10 most Popular Businesses of 2018

Last updated December 29, 2018 · By Dylan Blake


The clicks are in!

The theme this year: range. We've got a few returning favorites, but we've also got some fresh new faces. We've got bars, breweries, restaurants, and liquor stores. We've got a business in Wichita, KS and a business in New York City.

Another thing we've got? Love for all these businesses. They serve great beer, they run their businesses soundly, and they always tell their customers what's available.

That's the way life should be. Enjoy the list!

Note: "Most popular" is determined by pageviews. Each business on BeerMenus has a page, and these 10 businesses' pages received the most views.

10. Proletariat | Manhattan, NY


Proletariat is a personal favorite for many on the BeerMenus team, so we're happy it once again made the most popular list.

They're always serving some awesome local beers from Other Half, Grimm, Finback or others, but the out-of-towners they feature are super high quality as well. While the narrow space gets jam packed on weekend—and weekday—nights, there are few places whose selection packs so much punch. “Lean but impressive” is a perfect description.

9. Finback Brewery | Queens, NY


Very, very pumped to see our buds/neighbors Finback crack the top 10 this year. We've known the owners/brewers Basil and Kevin for years, and love seeing them continue their ass kicking.

Personally, I love BQE season, ever since I had my first taste while working at St. Gambrinus Beer Shoppe. And if you're able to snag a glass or bottle of the barrel aged version, consider yourself blessed.

8. Baffin Brewing Company | Saint Clair Shores, MI

Baffin Brewing Company

Of the places on this Most Popular list, Baffin certainly has the shortest beer list. But they make up for that brevity with militance: if a beer changes, they update their BeerMenus page. Always.

We love including folks who truly give a shit about beer on this list, and it's clear that's the case with Baffin's founders Joe Dowd and Evan Feringa. They started brewing together in their college apartment and now, a few years later, they operate a commercially successful brewery outside of Detroit.

For a certain segment of the country, that's the American Dream.

7. Off Color Brewing Mousetrap | Chicago, IL

Off Color Mousetrap

Another spot oft frequented by the BeerMenus team. Our slushie-loving brewery relations head, Gage, visited a ton when he lived in Chicago last year, and every time I head down to Chicago from Madison, WI I make sure to swing by to grab some Dino S'mores and, if I'm lucky, Eeek!, their collab with—wait for it—Miller High Life!

6. Long Live Beerworks | Providence, RI

Long Live Beerworks

We're super excited to see these folks on the list for the second year in a row. The aforementioned Gage made it up to the taproom this summer and had himself a big time blast sipping on Long Live's tasty IPAs and cask conditioned ales.

5. The Hop Knot | Middletown, CT

The Hop Knot

I personally remember when the original Hop Knot location opened. I helped Mike, an owner, get his first BeerMenus page up and running. A few years later, there are three operating Hop Knot locations in Connecticut and 2 more coming soon, each of them serving great beer, great food (especially pretzels), and a great vibe.

Given the enthusiasm for great beer in Connecticut and Hop Knot's reliability in having the best, we're not surprised in the least that The Hop Knot made this list.

4. Champps Americana - Brookfield, WI | Brookfield, WI

Champps Americana

Full disclosure: I personally root hard for Champps Americana to make this list each year, and this year they did it!

Why? My wife's family lives in Brookfield, a suburb of Milwaukee. It's not tiny by any means—15 minutes and you could be downtown. But the fact that this suburban restaurant can outgun so many of the other awesome, city-center bars, restaurants, and breweries out there—that's refreshing. The folks there are certainly doing their marketing right.

50+ taps, pub food, and a huge space. This is where you go if you've got a game to watch.

3. Ambulance Brew House | Nanuet, NY

Ambulance Brew House

North of New York City by about 25 miles, Ambulance Brew House features 20 drafts and 2 cask beers. With routine appearances by Hill Farmstead, Jolly Pumpkin, Other Half—basically all the top-echelon breweries available in New York State—none of us are surprised to see Ambulance showing up on this list for the third straight year.

2. Lightner Liquor | Wichita, KS

Ty Lightner

Once again, Lightner Liquor in Wichita made our Most Popular Businesses list. Rather than beat a dead horse with trying to express something ourselves, we turned the mike over to co-owner Ty Lightner:

We've gained a great following thanks to BeerMenus. There is a great demand for potential customers to have an active menu for a store! We get walk-in customers and phone calls daily. We have had people drive as far as Texas and Nebraska to shop, and the phone calls we get from people who simply want to talk beer are amazing. We thank BeerMenus for being such a great company and helping Lightner Retail Liquor grow. We have been Family owned since 1994, and I truly feel every craft customer that we gain adds to our extended family. We will continue to strive to have the lowest craft prices in town and are truly humbled to be on this list for the third straight year!

Yours Truly,
Jacob T. Lightner "Ty"

1. Hudson Valley Brewery | Beacon, NY

Hudson Valley
Photo by Patrick Capriglione for Hudson Valley Brewery.

Up the river from New York lies one of the finest breweries in the whole damn world. From fantastic sours to some of the best east coast IPAs you can find, owner JohnAnthony Gargiulo has been churning out high quality stuff since the brewery opened a few years back.

Their can releases are jam packed with fans, the taproom is jam packed with barrels—we're not the least bit surprised to see Hudson Valley rocket to the top of our list.

About the Author

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Dylan Blake is the Head of Marketing at BeerMenus. He likes fitting words together, getting grammar to a place where only serious nitpickers can take umbrage, and taking walks in the woods.

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