American Craft Beer Week in Miami: Ten Best Free Tastings and Tap Takeovers

For too many years, Americans have consumed mass-produced beer purchased mainly in supermarkets by the case.

Fortunately, there's a growing craft beer movement and people are educating their palates.

American Craft Beer Week is here, and it's a great time to experience some small-batch beers and interesting IPAs that you might not have tried before.

Best of all: Many brewers are coming to South Florida to have you sample their wares. What does that mean to you? Free tastings, tap takeovers of rare brews, and lots of swag. So if you want to add to your promotional pint collection (and your beer knowledge), here are the ten best tastings and tap takeovers in Miami:

10. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits in Doral welcomes Shipyard Brewing on Tuesday, May 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. Sample Shipyard and Sea Dog beers from Maine and meet representatives from the brewery.

9. Abraxas Lounge will celebrate American Craft Beer Week with only American beers on tap and American beers at happy hour all week. It's your patriotic duty to drink many beers -- just like the Founding Fathers.

8. Wood Tavern in Wynwood will have special deals all week on select American craft beers. We recommend getting a group of friends together after work to compare several craft brews on the patio.

7. OTC is hosting the Ommegang Tap Takeover from Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. through Friday, May 16, at 11:59 p.m. For two days, special Ommegang offerings include Three Philosophers, Hennepin, Rare VOS, Witte, Game of Thrones, and Abbey Ale. If you haven't had any luck finding the rare Iron Throne, now is your chance to dust off your best D&D attire and head out to seize the throne!

6. Democratic Republic of Beer and Miami New Times are hosting a happy hour Thursday, May 16. From 6 to 8 p.m., enjoy complimentary Hatuey beer and bites. Free beer is good!

5. Total Wine & More in Pinecrest is hosting an American craft beer tasting Friday, May 17. From 4 to 7 p.m., sample offerings from the Brown Distributing catalogue.

4. Monty's Sunset in South Beach will welcome SweetWater Brewing Company products to South Florida with a celebration Thursday, May 16. Taste their craft beers from Atlanta, including the (quite delicious) 420, Blue, LowRYEder, IPA, and Road Trip.

3. Brewskis (formerly Cervezas) is featuring eight kegs all week -- each representing a different region in the U.S. Beers include Ommegang (North), Shiner (South), Stone (West), Terrapin (East), Rogue (Northwest), Dogfish (Northeast), Coronado (Southwest), and Cigar City (Southeast).

2. LoKal Burgers & Beer will host a weeklong competition pitting Florida beers against California beers. Drink from coast to coast and support your favorite state. At the end of the week, LoKal will measure how many beers were consumed from each state and determine a winner. And as they say in Florida: Vote early, vote often (with your beer, that is).

1. OTC is bringing out "Randall the Enamel Animal" all week. Beginning today at 6 p.m., OTC will Randallize a different beer with interesting ingredients to create one-of-a-kind beers. Bacon? Mango? Doughnut? All possibilities. All week.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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