I’m not totally sure which expressway it is, especially since there’s roughly 40,000 expressways in Miami-Dade County, but whichever one runs along the south side of Miami International Airport suddenly has an exit in what feels like the middle of nowhere that leads directly into a Days Inn.
My wife and I were actually kind of impressed with this, since what looks like the former restaurant for the hotel has now been turned into Miami-Dade’s newest brewery, Beat Culture. If you look inside, they’ve made excellent use of the space, and if you squint your eyes you can still hear echoes of what the space used to be.
There’s a spacious floor for plenty of table space and an upstairs loft, ocupying the highest point of a very large downward sloping roof. The part of the space not underneath the loft has been walled off with giant picture windows housing what appears to be a 10-barrel brew system.
It’s a cozy space, with plenty of games and slight touches of 1940s art deco that call to Miami’s fascination with the style. There is a kitchen as well, providing a good array of standard American pub favorites. I find it interesting to note that it looks like they are giving discounts to the employees of the hotel next door. It’s kind of brilliant.
Beat Culture, and how it fits in with Miami-Dade county craft beer, can act is a natural terminus for a brewery crawl and there’s no need to figure out how to get home, to boot. Just grab a room at the Days Inn, which I’m sure can’t be too expensive.
When we were there, we had come in on the same day, but a few hours after, the end of their grand opening festivities. You can see where there had been a ton of activity earlier. The large section of blocked off parking lot was home to several tents and some games including a very large cornhole board that I would have been interested to see in action.
All beers were, as you’re about to see in the photos, priced and served according to the event, explaining the plastic logoed cups. I went with my beautiful wife, a friend of mine, and his wife. Between the four of us we were able to knock out at least half of the very large selection of beers that were remaining on tap.
A lot of these, obviously, were beers from Beat Culture themselves, or collaborations with other breweries in the area. They also had a nice selection of beers from other breweries throughout the state. I’ll make sure to describe where each beer originated from.
Beat Culture Vagabond (Saison, 7.2% ABV) – Described as a ‘rustic saison,’ this beer had a strong lemony aroma with a hazy golden color. The flavor has a nice tartness and strong undertones of grass, lemon, and slightly floral hops. A nice slightly spiky mouthfeel gives way to a strong effervescence that does not let up.
Beat Culture Clock Shadow (Imperial Stout, 8.5% ABV) – There’s a strong, slightly boozy, and very deep aroma that comes off the beer. The flavor has a lot of strong coffee and dark cocoa characteristics that is heavily accentuated with an almost maraschino cherry sweetness. But the malt wins the day with this beer, coming in with a strong body that is enjoyable to chew through.
Beat Culture Social Club (New England IPA, 7.4% ABV) – There’s a big fruity explosion in this beer, with a moderate, reserved dankness lurking in the back.
Beat Culture & Bangin’ Banjo Shamrock Shake (New England IPA, 8% ABV) – I sure got strange looks from the other three when I brought this beer to the table. It’s a mint green milkshake IPA with a moderately fruity aroma and very little dankness. But there’s an interesting mint flavor that flows through it all, and it tends to rise above some of the fruitiness that you taste in the beer.
Tripping Animals Good Karma (Berliner Weisse, 4% ABV) – A peach Berliner. The aroma feels a lot like cans of guava nectar that I get in the Hispanic section at Publix. The flavor is wonderful and juicy, but it’s got a face puckering sourness to beat the band.
J. Wakefield Trading Places (Barleywine, 13% ABV, 35 IBU) – A barrel-aged barleywine. There’s a wonderful coffee aroma on top of a very strong caramel malt base. The coffee tends to come on a little more, and that coffee aroma is very prevalent in the flavor as well. It’s wonderfully mature, and it has a nice undercurrent of vanilla from the oak that plays nicely with a deep, but expertly blended beer.
Beat Culture Streamline Lager (Vienna Lager, 5% ABV) – Very true to one of my absolutely favorite styles. It drinks incredibly smoothly, with a slight Noble floral hoppiness that comes through. Not necessarily chewy and sweet with this one, but it is quite refreshingly wonderful.
Odd Breed Past and Future (Saison, 5% ABV, 18 IBU) – The signature beer from Odd Breed I remarkably smooth and delightfully reserved for what could have gone very funky, very fast. The French oak does wonders here, mellowing out the aged Hallertauer and fresh Czech Saaz hops and imparting a slight vanilla undercurrent to a beer that still has some nice perky notes of spice and fruit to it. The imported pilsner malt and domestic wheat, rye, and oats bring a velvety pillowiness that is incredibly well done and very easily approachable.
Calusa & Hidden Springs Rollin’ Out (Stout, 12.8% ABV) – This is the pastry Stout for people that like the classic Florida pastry Stout. Smelling this beer, it’s hard to get away from how delightfully sugary-sweet this is going to be. The strong roasted aroma does not deter from that, nether are the notes of cinnamon or lactose. Drinking it, you get the coffee a little bit stronger, and there is a very strong biscuit-style breadiness there, almost like it was soaked lady fingers from a Tiramisu. The cinnamon is nice and slightly spicy, adding to a very delicious, very chewy event of a beer.
Beat Culture Air Quotes (Double IPA, 7.8% ABV) – Remarkably reserved, this is not a beer that has a face melting overload of hop character. There’s a slight citrus and slight herbal tone to the hops, bringing in Simcoe, Wai-iti, and Experimental 09326. All of this is put on a bill with a light, unassuming malt. The hops are able to exist and to be harmonious with the rest of the beer without getting too overpowering.
I had been watching this brewery as it was getting close to opening for a couple months now, and I’m glad that I was able to get there right at the tail end of their opening festivities. Clearly, they have a lot of good things going for them, and looks to be cementing their place into the fabric of Miami-Dade County beer culture.
Plus, they’ve got a hotel attached to them. There’s not too many breweries that can say that.
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