Max's Taphouse

737 S. Broadway, (410) 675-6297,

For us, perhaps the best thing about Max's is not merely its beer selection (though we've awarded it "Best Selection" every year, save for one, since 2005), but that, despite being the undisputed champion of Baltimore's beer bars, Max's remains a bar you can hang out in as if it were your local pub. If you log enough hours and display enough curiosity, the knowledgeable bartenders here (we're particularly fond of Bob Simko and Jamie Ritter) will establish shtick with you and key in on your stylistic preferences; they'll also let you know if there's something on the list you need to try. We've benefited from their wisdom at Max's' many annual celebrations: Belgian Beer Fest (including Sour and Wild Day), German Beer Fest, and HopFest, among others. But a festival doesn't need to happen for you to sample some of the hardest-to-find beer in the nation here-it just needs to be a day of the week.

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