Century Bar named one of ‘America’s Best Bourbon Bars’ for 8th consecutive year

Dayton's Century Bar has been named one of "America's Best Bourbon Bars 2020" by The Bourbon Review. It is the eighth consecutive year the Century has scored the shout-out from the industry publication. LISA POWELL / STAFF

The Bourbon Review has included downtown Dayton’s acclaimed The Century Bar in its list of “America’s Best Bourbon Bars 2020,” the eighth consecutive year that the Century has scored the prestigious shout-out from the industry publication.

And the Bourbon Review doesn’t hand out its “best” designation lightly: only two other bars in Ohio — Oak And Embers Tavern in Chesterland in northeast Ohio and OPA Grill & Tavern in Delaware in central Ohio — made the list.

In a web story posted Tuesday, Sept. 29, the Bourbon Review honored 115 bourbon bars in the U.S., including 22 in the Midwest, not including Kentucky’s bourbon country.

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“It’s been a tough year for bourbon bars,” the Bourbon Review wrote. “We believe that 2020 is the most important year yet to honor our favorite bars... . Every year since 2013, our editorial board has combed the country to find the places that have the most expansive whiskey lists, mix the most exciting cocktails, select the best single barrels, and most importantly — have a team of hardworking, passionate, and knowledgeable bourbon lovers behind the bar.”

The Century dates back to 1942 under that name and that location. But the location’s history as a bar dates back even before then. Steffen’s, a male-only “coffee shop,” opened three years after the Great Dayton Flood of 1913.

Century Bar's summer cocktail "Remember the Maine" made with Rye Whiskey, Cherry Liqueur, Bitters, Bulleit Rye and Sweet Vermouth. JIM WITMER/STAFF

The continuing recognition from Bourbon Review is not the only national acclaim that has been heaped upon The Century. In February 2015, Men's Journal magazine's website declared The Century one of the "10 Best Bourbon Bars in America," describing it as "a small bar with a huge bourbon list, The Century is as devoted to the whiskey as any other place in America."

And in October 2014, The Century made a list of the 15 best bourbon bars in America assembled by travelandleisure.com.

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