Cocktails & Spirits

Super Secret Craft Beer at Barracuda's

Only a half-minute's drunken stumble from the touristy bummerfest of CocoWalk, there remains a relic of the old Grove. It's called Barracuda's. Long an after-dark hideout where shrimpers, college kids, aging college kids, and dropouts of all kinds could play a few free games of bar pool and pound cheap, mass-produced American beer, the 'Cuda's expanding its brew menu.

Since changing ownership a couple of years ago, the old Grove spot's been adding a bunch of craft and mircrobrews to the giant, chalkboard beer list behind the bar. And the latest edition is "a beer cloaked in secrecy," Magic Hat #9. But don't worry, this invasion of obscure suds in no way indicates a sweeping gentrification plan. The 'Cuda will never be CocoWalk.

And rightly, the #9 is a good crisp drinking brew perfect for beer pong. A product of Vermont's Magic Hat Brewing Company, it's an orange-y ale with a light, bright flavor punctuated by little punches of fruitiness, mostly banana and mango. (Well, OK, beer pong with your girlfriend.) If you want a taste, however, you'll have to hit Barracuda's because it's the first and only Coconut Grove bar serving the #9 and you can't even get this stuff in South Florida beer, wine, and liquor stores.

So go slip into one of the 'Cuda's dark drinking booths, order up a $5 pint or $15 pitcher of the Magic Hat #9, and play some pong with your best girl. Behold the old Grove.

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S. Pajot