Before Miami had much of a craft beer scene, the city’s best place for suds was a bar called Abraxis, tucked into a residential neighborhood in South Beach. It closed in 2013, but owner Diego Escobar has teamed up with local beer fest all stars Chris Campos and David Morales to open this 11,000-square-foot facility in North Miami. The 26-tap bar pours out stuff you might recognize from the brewers’ days at 4th Age Brewing, like the Morenita Session Brown Ale, alongside a number of rotating guest selections and seasonal offerings.
Beers to try: The Morenita was the proverbial foot in the door for Campos and Morales, but the English-style restraint may not be for everyone. The Endless Summer Lager is a 4.6% light beer that’s far more complex than most in that category, while the Lemongrass Belgian Blonde is a refreshing citrus number, clocking in at a deceptively potent 6.4%.
Cuba’s oldest beer got new life in 2016 when La Tropical’s Original Ambar Lager launched in the United States. Five years later, La Tropical has its own, glass-and-palm-filled brewery on the fringes of Wynwood, packing the place with couches, outdoor tables, and eats from chef Cindy Hutson. La Tropical is a far more upscale endeavor than most local taprooms, and though it’s not exactly fine dining, it’s as much a nightlife destination as it is a brewery.
Beers to try: The Ambar Lager may be the historical favorite, but unless you’re into Vienna lagers, it’s far from tops on the menu. The Nativo Key Suave is a fruity, 4.5% IPA where you’ll barely recognize the hops, and for something stronger, try the Tropilina, a 8.2% IPA that’s just a few points short of fueling your car.
Though it’s not quite yet Wynwood West, the Bird Road Arts District might be west Miami-Dade’s best destination for culture. Its centerpiece is Lincoln’s Beard, a multi-story brew house where live music, weekly events, and a penny-covered bar make it the funkiest watering hole in the area. Lincoln’s beers are fresh and fantastic, with an approachable selection of easy-drinking blondes and mild IPAs that make it a chill place to take less geeky beer drinkers. They also just spun off in the Maxwell Brothers Clothing Store in Palmetto Bay, where you can get all their brews along with pizza and other pub faves.
Beers to try: The Morning Glory Blonde Ale is the go-to if you can’t decide, but Lincoln’s Beard can also get creative, as evidenced by their new Un-believe-a-beer sour, a collaboration with Unbelievabowl featuring oats, pineapple, acai, pineapple, and banana.
With monthly artisan markets, a cigar room, and a handful of 5K races, The Tank has become as much a community venue as it is a brewery. The taproom is a delightful place to waste away an afternoon sipping craft brews, and it’s worth a visit to try beers you’ve probably already had in bars fresh from the, er, tanks.
Beers to try: The Freedom Tower American Amber is Tank’s ubiquitous classic, but trust us, it tastes even better at the brewery. If you’re looking to venture out, go for the El Farito IPA, a citrusy, Miami-style take on the hoppy classic.
Wedged between Progresso and Flagler villages, you’ll find this unassuming little storefront that houses some of the most unusual—and powerful—beers in South Florida. The small bar area leads into a covered back patio that’s just as enjoyable on a rainy day as it is in the sunshine. It’s an ideal setting for those thirsty for fruit beers and sours designed to complement warm, sultry weather.
Beers to try: The beers are constantly changing at Invasive Species, so there’s no guarantee you’ll see the same selection twice. Recently, we tried the American Banshee Smoothie Sour, a boozy take on your favorite blended breakfast with strawberry, peach, banana, and vanilla. For a beer that doubles as dessert, go for the Munch Blaster Double Fudge Maple Pecan Brownie BA Imperial Stout.
This 30,000-square-foot warehouse in The Leah arts district is the brainchild of UM philosophy PhD student Zach Swanson, who founded it to make beers he couldn’t find elsewhere. The space’s big windows and airy vibe lends itself well to Unbranded’s parade of events, from open mic nights to live wrestling. The brewery also recently added a weekend smokehouse, where you can pair Texas-style barbecue with all those delicious suds.
Beers to try: The Guava American Wheat Ale is a little sip of the city in a glass, a tribute to the guava-filled pastelitos that give Hialeah one of its signature smells. If you want one of the more civic-pride-inducing cans you’ll ever see, opt for the Hialeah Light, an American Light Lager served in a can adorned with images of the City of Progress.