Crystal Beer Parlor
301 West Jones St.
Crystal Beer Parlor is an important part of what makes Savannah one of America’s best cities.
You never know what you’ll find while you stroll through these moss-draped streets of the “Haunted City”.
There always seems to be an exciting discovery waiting around every cobblestone corner.
Like Crystal Beer Parlor.
I’ve been exploring the historic district of Savannah for years and had never even heard of the place until I happened to stumble upon it on some random side street between Pulaski and Chatham Square.
And it’s not like Crystal Beer Parlor is some new and trendy joint made specifically for the hordes of tourists.
This place has been serving beer and burgers since 1933 – and brags that they were one of the first bars to open after the repeal of prohibition.
Back then, beers were a dime and burgers a quarter.
Thanks to decades of central bank fiat currency printing, the prices are a bit higher today.
But I’m guessing the quality of the food and beer selection has improved too.
Crystal Beer Parlor lives up to its name – and proves that you don’t have to have 200 taps to have an outstanding beer selection.
The back wall behind the bar is lined with about 20 taps of exciting, unusual, and hard to find freshly micro-brewed beer.
And I was excited to see Sweetwater’s Festive Ale on the list.
This is a beer drinker’s beer. Dark, strong, and heavy with a touch of cinnamon, Festive Ale lives up to its name. At nearly 9% alcohol by volume, it’s definitely not for chugging contests either.
I tried another topnotch winter brew, RJ Rocker’s First Snowfall, that comes out of Greenville, South Carolina.
Lighter than the Sweetwater in body and color, First Snowfall was like pumpkin pie in a glass with its notes of nutmeg and cloves.
And what self-respecting, patriotic beer drinker can resist a pint of Brew Free or Die IPA from California’s 21st Amendment Brewery?
I felt like I was striking a blow to the imperialist federal nanny state with every sip of this hoppy, powerful beer.
And fitting its retro-style ambiance, Crystal Beer Parlor even has a menu titled “Beers of our Fathers – the Beer Your Dad Used to Love” which lists those sentimental beers of yesteryear, including Stroh’s, Rheingold and Genesee Cream Ale (a favorite of my own dad).
But man cannot live on beer alone. Fortunately, Crystal Beer Parlor offers topnotch bar food.
My crab stew was full of lumpy crabmeat. A bit sweeter than most she-crab soups I’ve enjoyed, this version didn’t skimp on the crab. I found the meat of an entire crab claw swimming under all that creamy goodness!
Better yet was the bacon cheeseburger.
I know this might sound somewhat shocking, but I hesitate ordering burgers in restaurants.
No matter how you order it or how much you plead with your waitress, you just know that burger is going to come out of that kitchen charred, dry, and overcooked.
But Crystal Beer Parlor’s burger was love at first sight.
As soon as I saw the pink juices dripping onto the bun, I knew this had been done right. Perfectly pink medium – just like I ordered it.
Juicy, greasy deliciousness.
Always on the lookout for something different, I ordered “Ocilla slaw” for the side.
Named after a small South Georgia town in Irwin County, Ocilla slaw is made with shredded cabbage, peppers and onions in a sweet vinaigrette.
More sweet than vinegary, Ocilla slaw went perfectly with my juicy burger and luxurious micro-brewed beers.
A delicious burger, hearty crab stew, and three high-potency beers later, I stumbled out of Crystal Beer Parlor excited. And full.
Excited that no matter how many times I return to a fantastic city like Savannah, there’s always something new to discover.
Even if that something “new” has been around since the sad, dark days of prohibition.
And it’s places like Savannah and Crystal Beer Parlor that make a proud American traveler like myself so proud.
Rating: Bought the Shirt!