Miami Brewing Beer Garden Opens at Marlins Park

Miami Brewing Beer Garden

As a Florida craft beer blogger, there really isn’t anything cooler than being recognized for what I do. So when I received a message from Dave over at the Florida Beer Blog about attending the ribbon cutting for Miami Brewing Company’s new Beer Garden at Marlins Park, I was pretty stoked. On top of that, Friday night at the ballpark also happens to be Burger and Beer night. Tickets start at thirty dollars and get you into the game, a burger, and a beer from Miami Brewing. That’s a pretty damn good deal! The thirty dollar ticket puts you in the right field bullpen seating overlooking Giancarlo Stanton. It also happens to be right next to the Miami Brewing Beer Garden (formerly the Bacardi Bar). The sight lines from the beer garden were so good I never actually went to my seat.

Miami Brewing Beer Garden
The view from the Beer Garden.

I arrived at the stadium around 5:30 pm, parked and located the Will Call office. A few minutes later I was upstairs and checking out the Miami Brewing Company’s brand spanking new Beer Garden. One of the first things you’ll notice is a mural on the column in which the bar surrounds. The mural was created in a collaborative effort between Claudia La Bianca (left side) and Aquarela Sabol (right side), two of Miami’s best-known street mural artists whose work can be seen around the Wynwood Arts District.

Miami Brewing Beer Garden

After taking in my surroundings for a few minutes, which included a live band, I ordered my first beer. Being the stout lover that I am the ‘Little Havana Café Con Leche Milk Stout’ was my number one target. A stout isn’t typically what most folks would think of when grabbing a beer at the ballpark. Remember though this is Miami and with a name like that, I imagine it will be a big seller. While drinking, I was thinking that the ‘Little Havana’ actually leaned more towards a shot of Cuban Coffee than a Café Con Leche. The coffee came through strong and that is certainly not a bad thing. You haven’t quite lived until you’ve had a shot of Cuban Coffee.

Miami Brewing Beer Garden

After a bit, it was time to officially open the beer garden. A representative of the Miami Marlins said a few words and presented Miami Brewing owner, Peter Schnebly, with an official Marlins jersey. Peter’s son Kody, Claudia La Bianca, Aquarela Sabol, and of course Billy the Marlin joined him on stage.

Miami Brewing Beer Garden
Ribbon Cutting.

After all of the excitement, I hit the bar again for a ‘Flamingo Ale’. The coconut and mango in the Hefeweizen came through nicely. It was the perfect beer for the Miami’s tropical humidity.

Miami Brewing Beer Garden

I spent a bit of time talking with Anthony Nader, who is a Miami based photographer specializing in food photography on his site 52 Chefs. He was more than eager to answer any and all of my photo taking questions. I learned more about my camera in that half hour than I had in all of the months before.

Miami Brewing Beer Garden

As the game started, I headed to the designated section to cash in my burger and beer voucher. The burger hit the spot and the can of Miami Vice IPA washed it down nicely.

Miami Brewing Beer Garden

Miami Brewing Beer Garden

Peter invited the Miami Brewing crew and I up to a suite during the seventh inning. Talk about watching the rest of the game in style! He had smuggled in a few growlers of both his ‘Lychee’ and ‘Columbian Lemonaide’ meads. I have only just started getting into mead and found both of these to be delicious. I’m definitely looking forward to trying them again when I head down to Homestead to review the brewery.

Miami Brewing Beer Garden

The suite was a great spot to watch the rest of the game and a first time for me. If you’re looking to watch the game like a baller getting a suite is certainly the way to do it.

Miami Brewing Beer Garden
The view from the suite.

Once the game ended, we extended the night a bit by heading downstairs to the Clevelander. After a bit more conversation and a few games of Cornhole it was time for everyone to head their separate ways. I headed home after having a great night and forming a new friendship or two.

Miami Brewing Beer Garden In closing, if you’re looking for a relatively cheap way to check out a Marlins game, Burger and Beer Fridays should be the way you do it. This was the first game I’ve attended at the new ballpark. I’m happy to say I will be making the drive from northern Palm Beach County again. The only thing missing was a win by the hometown team. There’s always next time!

It was a pleasure meeting Peter and the Miami Brewing Company crew.

Palm Beach County’s Damn Good Beer Bus

Damn Good Beer Bus

My buddy’s wife asked me if my wife and I wanted to go on the new local beer bus to celebrate his birthday. My initial thought was a new beer bus? How have I not heard about this? I confirmed that we would be there out of love for my buddy more than anything, honestly. After checking out the website, I saw the name of the bus was the Damn Good Beer Bus (DGBB). What a great name! Here’s how it works. You head over to the website and pick which day (Fri., Sat., or Sun.) works best for you and/or your party. The days also correspond with different areas of the county. The northern trip has stops at three of the following breweries: Civil Society Brewing Co., Twisted Trunk Brewing, Tequesta Brewing Co., Dixie Grill & Brewery, or Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks. The central trip stops at three of the following: Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks, Dixie Bar and Brewery, Due South Brewing, Copperpoint Brewing Co., Devour Brewing Co., and NOBO Brewing Co. The southern trip stops at three of the following: Due South Brewing, Copperpoint Brewing Co., Devour Brewing Co., NOBO Brewing Co., Saltwater Brewery, and Barrel of Monks Brewing.

Damn Good Beer Bus

Once you have picked your trip you then make your payment of $68.90 (taxes included) and BOOM you’re done. The central trip includes lunch at the Dixie Bar & Brewery so the price reflects that with an added $14.00. Believe me the food at Dixie is worth it! At first glance, the price may seem a little steep, but it includes a flight of beer at each of the three separate breweries, a brewery tour at each brewery, a tasting between brewery stops provided by the DGBB, water and snacks, and of course transportation. It’s a fun way to check out what Palm Beach County has to offer without worrying about driving from brewery to brewery. Plus it’s a great way to spend four hours with your buddies or make new friends with other craft beer lovers. Private tours are also available and that information can be found here or by calling 561.906.7212. While you aren’t able to bring alcohol from home onto the bus, you are able to buy whatever the brewery has to offer and store it in the cooler located on the back of the bus. 

Damn Good Beer Bus

Our trip was set for the third Friday that the bus had actually been operating. There really wasn’t any indication that they were so new to the scene because everything went extremely smooth. Since our party rented out the entire bus the option was given to be picked up in Jupiter. Otherwise, the meeting spot would have been at the Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks near downtown West Palm Beach. The bus arrived around 6:30 as we were opening a beer or two to help get the party started.

Damn Good Beer Bus

A quick round of introductions with Jonathan and Ralph, our DGBB guides, were made. Waivers were distributed for us to sign while nametags were filled out for everyone. Once the boring stuff was finished we headed out to the bus for a quick group shot before loading up. The bus had been decorated with a birthday theme, which I thought was a nice touch. After a few words from Jonathan, we were on our way to our first stop, which happened to be the Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach. It had been quite a while since I had made it down to Saltwater so I was pretty stoked since I am a fan of them. About 10 minutes into the drive, Jonathan handed out cups and brought out a crowler of the Copperpoint Brewing Companies ‘Blood Orange Wit’. It was a nice introduction to the beer that was coming.

Damn Good Beer Bus

We pulled up to Saltwater and headed inside to find an area set aside for us with plenty of seating for our group. That was a huge plus because the tap room was packed. Almost instantly flights of beer were brought out for each rider. The flights are prechosen simply because it would take forever on a busy Friday night to get and receive the orders for twenty people. Each flight consisted of ‘Screamin’ Reels IPA’, ‘Locale Golden Ale’, ‘Sea Cow Milk Stout’, and the ‘Black Current Strong Ale’ which comes in at 11% abv.

Damn Good Beer Bus

I also tried a few other offerings including ‘Imperial Raspberry Reef’, ‘Habanero Screamin’ Reels’, and Coconut Screamin’ Reels’. I am continually impressed every time I get a chance to stop into Saltwater. After a few minutes, those who wanted to were taken back behind the scenes for a tour of the brewery. After about 45 minutes at the brewery, it was time to head to our next stop, which was Barrel of Monks Brewing in Boca Raton. On the drive south Jonathan opened a crowler of Civil Society’s ‘Blondes Make Me Hoppy’. We pulled up into the Barrel of Monks parking lot and quickly headed inside to our designated seating. Flights quickly started coming out and consisted of their Saison, Wit, Amber, and Tripel. I’ve always been a big fan of their Tripel and this time was no different. I also tried their ‘Irish Cream Koffee Tartan Monk’, which is their Scotch Ale infused with Irish Cream coffee. It was an interesting treatment, to say the least. After a bit, we headed into the brewery for our tour.

Damn Good Beer Bus

A rundown of brewing and production was given before moving into the cellar where a bottle of ‘Happy Accident’ was opened for us to try. ‘Happy Accident’ is their ‘Three Fates Tripel’, which picked up wild yeast from the Florida air, giving it a drier funky flavor profile that was definitely a crowd pleaser. The tour lasted about 15 minutes.

Damn Good Beer Bus

After our time was up we piled back onto the bus and headed for Due South Brewing. While on the road Jonathan opened cans of Twisted Trunk Brewing’s ‘IPGA IPA’. We arrived at Due South and gingerly stumbled into the brewery. By no means was anyone smashed, but we were all definitely feeling the beer. Once gathered around our designated area the flights began to appear. They consisted of the ‘Caramel Cream Ale’, ‘Legendairy Milk Stout’, ‘Hopicana Orange Rye IPA’, and ‘Category 5 DIPA’. There wasn’t a tour offered, but we did have access to management who eagerly answered all questions asked. Once back on the bus we were again offered lite snacks and bottles of water for the drive back up to Jupiter.

Damn Good Beer Bus

I can see another bus being added in the future with more breweries set to open before the end of 2017. Since our trip, I’ve been following the pictures posted on DGBB’s Instagram account and they seem to continually have a packed bus. All in all, I think the Damn Good Beer Bus will be a huge success in Palm Beach County.

Damn Good Beer Bus

In closing, if you’re looking for something different to do on the weekend or looking for a safe and reliable way to get to and from the breweries the Damn Good Beer Bus is most certainly your answer. It’s hard not to have a great time when you’re receiving VIP treatment at the breweries, brewery tours, tasting great beers, surrounded by like-minded people, fantastic tour guides, and an overall kick ass experience.