It's not news that I love happy hour. It truly is the best part of the day. It's a way to meet up with friends and discuss all of the things that went right or wrong that day. We celebrate the good things and try to get over the bad. For most of us, it's a great way to unwind and relax after a long day. My favorite happy hours are those that are at what I consider to be "backwoods bars." For the next few weeks, you'll find out why.

Introducing, Clay's Favorite Bars.I figured I would share with you a few of the places I consider to be the best hangouts in the late afternoon/early evening. Each place has its own perks and reasons I enjoy them. Feel free to send me any of your favorites as well to I have nothing against city bars necessarily -- I just prefer to be in the company of the people and atmosphere I find at the bars/taverns that are off the beaten path.

Wales Center Hotel

The Hotel is in downtown Wales Center,NY

Located on 20A in downtown Wales Center, the Hotel is by far one of the best places to get a drink in the Southtowns. One of my favorite things about having a couple beers there is that they serve beer in cans.It gives you that tailgate party at the bar kind of feeling. The jukebox is located in the corner of the bar, and they have the volume set to the perfect level at happy hour -- not too quiet and not too loud. As a matter of fact, the best afternoons are when there isn't any music and the conversation is more entertaining than any song could offer.

You never know who you will see at The Wales Center Hotel. From politicians, to farmers-contractors, to radio guys, it is a great place to have a few pops and get caught up on the local news.The bartenders always are in a good mood and never too distracted to get you another cold drink when you are ready.

I have fond memories of this place. My parents used to take me along when I was a kid to watch the Brown Water Derby. They don't have it any longer. But back in the day, around springtime, it would bring tons of people out to brave the cold water of Cazenovia Creek.

The Hotel has a little backyard set up for horseshoes, chicken BBQs and the occasional band/party outside. Wednesday night's Wing Night packs 'em in every week, and the regulars that I see when I stop in for happy hour are a bunch of hard working good ole boys.

The annual "Battle of the Birds" is a great event -- a chicken cook-off that brings a few other local bars/taverns in to show off their skills at barbecuing the perfect chicken!

Teams grilling at the Battle of the Birds 2012

The weekends bring big crowds by and for good reason. The bartenders are good, the food is great and the atmosphere is perfect for those of us that like to drink cold beer in the country!