Best booze selection and cocktails: Local Whiskey
107 East Beaver Avenue
Located directly above The Phyrst (and sometimes still affectionately referred to as “The Second”), Local Whiskey is a bar for liquor lovers. Boasting a selection so impressive it borders on ridiculous, this is the perfect place to get that obscure cocktail you read about online, or try a pour of scotch older than most of the students at Penn State. The house cocktails offer new twists on old favorites, the food menu is delicious and open late, and the daily specials (like Tiki Tuesday and Whiskey Wednesdays) will have you coming back for more.
Most welcoming and inclusive space: Chumley’s
108 West College Avenue
Chumley’s is a cozy, comfortable little bar offering a wide selection of liquor, knowledgeable bartenders, and a welcoming atmosphere for anyone who’s any shade of queer, trans, non-binary, or even just looking for a chill space to watch Jeopardy. As the local gay bar, Chumley’s hosts all sorts of fun events that are a favorite of the local queer community, including drag bingo, live and local music and art, and holiday parties. Even if you’re not queer and just want a perfectly mixed Manhattan, you’ll be welcome at this charming haunt.
233 East Beaver Avenue
The Brewery is a shithole -- and that’s 100% what makes it one of the most amazing bars in State College. The tables don’t sit right on the uneven concrete floor, there’s no door on the men’s room stall, and there’s graffiti everywhere… and it’s all so perfect. The Brewery is down-to-earth, no frills, and one of the most fun spots to drop in for a couple drinks, especially with their giant wall of punny specialty shots. (One, called the “Dirty Ashtray,” is actually served out of an ashtray.) They also welcome up-and-coming touring bands, host local musicians for punk and metal nights, and have an amazing and underappreciated daily special on $5 pours of the top shelf Basil Hayden’s Whiskey.