Auburn’s Craft Brew Underground made the Beer Association’s list of the 50 Great American Beer Bars for 2019 last week.

Mike Williams Jr. opened Craft Brew Underground last February at 34 Court St. in Auburn. Sun Journal file photo by Daryn Slover

Nearly 7,000 votes were cast nationwide in December and one bar in each state earned a spot.

Owner Mike Williams Jr. said he was surprised at the honor; he had put a single mention about the voting on the year-old bar’s Facebook page.

“It was a rocky year at times, and there were even a few moments that things looked bleak,” Williams said. “But we got this far, and this is an awesome way to cap off the first anniversary. I think it’s a testament to the people who have become so dedicated to CBU, our customers, the local craft beer fans, who felt strongly enough to vote in numbers that made it happen … I’m not going to lie, that is pretty sweet.”

CBU, at 34 Court St., below House of Bacon, offers more than 200 choices of craft beer, hard cider and mead. Williams said the honor vindicates the original concept he had at the opening and presents a challenge to keep improving.

“This past weekend, the first since the list was published, we saw a big influx of new people,” Williams said. “Some were folks who knew about us and had been meaning to check it out and seeing the list became the tipping point for them. Some had just found out about us from seeing the list and made a night out of hunting us down to see what we’re about. We had people from all over the state visiting this week and a few from ‘away.’ Everyone was talking about the list. It will be interesting to see how that plays into the coming weeks. This weekend was a pretty great first wave of recognition.”

This was originally published March 4, 2019, as part of  The Buzz: Zimmie’s Comics closing, Craft Brew Underground celebrating. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or [email protected]

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