There's no craft without art. In anything that takes skill and passion to create, like craft beer and painting--two of Wynwood's favorite things--you need a little bit of both. So it only makes sense that YOmiami and Wynwood Brewing Company got local artists together to design the murals for Wynwood Brew's new home, opening soon in the neighborhood from which it takes its name.
For the last few months, Yuval Ofir of YO and Luis Brignoni of Wynwood Brewing have been working on covering the production brewery's walls in colors and local talent. Wynwood well-knowns Claudio Picasso (CP1), Kazilla, Trek6 (New Times' Best Street Artist 2013), Ruben Ubiera (New Times' Best Street Artist 2012), Eva Ruiz, and other collaborating artists are currently in the process of putting up more than 10 murals in and around the building. Working with just a few loose guidelines (subject matter must be brew- or Miami-related), Trek6 and Picasso have completed some works, Ruiz is already underway, and Kazilla and Ubiera will begin their designs this week.
"We've been wanting to incorporate a lot of the Wynwood personality into our brewery...I've known Yuval for several years and know that he's very much involved with the local art scene, so I thought he would be the perfect person to help us," Brignoni sai. "We really have no budget and needed to find artists that would do the work for
practically nothing...In order for us to pay back the artists we promised that we would leave the art in place until after Basel and help them get exposure."
Ofir, having an extensive network of artistic friends and active desire to engage the cultural community, was able to round up Wynwood's talented locals and set up sketch meetings with Brignoni and Wynwood Brewing's team in order to narrow down their selection of artists.
The endeavor recently received a $1,000 grant from the Awesome Foundation, which distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants with the intention of "forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe." Ofir had initially applied online for the grant, but was not selected. Through a chance encounter with a foundation trustee at one of YO's Average Joe Sundays, Ofir successfully reapplied with a presentation of the project after setting up a meeting with the foundation's board.
"I had heard about it through social media, but I didn't end up as a finalist. One of the [Miami] chapter founders, Michelle Kucharczyk, ended up coming to one of the Average Joe Art Sales and she convinced me to give it another go," Ofir said. The grant goes to funding art supplies and any remainder will be put toward an event for the unveiling of the brewery's new look.
Wynwood Brewing only acquired its manufacturing license two weeks ago, but "started brewing immediately. We still have a few things to iron out with the tasting room, but that won't stop us from releasing our beers into the market," Brignoni said. With a 15-barrel brewhouse ready to churn out the goods, product distribution is set to begin Monday, September 23rd. Once everything is up and running, beer lovers can savor the brewery's signature malts such as La Rubia (blonde ale), Pop's Porter, Wynwood IPA, barrel aged Strong Ales, and Octopus on the Wall (a seasonal, imperial IPA).
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Ofir told New Times this is potentially the first of many collaborations between Wynwood Brewing Co. and the neighborhood's emerging artists. With its location in the heart of the Art District, there will be no shortage of creativity for future projects, or lager to help inspire more masterpieces.