Address: 2817 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
If you’ve ever hung out in Wynwood at one time or another you’ve probably passed through the doors of BXLDR Craft Beer MKT; either you showed up for one of their many tap takeovers (from local to out of state craft breweries), their weekly Friday 4PM shotgun happy hour or just to meet up with some friends, their extensive selection of craft beer on tap or in the bottle ensures you were going to have a great time.
But before we get into the space itself, you need to get to know the people behind the brand and I have the pleasure of personally knowing Adam & Nicole Darnell, and will give you the story of how BXLDR came to be!
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… well not really, this was back in the 90’s; Maurice Darnell (Adam’s father) who had a career as a school principal loved home brewing on his time off and would do so on his time off during summer breaks. Maurice had some family that lived in Colorado Springs, and aside from visiting them from time to time, he one summer called out to several breweries in the surrounding area and found one that would take him on for some free labor. So for a couple of weeks during that summer, he spent some time working within a brewery learning about and growing his love of beer. Now, this was prior to the craft beer bubble burst and the brewery, whose name has been lost in the sands of time, was in the process of converting a bunch of dairy tanks to fermenters (this was also before you could order large scale brewing equipment). So as you may categorize Maurice as an amateur brewer, he definitely had his eye towards doing more in the world of beer.
That was one trait that carried over to a younger Adam; seeing his fathers love for beer definitely planted a seed that would sprout in the form of Box Elder in the future! Before Adam had any dreams of opening up a craft beer supermarket he had just moved back to Denver after finishing university in Arizona and was bartending and doing some graphic design work on the side just as a means to make some money. He would frequent Palettes, which was a restaurant in the Denver Art Museum, after work which coincidentally his brother, Josh Darnell, was the manager of. As fate would have it, Nicole worked in the installation department of the same museum and would frequent Palettes after work as well. One thing led to another and before they knew it, they ended up together and made plans to move down to Miami.
While down here in Miami, Adam bartended at the Abbey Brewing Company and also built exhibits at the Museum of Science while Nicole worked at the Museum of Contemporary Art-North Miami and managed a private art collection there. After spending some time just working, they were both hired on by the Friedman Benda gallery in New York as they were tasked to help the gallery move from the Upper East Side to a four floor, 40,000 SQFT building in Chelsea.
Now this is the point in the story where that seed that his father planted started to sprout. Around 2010 Adam & Nicole had been looking for space to open a craft beer bar in the East Village or the Lower East Side, but it was always something; they never found the right location, price, etc. But EVERYTHING happens for a reason; Nicole had been offered a job back in Miami and at that point, with no leads towards a space they felt happy about procuring, they decided it would be a better option to move back down to Miami and open up their craft beer space there.
Nicole moved down to Miami first and Adam stayed back in New York while they saved every penny they could to make it one step closer towards their goal. As luck would have it that lasted just shy of a year and Adam was able to move down to Miami as well. Reunited, the hunt for the perfect space continued; unfortunately during this time, Nicole’s father had been diagnosed with a rare anaplastic thyroid cancer and had passed a couple months later (R.I.P.). They had been reeling from their loss and decided that life is too short; so they decided to take a break from the constant search for their new space and decided to travel to South America since it is something they had talked about and just let themselves LIVE for about 3 months.
After returning home to Miami, and as stated earlier that everything works out for a reason, they found their perfect space in Wynwood (where BXLDR stands today) and opened their doors to all their loving patrons in 2015. A childhood friend of Nicole’s, who shes known since she was about 4 or 5, designed the graphic for the BXLDR logo and after asking Adam why BXLDR (pronounced BOX ELDER) he responded with it was the name of a canyon in Wyoming near where he grew up and where him and his family would always go to hike, camp and fish.
If you have yet to visit, I can tell you from experience that it is a dope space with HUGE vibes. There are some spaces you’ll find that exude a certain type of quality, but the chill, kickback, happy vibes you’ll catch when you walk into this space couldn’t represent Adam and Nicole more. You’ll more than likely catch Adam there most of the time and he will more than likely engage you with great conversation, a huge smile and a GREAT tasting beer, no matter what your taste. Hell, with 500+ beers to choose from in bottle and on draft, you will definitely be able to find a beer you like; and probably find some new ones you enjoy as well!
They offer weekly events such as: free pizza Mondays, shotgun happy hour at 4:00PM on Fridays & @elbagel food truck on Saturdays & popcorn in store. They also have submitted for a catering license to the city to get you even more food goodies as well!
And be on the lookout! BXLDR currently has plans submitted to the city to update/grow the bier garden in the back of the space to host even more/bigger events in the future.