#SFBW on any budget

South Florida Beer Week returns today for its third shot at showcasing deserving homebrewed talent from the area. What seems to have initially started as a gentle-handed marketing effort from multi-state craft beer distributors, Brown Distributing, has no doubt ballooned into a genuine opportunity for brewer-restaurant collaborations, beer experiments, and fledgling home brewers to get a little recognition and visibility.

Starting today and running through next Saturday, Jan. 25, many local bars, brew pubs, restaurants, and tap rooms will be running specials on local craft beers as well as hosting tap takeover events, beer dinners, tastings and other fun happenings that will leave you barley standing.

However, if you’re like me, (and if your cat’s a jerk, you are) you know that January credit card statement will be more brutal than any New Year’s hangover. Luckily, this year’s Miami lineup proves there’s a way to hop it up on any budget. Here’s a couple wit-ty ideas:

When you’re more IOU than IBU ($10 or less)

All SFBW; Barley and Swine in the Dadeland area is offering over 20 different local craft beers at $4. A great deal, not to mention, any establishment with a mac and cheese variety schedule is already speaking my language.

Wed. Jan. 22, 7 p.m., Free; Up-and-coming brewers Sexy Llama Brewing Company will be having a free tasting at World Of Beer Kendall of tasty and adventurous styles including “Bavarian BBQ, a German Beechwood Smoked Munich Ale; Chocolate Covered Cherrywood, an American Cherrywood Smoked Dark Wheat; Garden of Eden, a Key Lime Berliner Weisse; [and] Trouble in Paradise, a Tropical Hoppy Saison.” A special “Mango Dragonfruit Mead (Honey Wine)” is also sure to entice.

For Malt Lovers with Moolah ($10-45)

All SFBW; World of Beer locations in Kendall, Dadeland and Midtown will be hopping all week with special tastings and tappings. Highlights will include Tampa based Cigar City’s Puppy’s Breath Porter, Dunedin brewery, 7venth Sun’s Galactic Pale Ale, and other treats from Due South Brewing and Funky Buddha Brewery including an Oaked Hop Gun and Polished Hammer, a collaboration with Tequesta Brewing.

All SFBW; Choose Your Own Adventure!, I invite you to get out there and explore your DIY options, whether it’s a trip to Wynwood Brewing’s new tap room, Miami Beach’s The Abbey, South Miami’s Titanic, dabbling in some brewing classes or even just getting some newly-acquired Cigar City or Due South brews from your local craft beer retailer. The weather is great whether you’re out and about or hosting a doesn’t-get-more-local-patio tasting.

For Beer Barons and Baronesses ($45 and up)

Mon. Jan. 20, 7 p.m., $45; Titanic Brewpub and Wynwood Brewing will team up for a beer dinner featuring a menu with delights such as “Belgian Ale Braised Brisket & Parsley Potatoes paired with Titanic’s Tripe Reserve Ale” and “Warm Chocolate Stout Bread Pudding paired with Titanic’s Shipbuilder Stout,” it’s near-impossible not to nod in agreement while reading it.

Tue. Jan 21, 7 and 9 p.m.,$70; Atlanta Coffee Roasting in North Miami will host a beer dinner with Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing, that will include refined culinary concoctions such as “Shrimp and Grits with fried goat cheese, an IPA reduction and micro arugula, [paired with CCB’s] Invasion Pale Ale.” Dessert will be paired with a one-time collaboration including Atlanta Coffee Roasting coffee. Getting buzzed was never so easy.

Sat. Jan 25, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $60; Even though the newly debuted Miami Brew Bus isn’t only running during SFBW (phew!), it’s a great time to hop aboard and get some up-close views and tours of the Miami area’s newest breweries, including Wynwood, M.I.A. and Funky Buddha. Included is 4-5 samples at each brewery, plus a complimentary brew at the Lokal in Coconut Grove. Fun and safe in concept, Miami Brew Bus cuts the need to draw straws for designated driver title. By the end, you’ll be glad you didn’t drive, because you’ll be flying.


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