Best craft beer bars in Miami
Part market and part taproom, Boxelder is the place to mix-and-match the perfect six-pack from an assortment of 150-plus bottles and stock up on your local favorites—among them J. Wakefield and M.I.A. Brewing Co., which even created an exclusive scotch ale on nitro for the bar. It’s also where you’ll discover new brews, both by sampling any of the 20 beers on tap (which rotate daily) and partaking in beer and food pairings and “brewer versus brewer” events.
Owner Matt Kuscher describes his second brew-centric concept (he and his wife Priscilla also own LoKal Burger & Beer in Coconut Grove) as a great bar with equally great food. Judging by the extensive reserve list and in-house cellar used to store and age special varieties—like the Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise—the former is certainly true. Securing a table on weekends is nearly impossible, but you’ll welcome the wait since Botanica, the dimly lit adjacent bar, is reserved for customers killing time before being seated.
Little Havana's only true beer bar is the brainchild of David and Cici Rodriguez, owners of the Miami Brew Bus and cofounders of Kush Wynwood. The duo's experience helming beer-centric businesses is evident in the Calle Ocho establishment, featuring rotating taps (check out the chalkboard menu to see what's new) and double coolers filled with cans and bottles of local, American-made and internationally brewed varieties. To order, grab your favorite and give it to the bartender to ring up—simple as that. Union Beer also has vintage arcade games to keep you busy between sips.
The Mighty’s got 59 bottles of beer on the wall—ranging from Lambics and Saisons to IPAs and Imperial Stouts—and when you take one down, you’re still left with 12 taps that change weekly. Owners Esti and Ryan Brooks, a husband-and-wife duo with a deep love of craft brews, take to social media to announce the tapping of a rare keg or the release of a new seasonal brew (Ft. Lauderdale’s Funky Buddha’s Last Snow is a current favorite).
Sick of candy-colored martinis? Seek salvation in this hole-in-the-wall-turned-microbrewery, which offers rare European imports plus several own-made beers. Luckily, it didn’t lose its classic dive-bar soul in the conversion process—or the dartboard. It’s a fine place to meet the locals, and even better when preceded by a meal at Southern food star Yardbird right next door.
The Butcher Shop has built its reputation on being the place for big beers. If a hefty pint just won’t cut it, order the popular beer tower, which dispenses up to three liters of goodness. Fill it with any of the 24 varieties on tap—a mix of American craft beers and releases from local craft breweries, such as Wynwood Brewing Co. and Biscayne Bay Brewing. A menu of burgers, house-made sausages and just-baked pretzels make for great pairings. A large covered patio with rows of picnic tables and bistro lights give the industrial space a true beer garden feel.
With years of experience helming kitchens for top hotel chains, chef/owner Alfredo Patino’s approach to beer is different than most: He stocks his gastropub with suds that please a variety of palates, peppering the inventory with beers characterized by different notes, like spicy (Aviator Brewing Company’s Devil’s Tramping Ground Tripel) sweet (Leffe Blonde) and hoppy (Swamp Ape Double Imperial IPA). The rotating draft selection, which usually features three local breweries and five craft brews from around the country, is where you’ll find beers from Kona Brewing Co., Mad Anthony Brewing Co. and other well-known makers. The bottle program services “beer geeks” with more esoteric varieties.
Coral Gables has its share of bars, but The Local is the ultimate neighborhood spot for craft beer, thanks to 18 taps and more than 20 different bottles and cans that change seasonally. Expect frequent tap takeovers and special releases, like Bell’s Hopslam, which only surfaces once a year, and other rare ales. And because beer pairs so beautifully with food, the restaurant hosts a monthly brew-paired brunch series, Roast and Toast, with various guest breweries.
Fort Lauderdale's popular gastropub has expanded south to Coral Gables, bringing with it 50-plus brews on tap and a singular vibe (think festive and often times rowdy). The beer list is divided by styles (IPAs, wheat beers, ales) as well as taps, which rotate daily (no two happy hours are ever the same). Stunted by options? Order a flight of three, six-ounce pours or pick two favorites to sip together in what the bar has dubbed a "layered" beer—like a swirly ice cream cone without the mess.
A night at Lagniappe feels like a backyard bash at a friend’s—if said friend had a spacious yard filled with mismatched lawn furniture and strung-up bistro lights. Beside the cooler filled with wine is another tall fridge packed with craft beer options in a variety of sizes, which you'll pick out yourself and take to the register to ring up. Draft brews are available outside at one of several pop-up bars—these are especially popular on weekend evenings when cashier lines inside are much too long.