By Shawndra Russell
The Daytona Beach area has plenty of biker bars slinging the megabreweries’ yellow fizz, but there are a surprising number of bars and restaurants that just say no to bland and feature plenty of great choices. Here’s how to cruise through Daytona on a craft beer mission.
Being in Daytona Beach, why not ease into the day by posting up at Ocean Deck, a large beach bar that has nearly two dozen brews on tap and tasty alligator bites. Their lemony tang pairs well with stronger beers that can stand up to the flavor. Sit outside to stick your toes in the sand or sit in the open-air interior to be amused by the crazy signage and quotes.
At first glance, Ormond Wine Co. looks like a wine bar. But under further inspection, you’ll find that they have a solid craft beer and retail menu with over 100 selections—some rare and sure to be new-to-you. Plus, they have gourmet food that pairs well with the high-end suds they serve. Their cheese plates are fantastic, with your choice of 12 cheeses like the Midnight Moon Aged Goat (highly recommend!) and Mango & Ginger White Stilton. Ask your bartender to help you pair appropriate beers with these and they’ll be happy to geek out with you. I also love their flatbreads, like the Duck and Blue or Chorizo & Chicken. Take a pick-six pack of craft beers to-go in case you want to enjoy some late night.
Keep the classy vibe going with a stop at Fletcher’s Cigar Bar & Social. This tiny space only seats about 20—partly because the large, walk-in humidor takes up half the interior. They have 20 quality taps including Belgian, English, IPA, Fruit, Stout, and America style choices and a baby grand piano flanked by plush leather chairs. You’ll feel VIP here.
Now head to McK’s Tavern, a raucous bar in Daytona with a flair for all things Irish. They have a huge beer menu and an owner that’s a certified beer geek, so saddle up to the bar if you want to talk suds with the knowledgeable staff. The 42 taps are sure to host something you haven’t experienced before, and be sure to check their Facebook page for the latest goings-on, like tap takeovers, 2-4-1 nights, and live Irish music.
Daytona Taproom is serious about its beers—well maybe serious isn’t the right word to describe a place that serves daily beer shakes and replaces buns with waffles and doughnuts for their burgers. Nevertheless, their 50-tap setup has people talking…perhaps not as much as crazy concoctions like their Randall: Green Room Pale Ale infused with glazed donuts, cinnamon sticks and hops. Yowza! Dessert is served.
Photo by Daytona Taproom
If you’ve still got some pep in your step, stop by Robbie O’Connell’s. This Irish-themed spot has some bar sports that pair nicely with their Guinness poured the right way and plenty of Belgian choices, like Kwak served in its signature glass held in a crazy-looking wooden stand.
Shawndra is a digital strategist that helps small businesses tackle their social media and the Savannah correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide. Read about her services and work at www.shawndrarussell.com.