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Vietnamese meets beer

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These Vietnamese restaurants are embracing American and European craft.

Ngon Vietnamese Bistro, St. Paul, Minn.

Alongside its 13 Minnesota-made taps, Saint Paul’s Ngon serves up authentic, high-end Vietnamese food with a local twist—think pho made with local oxtail and imported Vietnamese spices (perfect next to Lift Bridge Crosscut Pale Ale’s citrus finish) or Minnesota elk served with a bacon-daikon cake drizzled in hoisin ginger sauce (best balanced with the malty-sweet Flat Earth Cygnus X-1 Porter).

Mekong, Richmond, Va.

Classic Vietnamese cuisine collides with dubbels, tripels and saisons at this unassuming Richmond, Va., restaurant, where owner and self-proclaimed “Chief Beer Officer” An Mekong pairs his latest Belgian discoveries with steaming bowls of pho in the backroom bar. Think Vietnam’s fare and Belgium’s brews can’t possibly mix? Pair Petrus Aged Pale with lemongrass chicken in banana leaves or Saison Dupont with the shrimp, pork and lotus root salad, and think again.

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