Fort Lauderdale is a microcosm of the weird and wonderful. Its beautiful beaches have for decades attracted hoards of spring breakers, family vacationers, and Canadian retirees alike, eager to escape the winter weather. Its canal system (that locals would tell you are “Venice-like”) harbours a transient community of luxury yacht captains. And its main thoroughfare, Las Olas Boulevard, draws wealthy retirees from across the US interested in kitschy art acquisition and riverside home tours of the b-list elite. And if that wasn’t interesting enough, Port Everglades, one of the world’s busiest cruise ship ports, welcomes new mega-ships daily that inhale and exhale thousands of eager cruisers.

Whether or not you find yourself among any of these camps (I often like to think of myself as a luxury yacht captain), the collision of these disparate tourist groups will probably make you want to settle in for a few drinks shortly after arrival. Thankfully, the city boasts an eclectic array of drinking establishments to satisfy that demand, and friendly, welcoming, locals who are more than eager to showcase their growing craft beer scene to interested visitors – but you’ll need to look beyond the beach, boulevard or port to find them. In fact, like small oases from the city’s bustling tourist centres, Fort Lauderdale offers craft beer drinkers more than a few craft beer bars and breweries worth the visit. To help you out – cruiser, captain, spring-breaker, or snowbird – here’s a short guide to some of the best spots to enjoy Fort Lauderdale craft beer.

Fort Lauderdale Craft Beer Breweries

LauderAle

Located near both Port Everglades and the Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, LauderAle is probably your best entry point to exploring craft beer in Fort Lauderdale. Stop by their 1,500 square foot tasting room to explore over 30 beers on draft, many of which (in addition to a few guest taps), are produced on site in their electric-fired, three barrel brewery. The tasting room regularly features live music and local food trucks.


Invasive Species Brewing

Established in 2017 by Phil Gillis (previously from Funky Buddha Brewery), Josh Levitt (previously from MIA Beer Company) as well as Laser Wolf cofounders Chris and Jordan Bellus (read on for more on this exceptional bar), Invasive Species is quickly becoming a must-visit spot for local and visiting beer lovers alike. This five-barrel, employee owned brewpub features 10 beers on rotation, many of which leverage local Florida ingredients like their Bleubird Saison, aged in French oak barrels and fermented with hand-picked Florida blueberries or their PassionBerry Sour, made in collaboration with Pompano Beach’s 26° Brewing Company. Stop by and check out their tap room, beer garden, local food trucks… and the beer. Definitely check out the beer.

Funky Buddha Brewery

Funky Buddha, which was purchased by Constellation Brands in 2017 (and is located in nearby Oakland Park), is Florida’s largest craft brewer and has become a mainstay at many establishments across the state. While Funky Buddha is easy to find in most bars, their 3000 square foot taproom is still worth the visit with over 30 beers on draught. If you stop by their taproom, or their original brewpub in Boca Raton, The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery, make sure to check out their award winning Maple Bacon Coffee Porter.

Flagler Village Brewery

Located above The Brass Tap Brewpub in Flagler Village (just north of Las Olas Blvd), Flagler Village Brewery is a small two barrel operation that packs a big punch. While the Brass Tap is a Florida-based chain that by itself might not be worth the visit, its roomie, Flagler Brewery, makes the trek worthwhile. If you have a chance, try one of their Berliners.

Khoffner Brewery

Established by third generation brewer Rauf Khoffner, Khoffner Brewery builds on a long family history of German brewing started by Khoffner’s grandfather Karl, who left Germany in 1933 and founded a brewery in Turkey. Khoffner, who opened his first craft brewery in Antalya, Turkey in 2008, relocated to the US in late 2015 and currently offers 20 styles of beer at his Fort Lauderdale brewery. 

Fort Lauderdale Craft Beer Bars & Bottle Shops

Riverside Market 

Part bottle stop and part bar, Riverside Market is a must when embarking on a Fort Lauderdale craft beer adventure. A small selection of draft beer offerings are up for grabs or peruse the wall of fridges packed with an enormous selection of beer. With so many options and a good mix of local and global brews both from mainstay brewers and craft beer brands, get ready to have your own beer smorgasbord. Grab anything that catches your eye out of the fridge, open it up with one of the many bottle openers kicking about, and bring all of your empties to the cash when you’re done. Don’t skip on the pizza – your cheesy and extra crispy beer companion. Riverside has a second outpost near the airport just down the road from LauderAle called Riverside Market South and a newly opened Riverside Market Plantation in case you can’t make it to the original. 

Laser Wolf

A dozen taps and over a hundred cans and bottles await you at Laser Wolf, a delightfully quirky bar that’s been at the forefront of craft beer in Fort Lauderdale for years. With a motto of  ‘yes beer, no jerks‘, Laser Wolf is unpretentious to its core. The walls of the small, dive-like bar are plastered with so many beer stickers, signs and pictures that you’ll spend multiple rounds scoping it all out. While Laser Wolf doesn’t have a menu, food trucks pop around on the weekends to offer tasty eats to hungry patrons. On my visit, I was thrilled with the bar’s extensive sour offerings, with several options on tap and many more by the bottle. With a strong a local crowd, you know this place is the real deal when looking for the great craft beer in Fort Lauderdale.

Tap 42

Craft beer meets sleek restaurant chain in Tap 42’s Fort Lauderdale location. Dozens of draughts on offer featuring mostly American craft brewers such as Ommegang, Bells and Cigar City are available alongside a few mainstream crowd-pleasers like Guinness and Stella Appeals, ensuring anyone you bring here will find something they’re into. The restaurant, with a huge indoor area and sizeable patio, serves up lunch and dinner daily, with a bottomless brunch addition on weekends and happy hours on weekdays. All in all, Tap42 a solid option for food and craft beer in Fort Lauderdale.

Craft Beer Cartel

Owned by the same group behind Riverside Market, Craft Beer Cartel is a home-brewing supply and bottle shop just down the street. Stop by to peruse the many, many beers available – including a selection of rare and special release bottles – or stock up on supplies and equipment to make your own. Home-brewing events and classes are held in the expansive space, though the knowledgeable staff are on hand to help both experienced and newbie brewers who just drop in. With frequent beer samples and free popcorn to boot, it’s a Fort Lauderdale craft beer experience not to be missed.