Wilton Manors Has the Gays, the Kitsch, the Beats, but Not the Craft Beers | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Beer Beer Beer

Wilton Manors Has the Gays, the Kitsch, the Beats, but Not the Craft Beers

There are many bars on Wilton Drive, the main drag of gaytopian Wilton Manors, and they all have their charms. There is chummy, sporty Sidelines. Rosie's (the subject of this week's dish column) has kitsch. There are low prices and lower lights at Tropics. Boom has beats, Georgie's Alibi the friendly press of the crowd, New Moon its lesbians, and Matty's ... well, it's got benches.

But they have no craft beer.

Now, that's not technically true -- Sam Adams is a craft, and

they've got that, and the Naked Grape wine bar used to sell the occasional big bottle of Rogue.

But I don't know if

they still do. I'd have to go to the Drive

to find out, and I don't do that because I'm a beer guy, and for a

street with as many bars as the Drive to offer up nothing more for beers

guys than Sam Adams and an occasional Rogue is a crime against nature, or

at least capitalism. So I go north to Brother Tuckers, or out west to

World of Beer, or I stay the hell the home because I don't like driving

with a head full of Belgian booze. Wilton Drive is walkable from my

house, but it's dead to me.

Ah ha, you might say -- Wilton Manors

is full of homosexuals, and homosexuals do not care for craft beer. But

you are both wrong and homophobic. I am a homosexual, and I love craft

beer. Anyway, the best beers in the world are brewed by Christian

clergy, a population notoriously committed to sodomy.

But I

suspect the bar owners along the Drive themselves believe that gays

don't quite dig craft beers, and I suspect they believe this because

their bars are full, night after night, with massed crowds who seem to

actually enjoy the repellent swill issuing from the taps. What

these businessmen don't understand is that the gays come not because of the

repellent swill, but in spite of it. They come for the company. They are

willing to brave the plastic cups of Michelwieser and Budmiller or

whateverthehell  because it's dangerous out there in the

Floridian wilds beyond Wilton Manors. They may find more delicious

things to drink out west or up north, sure, but is it really worth

getting into bar fights with gay-hating rednecks?

I say yes. I put on some

flannel, some unfashionable cuts of denim, studiously avoid lisping and

rock out with Southern Tier, Dogfish, Unibroue, Chimay, and Rochefort.

Others -- those who don't own flannel, perhaps -- go to to the gay bars

and suffer through their Heinestels and Amekens. They put on brave

faces. They look like they're having fun. Perhaps they are. But it's not

because of the drinks.

If you're a Wilton Manors bar owner, I'm

imploring you: Serve good beer. There are a lot of us who'd visit your

establishments if you did. Start with something basic and

non-threatening -- maybe Magic Hat #9. It's fruity, with a

half-concealed bitter undertone. Should catch on. Then maybe some

Ommegang BPA, because it's both similar to and infinitely better than

those Blue Moon and Shock Top things the kids like nowadays. If you own

Tropics, you could maybe serve some Belgian quadrupels -- they're

overripe, and full of those complexities which attend great age, and

which are so under-appreciated in our youth-crazy culture. If you own

Sidelines, maybe you could serve some of those rowdy Dogfish beers, like

their 90 Minute IPA, which is so full of life and energy and flavor

that it makes me wanna tackle somebody. Mattie's would pair reasonably

well with Unibroue's dark, mysterious Tres Pistoles; a beer so

overwhelming that people will forget to wonder why the hell they're not

across the street at The Manor. And if you own The Manor, your place is probably big enough to serve every one of these beers, and maybe a whole slew more.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Brandon K. Thorp

Latest Stories