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By Thom Smith
Father’s Day. What to do?
By comparison, Mother’s Day is a piece of cake, or maybe croissants, eggs Benedict and Champagne at a special brunch at a beachfront hotel or along Atlantic Avenue, plus flowers and a nice card.
Dads, however, aren’t big on mushy stuff. As long as they don’t have to mow the lawn, most are content to just sit back and relax.
Sure, he could launch the boat, but if comfort is the order of the day, how about something simple, something primal, something like … beer.
No, we’re not talking get-up-from-the-sofa-and-walk-to-the-refrigerator kind of beer. No Bud, Coors or Miller Lite. Nope, Father’s Day deserves something special, a day out to sample any of the magical, mystical concoctions brewed at one of the area’s seven craft breweries.
They have lots of choices with perennial favorites, seasonal treats and frequent out-of-the-tank surprises. For the uninitiated, most offer tastings, such as Copperpoint’s sample pour of four 5-ounce glasses for $7.
• Brewzzi, Boca Raton. The area’s oldest microbrewery opened in 1997. Three years later its beers won gold and silver medals at the Great American Beer Festival. The only area brewery with a full-service restaurant. Matt Manthe oversees the brew side that includes perennial favorite Boca Blonde and special pours such as Sour Red Ale. (2222 Glades Road, 392-2739, www.brewzzi.com)
• Funky Buddha, Boca Raton. In 2010, brothers Ryan and KC Sentz opened a small -time brewery, bar and hookah lounge in a strip center on North Federal. Three years ago, the “Buddha” went big time with a “regional” brewery in Broward County, but the Boca buzz continues with some of the nation’s top-rated craft brews, such as Morning Wood, and Maple Bacon Coffee Porter (available in cans). Also live entertainment and open mic nights. (2621 N. Federal Highway, 368-4643, www.thefunkybuddha.com)
• Barrel of Monks, Boca Raton. After home-brewing for seven years, Boca buds Matt Saady, Keith DeLoach and Bill McFee hatched a highly unoriginal idea: Let’s open a brewery! For 15 months, they’ve been brewing beer in the 1,000-year style of Belgian abbeys.
No monks around, but you will find beers and ales crafted with European malts, hops and legendary Belgian yeasts. Staples from pale ale to 10.5-percent quadrupel-malt and seasonal releases such as Imperial Stout offer religious experiences. Guests can buy snacks inside, visit food trucks outside or BYOM — Bring Your Own Meal. (1141 S. Rogers Circle, #5, 510-1253, www.barrelofmonks.com)
• SaltWater Brewery, Delray Beach. SaltWater, not even 3 years old, is the dream of several old school, surfing and fishing pals who found another common bond in beer. They converted an old feed store along the tracks, added rich woods, hung artwork by co-owner Peter Agardy and exposed gleaming stainless steel tanks behind the bar. Screamin’ Reels IPA is a hot seller.
SaltWater is making national headlines with its experimental six-pack holder made of biodegradable and compostable byproducts from the brewing process. Food trucks, occasional live music. (1701 W. Atlantic Ave., 865-5373, www.saltwaterbrewery.com)
• Devour, Boynton Beach. Operating a home-brew that grew too big for the kitchen, Chip and Trish Breighner rented a warehouse last year and gave it sort of a family room feel with overstuffed sofas and chairs, video games and the brewing apparatus. Chip brews Belgian-style and recommends the milk stout, brewed with lactose, oatmeal and roasted barley. Just beginning distribution. Snacks and food trucks. (1500 SW 30th Ave., #4, 806-6011, www.devourbrewing.com)
• Due South, Boynton Beach. Opened in 2012 by Mike and Jodi Halker in a large warehouse in the industrial area north of Gateway Boulevard, Due South is adding an adjacent 12,000 square feet. Top-seller is Caramel Cream Ale. Category 5 Gold IPA won a gold medal at the Florida Brewers Ball in 2014. Snacks are available at the bar; also food trucks. (2900 High Ridge Road, No. 3, 463-2337, www.duesouthbrewing.com)
• Copperpoint, Boynton Beach, a block north of Due South. Though just celebrating the brewery’s first anniversary, founder Matt Cox has been brewing for nearly two decades. He has one of the area’s neatest taprooms, with brick and aged wood on the walls and copper-topped bar and tables. Cox recommends the B Rabbit Espresso cream stout and Witless Belgian wit. Snacks available, plus food trucks. (151 Commerce Road, 508-7676, www.copperpointbrewingcompany.com)
Special note: Craft brewing is attracting tourists. The Discover Brew Pass, $15 for visitors and tourists alike from Discover The Palm Beaches, entitles the holder to a glass of beer at Barrel of Monks in Boca Raton and Due South in Boynton Beach plus Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks in West Palm Beach, Twist Trunk in Palm Beach Gardens and Tequesta Brewing in Tequesta. (800-554-7256 or www.palmbeachfl.com)