PREFIX: Extending North from Miami Beach to Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, this Atlantic Ocean vacation haven offered no local brews after many annual trips in ‘70s and ‘80s. In February ’03, discovered Ybor Gold Lager in Fort Lauderdale, though respective Floridian brew originates from cross-coast Gulf of Mexico paradise, Tampa. Happily, a large selection of out-of-state/ international brews could be found at 153 family-owned ABC Fine Wine liquor stores throughout area.

Revisited flourishing Southern seaboard in sunny January ’08, discovering a few inspiring brewpubs that’d sprung up since ’99.

Opened since 1999 and serving Coral Gables’ University of Miami campus, THE TITANIC is a snug midsize pub with green-yellow exterior, maroon-walled interior, copper-wood furnishings, expansive Americana-cajun menu, and front-sided bar-backed glass-encased brew tanks. Current brewer Steve Copeland joined me at left side bar as I got acquainted with his well-rounded fare, passing along a lovely Finnish bottled beer, Huvila Sahti (reviewed in Beer Index), as a splendid nicety.

Though German-styled spice-tingled citric-tart white-breaded light body Triple Screw Light Ale only satisfies amateurs, floral-fruited cedar-licked Britannic Best Bitter and biscuit-y cereal-grained dried-fruited Captain Smith’s Rye were smarter alternatives.

Better still were lemon-candied, citric-peeled, candi-sugared, corn-syrupy, curacao orange-tinged Triple Reserve Belgian Ale, mild pale-malted fig-spiced date-soured grapefruit-embittered Poinsettia Red Ale, and resilient piney-hopped, orange-grapefruit-glistened, lemon rind-dried White Star India Pale Ale.

On the darker side, coffee-grounded walnut-charred tobacco-burnt fig-soured Boiler Room Nut Brown sufficed while sweet brown chocolate-y hazelnut-smoked hop-roasted Oatmeal Stout rocked like the Hurricanes.

For great bottled selection, try nearby Dixie Highway’s Crown Wine & Spirits, where purchaser Jeffrey Silva keeps shelves packed with sundry microbrews and imports.

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