January 30, 2015

Executive Lifestyle in Florida

Beer gardens at the head of the class

Chris Sherman | 9/20/2012

Lou’s Beer Garden
Miami

In Miami, the biergarten concept goes retro and MiMo cool around the pool at Lou’s Beer Garden. Installed at the boutique New Hotel refashioned from a forgotten ‘50s motel, it feels like a back yard, but of the midcentury modern style, a patio for cool cats. Nothing old-fashioned about the menu of Kobe burgers, charcuterie, risotto and frisee.

Barkeeps

A new connoisseurship of beer is present on both sides of the bar. Barkeeps, men and women, are often as geeky on IBU (bitterness units) as the drinkers they serve. They must be able to guide customers through constantly changing beers on tap.

Beer-smart staff is as essential as hops to today’s beer garden, and the best proprietors see the knowledge of bartenders as more important than how fast they pour a pint. World of Beer, which started out with one wildly popular watering hole in Tampa’s exurbs five years ago and now has two dozen stores, is so keen on savvy barkeeps that it set up “Beer School.”

Locations across Florida, in the Carolinas and as far as Ohio will have very different beer lists but always many, many beers and smart service. WOB’s founders and a new top management group that includes Outback veterans want bartenders to fancy beer as much as the customer.

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