Florida Craft Brewery: Hollywood Brewing Company
Established: Early 2015
Location: 290 N. Broadwalk, Hollywood, FL 33019
Known For: I was told by the staff that their Mango IPA is their most desired offering. Unfortunately, the last keg had kicked the day before I paid them a visit so I did not get to try it. The food was also mentioned to be very good. I had the $10 burger and a pint special, which is a deal considering a burger will run you 10-12 on its own at other places. Being the hamburger lover that I am, I was pleased with the burger and fries. I asked for medium-well and that is how it arrived. It was by no means a Top 10, but it was still a good burger. The Pale Ale I ordered with the burger, on the other hand, was a malty mess. There was only the slightest hint of the hops, which made me wonder if it was poured from an old keg.
Current Beer Menu: Hollywood had twelve of their own beers and a cider on tap. The spectrum was pretty much covered with two Wheat, two Pilsner, two Lager, a Pale Ale, an IPA, a Double IPA, a Stout, an English Ginger Ale, and a Belgian Ale. I ended up trying nine off of the list. The English Ginger Ale was interesting and I liked it. Ginger can easily be overdone and it certainly was not in this case. The Imperial Stout was very thin. I held it up to the light thinking it may be translucent, which thankfully it wasn’t. It made me think of water with brown food coloring in it. The flavor had a decent roastiness to it, but that couldn’t help it overcome the rest of its faults. The Fresh Hop Pilsner was brewed with Citra and Saaz hops. I was left wondering if they had forgotten to add the Citra. It wasn’t a bad beer, it just didn’t stand up to its profile. The standard Wheat was a beer I could drink a few of while hanging out in the sun. The Amber Lager had a nice color but lacked in flavor. The Double IPA was a malt bomb. I was told it was a limited release, which in this case was a good thing because it was not very good and again left me wondering if it was poured from an older keg. The Grapefruit IPA and Pineapple Wheat were my top picks of the day. The grapefruit came through well on the nose, but it definitely didn’t smack you in the face on that first sip like Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin does for example. The bitterness from the hops complimented the grapefruit nicely. The Pineapple Wheat was nice and clean. I wanted a bit more pineapple, but it was still a good offering and my favorite of the day. Overall though it was very much a lackluster tap list.
Price Range: A flight of four 4oz beers will cost you $8.00. Pints are $6.50 across the board except for the stout, which was $7.00. If you are really thirsty, you can order a 32oz mug of any beer for $12.00. Hollywood only fills their own 64oz growlers. The 32oz version is not offered. Your first purchase of both the growler and any beer will cost you $17.00. After that, a refill of any beer will run you $13.00.
Wine Menu: A variety of choices between both red and white wine for $7.00 a glass or $26.00 a bottle. A full bar is also offered along with four flavors (plum, pepper, lemon, and horseradish) of homemade Schnapps.
Food Menu/Food Trucks: Hollywood Brewing Company operates as a brewpub, so they offer a full menu. The pricing seems to be a bit on the higher side, but then again you are sitting next to the beach. It’s all about location location location!
Ambiance: After walking up a few steps you are greeted by a covered porch overlooking Hollywood Beach. Once inside you find yourself in a welcoming pub-like space with tv’s on two walls and a mural of a small German town on the third. The wood flooring and wood paneling on one of the walls give the space a rustic feel. It’s certainly a nice clean place to have a meal. Windows to the right of the bar give you a glimpse of the brewing equipment, which sits in a room behind the bar. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to gain access to it for pictures without the general manager being present.
Bar Seating: The bar has seating for nine, six low top tables with seating for four, and four high top tables against the wall seat two to three. Outside picnic tables under the covered porch give you a spacious view of Hollywood’s finest attribute… the beach
Staff: Anya, originally from Russia, has been a bartender for three of the seven years that she has lived in the states. Overall my experience with the staff was fine, but a couple that came in after me waited for ten minutes to order a couple of beers before getting fed up and leaving. I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting the general manager, Johnny Quinones, but he was kind enough to answer a few questions for me via e-mail.
Brewing System: Hollywood uses equipment built by the European company Zip Technologies. The brewpub has the capacity to brew 75 barrels a month.
Merch: Shirts for both men and women are available for $15.00 and a pint glass can be purchased for $6.00.
Membership offered: No membership of any kind is offered.
Best days or time of year to go: Sitting on the beach means there is a constant flow of people coming in to cool down, grab a bite to eat, and a pint to wet their whistle. While sitting at the bar between 1:00 and 3:00 Friday afternoon I watched the clientele jump from just me to 15 to 20 people. I was told nights are the busiest, especially on the weekends.
Regular Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:00am – 12:00am
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday between 5:00pm and 7:00pm pints are 2 for 1. You can also get 2 for 1 Monday through Friday from 10:00pm till close for ladies night.
-Originally the Hollywood Brewing Company was known as the Organic Brewery. Organic started in 2012 and was purchased two years later, which is when the name change came into play.
-A production brewery was opened a few miles from the brewpub in 2015.
-The Fresh Hop Pilsner, Pale Ale, and Stout are currently bottled and distributed. In the near future, the Mango IPA will be bottled as well.
-The distribution network covers most of South Florida including, from Coral Gables in the south to Jupiter in the north.
Overall Rating (1-5): I’m rating the Hollywood Brewing Company a 3.25. The beer that was decent just didn’t make up for the beer that wasn’t. Thankfully the burger was pretty good and the bartender was attentive to my needs. I have to believe they do good business due to their location on the boardwalk. I can only imagine how busy they would be if they were producing a beer worth making the drive for.
What was missing: Other than a couple of their offerings I just wasn’t a fan of their beer. It’s a shame to have a location as perfect as theirs and waste the opportunity to get a good craft beer into the hands of the thousands of tourists and locals who are on Hollywood Beach every day.
In closing, unfortunately, I don’t recommend the Hollywood Brewing Company to the regular craft beer drinker. This type of establishment is more for locals and tourists who aren’t really into craft beer or are just starting to try new beer styles.
Is there something else you would like to know about the Hollywood Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.