If you want to discover the latest creations from your town’s breweries and brewpubs, head to their taprooms. But if you want to sample what the rest of the world is drinking, beer bars with scores of taps are the place to go.

Hop City Craft Beer and Wine in Birmingham, a combination retail store and bar that carries some 1,200 brews, is one of the best places around for those global gulps, according to USA Today. It recently named Hop City the second-best beer bar in the nation.

It is a repeat honor for Hop City, which also was tapped as the nation’s second-best in 2022. It ranked 10th nationally last year.

The rankings start with a panel of beer experts gathered by USA Today, who come up with a list of 20 nominees. Readers pick the final Top 10.

Birmingham’s Hop City stands among giants in this year’s rankings. The other nine are based in metropolitan areas far bigger than Birmingham, which ranks 47th nationally. Many of the honorees are well-known to beer connoisseurs, including Monk’s Café in Philadelphia, and The Brick Store Pub in the Atlanta area.

“It’s no easy task to choose just one beverage at these 10 bars,” USA Today noted when it announced this year’s ranking in March. “Each offers a stellar selection of draft, bottled, and canned beers, many with a focus on local or regional selections. Pair that with a relaxed atmosphere and knowledgeable bar staff ready to help any guest become a beer connoisseur, and you’ve got a recipe for a great beer bar.”

The only Alabama outpost in an Atlanta-based chain, Hop City in Birmingham’s Pepper Place District hits all those highlights. Its 80 taps include a rotating selection of more than 65 beers.

The options represent a solid combination of popular craft brews and unusual offerings from Europe and North America, like Pipeworks Horchata Ale from Chicago, a 7 percent alcohol beer flavored with the rice, lactose, vanilla bean, and cinnamon used in its namesake refresher from Mexico. The current draft lineup also includes microbrews from Birmingham, Huntsville, Trussville, and Gadsden.

Hop City’s bar serves 4-ounce sample portions, and either 8- or 12-ounce full pours (depending on the beer’s strength) to drink on-premise. Draft is available to go in 32-ounce or 64-ounce growlers. It also sells cocktails, wine, or cider on draft, and non-alcohol drinks like Abita root beer, grapefruit-flavored sparkling hemp drink, and Birmingham-made Better Kombucha.

In addition to seating at the bar, Hop City also has an inviting patio area.

Bottled and canned malty beverages dominate in the retail side of Hop City (which also has a good selection of bottled wine). Refrigerators with cold brews run along an entire wall. Densely packed racks holding beer, including large-format bottles, are divided by style.

With hundreds of choices and an informed staff to provide guidance (they’ll even carry packages to your car), Hop City Craft Beer and Wine is a destination for any beer lover.

Hop City is located at 2924 Third Avenue South. Hours are Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday noon-6 p.m.