[enjoy this repost from an original article on examiner.com]
If St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Halloween, New Year’s Eve, Weddings, Quinceañeras, Mom’s Birthday and Taco Tuedays are any indication of normal human behavior, it’s concluded: humans love reasons to drink.
But while those holidays are all empty in meaning and value, why not drink to something really important, South Florida’s inevitable global craft beer dominance.
That’s right, it’s South Florida Craft Beer Week (January 23 – January 30) once again, and there’s no better time than to explore Miami’s ever-expanding craft beer options.
It’s easy to just make a list of where you’re going to get buzzed over the next few days, but let’s have fun with it. You’re invited to join me on a game through the city where the stakes are high, the brews are cold and the prizes are to…be…determined!
(This game will focus on the more southern, Miami-based options, for a broader, quad-county list, go to southfloridabeerweek.blogspot.com)
LEVEL ONE: Enter the World(s) of Beers
As you navigate through the suburban landscape of traffic trolls and south/west-bound succubi, sometimes the most relieving thing you can hear is, “I just need a card to open up a tab for ya….” Thanks W.O.B., I already feel like I WON.
Collect 10 points per local beer guzzled. Collect 20 points if they were all “samples.” Collect 30 points if you can get through two hours of bar trivia. 40 points if you played honestly.
We’ve got three world of beers in the area (Kendall, Dadeland, Midtown), and they all have local delights on the menu this week:
– Due South Brewing’s Cafe Ole Espresso Porter (or see if you can survive the Category 3 or 5 IPA).
– Biscayne Bay Brewing’s Double 9 (a delightful double IPA) and Buenas Noches Whiskey Barrel Imperial Stout (sounds intriguing).
– M.I.A. Brewing’s Czar Face Imperial Stout (rum barrel aged for a sweeter finish) and Surfcumber ale which employs cucumber and lime for a crisp finish).
– Concrete Beach has a new helles lager.
– Funky Buddha’s sweet draft options including Dread Pirate Roberts (imperial stout with raspberry and vanilla), Neopolitan (porter with strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla) and the Nib Smuggler (solid treat for the chocoholics).
– J.Wakefield has a coconut treated UJP (porter) and a guava pale ale on deck.
– Wynwood Brewing line of beer beauties includes La Negra (imperial stout) a Fox (red ale) and a Raspberry Vanilla Cheesecake.
– Miami Brewing Company’s Little Havana Cafe con Leche sweet stout.
LEVEL TWO: The Big Three
The days of one “big three” are certainly over (Leb-who?) but Miami’s craft beer big three, Wynwood Brewing, M.I.A. Brewing and J.Wakefield Brewing, show no signs of slowing down.
10 points for each local brew guzzled. 10 more if it’s not a “flagship” beer. 20 points if you can get a bartender to answer the question “so, the beer scene is growing here, huh?” without a sigh. Square your points for an “inception” – That’s where you have one of the big three’s beers in eachother’s locations.
Highlights will include:
M.I.A.’s Monday video game night will feature Cigar City (check out the Jose Marti and Cold Brew IPA for your coffee fix); on Wednesday will host the launch of Civil Society Brewing; Thursday’s Funky Buddha night featuring Rice Crispy Treat and Fire in the Hole; and Friday guest taps include Barley Mow, Proof, Angry Chair and Engine 15.
Wynwood Brewing’s Monday In the Biz night continues paired with an old school game night, with House of Mac ready to serve out front; and every last Wednesday of the month supports local comics with the Last Call comedy show.
LEVEL THREE: The Never-Ending Sampler
5 pts. per sample consumed and remembered.
10 pts. if you don’t make an ass of yourself.
20 pts. if you do.
30 pts. if it’s on social media.
Every brewery starts somewhere, and that somewhere is slinging samples from underneath a sweaty 10×10 ft. tent to increasingly interested (drunk) patrons. Find the current and future craft beer stars at the Miami Beer Festival – a one-stop shop in case you can’t take part the other 6 days of South Florida Craft Beer week.
Hundreds of Miami craft beer lovers will descend upon Marlins Park in order to take part in a three-hour sample fest on Saturday, January 30 at 6 p.m.
All of your nationally-recognized favorites will be there, including Sierra Nevada, Sixpoint, and Lagunitas to name a few. But what’s most unique about Miami Beer Festival is its ability to showcase the most new and up-and-coming Florida breweries in one place. If you go to the fest, give yourself 10 points every time you visit:
3 Sons Brewing (Davie, FL)
Big Storm Brewing (Odessa FL)
Accomplice Brewing (West Palm Beach, FL)
Hialeah Brewing (Hialeah, FL)
Biscayne Bay Brewing (Miami, FL)
Gravity Brewlab (Miami, FL)
Descarga Brewing (Hallandale Beach, FL)
LauderAle Brewing (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
M.A.S.H, Miami Area Society of Homebrewers
JDub’s Brewing (Sarasota, FL)
Tomoka Brewing (Daytona, FL)
Islamorada Brewing (Islamorada, FL)
Waterfront Brewery (Key West, FL)
26 Degree Brewing (Pompano Beach, FL)
Copperpoint Brewing (Boyton Beach, FL)
King Fox Brewery (Miami, FL)
Coppertail Brewing (Tampa, FL)
Orange Blossom Brewing (Orlando, FL)
Miami Beer and Wine Makers Warehouse (Miami, FL)
Funky Buddha Brewing (Oakland Park, FL)
Miami Brewing (Miami, FL)
M.I.A. Brewing (Miami, FL)
If you’ve never been to one of these kinds of fests, remember the samples are limitless, your tolerance is not. No one wants to watch you trace the 50 yard line in vomit. (JK, 1000 points if you pull that one off).
BONUS ROUND: Miami’s #1 Beer Spots
20 points every time you visit one of Miami’s purveyors of great craft beer including:
The Lokal (Coconut Grove)
The Mighty (Coral Gables)
Sunset Corners (South Miami)
& many more, including beer dinners, beer swaps and your backyard!
Tag your game entries on Instagram with #SFCBW and let the game begin.