The Happy Hour Hundred
Story and photos by Kyle Jenkins
Are you ever disappointed with the short line of beer taps at a bar? The row of brews ends just as soon as it begins. Typically, the line-up goes something like this: Miller Lite, Bud Light, Blue Moon, Sam Adams, and Coors Lite. With such a small amount of brands to choose from one would think that at least one of the beers would be of decent quality. Fortunately, you can be disappointed no longer. At Merrick Park’s The Yard House, one-hundred different brands of beer on tap wrap the inner bar, waiting to be poured for your drinking pleasure.
On a Wednesday afternoon, at five o’clock the Yard House hosts a modest crowd, most of which are running their fingers down the seemingly endless list of beers on the menu in hope of discovering a new favorite. While certainly not empty, the Yard House has a lively enough crowd for socializing which is nonetheless light enough to maintain a satisfyingly laid back atmosphere. The bar is an impressively large oval structure, which is complemented by the one-hundred beer taps that wrap around full circle inside of it. Several customers are drinking the “Six Pack,” which could only be referred to as an ‘appetizer’ of six beers served in six large shot glasses. The dim lighting creates a relaxed aura and several trays of discounted appetizers are being run to eager customers. This is what a happy hour should be: laid back, appetizing, and a wonderland of alcoholic beverages.
Now let’s move on to the Happy Hour menu. Half-priced appetizers include items such as the crispy Fried Calamari, the Firecracker Wings, Chinese Garlic Noodles (not recommended if on a date, garlic will own your breath all day), the Onion Ring Tower, Grilled Jamaican Wings, and the salty Chilled Edamame dish. Select half-priced pizzas include the BBQ Chicken Pizza, the Four Cheese Pizza, the Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza, the Margherita Pizza, the Ham and Pineapple Pizza, and the Spicy Thai Chicken Pizza. Amongst the Happy Hour drink specials there is a selection of discounted Martinis and Beers. Domestic pints are $3.50, Craft/Import pints are $4.25, Well drinks are $4.25, House Martinis are $6.00, and Wine by the glass is $2.00 off. Additionally, beer with enough of an alcoholic kick to be served in a goblet is between $4.75 and $5.00.
As a beer aficionado I would like to recommend several different brews available at The Yard House. A solid amber ale by the name of “Lost Coast Alleycat Amber” is a tasty beer that contains a well-rounded hoppiness topped with a slight touch of malts. “Lost Coast” also makes a brown ale called “Lost Coast Downtown Brown” which is exceptional as is the more commercial “Newcastle” brown ale. If you dig white wheat ales I suggest the “Hoegaarden White,” which is an unfiltered Belgian wheat ale with a sweet and crisp finish. Lastly, if you are into hoppy, spicier beers such as Indian Pale Ales then the best is the “Dogfish Head IPA.” Overall, I have yet to find another bar with a finer selection of beers.
Ultimately, amongst the tasty appetizers, the tranquil atmosphere, and the friendly staff The Yard House at Merrick Park offers one of the most enjoyable happy hours in Coral Gables. Additionally, The Yard House has a satisfyingly long happy hour, which runs from three p.m. until six p.m. Monday through Friday and from ten p.m. until close Sunday through Wednesday. Nonetheless, despite these tempting characteristics, the jaw-dropping selection of one-hundred domestic and import beers holds the spotlight front and center. Therefore, The Yard House offers one of few happy hours where you will discover something new every time the hand ticks forward to three o’clock.
VILLAGE OF MERRICK PARK
320 San Lorenzo Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone: (305) 447-9273 | Fax: (305) 447-9274