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Americans love craft beer. The nation is home to well over 8,200 craft breweries (and that number continues to grow), as well as thousands more beer bars and brewpubs. The sheer variety of quality beer on the market today can be overwhelming. We wanted to narrow down the field, so we asked for your help.
For the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites across several craft beer and cider categories. These are the results.
Click on each category below to see the full list of winners.
Best Beer Bar: Salud Beer Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina
Winning beer bar stocks hundreds of craft offerings — Photo courtesy of Salud Beer Shop
Opened in 2012 as a bottle shop, Salud Beer Shop in Charlotte's North Davidson neighborhood has grown into a local favorite beer bar, complete with 16 taps and hundreds of bottled craft beers from around the world.
Best Beer City: Grand Rapids, Michigan
This is the third win for Grand Rapids — Photo courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids
Winner of two past Best Beer Scene titles, Michigan’s second-largest city sports the state’s strongest beer scene, thanks largely to the presence of the world-renowned Founders Brewing Co. Not to be outdone, there are several other brewing operations around town, most notably the Belgian-inspired Brewery Vivant.
The city’s official “Beer City Ale Trail” lists more than 80 breweries in the surrounding area, and the local calendar is constantly filled with beer festivals, events and promotions. Throw in exceptional beer stores such as Siciliano’s Market, and it’s easy to see why Grand Rapids proudly stakes its claim as "Beer City USA."
Best Beer Garden: The Raleigh Beer Garden in Raleigh, North Carolina
Beer lovers will find hundreds of offerings on tap at this winning beer garden — Photo courtesy of iStock / DavidPrahl
Beer lovers will find more than 350 beers on tap at The Raleigh Beer Garden in the downtown Glenwood South district. The bar includes plenty of outdoor seating options, including a patio and a rooftop garden.
Best Beer Label: Prague Underground from CityBuilt Brewing
This winning label stands out on a crowded shelf — Photo courtesy of City Built Brewing Company
We love the bold color and intricate patterns of this label from City Built Brewing Company in Grand Rapids. Pilsners originated in the Czech Republic, and this one features a herbal spicy note from the Saaz hops.
Best Brewpub: The Brewery LBK in Lubbock, Texas
Enjoy craft beer and wood-fired pizza at this winning brewpub — Photo courtesy of The Brewery LBK
Beer lovers will find Lubbock’s newest brewpub inside the historic Pioneer Building in downtown. The Brewery LBK serves its brews in a modern industrial space, complete with a pet-friendly patio. Food options include wings, burgers, fried chicken and Crusty's Wood Fired Pizza.
Best Cidery: Milk & Honey Ciders in St. Joseph, Minnesota
Winning cidery transforms heirloom and traditional cider apples into dry ciders — Photo courtesy of Milk & Honey Ciders
Milk & Honey Ciders makes their beverages from heirloom and traditional cider apple cultivars. The focus is on dry, aromatic and tannic ciders produced with minimal intervention to let the natural apple flavor shine through.
Best New Brewery: The Seed: A Living Beer Project in Atlantic City, New Jersey
New Atlantic City brewery already making waves with its saisons and mixed-fermentation ales — Photo courtesy of The Seed: A Living Beer Project
Atlantic City’s newest brewery specializes in saisons and mixed-fermentation ales made from local fruits, grains and botanicals. The new 5,000-square-foot production brewery and tasting room features a seven-barrel brewing system with nine taps and a dedicated side-pull lager line.
Best Small Town Beer Scene: Avondale Estates, Georgia
You'll find plenty of beer on tap in this winning town — Photo courtesy of City of Avondale Estates
The charming town of Avondale Estates, just east of Decatur, has a small downtown area packed with unique food and beverage offerings. For beer lovers, there’s Wild Heaven Beer, The Lost Druid Brewery, The Beer Growler & Pint Haus and (soon) Little Cottage Brewery.
Congratulations to all these craft beer winners.