Wilton Manors Has the Gays, the Kitsch, the Beats, but Not the Craft Beers

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There are many bars on Wilton Drive, the main drag of gaytopian Wilton Manors, and they all have their charms. There is chummy, sporty Sidelines. Rosie's (the subject of this week's dish column) has kitsch. There are low prices and lower lights at Tropics. Boom has beats, Georgie's Alibi the friendly press of the crowd, New Moon its lesbians, and Matty's ... well, it's got benches.

But they have no craft beer.

Now, that's not technically true -- Sam Adams is a craft, and they've got that, and the Naked Grape wine bar used to sell the occasional big bottle of Rogue. But I don't know if
they still do. I'd have to go to the Drive to find out, and I don't do that because I'm a beer guy, and for a street with as many bars as the Drive to offer up nothing more for beers guys than Sam Adams and an occasional Rogue is a crime against nature, or at least capitalism. So I go north to Brother Tuckers, or out west to World of Beer, or I stay the hell the home because I don't like driving with a head full of Belgian booze. Wilton Drive is walkable from my house, but it's dead to me.

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Ah ha, you might say -- Wilton Manors is full of homosexuals, and homosexuals do not care for craft beer. But you are both wrong and homophobic. I am a homosexual, and I love craft beer. Anyway, the best beers in the world are brewed by Christian clergy, a population notoriously committed to sodomy.

But I suspect the bar owners along the Drive themselves believe that gays don't quite dig craft beers, and I suspect they believe this because their bars are full, night after night, with massed crowds who seem to actually enjoy the repellent swill issuing from the taps. What these businessmen don't understand is that the gays come not because of the repellent swill, but in spite of it. They come for the company. They are willing to brave the plastic cups of Michelwieser and Budmiller or whateverthehell  because it's dangerous out there in the Floridian wilds beyond Wilton Manors. They may find more delicious things to drink out west or up north, sure, but is it really worth getting into bar fights with gay-hating rednecks?

I say yes. I put on some flannel, some unfashionable cuts of denim, studiously avoid lisping and rock out with Southern Tier, Dogfish, Unibroue, Chimay, and Rochefort. Others -- those who don't own flannel, perhaps -- go to to the gay bars and suffer through their Heinestels and Amekens. They put on brave faces. They look like they're having fun. Perhaps they are. But it's not because of the drinks.

If you're a Wilton Manors bar owner, I'm imploring you: Serve good beer. There are a lot of us who'd visit your establishments if you did. Start with something basic and non-threatening -- maybe Magic Hat #9. It's fruity, with a half-concealed bitter undertone. Should catch on. Then maybe some Ommegang BPA, because it's both similar to and infinitely better than those Blue Moon and Shock Top things the kids like nowadays. If you own Tropics, you could maybe serve some Belgian quadrupels -- they're overripe, and full of those complexities which attend great age, and which are so under-appreciated in our youth-crazy culture. If you own Sidelines, maybe you could serve some of those rowdy Dogfish beers, like their 90 Minute IPA, which is so full of life and energy and flavor that it makes me wanna tackle somebody. Mattie's would pair reasonably well with Unibroue's dark, mysterious Tres Pistoles; a beer so overwhelming that people will forget to wonder why the hell they're not across the street at The Manor. And if you own The Manor, your place is probably big enough to serve every one of these beers, and maybe a whole slew more.

Location Info

Brother Tuckers - CLOSED

3332 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL

Category: Music

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John L.
John L.

Hey Brandon, we've been doing some work on this front: The Manor now carries a litany of craft beers in bottle, and Wilton Bier Garden has opened up with a wide selection of imports and a few good crafts too. That said, there is a lot of educating to do in the gay community on the subject of craft beer. I dare say the Wilton crowd might be a smidgen insular, for the reasons you are suggesting. I've done tastings in WM and it's definitely coming as a surprise to many people that beer comes in varieties beyond "pisswater." Glad you broached the subject!

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