By: Paige Rosenthal
Whether it’s an Ale, IPA or Lager, Miami’s craft beer scene is certainly brewing, and Zeke Man’s new 305 Brews is a shrine to Miami’s finest. Grab a glass and bow down to the Magic City’s best brewers with 20 taps solely dedicated to everything local.
When he set out to open his new casual hangout tucked away in midtown Miami, Zeke hardly expected to be hit with such Déjà vu. In a serendipitous, full-circle kind of coincidence, after a roundabout of red tape with the city, he settled in a location that, in fact, was once his own stomping ground.
It suits him well, since the bar-manager-turned-restaurateur wanted nothing more than a low-key spot to meet up with friends and grab a pint. The menu is as low key as the vibe, with a dash of creativity. Many of the featured dishes are so fittingly made with one key ingredient, beer, and the flavors change as frequently as the taps.
“Chef will sometimes come out to the bar with a measuring cup and say, ‘I’m making a beer batter,’ and I just pour whichever I want from what we have in stock,” Zeke explained.
With that kind of lasseiz-faire mentality, your taste buds will never bore as you dive into a bounty of savory bites, laced with full-bodied craft selections. Start with the Beer Cheese Dip served with crispy sweet potato chips. As if that wasn’t enough crunch, grab the beer-battered mushrooms, fried to a perfect golden crisp on the outside with a warm chewy mushroom center, and drizzled in house garlic (liquid crack) aioli.
I know what you’re thinking – after those two, I must be full, right? Wrong. That was just act one. Wynwood Brewing Co. takes the stage in the next dish, La Rubia Beer Battered Shrimp. Sweet n’ Salty anyone? The flavors of the fragrant Blonde Ale mix to perfection with the sweetness of the Melon Mango and Fresh Hops sauce.
And the tour du beer continues with the IPA-marinated 305 Burger and the Cubanito Sliders with Brown Ale Mojo-marinated pork. But in the menu’s dessert section is where you find the ultimate odd couple.
Like peanut butter on a burger or fries dipped in a frosty, when you think beer, its typical partner is definitely not ice cream. But the 305 Pop’s Ice Cream is a homemade cup o’ love that shatters every myth about beer-flavored dessert. I would compare it to a salted caramel -- a little sweet and a little sharp. One piece of advice: save yourself the argument and don’t try to go splitsies… It’s bound to end badly.
The sum-up? If you need some downtime and surprisingly creative comfort food – 305 Brews is like your best friend’s kitchen, where beer is king and anything goes.