Airport bars you want to get stuck in

It is a sadly familiar scene: Waiting patiently at the gate to your upcoming departure, absorbed reading the paper or scanning social media, you become aware of a slightly garbled announcement coming over the PA system, until the mention of your destination city and flight number snaps you to full attention. Flight delay. Of at least an hour and maybe — probably! –nbsp;more.

We have all been there, though that understanding does little to mitigate the soul-sapping impact of protracted and involuntary airport inhabitation. Fortunately, at an increasing number of terminals around the world, delays are getting to be a little less irritating as a result of the coming of a new generation of pubs which aren’t just a cut above the airport standard, but good enough to rate as destinations in their ownnbsp;rights.


Louisville, Ky..

You may expect that the Louisville International Airport would boast a pub that championed the area’s grand bourbon-soaked past and current but up until the beginning of this year, you’d have been mistaken. That supervision was remedied by the January opening of Novel amp; Bourbon Southern Kitchen, a primary terminal bar and restaurant which pays tribute to the coveted Americannbsp;soul.

With 85 bourbons available by the glass or at tasting flights — costing from as little as $10 to as much as $101 to get a choice of rarities — and a broad, bourbon-focused cocktail menu encouraged by southern comfort cuisine, with even instructional resources for people who would like to find out more about the regional distilleries, Novel amp; Bourbon is a excellent way to start or complete your Kentucky Bourbon Trailnbsp;expertise.


Munich, Germany

The airport at the Bavarian capital connects conveniently to the S-Bahn, which will direct you to the downtown Hauptbahnhof in an efficient 40 minutes. That is, should youn’t find yourself waylaid by Airbräu, a brewery and beer hall that sits tantalizingly between the airport exit and the train stationnbsp;entry.

Boasting a refreshingly inexpensive menu of wurst, pork knuckle and other typical Bavarian specialties, plus three new year-round beers and various seasonal brews, Europe’s only airport brewery is now a compulsory first or last stop — or both! — for many a beer-focused visitor tonbsp;Germany.


Helsinki, Finland

As unexpected as it may appear to locate oenological excellence in Scandinavia, it was Wine amp; View that won the Food and Beverage Excellence Award for Airport Wine Bar of the Year innbsp;2016.

With a wine list that changes every day and is based upon the European Fine Wines magazine’s ranking of the top 1,000 wines from the world, it is an honor wellnbsp;deserved.

The pub’s small food menu features what the kitchen describes as “Nordic tapas,” with fish and reindeer emphasized by such tastes as spruce buds and pickled mushrooms, but it is really the wine that is the drawnbsp;here.

From a $9.5 ($14 Canadian) divide of cava into a $562.5 bottle of vintage Champagne and a constantly changing list of “Cellar Rarities” from the glass, there is something to suit every kind of winenbsp;aficionado.


Victoria

There’s hardly a need for an oasis of calm in Victoria’s modestly sized and relaxed airport, but were this event to arise, Spinnakers on the Fly are the place to providenbsp;it.

Convenient to all gates at the lower departure lounge, the bar provides a peaceful feeling even when packed, with a set of relatively unobtrusive televisions, a pub-ish food menu strong on local ingredients and, pivotally, a half-dozen mainstays and rotating seasonal beers on tap from among Canada’s oldest independent breweries, Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victorianbsp;West.

What’s perhaps most extraordinary about the gateside place, however, is how cheap the beer is by international airport standards. As anyone who has ever been gouged for a preflight can of mass-produced lager will love, under $7 for a 20-ounce pint of brewery-fresh Mitchell’s Extra Special Bitter is a little bit of frequent-fliernbsp;paradise.


Atlanta, Ga..

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport might be the longstanding title holder as the world’s busiest, but it also competes among the best for flight delays, largely due to the outstanding One Flew South. Produced by two veterans of the mythical Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, the marginally removed-from-the-maddening-crowds restaurant has been designed from the beginning to house a terrific cocktail bar, and the almost-decade-old place does precisely that extremelynbsp;nicely.

While the pub does good business with Southern-themed beverages like the Georgia Bellini, highlights of the travel-themed beverages menu are its more advanced and oft-changing creations, like the sherry-based Cab Calloway or, for the daring, the “wild card” Bartender’s Choice. If she is on change, say hello, and hope your palate, to the pub’s excellent and longstanding mixologist, Tiffanie Barriere.


London, England

For many travelers, the gin and tonic is the best preboarding tipple, with its equivalent parts of refreshment and comfort. And while it’s true you could purchase the cocktail at almost all the world’s airports, being served one which is made with gin distilled on site, since it’s in Nicholas Culpeper Pub amp; Dining at Gatwick Airport, is a uniquenbsp;experience.

Opened last year and called for a 17 th-century botanist born in a brief run of the airport, the pub features the world’s first airport distillery and highlights its lone creation, a punchy, appropriately herbal soul, in cocktails like the Culpeper Gamp;T along with an extremely aromatic Aviation. Additional gins are also featured, such as London’s very own Sipsmith, in addition to imported and local craft beers and a variety of red, white and rose wines by thenbsp;glass.


Stephen Beaumont is co-author with Tim Webb of the newest Best Beers, coming in November, and two editions of The World Atlas ofnbsp;Beer.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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