On the mainland across the MacArthur Causeway, The Democratic Republic of Beers, simply known as the DRB (drbmiami.com; 255 Northeast 14th St.), is “more bar than restaurant, but the food on the menu means that the place is smoke-free. DRB’s proprietors have assembled a commendable list of over 500 beers from around the world including some fine gems. As long as the list of Belgian beers is, American crafts run wild including about a dozen from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing alone.
Farther south still, Montelius commends owner Carlos Duran for adding draft beer to Cervezas (cervezasmiami.com; 5835 Sunset Drive), which began with bottles only. He says Cervezas “took it to a ridiculous level by adding more and more keg boxes until they couldn’t fit any more and filling them with nothing but rare and limited release beers. There’s hardly a permanent handle in the bunch at this unpretentious little South Miami hangout.”
As for gastropubs, Miami’s newest, The Local (thelocal150.com; 150 Giralda Ave.) in the heart of Coral Gables, makes Montelius happy. As a distributor, he says that if more places stocked beer the way Local does, “we’d be somewhere like Atlanta instead of, well, Miami.” Pointing to the impending installment of 24 taplines and menu items like chef Alberto Cabrera’s charcuterie, house-made “jerky in a jar,” and bouchot mussels and frites cooked in Dale’s Pale Ale, it’s easy to see why dining and imbibing here is a must. “Get the flatiron steak with bone marrow butter paired with a Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale,” he sagely advises.