Food & Drink

The Best Beer Bars in Miami

Published On 04/05/2016 Published On 04/05/2016
tap42 miami beer bar
Courtesy of Tap42

America has been having a craft beer party for the better part of the last decade. And in true Miami style, we showed up horribly, horribly late. But, hey, better late than never, right? And since we’ve been turned on to the craft movement we’ve also launched some pretty impressive beer bars. From a converted convenience story in Ft. Lauderdale to a sausage factory on Coral Way, here are the 11 best beer bars in South Florida.
 
 

The Abbey

The Abbey Brewing Company

South Beach

Gone are the days when you had to cram yourself into tiny wooden booths to sample the Belgian-style beers at South Beach’s oldest and only brew pub. A few years back they expanded into the space next door and added a bunch of monastery tables. So you can sip your Brother Aaron’s Quadruple or Father Theodore’s Stout, and tell all the tourists how this used to be the only place to get good beer in the Beach.

Tap 42

Tap 42 Craft Beer Bar and Kitchen

Ft. Lauderdale

If you live in Broward you have, at some point, found yourself here on a Sunday surrounded by everyone you went to high school with. And then you began to wonder who on earth thought it was a good idea to give anyone unlimited mimosas. But even when it’s not Lauderdale’s biggest brunch party, this Andrews Ave. stalwart has the best selection of draft beers in the county (42 of them, if the name didn’t give it away) along with a first-rate menu of healthy food. And if you live in Dade? Get ready: they’re opening a Gables location later this year.

The Mighty

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3604145

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The Mighty

The Mighty

Coral Way

The most enjoyable part of this Coral Way international beer den isn’t the house-cured meats and homemade sausages served alongside a beer menu literally curated from the owner’s world travels. Nor is it the pool table that acts as a sort of social hub for the entire place. It’s listening to the new-to-Miami patrons who live within walking distance insisting they live in Coral Gables because some unscrupulous realtor didn’t bother telling them its actually Shenandoah.

Yard House

South Beach

Yeah. We know. They’re owned by the same people who own Olive Garden. But this is a list of Best Beer Bars, not Best Beer Bars to Look Cool Because You’re Not Eating at a Chain Restaurant. And if having over 100 different beers on tap, plus hundreds more by the bottle doesn’t make you one of the best beer bars in town, then you seriously need to reconsider your criteria.

Lokal

LoKal

Coconut Grove

Even though they spell it with a K, this Coconut Grove spot is still the most locally driven beer bar in Miami. They stock their shelves with an all-star lineup of local beers with the best from Wynwood Brewing, Funky Buddha, MIA, and more. Then stock the menu with burgers full of Florida grass-fed beef and topped with local tomatoes and avocado, putting it squarely on our list of best burgers in Miami.

Titanic

Titanic Restaurant & Brewery

Coral Gables

One of the more underrated experiences in Miami is spending the evening taking in a game at UM’s Mark Light Field. And the perfect place to pregame that game is across the street at Titanic, where you can order up some of Miami’s best wings and wash them down with any of their house-brewed beers like the Triple Screw Light Ale and White Star IPA.

Lou's Beer Garden

Lou's Beer Garden

Miami Beach

This North Beach beer bar doesn’t feel like you’re at anyone’s place of business, but more like you’re sucking down suds by the pool at a Melrose Place-esque apartment building. However, instead of the 4% ABV domestic cans you’d typically be sipping, you can sample their selection of over a dozen American craft creations, and stuff your face with artisan pizzas and 8oz burgers made with Certified Angus Beef.

180 Degrees at DRB

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3046952

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180 Degrees at the DRB

180 Degrees at the DRB

Downtown

What was once a small Downtown outpost of the Democratic Republic of Beer has been taken over and turned into a full-on foodie haven that’s one of Miami’s most underrated restaurants. They’ve got a beer pairing menu, so you’ll find the perfect beer to compliment the famous 50/50 burger (chorizo and prime beef topped with maduros and fried egg) or the deep-fried Twix bacon ice cream dessert. And if you don’t agree with their pairings, they’ve got over 50 rotating beers to choose from.

Boxelder

Wynwood

Learning hipster-saturated Wynwood lacked a true craft beer bar is kind of like finding out there’s no beach in North Miami Beach. And while you still won’t find sand anywhere on NE 163rd St, you will now find this Wynwood bar/market where their taps rotate to offer the latest and greatest in craft beer from around the world. But the beer is only half the attraction here; it’s also owned by a couple of NYC gallery owners who give the place some of the most unexpectedly amazing art in Miami. 

Courtesy of Riverside Market

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3313724

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Riverside Market

Riverside Market

Ft. Lauderdale

You don’t get to be one of the 33 best beer bars in America by throwing a bunch of heavy IPAs on tap and hiring dudes with beards. You do it by taking an old convenience store, replacing the rows of Gatorade and Steel Reserve with 650 different beers, and setting up couches in the middle where you can drink them on the honor system. That’s right: in a concept that would absolutely never work in Miami, owner Julian Siegel doesn’t run tabs, but rather has you bring your empties to the counter when you’re done and pay accordingly. And eight years later, he’s decidedly not bankrupt.

The Room

SoFi

What is the most inaccurately-named bar in Miami was also MIA's first true craft beer bar. Long before we had anything that resembled a beer scene, brew mavens from around South Florida would crowd the tiny SoFi space to try imports and domestic “micro-brews” most people have never heard of. And despite the spacious-sounding name, on most weekend nights there’s actually no room in the place.

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Matt Meltzer is a staff writer for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram @meltrez1.

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1. The Abbey Brewing Company 1115 16th St, Miami, FL 33139 (South Beach)

The Abbey's got a roomy, refurbished wood-lined interior well stocked with draft pours and spirits. Come for the bar snacks, stay for the friendly congenial atmosphere and solid happy hour deals.

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2. Tap 42 Bar & Kitchen 1411 S Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (Fort Lauderdale)

This gastropub serves up eats like oven-baked shrimp mac & cheese and chopped Thai-chicken noodle salad out of their Ft Lauderdale digs. True to their name, they also offer over 42 types of craft brew.

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3. The Mighty 2224 Coral Way, Coral Gables, FL 33145 (Coral Gables)

A gastropub with housemade sausage might not sound particularly special, but when you find out that their Sausage of the Sea has a mix of salmon, fresh octopus, dry sea scallops and herbs, you'll definitely want to make a beeline in that direction. Add to that their house-cured bacon, TVs, and rare craft German beers (some of which get mixed with duck into another housemade sausage) and the spot is a must-visit.

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4. Yard House 1681 Lenox Ave, Miami, FL 33133 (Miami Beach)

The central island bar at Yard House is ringed by an impressive array of tap handles, ranging from familiar classics to intriguing selections you've never actually seen in person before. On top of all that, the menu of American fusion cuisine includes street taco plates, steaks, pan-seared ahi tuna, and roasted turkey pot pie.

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5. Lokal Burgers & Beer 3190 Commodore Plz, Miami, FL 33133 (Coconut Grove)

Don’t let the graffiti-covered brick walls and cassette tape mosaics fool you: far from an average dive bar, the Lokal is a sustainability-conscious gastropub, slinging surprisingly healthy bar fare. Regulars frequent this Coconut Grove spot for favorites like the Fidy-Fidy burger, made with house-ground beef and bacon, finished with melted Monterey jack cheese and sweet onion marmalade, as well as smaller bites like the perfectly crispy sweet potato fries. We suggest ordering a craft beer and heading for the patio: given the special food menu for dogs, it’s a popular spot for puppies.

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6. Titanic Restaurant and Brewery 5813 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33146 (Coral Gables)

A casual microbrewery that puts emphasis on the food, so you can nosh on American fare ranging from the more simple pub food to quality seafood. They also host live entertainment throughout the week, including karaoke, blues, and open mic/jazz sessions.

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7. Lou's Beer Garden 7337 Harding Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141 (Miami Beach)

Who doesn't love a poolside beer/wine bar with mosaic blue tile walls, a flatscreen for games, and seating around said pool? Chow down artisan pizzas, or an 8oz Angus burger with bacon and feta, because happy hour goes til 8pm.

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8. 180 Degrees At the DRB 501 NE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33132 (Downtown)

Rarely does one encounter a dive bar that places such emphasis on skillfully crafted food with elegant presentation. For those who crave a chill ambience (think: repurposed wooden walls, dim lights, and chalkboard drink specials) with gourmet flavors, 180 Degrees at the DRB offers a respite. It’s a gastropub that marries traditional culinary techniques with bar fare, leaving locals raving about their signature 50/50 burger (a house-ground patty of chorizo and beef, topped with queso frito, spicy lime aioli, and a fried egg) not to mention their rotating list of over 50 draft beers.

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9. Boxedler 2825 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL (Wynwood)

Boxelder is a craft beer shop and bar in the Wynwood Arts District. Not only does Boxelder feature some great domestic and imported brews, but it also serves as a gallery space. Started by two former gallerists, the shop hosts exhibitions of local contemporary art that rotate about every three months.

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10. Riverside Market 608 SW 12th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 (Fort Lauderdale)

This homey, family-owned Ft. Lauderdale joint was born out of an old convenience store, where 550+ beers fill fridges that used to hold year-old sandwiches. You can crack open any of them in the store or save ‘em for home while getting down on the 20+ expertly curated taps, which often get taken over by some of Florida’s finest. If you do pull from the fridge, you just bring your empties to the counter when you're done and pay on the honor system. Riverside has effectively taken over the neighborhood with Craft Beer Cartel across the street, which itself holds beers, a nanobrewery, and homebrew equipment.

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11. The Room 100 Collins Ave #4, Miami Beach, FL 33140 (Miami Beach)

The Room was built for the pensive conversational type, whose agenda is best carried out under dim lighting with subtle innuendo and clever rapport. To be more direct, it's a cool date spot. It's quiet, intimate and it has an extensive beer and wine list. It's just you, your date and a shared longing for each other in the candle light. How poetic.

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