There are many local bars and restaurants that abuse the term “gastropub.” A place with 50 beers and a menu with burgers, meatloaf, and pizza may be nice to visit, but it doesn’t qualify as a gastropub. A true gastropub is more likely to serve fried pig ears than a grilled chicken sandwich and fries. The gastropub phenomenon began in England when traditional pubs—with an emphasis on beer as their main beverage—elevated their menus. The kitchen sourced local produce and protein and used as much of the animal as possible.
The most famous (and authentic) gastropub on this side of the pond is The Spotted Pig in New York, where the menu pairs head cheeses, glands, hearts, necks, and brains with sophisticated styles of beer, wines, and cocktails.
For this list, I only considered places with a healthy beer and wine selection. These beverages pair well with gastropub cuisine. Having an excellent cocktail program is important, but sweet or sour fancy drinks mask the brilliance of a house-made charcuterie or an unctuous sliver of bone marrow. I asked the chefs of five gastropubs for their favorite pairings. Now, put down that cheeseburger and Coors Light, and change your style.