The last time I was in an airport bar was during the World Cup playoffs. The USA was playing Belgium, and there was about ten minutes on the clock. Mind you, this was in the Charleston (CHS) Airport, so when I refer to the airport bar, there is in fact, only a total of two, one in each of the two terminals.
So sitting in the bar, just as the game was drawing to its fateful close, my flight, which virtually everyone in the bar was on, announced final boarding. You could see people’s priorities visibly torn, glancing from their watches to the television screen and then back over at the boarding gate, a mere twenty yards away. Parents sending kids halfway over to the gate to check whether they were shutting the doors. Diehard fans guzzling the last of their beers, their eye contact never wavering from the screen. How final was “final boarding” really? Were there still a few stragglers in line? With, now, an unbearable five minutes left, would the airline staff truly make us abandon our posts to (inevitably) sit on the tarmac for another ten, phones in woeful airplane mode, wondering who had prevailed?
Don’t they watch sports?! (Note: We all caved and boarded; I watched the last 30 seconds of the game through a small gap in the seats in the row in front of me, via a 13-year-olds’ clandestine iPhone streaming.)
The point to that story? Following up on yesterday’s ode to airport dining, my gift to you today, dear readers, is a doozie. I present the best Southern airport bars to nab a local brew. These are the spots that won’t add insult to injury by making you pay an extra $5 just for just geographically passing through security, and a few spots we just can’t wait to pull up a stool at during our next layover (provided it does not coincide with any epic sports finals):
Sweetwater Brewing Co., Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta, GA
Yazoo Brewing Co., Nashville International Airport, Nashville, TN
DuClaw Brewing Baltimore, Washington International, Baltimore, MD
Cigar City Brewing, Tampa International Airport, Tampa, FL
Carolina Alehouse, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Raleigh, NC