Miami's Best Breweries and Beer Bars

 

Great news for craft beer lovers: Miami’s brew scene has gotten huge. Here are some of the best places to get some brews.

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By Josie Gulliksen | jgulliksen@bellsouth.net and Carlos Frías | cfrias@miamiherald.com

Craft beer is bigger and better than ever in Miami.

Regardless of what part of town you're in, you can find a brewery creating incredible beer that's lovingly Made in Dade.

Plus, these handful of bars specialize in bringing you the best craft beer from Florida, the United States and from around the world. And each has it's own, distinct character. You're sure to find a spot that fits your mood.

Beer bars are listed separately below the breweries. Cheers!

Breweries

Abbey Brewing

One of the veterans of the bunch, the guys at this Miami Beach establishment have been brewing since 1995, though their beer is now brewed off site. No matter. It's casual, filled with locals and their Belgian beers are top notch. You can have your choice of the local’s favorite, the amber-colored Immaculate IPA, a special Abbey recipe, or the complex Father Theodore’s Stout, a blend of coffee, roasted toffee, anise and chocolate flavor. The Brother Dan’s Double, a light brown chocolate/chestnut, candied fruit/raisin hint-filled brew and the Brother Aarons’ Quadruple comparable to a Belgian winter ale, round out the list. If you want to hang with the long time SoBe locals, come here.

1115 16th St., Miami Beach; 305-538-8110; abbeybrewinginc.com

Concrete Beach Brewery

Concrete Beach’s Social Hall is a great place to gather any day of the week in Wynwood. Park it on a bar stool and sample one of several year-round brews on tap like the Wheat Indian Pale Ale Rica, the very Miami-Dade aptly-named Stiltsville Pilsner or the Concrete Common Amber Lager. Seasonal choices include passion fruit Wheat Ale and South American Red Ale. They also recreated Cuba's oldest beer, La Tropical, in conjunction with the founding family. $1 off beers on weekdays and half off a second growler fill up on Fridays. They also offer tours of the brewery.

325 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-796-2727; concretebeachbrewery.com

 

J.Wakefield Brewing

A Star Wars theme and tart, so-called sour beers are the reason to visit this gourmet of Miami's craft beer breweries. Their Hop for Teacher IPA (must be a Van Halen fan) is among their flagship beers. The one that put them on the map, though, was their Stush, a pale golden Berliner Weisse with a zesty lemon flavor. And if you're lucky enough to walk in on their annual release, Dragon Fruit Passion Fruit berliner, you will be grateful for the refreshing lip pucker. They often collaborate with other breweries from around the country and bring the brews back home for Miami's beer lovers. Grab a seat among the comic book character decore and enjoy some of Miami's best beer.

120 NW 24th St., Miami; 786-254-7779; www.jwakefieldbrewing.com

Lincoln's Beard Brewing (opening soon)

Six partners, most ex-military and Department of Defense contractors who met at Doral’s U.S. Southern Command, went in equally to help bring brewer John Falco’s beers to the masses in western Miami-Dade County. Lincoln’s Beard experiments with brewing many varieties and styles of beer, from fruity Belgians to dark, rich stouts and even whiskey-barrel-aged beers they can offer only at the brewery. This local watering hole brings a bit of artsy funk, live music and a laid-back casual atmosphere.

7360 SW 41st St., Miami; www.lincolnsbeardbrewing.com 

M.I.A. Beer Company

Also a brewery and restaurant, this Doral spot has quickly left its mark on the brew lovers of this western Miami-Dade city. Among a long list of signature brews are Miami Weiss, a German style Hefeweizen brewed with wheat, barley and sweet orange peel; the 305 Ale, a crisp Golden Ale with a hint of West Coast hops and M.I.A. IPA, a hoppy India Pale Ale with a piney flavor and citrus and tropical notes. Their taproom is sleek and lively, perfectly in line with the polished Doral crowd. It's a unique happy hour spot that's a perfect pit stop when you want to avoid the horrible Doral traffic.

10400 NW 33rd St., Ste. 150, Doral; 786-801-1721; www.mia.beer

Miami Brewing Company

Make a day of it in Homestead at this brewery that’s located at Schnebly’s Winery & Brewery. Considered the “Southernmost Winer & Brewery in the U.S.,” there are several craft brews on tap year-round like the Big Rod Coconut Ale, the Gator Tail Brown Ale, Shark Bait, a deep gold wheat beer, and the Vice IPA with hops and caramel. Seasonal selections include the Little Havana Café con Leche Milk Stout and Miami Winter Ale a spiced ale, among others. 

30205 SW 217th Ave., Homestead; 305-242-1224; www.miamibrewing.org

Titanic Restaurant & Brewery

Another old-timer, this one’s a favorite of the University of Miami Hurricanes crowd, given that it’s right near the Coral Gables campus. It’s also a favorite of area residents. There’s plenty going on at Titanic with a list of 12 locally-made brews on tap, a full menu with several Cajun-inspired entrees, wings, quesadillas, ribs, burgers and sandwiches. And if you’re not shy, try karaoke Sundays at 9 p.m., Open Blues Jam Wednesdays at 9 p.m. or Open Mic Jazz Jam Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Happy Hour specials daily from 4-7 p.m.

5813 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 305-668-1742; www.titanicbrewery.com

Wynwood Brewery

The funky arts district’s first brewery, they feature a tap room and a small bar area and a few tables and chairs to sit and relax in an intimate setting. Kick back and sample their most popular La Rubia a blond ale, the robust Pop’s Porter, Wynwood IPA (an India Pale Ale), the Magic City Pale Ale and the Rickenbacker Pilsner. Happy hour is from 4-7 pm with $4 off 16-ounce pints with a daily Growler Hour noon to 1 p.m. with half off growlers.

565 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-982-8732 or 305-640-5043; wynwoodbrewing.com

 

Beer Bars

 

Deco Drive will be filming today Thursday Oct 8 at 5pm come by and check it out.

A photo posted by 180° @ the DRB (@gastronomyredefined) on Oct 8, 2015 at 10:48am PDT

180 Degrees at the DRB

In downtown Miami across from the Wolfson Campus, IPAs, pilsners, ales, pale ales, Belgian, Belgian style and dark/oatmeal/porter/stouts dominate the drink menu at what was once just known as the Democratic Republic of Beer (DRB). Ciders and sours, Flemish Ales, flavored and Hefeweizen/wheat beers aren’t as abundant but the selection is still good. Want to try a few at the same time in 4-ounce quantities, try the four beer tasting flight. Familiar names like DogFish Head, Sierra Nevada, Funky Buddha, Goose Island, Cigar City and Magic Hat are all available alongside more exotic brews from around the country, if you’re feeling adventurous.

501 NE First Ave., Miami; 305-809-7564; www.gastronomyredefined.com

Boxelder Craft Beer Market

Boxelder is the quintessential craft beer bar with a market of hard-to-find bottled beers from around the country. The rarest beers will find their way onto their shelves and taps. Selections change often, given that their website menu is dated for each particular day, and can include local craft brews from neighboring J. Wakefield and Wynwood Brewing Co., other Florida breweries like Boynton Beach's Due South and Boca Raton's Barrel of Monks. It's a serious beer bar that doesn't take itself too seriously, with an attentive staff that makes newcomers and beer aficionados alike feel at home.

2825 NW Second Ave., Unit C, Miami; 305-942-7769; www.bxldr.com

Kush

The original home for beer nerds. This quaint spot, an off-shoot of LoKal, in a small corner on the outskirts of Wynwood has been shaking up the beer scene pretty much since they opened. They’re serious about craft beer here, stating right on their website “cheap beer ain’t good, good beer ain’t cheap.” They’ve got 18 brews on tap that they love to rotate and along with their own craft beer, they support the locals like Wynwood Brewing, M.I.A., Funky Buddha and J.Wakefield. Stay a while and grab a bite or two from their creative list of burgers, sandwiches, starters and salads. 

2003 N. Miami Ave., Miami 305-576-4500, kushwynwood.com

A photo posted by @lokalcoconutgrove on Feb 3, 2016 at 3:25pm PST

LoKal

Matthew Kuscher is serious about his burger and craft brew ventures, that’s why aside from Kush he also owns and operates The LoKal in Coconut Grove. Funky Buddha, M.I.A., Cigar City, J. Wakefield, Funky Buddha and Wynwood Brewing are all on tap here too. Or try drafts like Founders All Day IPA from Michigan, Victory Prima Pils from Pennsylvania and Mother Earth Cali’ Creamin’ from California. His ode to Miami burger, the Frita by Kush is a twist on the classic Cuban-style hamburger. This one’s topped with guava jelly and melted gruyere and the classic potato sticks are stuffed inside. Crispy bacon and loKal sauce complete the experience so dive in then wash it down with that draft.

3190 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove, 305-442-3377, www.lokalmiami.com

 

The Local Craft Food & Drink

Ever since they brought their gastropub concept to Coral Gables’ “restaurant row,” better known as Giralda Avenue, their unique menu and extensive craft beer offerings have been the talk of The City Beautiful. They have 18 craft beers on tap and it’s always a surprise here with their rotating tap. Chef Phil Bryant is as creative as those taps, making his own butter and American cheese and cooking up Southern favorites including fried chicken, shrimp & grits, fried green tomatoes and chicken ‘n biscuits.

150 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables, 305-648-5687, thelocal150.com

The Mighty

Well, if craft beer, sausages, stiff drinks and real food doesn’t grab you then nothing will. That’s what they’re selling at The Mighty, where the selection of drafts and bottles is 50-plus long with ciders, pilsners, wheat, IPAs, sours, Belgians, stouts and the bottles aren’t for the faint of heart. Knowing the alcohol content and size of their beers, their menu doesn’t mess around, with a selection of hearty pork and smoked bacon, spicy chicken and cheese, lamb, spicy beef and duck sausage. It's a great neighborhood hangout that rarely gets overwhelmed. No dance music and partygoers here. Get there early and don't fight over the single pool table in the back.

2224 SW 22 St., Miami; 305-570-4311; www.themightymiami.com


The Room

Taking the term South of Fifth and SoFi to a whole new level, The Room on South Beach is in a nondescript location halfway between Collins and Washington Avenues. Or better yet, around the corner from Story Nightclub and Prime 112. It's a respite from the oontz-oontz noise. Here, they list their craft beers on a chalkboard in an interior that’s aglow with soft candlelight. They know how to set the mood and make it a unique craft beer drinking experience.

100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-531-6061

Taurus Beer & Whiskey House

One of Coconut Grove’s oldest establishments, its latest incarnation is as a beer & whiskey house. This place is worth a visit just because of its history in the area. There’s no shortage of beers here. Bottles outnumber the draft selection with 13 on the list. Craft brews from Wynwood Brewery, MIA and Concrete Beach are available here. Bottles of lagers, ales, India Pale Ales, cider, fruit, wheat, spiced, browns and Porter stouts number more than 40. 

3540 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove; 305-529-6523; taurusbeerandwhiskey.com 

 

Vagabond Hotel

Who doesn't love craft beer by the pool? The care and imagination put into renovating The Vagbond in the MiMo District was a labor of love and it shows. Lovingly restored to the glory of that period’s architecture, they took just as much care in creating the restaurant. The adventurous menu features seared octopus, blistered cauliflower, roasted kale, rib-eye carpaccio. But the fun is in sitting at on the lounge chairs by the illuminated pool, where there is often live music.

7301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; www.thevagabondhotel.com


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