner in this greenhouse setting while you enjoy every dimension of organic. 3769 Woody Drive, Boise, 208-433-5108,


Fireside Inn

North End neighborhood pub with games aplenty. Smoky but low-key, with shuffleboard and pool tables. 1610 N. 31st St., Boise, 208-342-9075



Smoky, greasy, cheap, loud and raucously of the people. The place in downtown to play pool, foosball, lotto, watch sports or just get good, old-fashioned tipsy. It's where your night inevitably ends up. 1009 W. Main St., Boise, 208-336-6998, @mulliganstaff


Pho Nouveau

Simple but elegant dining area with a patio, serving modern Vietnamese food in the heart of downtown. 780 W. Idaho St., Boise, 208-367-1111,



In addition to the mouth-watering handcrafted wood-fired pies, this pizzeria offers a rotating selection of craft beers and a variety of primo wines. 1204 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 208-331-3535,



A classic neighborhood bar with 25 beers on tap. The finger steaks are hand cut and battered, and beer pong can be found here. 499 S. Main St., Meridian, 208-884-3737


Bar Gernika

Exposed brick and just a handful of tables make Gernika feel just like ... well, Gernika in the Basque Country. It's equal parts watering hole and restaurant. 202 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-344-2175,, @gernika


Bella Aquila

This is where you go to impress a date. Candlelit tables, classic Italian food and a full bar seal the deal. Bonus: stellar wines. 775 S. Rivershore Lane, Eagle, 208-938-1900,



Kahootz is surprisingly upscale but from its simple sporting pub decor, you wouldn't guess it. It offers an array of local and regional beers on tap and a menu including pricey, yet delicious steak and seafood options. And its stunning arbor-covered patio makes you forget for a moment that you're right off Meridian's bustling main street. 1603 N. Main St., Meridian, 208-895-9861,



The classic bar and back bar were built in the 1860s and were a staple in the family's first restaurant opened in Sun Valley in 1965. Great outdoor patio with a splendid, wide-angle view of the Foothills. 2500 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian, 208-884-5200,


Burger 'N' Brew

An aptly named sporty spot. A favorite post-game haunt of many of Boise's rec league softball teams, this place is known for its inconspicuous but cozy presence on the west side of town. 4295 W. State St., Boise, 208-345-7700


The Curb

Upon first glance, the Curb could seem like just another sports bar, but it has the feel of a neighborhood tavern: good food, refreshing drinks and local owners. With $3 Mimosas and Bloody Marys on Sunday, it's just like home--almost. 1760 S. Meridian Road, Meridian, 208-286-4401,


The Bouquet

Live music is the name of the game here, with a recently remodeled stage and floor plan. Don't forget to check out the beautiful decor: The preserved bar is the stuff of Boise legend. 1010 W. Main St., Boise, 208-345-6605


Club Savvy's

Seven nights a week at Club Savvy's, you'll find a big dance floor where the melting-pot crowd boogies to a mash-up of musical genres played by a live DJ, who also doubles as the karaoke host. 3933 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-429-9339


Gamekeeper Lounge

Tucked inside the Owyhee Plaza, the Gamekeeper may be the most romantic bar in Boise. Let the candlelit tables, five-star food and stiff drinks seal the deal. 1109 W. Main St., Boise, 208-343-4611,


Grainey's Basement

Warning: One visit to Grainey's and you might never leave. Live music paired with the wild-west-meets-Irish-bar feel make this place the "Cheers" of the Boise scene. 109 S. Sixth St., Boise, 208-345-2505


Twisted Timber

A bright and friendly diner turned pub that is the only sign of civilization for miles in any direction. 4563 S. Cloverdale Road, Boise, 208-362-7157


Lucky Dog Tavern

Laid-back gay bar with a chatty crowd. Bar games, arcade machines, pool table and darts round out the scene. 2223 Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-333-0074,, @luckydogboise


Nut House

The West Boise sports bar is back under the oversight of its original owners, and the bright, airy space remains a haven for those who love to catch the game on big flatscreen TVs. 12505 W. Chinden Blvd., Boise, 208-287-2191,, @nuthouseboise


The Refuge

With a large dark wood bar, this looks like the sort of place rich and powerful men swirl glasses of brandy and cackle to one another about their sinister plans to privatize the moon. 404 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Ste. 300, Boise, 208-424-8211,


The Lift

Large bar and patio/pergola for a shady place to chow down or sip a beverage. 4091 W. State St.,, Boise, 208-342-3250,, @theliftboise



Bright lounge with multiple counters and TVs, pool tables and ping pong. Beers come in your choice of regular or giant-sized. 8654 W. Overland St., Boise, 208-658-0906


Parrilla Grill

Like a twist of lime gracing tequila, this twist of Cabo graces Boise's North End with a fresh-ingredient tang and flavorful pucker. If Camel's Back skirts the Foothills, Parrilla is the short and sassy hemline. 1512 N. 13th St., Boise, 208-323-4688.


Stubs Sports Pub

Comfortable high-ceilinged and wood-furnished gastropub that brings a little much-needed class to the strip mall off Federal Way. 3662 Findley Ave., Boise, 208-336-7882, @stubssportspub



The country's first restaurant distillery has perfected the cozy industrial atmosphere with high ceilings, brick, dark wood and a drink menu that's one of the most innovative in town. An A-list patio. 610 Grove St., Boise, 208-426-0538,, @bardenay


Willi B's Sandwich Saloon

Value-hunters should saddle up at this Western-themed saloon. $1.50 cans of PBR wash down "bunkhouse cooking" all week long. 225 N. Fifth St., Boise, 208-331-5666,


Lane 21

A huge bar connected to a bowling alley. Bowl a couple frames, grab a beer, maybe a pizza--these lanes are hidden in the rough. 4860 W. Emerald St., Boise, 208-344-2695,



A sports bar atmosphere with billiards and a shuffleboard table. The outdoor patio offers late afternoon and evening shade from the blistering sun. Seven TVs and 14 beers on tap. Wednesday night is Rib Night, when $8.95 gets you a 1-pound rack of baby backs. 2310 E. Overland Road, Meridian, 208-884-4453,


Tavern at Bown Crossing

Upscale bar and grill with a large patio perfect for brunch, mimosa in hand. 3111 S. Bown Way, Boise, 208-345-2277,, @bowntavern



Beer pong, juke, pool, sweet nightly drink specials, cheapo fatty beers and debauchery seven nights a week--you know, your typical party scene, but it's an all-new scene. 800 W. Idaho St., Ste. 200, Boise, 208-514-2531,, @drinkfattys


Suds Tavern

This off-campus blue- and orange-themed bar houses a raucous crowd of college students and after-work drinking pals anxious to achieve a comfortable buzz. 1024 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-345-9656,, @thesudstavern


Cactus Bar

An Idaho bar with a Southwest-inspired twist. Cheap drinks, arcade games and a giant patio will help you escape the madness of Sixth and Main. 517 W. Main St., Boise, 208-342-9732


Ben's Crow Inn

Friendly, bright diner with a large patio where the clams are fried and the beer is copious. Both are served in buckets. Hearts, begin your fluttering now and your attacking after attaining regular status. 6781 Warm Springs Ave., Boise, 208-342-9669


Little Dutch Garden

This is perhaps the most unexpected bar in Boise. Surrounded by residential housing, it could easily be mistaken for a garage. But the cheap drinks and plethora of bar games, ranging from pool to horseshoes, make it a strangely compelling destination. 1910 S. Owyhee St., Boise, 208-906-3719


Terry's State Street Saloon

The karaoke capital of State Street, this joint enjoys a loyal following. Pool and arcade games, patron pictures on the walls, and a cozy back patio tie the operation together. Karaoke all the time. 3301 N. Collister St., Boise, 208-331-8225,


Eastside Tavern

Large, dark and smoky bar, where high class is a slur and high culture is a shuffleboard tournament. The perfect place to drink your afternoon and your life away, especially on booming karaoke Tuesdays. 610 E. Boise Ave., Boise, 208-345-3878, @eastsidetav


Jumpin Janet's

A large, laid-back bar featuring just about every parlor game: pool, darts, ping pong and friendly folks just beyond the downtown scene. 572 Vista Ave., Boise, 208-342-7640,


Sun Ray Cafe

With the largest wraparound sidewalk-dining scene in the North End, this is where weekend warriors congregate following sweat sessions in the neighboring Foothills. It also features simple, tasty fare that is more than just fuel. 1602 N. 13th St., Boise, 208-343-2887,



A dark, smoky lounge packed with the sorts of folks whose hairstyles are rarely cut but always on the cutting edge. Enjoy black walls and black lungs, as well as one of the most happening patios in town. Shake and shimmy at late-night dance parties or just get fall-down snockered. Quick Boise, to the hipster-cave! 111 N. 11th St., Boise, 208-343-0886,, @neurolux



The greenish pallor cast by the lighting in this more-than-40-year-old North End institution reminds us that corned beef and cabbage is year-round fare in some parts, including the Boise Foothills. 2433 N. Bogus Basin Road, Boise, 208-342-8948,


The VooDoo Lounge

Base-thumping techno and flashing lights make this subterranean club tricky for a first date. However, as one of the only bars downtown with a pole and live dancers, it's sure to put a kinky hex on your second date. 200 N. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-941-2144,


Flying Pie Pizzaria

The smell of tomato sauce is overwhelming when you enter Flying Pie. The beer is no joke, either, ranging from PBR to locally brewed favorites. Watch yourself when pies are flying. 6508 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-376-3454,, @flyingpiepizza



Comfort food meets local and fancy. For the ultimate experience, sit inside the gorgeously remodeled Boise City Bank Building and order a cold one with parmesan and rosemary fries. Drool. 199 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-287-1700,, @boisefork


Overland Bar

The record needle may scratch off the jukebox the tiniest bit when you walk into the Overland Bar, but that's just because the locals are cautious you'll discover their secret: $1 beers all day, every day, in just the sort of friendly, dark and intimate dive people love to blow up. 3907 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208-336-4707


Rick's Press Room

Quiet and comfy bistro-style joint that offers eight taps and daily specials. Started by a guy who grew up fascinated with newspapers, and now dozens of front pages from his collection of big stories of the past 40 years are papered across the walls. 130 E. Idaho St., Meridian, 208-288-0558,



A downtown gem, Sapphire favors microbrews and local musicians to suit the tastes of a mostly over-30 crowd. Look for brand new wine taps to make grapes as economical as barley and hops. 622 W. Idaho St., Boise, 208-363-7277


River Rock Eagle

Beer done right: grab a pint and settle into a booth. This recently refocused joint is the perfect place for a Friday night meet-up with the fellas or the fam. 228 E. Plaza St., Eagle, 208-938-4788,



A TV (or two) on every wall, short shorts and all the booze you could want. Get ready for a burger-beer-lovely-lady-induced coma. 1396 E. State St., Eagle, 208-938-1800,


13th Street

Two cask-conditioned brews stand out among a supporting cast of more than a dozen clever micros. Mirrors and windows exaggerate square footage, while an enclosed patio with a central fireplace makes outdoor seating a winter pleasure, too. 1520 N. 13th St., Boise, 208-639-8888


The Navajo Room

It's as ancient, dusty and romantic as the Old West depicted on murals on the bar walls, including life-size portraits of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Despite being in a strip mall, it feels like it's been in action since the early 1800s. 4900 W. Emerald St., Boise, 208-343-5817



A lively, loud sports bar with a couple of tables set up for cards and groups of folks in varying shades of baseball uniform. This Meridian hangout offers wings so hot you might actually need a firefighter to help put the flames on your tongue out. 1767 W. Franklin Road, Meridian, 208-846-9535,



A spacious interior bar in the heart of BODO. Settle in with friends for a night of serious drinking. Bonus: The patio is the perfect people-watching stoop. 855 Broad St., Ste. 250, Boise, 208-343-5568,


Dutch Goose

A peanuts-on-the-floor joint with tons of gaming opportunities. Big screens galore, huge patio out back (including horseshoe pits), and dollar beer Thursdays. 3515 W. State St., Boise, 208-342-8887


Papa Joe's

This restaurant-cum-coffee shop sits conveniently adjacent to the university and features a menu of casual Italian food and a modest selection of local beers. 1301 S. Capital Blvd., Boise, 208-344-7272,



This revitalized bar now carries eight microbrews on rotation, sunny patios furnished with horseshoe pits and aspirations to produce the best burger in Boise. 650 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 208-336-1790


Bittercreek Ale House

The rich wood of the bar paired with the environmentally conscious low-power happy hour give Bittercreek an earthy feel. The place is awash with rich color and clean lines and any eye wanderer or rubbernecker would find plenty to hold their gaze. 246 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-345-1813,, @bitterfeather


Hyde Park Pub

Two-wheeled cruisers accessorize the concrete patio that anchors this historic neighborhood bar. If outdoor temps take a nosedive, the low-ceilinged interior is a cozy venue tinged with neon signs and sporty TV. 1501 N. 13th St., Boise, 208-336-9260,, @hydeparkpub


Pengilly's Saloon

An old-timey saloon with a comforting vibe, classic hardwood bar and large oil paintings. One of Boise's mainstays for finding live music. 513 W. Main St., Boise, 208-345-6344, @pengillys



Cazba/Opa is a little portal to the Middle East. Your beer may be a little on the warm side, but the decor is exotic and the vibe is all satin couches. 211 Eighth St., Boise, 208-381-0222


Cottonwood Grille

Killer riverside patio and a swanky bar-food menu with surprisingly affordable drinks. The place is for the office set to unwind, let down their hair and kick off those sensible shoes. 913 W. River St., Boise, 208-333-9800,


Flatbread Community Oven

Upscale pizza and wine bistro with nary a weak item on the menu, alcoholic or otherwise. Patio and indoor seating available. 3139 S. Bown Way, Boise, 208-343-4177,, @flatbread_pizza


The Lobby

Dark interior with smooth concrete-and-stone decor and garage doors that open for summer. The classier look of a club but the laid-back drinking-focused vibe of a dive. 760 W. Main St., Boise, 208-991-2183,, @thelobbyboise


Lucky 13/The Garage

A friendly and well-lit pizza joint, with high-ceilings and a big patio out on Warm Springs that is perfect for a break while on a lengthy bike ride or jog on the Greenbelt. 3662 S. Eckert Road, Boise, 208-344-6967,, @lucky13boise


Balcony Club

Year in and year out, Balcony is the best gay bar in town. It just can't help it. Dance your ass off, make your own party ... or just order a cold one and perch on the patio above Eighth Street. 150 N. Eighth St., Ste. 226, Boise, 208-336-1313,, @balconyclub



Skylights give a glow to this airy space, rife with flatscreens tuned to sports. Between regular brews and seasonal specialties, these house-made beers cater to every palate. 705 Fulton St., Boise, 208-342-0944,, @tablerockbrew


Eighteen One

A golf-course restaurant with fantastic fine dining, a rotating menu, and as a bonus, there's a putting green nearby. 605 N. Edgewood Lane, Eagle, 208-939-0402,


Mai Thai

A sophisticated and modern-looking lounge with oriental flair and an indoor fountain, serving pan-Asian food and schmancy boat drinks. 750 W. Idaho St., Boise, 208-344-8424,, @maithaiboise


Basque Center

Eventually, all roads lead to the Basque Center, where you don't have to be Basque to enjoy a cocktail while listening to at least a couple of languages. They'll make you feel at home and let you know what beti pozik really means. 601 W. Grove. St., Boise, 208-331-5097,, @basquecenter


Red Feather Lounge

Like a feather tickles the flesh, more than 35 draft microbrews will tickle your palate, as this trendy bar shares handles with its neighbor. Upscale but not exclusive, an eclectic atmosphere invites all. 246 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-429-6340,, @bitterfeather


Shige Steakhouse

Well-cushioned swivel chairs at the curvy metro bar make for a comfy perch from which to peruse the broadest sake selection in downtown Boise. Saketini: say it. 100 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-338-8423,


Kay and Traci's 127 Club

Take a seat on the comfy bar stools and order up a bottle that's been getting plenty cold in an ice bath. There are four pool tables and a big space for live music on Friday and Saturday nights. 127 E. Idaho St., Meridian, 208-884-0122



Giant, high-ceilinged So-Cal-style sports bar with a bazillion TVs and more hot wings than you can shake a drumstick at. 7609 W. Overland Road, Ste. 100, Boise, 208-377-1819,



With a brick and neon decor, this joint serves the drinks stiff and the music loud. A rotating cast of entertainment includes live music, trivia and karaoke. 405 S. Eighth St., Ste. 110, Boise, 208-287-5379,, @liquidboise


Highlands Hollow Brewhouse

Hand-crafted ales quench your thirst in any season, but the central fireplace and snow-themed artwork make this a favorite apres ski spot. Situated at the bottom of Bogus Basin, the siren call of hops is irresistible. 2455 Harrison Hollow Lane, 208-343-6820,, @highlandshollow


Main Street Bistro

It's Jell-O shots, beer pong, backwards baseball caps and a full-on brodeo every day of the week in this three-barred behemoth. It's a club for the sports-bar set. 609 Main St., 208-345-9515., @mainstbistro


Piper Pub

An upscale high-ceilinged gastro pub with hardwood decor, good liquor and a bird's-eye view of downtown from its second-floor location. 150 N. Eighth St., Ste. 200, Boise, 208-343-2444,


Lock, Stock and Barrel

It's classy but casual dining at this Boise mainstay, featuring steaks and a wide selection of wines. Check out live local acoustic and jazz music. 1100 W. Jefferson St., Boise, 208-336-4266,


Mack and Charlie's

The large front windows, dim lighting and concrete floors make Mack and Charlie's feel like a classy garage, complete with pool tables, shuffleboard and muscly dudes talking about their motorcycles. Drinks specials are cheap enough to easily end in a hangover. 507 W. Main St., Boise, 208-830-9977,, @mackandcharlies


Brewforia Bown

A clean and modern market/cafe hybrid with hundreds of beers from all over the world and tasty waffle sandwiches. The taps here rotate constantly and new discoveries are always on hand. 3073 S. Bown Way, Boise, 208-342-1916,, @brewforiabown


Jo's Sunshine Lounge

It's a dark, sunless lounge attached to a hotel, but it also happens to be one of the best places around to find live blues music. 1115 N. Curtis Road, Boise, 208-376-2700,


Vista Bar

The dark, smoky environs contained in this ancient A-frame building provide liquid solace to working folks in search of carefree sedation. 813 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 208-342-9911



This old-fashioned deli has a menu full of finger-licking sandwiches and a tap selection featuring local craft beers. 1030 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-345-0990,



An Irish-themed pub with Guinness and Smithwick's on tap and a full menu of pub favorites. It boasts a huge patio and two horseshoe pits. 11123 W. State St., Star, 208-286-7743,


The Front Door

Get ready to become a pizza and beer snob: The Front Door offers impeccable selections of both. Generous slices are washed down with rare IPAs, ales and lagers. Yes, please. 105 S. Sixth St., Boise, 208-287-9201,



Smoky, off-the-beaten-path, dog-friendly pub with cheap drinks, Jell-O shots, pool tables, popcorn and friendly staff. 2801 Fletcher St., Boise, 208-342-9420


The New Frontier

Seems more like the old frontier. This is a dimly lit outpost for smokers, drinkers in cowboy hats and players looking for a Texas hold 'em table or two. There probably weren't any frills when this bar opened six decades ago, so why expect any now? Live music on Friday nights and a vintage shuffleboard table. 116 E. Broadway Ave., Meridian, 208-888-9034



Newly renovated Sammy's (formerly Gusto's) has a shuffleboard, pool table and bright, yellow walls. Sammy's acquired just the right facelift for summer drinking. 509 W. Main St., Boise, 208-343-5159.

Top 10 All-Time Warmest and Coldest Beers - ADAM ROSENLUND