America's Best Beer Gardens                                     
Mecklenburg Gardens has been honored by Travel and Leisure Magazine as one of the best Beer Gardens in America. They insist that the country is in the midst of a beer revival, with the flourishing of beer gardens and more domestic breweries than at any time since Prohibition.
 
Having also visited one of the other honorees, Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego, I would have to agree that Mecklenburg's can't be beat.  There's something about the history of the place that will get my vote every time.
 
Mecklenburg Gardens was founded in 1865...just think 147 years ago...and is the oldest continually running restaurant and beer garden in Cincinnati.  I was surprised to learn that in the early days it was the site of groups of German immigrants being taught about the American political process.
 
Obviously, Cincinnati is a city with such a strong German tradition that it is easy to see why the assembling continues.  If you decide to visit Mecklenburg's on the afternoon or evening of a University of Cincinnati football or basketball game, the place will be going strong.  Filled with Bearcat supporters, the restaurant offers bus rides to the game, so you can avoid the hassle and expense of parking.
 
But, my favorite time to visit is on a lovely Spring day when you can sit outside under the 100-year-old grapevines and enjoy a lite lunch with one (or more) of the crafted beers.  They have 15 German and American craft beers on tap and 80 by the bottle.  Quite a choice!