No one can deny it: South Florida's craft beer scene has changed tremendously in the last six years.
Just think, back in 2010 during the first American Craft Beer Week (ACBW), there were only a handful of brewpubs across Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Now, just over a half-decade later, figures have changed drastically.
When ACBW kicks off next week from May 16 through 22, there will be more than 15 breweries in operation across the tri-county area — many of which are production facilities (as well as several new nanobreweries and even a ciderworks) in addition to dozens more beer-focused bars and restaurants.
That's pretty much the case for the entire country. Currently, there are over 4,000 small and independent craft breweries operating nationwide. This is why the Brewers Association, the national nonprofit and publisher of CraftBeer.com, organized ACBW each May as a way for beer-lovers to celebrate the culture and community of craft beer while giving breweries and beer businesses the opportunity to connect with their fans.
When it comes to craft beer drinking in South Florida, our ever-expanding options — ranging from West Palm Beach to Wynwood — make it that much easier to show support for all our local suds-makers during this national weeklong event.
26 Degree Brewing Company
2600 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach. Call 954-532-6964, or visit 26brewing.com.
There's never been a better time to sample new brews at a new brewery than ACBW in South Florida. That includes the Pompano Beach-based brewery 26 Degrees Brewing, which will be celebrating all week with a series of new beer releases each day. Stay tuned for their upcoming offerings (and announcements on new beers) by following them on Facebook.
Fork & Balls
1301 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-771-2257, or visit forkandballs.com.
This year, you don't have to celebrate ACBW on an empty stomach. Instead, head to Fork & Balls in Fort Lauderdale where they'll be offering a local brew flight and meatballs from May 16 through 22. Get your choice of three local draft beers for a flight sampler and four meatballs from the restaurant's "Just Balls" menu for $15 per person.
Dixie Grill & Bar
5101 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach. Call 561-586-3189, or visit dixiegrillandbar.com.
Join this West Palm Beach-based craft beer bar as they celebrate ACBW with a series of beer events and specials. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday patrons receive $1 off all craft on draft between 3 and 7 p.m., and again from 9 p.m. to close. On Wednesday and Friday, the restaurant will offer $1 off all craft on draft from 3 p.m. to close and will host a special Copperpoint Brewing Co. versus Tequest Brewing Co. event on Friday with special releases from both companies (and food specials to go along with them). Sunday, join them for an exclusive brunch and beer cocktail pairing with Boynton Beach's Due South Brewing.
Funky Buddha Lounge
2621 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Call 561-368-4643, or visit funkybuddhabrewery.com.
The Boca Raton-based brewpub is planning a special release series for ACBW. Sticking to the overall American theme, they'll be serving up a lot of red, white, and blue — and bacon-flavored — beers to celebrate. Specialty releases include Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, Rye Whisky Barrel Aged Morning Wood, No Crusts, Carrot Cake Wheat, Don't Tell Reece, Muy Bonita, Blueberry Cobbler, Yacht Rock White IPA, Strawberry Basil Berliner, and Chi Chi Pineapple Bacon Gose.
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SHOW ME HOW
608 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-358-8333, or visit theriversidemarket.com.
Attention beer lovers: There's no better place to celebrate ACBW than Riverside Market, which is hosting a series of samplings, tap takeovers, and "meet the brewer" events every day of the week from May 16 to 22. The official lineup includes: Magic Hat tap takeover at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 16; $2 Tuesday draft beer all day on May 17; Sam Adam's tap takeover at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18; St. Arnold's pint night at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 19; and Big Storm tap takeover at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 20.
Craft Beer Cartel
557 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-541-3206, or facebook.com.
OK, so Riverside Market isn't the only place doing something special every day of the week during ACBW. The restaurant's sister establishment and home-brew store, Craft Beer Cartel, is also hosting a series of samplings, tap takeovers, and "meet the brewer" events from May 16 to 22. The lineup includes a Bell's Brewing tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18; Sierra Nevada Brewing demonstration from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 19; Big Storm Brewing meet the brewer at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 20; and Concrete Beach demonstration from 1 to 3 p.m. and Goose Island sampling from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 21.
Gimme a Burger
2010 N. Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines. Call 954-241-4799, or visit gimmeaburger.com.
There's only one thing better than a week's worth of specials and tap takeovers — and that's a beer-centric block party. This year, Gimme a Burger in Pembroke Pines is throwing its first craft beer block party to celebrate ACBW. The special event will include beer samplings from a number of local breweries as well as food specials. A VIP experience is available from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and general admission is open from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Admission is $39.95 per person and includes unlimited craft beer tastings. Register online and you'll also get a BOGO deal on food samples and beer. Visit opendining.net.
American Craft Beer Week will take place from Monday, May 16, through Sunday, May 22. Visit craftbeer.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.