South Beach. For craft beer. Not a sentence I really thought would be said anytime soon.
But one bar, Ricky’s, has undergone quite the renovation and changed from a kitchy, 1980’s influenced cheesefest and into a more mature, loungy space.
It’s owned by Menin Hospitality , who happen to own other spaces around, including the taco place next door and Half & Whole across the street. A quick aside, getting the Crazy Chicken sandwich from them was quite the awesome experience. And way too big to finish in one sitting.
Yes, you have to pass through Artichoke Pizza and Ricky’s game room to get to the bar area (and even the easiest mode in Mortal Kombat 4 is harder than any game has a right to be), but once through, Ricky’s has a comfortable, ample seating area with lots of little hints of its old décor hidden by waves of ivy.
The drink menu is quite extensive, with a very interesting run of mixed drinks (one of which is infused with CBD, not sure if I can handle that). It’s interesting watching them fill their mini wood barrels with all sorts of delicious alcohol goodness (for groups of course).
Ricky’s only has 10 taps, but with a killer happy hour and their new Beer Love Social Club, they tend to kick kegs pretty fast. Their beer expert, Chris, is hellbent on keeping the lines clean and the taps engaged with a wide variety of brews, no macros allowed.
Servers are also expected to taste each beer as they come on tap after having been given extensive tasting notes by Chris. This way, they know a little bit more about what they’re serving than it’s a beer that looks like a Bud Light.
To celebrate, Ricky’s is hosting a run of tap takeovers, and I went on the evening they had a takeover of beers from Tampa’s Coppertail Brewing. I’ve had a number of their beers before, and my friend took this opportunity to try Night Swim for the first time, one of my absolute favorites from them. It became one of his favorites as well.
As ever looking for the new beers to write about, I started with a little Sorcha O’Sullivan (IPA, 6.2% ABV), part of Coppertail’s Alpha Hunt PA series and soon to be available in bottles pretty much everywhere Coppertail distributes.
It’s as bright and electric as pretty much everything else on South Beach. It’s got a hell of a great citrus body coming from ample hopping of Idaho 7, Medusa, & Citra hops. There’s a rounded, meaty hop bitterness in the beer, and the malt of light and crisp enough to let those hops shine.
It’s remarkably drinkable and very delicious, but you probably can’t go to Ricky’s to get some since they have no doubt have already moved on the next great craft beer. They’re going to start doing more with their new Beer Love Social Club, and more tap takeovers are coming, including Lauderale near the end of the month. Their taps are on Untappd, so you can easily see what the have available.
Drink Florida Craft,