A reader writes:
I'm on board with Chicago, Wisconsin and Oregon, but let's not leave out Seattle. Like Portland, it is the home to numerous micro-breweries, and the corner pub is definitely a feature of every neighborhood, including Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Belltown, and Fremont. Seattle is definitely a city where the pub crawl is alive and well. Many have amazing food - in the so called gastropubs - and many are very family-friendly. There are toys or a play area on one side and tables for the parents to spy on the kids while enjoying their pints. Please add my $0.02 for Seattle.
Another two cents:
They're on the corner of 15th Ave E and E Mercer St in Seattle, which has a number of pubs - many of which are on actual corners - dotting its neighborhoods. While my local neighborhood, the east side of Capitol Hill, has at least five watering holes that cater largely to neighborhood clientele, Canterbury Ale and Eats fits the definition of a corner pub. Not only is it on a corner, but it's not really good enough for people outside the neighborhood to bother with. They don't even have a website, but why bother? Anyone who would go there knows where it is because it's a fixture along 15th Ave E (the suit of armor in the entryway probably helps with that).
I came here with dozens of people for breakfast to watch Obama's inauguration. My wife and I have shared a number of Friday night dinners and drinks here that we've stumbled home from. We've run into old neighbors from our apartment building who have since moved into houses in the neighborhood. One night, ahem, resulted in our daughter nine months later. (Whoops.) And when those nine months passed, we even walked three blocks from the hospital on a pass to Canterbury while my wife was in pre-labor to watch the second half of last year's Apple Cup between the Huskies and Cougars (UW and WSU football to you non-NWers). If that's not a neigborhood pub, I don't know what is.
If you are ever in Seattle, go to Leny's Tavern (which has no website). It is a true American pub. (I am not an owner or employee or anything - just someone who appreciates a good sandwich, a cheap mug of beer, and a friendly, sarcastic bartender.)
Here's a Google Maps search for Seattle brew pubs. We grow our own hops, grapes, and weed out here.
(Photo by Flickrite by and by)