The Lodge Beer & Grill, 200 S. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Call 561-392-5003 or click here.
The Lodge is Boca's craft beer answer to the Ale House — a no-frills room with a row of steady-flowing taps and a collection of bottles that would make Charlie Papazian blush. Take a seat at the bar — every last inch of which is covered in wood — and order off a list of 100 indie brews, most of which hail from America. You might tag a brew like Smuttynose Big "A" IPA, a pint of copper malt laced with the thick, honeyed scent of hops. Or you can opt for something from celebrated brew houses like Lost Coast, Brooklyn, Left Hand, Steel Head, or Great Divide, the Coloradan brew-punk's answer to Coors. Also on tap: pub food such as burgers, pizzas, salads, and wings, delivered in such Bunyanesque proportions as to quash any beer-induced hunger. A black jack burger is beefy, cooked to a perfect pink, and topped with spicy pepper jack and thick wedges of avocado. Grilled pizzas look like puffy, open-faced sandwiches piled high with fresh summer vegetables or chipotle BBQ chicken (the menu insists the homemade crust is thin; it is tasty, but thick as a loaf of challah). You'll jones for the house-cut fries and crisp potato chips, but good luck finishing them off after a half-dozen pints and a fat-ass sandwich to boot.