The Mekong Restaurant in Richmond, Va., has once again won the Brewers Association's "Great American Beer Bar" competition. The Boulder, Colo.-based organization asked readers to vote online for the best beer bars in the U.S.
Mekong was first, with HopCat in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, N.J., finishing second and third, respectively. There also were regional winners. No Ohio bars took home honors this year. (Vintage Estate Wine and Beer in Boardman finished third in the North Central region last year.)
"In this second year of surveying beer lovers for the Great American Beer Bar competition, we’re excited to see both returning favorites and the newly honored," Julia Herz, publisher of CraftBeer.com and craft beer program director of the Brewers Association, said in a prepared statement. "All of the participating bars in this contest are reflective of the diverse craft brewing movement. Their vibrant atmospheres parallel the passion and unique personalities that distinguish America’s small and independent producers."
Established in 1995, Mekong is a Vietnamese restaurant with 50-plus taps and more than 200 bottles of Belgian beers, American craft ales, sour, vintage and other special beer selections.
CraftBeer.com received more than 5,000 nominations, a 117 percent increase from last year. The choices were then narrowed to the 10 most nominated bars in each of five regions. More than 37,000 votes were cast, a 23 percent increase from last year. Voting was conducted from Aug. 19 until Aug. 30.