Anais Ganouna/Courtesy of OTC
August 21, 2014

It’s a damn good time to be a brewer in Miami. With the opening and budding successes of Funky Buddha Brewery and Wynwood Brewing Company, South Florida’s thirst for local craft beer continues to be quenched. To meet public demand, local bars have been quick to distribute the products of the young microbreweries. Now that they’ve tapped into the beer scene, both Funky Buddha and Wynwood are eager to expand their facilities and triple their pint production—a promising forecast for other up-and-coming breweries. As beer drinkers becoming increasingly knowledgeable and forgo the once-famed case of beer, Miami’s craft beer scene is quickly solidifying. Before Miami’s own master brews were readily available, those looking for a special ale relied on the pubs, taverns, and watering holes that pioneered the scene. Carefully curating their selection of brews as thoughtfully as a museum would its art, these hoppy trailblazers continue to offer their unique dose of craft pints and pick-me-ups. 

Kush

The belief system at Kush is as follows: “good beer ain’t cheap, cheap beer ain’t good.” Your wallet will gladly open for beer geek David Rodriguez, who designs the selection of 18 taps and rotating beers. His expertise has allowed him to tap some of the best and most rare kegs in the world, available here in cask form. If there’s only one available in the US, chances are Kush is tapping it. 

The Abbey

You might as well be hanging in your living room when visiting the only microbrewery on South Beach. Still Miami’s oldest brewpub, The Abbey has been pushing its home brewed fizz for 19 years. With 13 taps (four of which they brew in-house) a selection of 75 bottles, and a Sunday hot dog dipped in beer, there’s nothing not to love about this local haunt. 

The Room

At first glance, this dimly lit space looks like Dexter’s laboratory.  The intimate bar comes into focus one craft brew at a time, and you’ll see it for what it truly is: a sanctuary for city dwellers. Candle wax melts right on the bar while philosophical conversations formulate over the lingering smell of smoke. Grunge is part of The Room’s appeal.  

OTC

This bar takes its craft beer and food pairings seriously: think Korean chicken and waffles alongside a pint of Dogfish Head’s elusive 120 IPA. Sip from 12 taps (most of which host local breweries) or pick your brew from a rotating selection of bottles. The best brews are typically reserved for OTC’s beer-pairing dinners, but ask and you shall receive.

Lou’s Beer Garden

Lou’s is selective about its craft, and appoints a local tasting panel to cherry-pick their selection, which include Lil’ B Imperial Porter and Lindeman’s Peach lambic. Hopefully you brought your bathing suit: just beyond the casual outdoor patio is a swimming pool. Fortunately, Lou’s seafood-heavy menu (scallops with black trumpet mushroom risotto; snapper ceviche with citrus) keeps its patrons from getting too boozy to dive in. 

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