The scene: This popular Drake neighborhood bar has 21 beers on taps that emerge from a repurposed library filing cabinet behind the bar, and 68 more in bottles. It specializes in craft brews. And that’s an unexpected selection for a teeny tiny neighborhood bar with only six booths, two tables and a handful of stools.
We visited on a recent Monday and all booths and tables were full by 6 p.m., with only two stools open at the bar. While it doesn’t take much to fill The University Library Cafe, it clearly has a loyal band of regulars patronizing the establishment, some of them there to watch Monday Night Football on the several flat-screen televisions.
Why it’s the best night to go: There are plenty of bars that offer specials during Monday Night Football, primarily involving run-of-the-mill domestic beers served in metal buckets. The Library is not one of those bars. From 6 p.m. to midnight and during Monday Night Football, The Library offers $1 off Iowa beers. It gives patrons a taste of state brews like Peace Tree, Millstream, Great River, Toppling Goliath Brewing and Backpocket Brewing. I tried Peace Tree’s Blonde Fatale at a discounted $4.75, a tasty unfiltered strong Belgian ale that packed a whopping 8.5 percent alcohol by volume.
When else to go: Tuesdays are Toppling Goliath Brewing Company nights, when patrons can enjoy $3 pints of the Iowa-based brews from 6 p.m. to midnight. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., when all drinks are 50 cents off.
Find it: 3506 University Ave.
Best night to go: Monday for Monday Night Football and Iowa craft brews on special