We know South Floridians' interest in the world of craft beer is growing. But with limited availability of rare beer brands and geographic isolation from the hotbeds of brewing innovations, more local beer enthusiasts are taking to the Web to connect.
Whether through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, they're using social media to share news of rare brews headed this way, or to gush (or rant) about South Florida ale happenings. So if you're interested in all things ale, here are the key online personalities you should know.
— Maria Murriel
UNITED WE DRINK
What it is: Picture two dudes wearing baseball caps, sitting at home shouting about beer, and possibly their favorite TV shows, for an hour and a half. Expect rants about beer news: Budweiser's watering down its beer? Down with Anheuser-Busch!, they say. Riffs on workers in the local beer industry: That guy's face is always on the labels! And beer reviews. Shows start with the warning, "This podcast contains adult language and sometimes bad impersonations."
Background: Joel Kodner and Mike Jurewicz work at Due South Brewing in Boynton Beach. They record a new show every two weeks.
BY THE GLASS
What it is: Some of South Florida's beer sommeliers and bon vivants unite to record this all-beverage podcast. Past episodes this year included remote broadcasts from the Laser Wolf craft-beer bar during South Florida Beer Week, and from the American Fine Wine Competition.
Background: Main host Brett Hubbard, of Deerfield Beach, is a cicerone, a beer sommelier, who works for a beverage distribution company. Fort Lauderdale's Ed Roberts, a regional beer expert who works at Total Wine stores, does research for the weekly show.
LAUREN BOWEN OF TAP 42
What it is: Combine the terms "craft-beer cheerleader" and "avid iPhoneographer," and you'll get Lauren Bowen's Instagram feed. She imparts shots of bottle-share parties, new kegs at the bar, beer festivals and sometimes, her beer tattoos. Click on any of the innumerable hashtags on her photos to see other beer-obsessed people, local and otherwise.
Background: This non-stop beer photographer is the creative director for downtown Fort Lauderdale's premier craft-beer spot, Tap 42.
Follow: @LaurenTap42 on Instagram
What it is: Here's a man who travels throughout the Sunshine State and tweets about its beers. Check Mike Ewart's Twitter feed if you're itching to go on an all-Florida brewpub crawl. On his website, he posts info about beer festivals and dinner pairings, and he reviews both breweries and specific beers.
Background: The beer craze hit North Florida sooner than it did South, and Ewart gets to explore those area's outputs thanks to his job, which he keeps private. The Miami resident tweets about events in South Florida, as well, so don't worry about using up vacation time.