"Good food and good beer always pair together." Ryan Brooks, owner of The Mighty, a restaurant/bar just outside of Miami's historic Little Havana, is on to something. This place isn't about frills, although it is really nice, modern, and clean, squeaky clean actually, and it's not about Ryan, who seemingly wanted nothing to do with our camera, it's about letting the food and the beer do the talking. And it does.
Ryan's love of craft beer began when he drank a 21A IPA from 21st Amendment Brewery, a place he would eventually work at and continue to grow his passion. He soon found himself running out to bars around the city after hours to get his hands on the latest Belgian import or newest release from one of San Francisco's various breweries. For those who have never been to San Francisco, it is a place where you can eat at a different restaurant (a good restaurant) and find a good beer in a different restaurant every day of your life without hitting the same one twice. It's a place that puts emphasis on what's on the plate or in the glass and not so much on whether the wall art is going to be considered trendy by Vogue magazine. Most of all, it's place where anyone can get a great meal and a great beer without spending a fortune. This is what Ryan wanted to bring to Miami. We think he did. We're happy he did.
This is a place that was created to be approachable. From the chalk board wall to the pool table, the design screams "Come in! Relax! Try our sausages!" The sausages, made from scratch, in house, are fantastic. Everything from the "Chicken Gorgonzola Mango" to the "Sausage of the Sea" which holds salmon, octopus, sea scallops, and roasted peppers, is phenomenal. Served with homemade sauces and their homemade mustard, which for mustard fans (weird to call yourself a "mustard fan") is a must have. Most importantly, the sausages pair really well with the selection of beers that Ryan has. Tonight I had Cigar City Brewing's Hornswoggled, a red ale aged with oak and vanilla and served on nitro, but take your pick there's plenty to choose from.
But where The Mighty shines is its great list of saisons, sours, belgians, and other hard to find and very interesting beers. Best of all is the knowledge of what they have and why they are selling it. Ensuring that the Belgians and saisons stay on the menu because "they are great 'food beers'" is a concept that most restaurants don't understand but The Mighty embraces. You come here to try something new and to learn something new about beer, and Ryan says that most of the customers come in to The Mighty with open minds and lots of questions. Questions are good - questions mean that craft beer is only continuing to grow because it means that people are really starting to care. More than a "I got the rarest bottle of beer and I'm not sharing" kind of care, but a similar appreciation of craft beer as to wine. More like: understanding the processes that go into making the beer that you're about to drink and understanding the flavor profiles that will make your meal more pleasurable. And Ryan credits local breweries like Wynwood Brewing and Funky Buddha for educating the consumer down here - of course, you can always find their beers on tap at The Mighty.
The Mighty opened its doors with a bit of blind faith. Not knowing exactly what the Miami consumer would want to drink or whether this kind of place could survive in a market dominated by big chains and big beer. Yet, only a couple months in and things are going well. It's a sign that craft beer is garnering the attention it deserves at the table. It's a sign that people are opening their noses, palates, and minds to new experiences with their food and beer.
While we're still a far cry from the established beer and food culture that Ryan left behind in San Francisco, places like The Mighty are pushing our city in that direction. Serving craft beer, sausages, and stiff drink, The Mighty is one place you should definitely stop by.
To get to The Mighty: 2224 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145
Contact The Mighty: