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Malts & Crafts

It wasn’t too long ago that it was rare to find a good selection of craft and microbrewed beer at your average South Florida bar or restaurant. But these days, craft breweries — small, independent beer makers producing with traditional methods — are making a run on Florida like it was giving away free hops at the state line. Part of this is because an antiquated law that strictly regulated irregular beer sizes was lifted in 2001, allowing for an influx of unconventionally sized microbrews into the state. The other reason is because beer drinkers are simply catching on. All over the United States, sales of craft beer is rising by double digit figures per year. And word of mouth is spreading thanks to supporters working on the grass roots level.

Further proof times are changing: Take a look at downtown Hollywood. There was a time when PRL Euro Bar was your only destination for decent beer. Now seven bars in the area serve beers from crafters like Stone Brewery, Dogfish Head, and Left Hand, and those selections are growing every day. For that reason, Heather Keenly, general manager of Lola’s on Harrison, is hosting the Hollywood Craft Beer Bar Crawl, taking place at 6:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. For $15 (cash only), beer enthusiasts can meet up with like-minded people and travel to a pre-set pairing of bars serving craft beer in Hollywood. Crawlers will get four drink tickets redeemable at the participating bars, and complimentary munchies at the first stop. Tonight’s crawl is Valentine’s themed, and will include some prizes and giveaways to boot.

Meet up is at Hollywood Vine (2035 Harrison St.), and there’s free parking at the corner of Van Buren Street and 21st Avenue. Call 917-362-1192, or visit
Second Wednesday of every month, 6:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 11. Continues through June 24, 2009

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John Linn

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