Miami's craft beer scene is very much alive and growing. It seems locals are realizing beer was made for more than just frat parties or $10 buckets. We now see it should be appreciated with the same respect as a fine red wine. No, really.
Jacob Lindsay, owner of Daddy Brews, is not shy to tell you why Corona sucks or that Blue Moon does not qualify as a "craft" beer. That being said, he's not a beer snob; he's just interested in teaching the community how to evaluate craft beer and, more importantly, brew their own at home. Since opening in September, he's been teaching weekly classes that originally were free, but now come with a $25 price tag. With complimentary tastings and a comprehensive overview of the brewing process, it comes as no surprise that these sessions sell out every weekend.
On this particular day, Lindsay moved the class that's regularly outside to the inside of his warehouse-turned-home brew supply store. As summer temps heat up, we hope this becomes his go-to arrangement. The type of beer being brewed changes with each class and ranges from IPAs and Hefeweizens to Nutty Brown or Red Ales. The three-hour session covers the brewing process from beginning with the grain bag to bottling the finished product. During the session, Lindsay talks about the supplies needed and where to find them in the store, the means by which you can get different flavor profiles in your own beer at home, and his own experiences brewing and interacting with fellow brewers.
Did we mention samples? There are those, too. Daddy Brews makes plenty of beer but doesn't have its manufacturing license, which means you can't buy beer -- but they can give out lots for free. From an aromatic Belgian Strong Ale to beer filtered through a hollowed-out watermelon, you never know what you're going to get, and chances are it's going to be unique and delicious.
If you can't make it to class, you can stop in the store throughout the week. His staff is full of avid home brewers that can help any novice buy all the equipment they need to start, or help someone who's already in business fine tune a recipe or get new ideas.
Lindsay's business has grown along with our craft beer scene and he shows no sign of slowing down. His more immediate plans include going back to his restaurant roots and opening up a tapas brew pub within a year, in the same neighborhood as his store. After that, a brewery will be in the works so he can sell all the great beer he is making to the masses.
Lindsay is also a member of the Miami Brewers Alliance (MBA). Formed last month, it's a "non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth and importance of South Florida's Craft Beer Industry." In other words, these people are trying to guarantee our craft beer scene stays alive.
This Saturday, Daddy Brews and the MBA are hosting the "Art of Brew," a part beer and part art festival taking place within the Bird Road Art District. Tickets are $20 and can be bought at eventbrite.com.
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To take a look at Daddy Brews' class schedule and upcoming events, visit the Daddy Brews website here.
Connect with Cassie Glenn on Twitter @cassieinmiami.