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I recently tried to explain the Coldest Beer issue to an out-of-town friend, who looked at me blankly and asked, "Why?" How could I respond with anything other than an equally confused, "Why not?"

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San Juan Capistrano, Calif., has its swallows, Washington, D.C., has its cherry blossoms, Scottsdale, Ariz., has its snowbirds, but Boise, ah, Boise has the very best sign of the season: cold beer.

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It's hard to think of beer as work, but when you're testing 172 bars across Ada County in search of the coldest taps around, ordering a pint is serious business.

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<p>No pretensions here. Not much left of the worn and stained carpet, either, which was probably laid when the bar opened in 1968. But the beer is really cold, and who can resist 25-cent pool tables and a menu featuring frozen pizza? Don't forget to tip your cap to the elk rack, which …

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<p>We've got TVs, yes we do ... We've got TVs, how 'bout you? You will here, 43 boob tubes to be exact, including 21 in separate booths. Classic sports bar with 100 percent Angus beef burgers. Wanna get away from the noise inside? Try the patio with a panoramic view of the Foothills.&l…

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<p>If your gal insists on taking you two-stepping, shuffle your way to this rockabilly bar, where they have live bands three nights a week and a game of Texas Hold 'Em in the corner.</p>

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<p>Q) What would it look like if Jim Jarmusch and Mama Morton (from Chicago) opened a divey darts and pool bar? A) Q's.</p>

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<p>Sit at the nicked-up, well-worn bar and eye the milling crowd out on Main Street, or those swaying to the always-free live music. The majestic antique backbar keeps watch with you over this truly "Old Boise" bar in Old Boise.</p>

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<p>Modern decor and lighting make this a good stop for a drink, a sandwich and some sweet potato fries.</p>


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