Details: Thistle & Mirth, 44 West St., Pittsfield, 413-344-4335, facebook.com/thistleandmirth. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight.
Recipe for success: Located in downtown Pittsfield, Thistle & Mirth has been the city's craft beer destination since 2012. The team at Thistle (as regulars call it) are committed to bringing an exciting and diverse selection of craft beers to the Pittsfield community. If you are looking for a low-key hang or a post-event beer, the long wooden bar provides plenty of seating, while the long and narrow layout offers space to stand when things get busy. As you are picking out your brew, make sure to take a look at the local art: the tap list was recently updated to include a beautiful woman drawn in the style of Czech Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha by local artist Michael Rousseau. Group outings to Thistle can include playing one of the many board games available, attending the monthly trivia competitions, paint-a-pint fundraisers or one of the tap takeover events.
What we can't get enough of: Thistle's beer selection is on point, and the team wants to tell everyone about it! Customers can sample all the beers on tap and learn what makes them special. The tap list is updated and posted every week on their Facebook page. In addition to what's on tap, there is a long selection of what they call "fridge beers" that are just that: bottled beers that still have a great story and a reason to be there. From local brews from Shire Breu-Hous to beers from around the world. Grabbing a beer at Thistle isn't going to break the bank either: prices for what's on tap range from $6-$8 a pint, with smaller sizes available. Not in a mood for beer? Check out the selection of scotches, mixed drinks and other non-beer beverages on site. You are probably saying, "Wait a minute, this is the hotspot! Where's the food?" Well, Thistle isn't a restaurant and doesn't pretend to be. It's BYOF: order in or bring your own food to eat there. Many patrons will go right next-door to District Kitchen + Bar or short walk away to Hot Harry's for some burritos.