Ravens bar of the week: Baltimore Taphouse

A bartender at Baltimore Taphouse in June, 2011
A bartender at Baltimore Taphouse in June, 2011 (Baltimore Sun)

Every week, we'll pick a new bar for you to see the Ravens. Our picks so far: Mother's, Padonia Station, and Don't Know Tavern. This week, it's Baltimore Taphouse.

Looney's, Claddagh Pub, JD's Smokehouse - basically anything on Canton Square will be mobbed on game day. But, for a quieter bar with superior beer selection, go to Baltimore Taphouse.

Located near Patterson Park, this corner bar has seven plasma TV screens with the HD and NFL tickets. The bar also has 16 rotating draft lines with nothing but craft fare. The atmosphere is warm, and the service excellent, especially when owner John Bates is around.

If the game is boring, pick up a copy of Michael Jackson's indispensable "Great Beer Guide," always sitting by the cash register. As a great local beer destination, it might also be the place to start getting ready for Baltimore Beer Week. We reviewed it back in June.

Drinks: As its name suggests, the bar has excellent beer on tap: Ace Pear Cider, Brewer's Art Resurrection, Dale's Pale Ale, Stone IPA, Troeg's Sunshine Pils and White Marsh Brewing Company's Blueberry Ale, are just a few of the 16 rotating drafts. It also has 25 brands by the bottle, including White Marsh Brewing, and DuClaw, Heavy Seas, and Flying Dog, all Maryland brewers. Prices are reasonable. Draft beers are a dollar off during happy hour, from noon to 8 p.m. every day,  so that a Stone IPA can be as much as $3.75. On game day, purple shots are $2 and purple bombs are $5. Bottled beers are $.75 off.

Food: Except for the pretzels by the bar, Taphouse does not have a proper bar menu. But, on game day, the bar has hot dogs, chili and chips for free.

Decor: Taphouse got a renovation last year that straightened out its former L-shape. The bar's decor is low-key, mainly beer ads and a giant chalkboard that lists all the beers on draft. There are about 15 stools by the front and a couple of high-top tables at the back, in addition to a pool table.

Distance from stadium: Slightly closer to M&T than any of the bars on Canton Square, but not my much - about 12 minutes. Still, Taphouse's main advantage is its vast draft selection.

Parking: Because of it's location near Patterson Park, parking is more available than other places in Canton.

If you go: Baltimore Taphouse is open seven days a week, from noon to 2 a.m., at 600 South Potomac Street. Call 410-276-7553 or visit its website.

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