Named one of Hop Culture magazine's 15 Best Breweries to Watch in 2019, Unseen Creatures Brewing & Blending is set to open in the next few weeks. According to husband-and-wife team and cofounders Marco and Victoria Leyte-Vidal, construction is wrapping up at the taproom, which is projected to open in mid- to late December.
Marco says the idea to open a brewery came from his passion for the winemaking process. “When I started drinking, I was almost exclusively a wine drinker,” he says. “I loved the story of wine from start to finish — meaning that before they could even start to produce the wine, they would have to care for the soil, the vines, the grapes, and only after all that had been tended to, would they be able to begin the process of making wine. It was romantic to me, and I fell in love with the idea that a beverage could tell a story and bring about purpose.”
Because owning a vineyard would mean moving out of South Florida, Marco began researching breweries and hosting live conversations on his YouTube channel, Craft Commander, with brewers and brewery owners who had a story to tell about themselves through their beer.
Through his channel, Marco learned more about beer and cultivated friendships with brewers, many of whom were the inspiration and motivation behind the opening of Unseen Creatures. “All of our friends at other breweries have been so gracious with their time and knowledge. I am extremely appreciative and grateful to be joining such a unique and welcoming community.”
Marco began tweaking beer recipes little by little, changing things based on what he would want in an everyday drinking beer. Soon his wife Vicky, an accountant by trade, joined the fledgling beer-making business. Her background allowed Marco to concoct recipes while she crunched numbers. “If it wasn’t for Vicky’s ability to create the parameters that we needed to play within, this project would have never gotten off the ground,” Marco says.
The couple set about creating a business plan and pitching it to potential investors. They came up with the name "Unseen Creatures" as a tribute to the tiny yeast and bacteria that play a central part in the beer-making process. They also began to look at properties, and when they found a space a block from Lincoln's Beard Brewery in 2018, they jumped on it. After dealing with buildout delays and inspections, they're finally reaching the endgame now that the taproom's opening is just a few weeks away.
When it debuts, Unseen Creatures will offer a 15-tap system, pouring a signature IPA named Pursuance and collaborative and guest beers from industry friends. Early on, the brewery will release bottles of its collaboration with Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales — Disambiguation — and will offer other bottled collaborations available exclusively in the tasting room.
Plus, Unseen Creatures will offer a rotating lineup of food trucks. And guests will be allowed to bring food to the taproom or have it delivered.
Unseen Creatures Brewing & Blending. 4178 SW 74th Ct., Miami; unseencreatures.com. Opening mid- to late December 2019.