11 Bartenders Tell Us Their Favorite Beers To Drink After Work

Visit any bar in this country and you’re likely to be greeted by an enthusiastic bartender ready to pour you a beer and (sometimes) listen to your entire life story. Speaking of beer, here’s a question: Your favorite bartended may serve everything from Bud Light to Lagunitas, but what do drinks professionals drink themselves, when they’re not on the clock? We asked some of the best bartenders in the country to tell us which beers they unwind with after a long day behind the bar.

Tim Hagney, bar manager at Maven in San Francisco

“While I definitely enjoy the diversity and range of character of the craft beer movement, I typically stick to something crisp and refreshing after work. I go for a Pacifico. The colder the better.”

Jeremy Lake, bar manager at Rosaliné in West Hollywood, California

“I enjoy session beer. Something with a low abv, some hops. A Lagunitas Daytime Ale is always a winner for me.”

Morgan Zuch, corporate beverage director at Datz in Tampa, Florida

“My favorite beer to unwind with after a long day is probably a Belgian beer with a higher abv, such as a trippel or a quad. These beers are stronger and only require one or two, so they’re perfect to wind you down after a long day of work. One of my local Tampa favorites is from Coppertail — the Unholy Trippel. It goes down easy, has an amazingly smooth flavor, and packs a serious punch.”

Caroline Blundell, manager at Plan Check in Santa Monica

“Heady Topper is a cult Vermont IPA that is released in limited amounts and only sold at their brewery, The Alchemist. While the IPA market is saturated with overly piney, imbalanced beers, Heady Topper finds the perfect balance between malt and hops. Luckily, my brother lives down the road from the brewery, so I always have some stashed. With a high abv & 16oz cans, one will do the trick after a long shift.”

Rory Snipes, general manager/partner at SOCA in LA

“Right now my favorite beer to have after a long day is a local collaboration between El Segundo Brewing Company and Highland Park Brewery called L.A. Gold. It’s a West Coast hoppy lager brewed by two of my favorite breweries – light and refreshing and packed with hoppy goodness.”

Matthew Horsley, director of food & beverage at backYARD at Waller Creekin Austin, Texas

“I am a huge fan of IPAs! My favorite is Axis IPA from Real Ale, which we have on draft at backYARD at Waller Creek. Outside of drafts, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA is my go-to in a bottle, but I love trying any new or seasonal local releases.”

Sarah Mengoni, lead bartender at Double Take in LA

“My favorite beer to unwind with currently is “Duchesse De Bourgogne,” a Flanders red style of sour ale. It’s very tart and refreshing — perfect for the hot summer weather that I go home to in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.”

Gedeon Tsegaye, bar manager at Chambers Eat + Drink in San Francisco

“A local Ale. So many Bay Area breweries are crafting amazing beer and many little neighborhood markets carry a large selection, that its not hard to find something fun, unique and refreshing. That or a Modelo (with a shot of tequila trailing behind it). At that point I’m purely looking for water content.”

Sarah Morrissey, beverage director at Pig Bleecker in New York City

My favorite beer to unwind is usually a Miller High Life or Budweiser in a super cold bottle, or just something light and refreshing. Also, the beer always tastes better with a side of mezcal.

Jeremy Allen, general manager & head bartender at MiniBar in LA

“Sometimes we are lucky and get to choose what we drink after work, and sometimes we just get to drink the pitcher of settled foam from when we changed the keg. That being said, my vote for “Best Beer to Drink while Counting Money” is Hangar 24’s Orange Wheat from Redlands California.”

Gregory Westcott, bar manager at Hinoki & the Bird in LA

“After a long day at work, I unwind with a Grapefruit Sculpin from Ballast Point. I think it might be the perfect beer.”