There is an argument to be made that an entire airport waiting area is basically already a bar, albeit one with crappy vending-machine drinks and people idly paging through used Michael Connolly tomes while a TV turned to CNN is playing at an awkwardly high volume. But in an effort to parse out the actual bars in your air and/or jetport that are worth adjusting your flight schedule to hit, we, well, flew to a lot of places this year, and reached out to our esteemed city editors for other recs.
A small note: as much as possible, we opted for places that focus on drinks/beer before food. As you might expect, that left us with a high number of brewpubs and tap rooms. We’re not complaining. But if you want to, do it in our comment section below.
Albuquerque International Sunport
Rio Grande Brew Pub and Grill (Concourse B)
The first time I went to this pub, I ordered the Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza, as I figured: New Mexico! Green chile! New Mexican green chile beer! And then, four minutes later, two girls sat down next to me. “All the tourists just get the green chile beer, but they have some really good local ones,” one of them assured the other. Needless to say, it’s true: the Rio Grande & Sierra Blanca Brewers have some genuinely interesting stuff -- like the Alien Wheat with curaçao bitter orange, sweet orange, and coriander spice, or the grapefruit- and pepper-hinted Rio Grande IPA. And just to be fair -- that green chile beer is pretty good too.