Miami Beer Festival at Marlins Park Taps Into the Miami Brewing Community

Two of the beers that Lincoln's Beard Brewing Company will pour at the Miami Beer Festival are Big Whiskey brown ale and Rosebud old ale.
Two of the beers that Lincoln's Beard Brewing Company will pour at the Miami Beer Festival are Big Whiskey brown ale and Rosebud old ale.
Courtesy of John Falco

The fourth-annual Miami Beer Festival will take place this Saturday. Are you pumped? If you enjoy beer or appreciate the hard work that goes into hyperlocal homebrews, you should be. 

The festival will be held once again at Marlins Park, this Saturday, January 30, featuring breweries from all U.S. coasts and across Florida, as well as some of the most unique backyard beers brewed on nothing but small pilot systems in a garage somewhere in a Miami. 

Here you'll find brewers going buck wild with experimentation and find beers you'd expect only in a place like Miami, like Hialeah Brewing Company's "world's first" barrel-aged flan stout and Descarga Brewing Company's Palero — a porter aged with palo santo wood. 

It seems like a beer fest is held in South Florida nearly every month, but this festival really taps into the Miami brewing community. "If you're a real beer-head, you go to the Miami Beer Festival, Lincoln's Beard Brewing Company owner John Falco says. "It's where everyone pours their best."

Falco is particularly excited about the barrel-aged beers he'll pour: Big Whiskey, a brown ale whose name references the movie Unforgiven; and Rosebud, an 11 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) old ale whose name references the movieCitizen Kane. Both are aged in barrels from Waco, Texas' Balcones Distilling, which ages whiskey distilled from heirloom blue corn. Falco says the barrels are popular in the homebrewing world. 

He'll also pour three Lincoln's Beard flagships: Avenge Me, a classic dry Irish red; P. Swayze, IPA; and Witch King imperial stout. To complete the alcohol-induced tribute to the late Patrick Swayze, the brewery owner will also offer Bodhi's Last Wave double IPA, a nod to the actor's classic surfer film, Point Break. 

Hialeah Brewing Company: Porque tu tan sexy?
Hialeah Brewing Company: Porque tu tan sexy?
Photo by Laine Doss

Other breweries to look for: 

King Fox Brewery: This "brewery in planning" hopes to open somewhere in the Miami/South Florida area and specializes in rustic, wild, funky, and hoppy ales.

Hialeah Brewing Company: The beer that's born in Hialeah is bringing a barrel-aged flan stout, along with a porter called Porque Tu Tan Sexy, meaning "Why are you so sexy?" If you're from Hialeah, you get the reference.

Descarga Brewing Company: With a brewery planned for Hallandale Beach, Descarga will pour Palero and El Guije, a 9.4 percent ABV black IPA aged on Jack Daniel's oak staves. 

Micro Mammoth Brewing Company: Another Hollywood-obsessed brewery, Micro Mammoth will offer the Sarah Jessica Parker II, an "extremely experimental" sour ale fermented with acetobacter yeast; infused with roses, cherries, hibiscus flower, lemon peel, and cranberry; and aged in amaretto-treated oak barrels. The brewery will also pour a 5.2 percent ABV blackberry mojito gose by the name She Doesn't Even Gose Here. 

Spanish Marie Craft Beer and Pairings: This brewery is also in its planning stages. Co-owner Alberto Cespedes tells the New Times that he and his brewery partners have a location picked out, but they're still going through the permitting phase. Not your typical brewery, it's a prohibition/speakeasy concept that specializes in craft beer parings — typically with sweets, although Cespedes says that will eventually change. Spanish Marie is not bringing any pairings to the festival, although they will bring a King Charlie's Hefeweizen, a Passionfruit infused Hefeweizen, and Speakeasy Nitro Stout, a dark stout with chocolate notes, and VIPs get it paired with vanilla bean ice cream. 

Miami Area Society of Homebrewers (MASH): MASH, a collective of Miami guys who've been brewing backyard beers for decades, is bringing several beers including a hop-infused perry with caramel and Champagne ciders, a pub mild ale, a  smash pale, a citra wheat, and a pair of hoppy pilsners.

There's also the opportunity to get to know local breweries already established, such as Doral's MIA Brewing, Miami Brewing Company, Concrete Beach Brewery, Biscayne Bay Brewing Company, and Gravity Brewlab, plus many from Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties. 

The festival is a chance to get a sneak peek of some of these homebrewers who attempt to turn their passion into profit by establishing a brewery somewhere in the area. But it's not all about money, as Falco tried to prove when he offered to buy beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB-InBev) for only $26,000. Let's be honest — the company never would've taken the offer. But Falco's gesture a testament to the character of local breweries that he and many others think beer conglomerates are lacking. 

Falco and his brewery partners are gearing up for opening and says he's progressing past the permitting phase. This Friday, he'll launch an online crowdfunding campaign, and he's about to put out a call for local artists to paint the first mural on the brewery he plans to open near Bird Road and the Palmetto Expressway. 

Beers will be poured at the Miami Beer Festival from 5 to 9 p.m. at Marlins Park this Saturday, January 30. In addition to offering beer, the festival will also feature DJs, food trucks, and games. Tickets cost $40 for general admission and $50 for VIP, which gets you an extra hour starting at 5 p.m., and can be purchased at miamibeerfestival.com

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