A mere few years ago the Miami craft beer scene was represented by a handful of bars that served little more than Budweiser and Corona to a few thirsty souls.
But change happens and it happens quickly. Miami now has a healthy craft beer scene and a budding home brew movement. Misfits Home-Brewers club is the most vocal. Co-founders Robert Tejon, Neftali "Nifty" Medina, Jorge Garcia and Piero Rodriguez work hard to create and nurture the home brew community. Their club, formed in 2011, is a place for enthusiasts to share brews, recipes, and form a bond between beer brothers (and sisters). Their suds are also damn good and stand up to any commercial craft brewery in taste and quality.
Tejon is also the head brewer of the soon-to-open Gravity Brewlab in Wynwood, which we hope will be the catalyst to turn Miami into a major craft beer city. We'll drink to that!
The most influential person in my career has been:
I would have to say my wife is at the core of why I do what I do. She has allowed me to have a brewery inside our home instead of just a home brewery. I certainly can't leave out all the people in the Miami beer scene that have supported me in all my craziness.
When I'm alone and in need of comfort, (and no one is there to watch or judge), the one food or drink I turn to is:
A good old fashioned hamburger with all the fixins' plus more! "Egg on my hamburger? Why certainly!!"
What does Miami need more of?
We definitely need more groups like Misfit Home-Brewers. I think it's important for people to have a group of like-minded individuals who share the same passions as you do. Perfect examples being Moron Brothers, Subvert Ales, 4th Age, Most Wanted, Wynwood and J Wakefield Brewing.
You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it?
Trendy malted beverages that come in "exotic flavors"! You know who you are....
You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name and what do you serve?
Gravity Brewlab. We would brew and sell a whole lot of beer! Craft, of course.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully running my own brewery and having a staff to do all the hard work.
Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting?
Les Claypool (crazy); Rob Zombie (morbid and crazy); NWA (to keep things interesting); Michael Jackson (the beer hunter NOT the pop star); Leslie Chow (Hangover, needs no explanation); and Johnny Cash (the man in black).
New Times' Best of Miami 2013 issue arrives June 13. To celebrate, Short Order is serving up the top 30 tastemakers in the 305. These people have helped shape the Miami food scene into what it is today. We began with number 30 and will lead up to the county's number one. A Q&A session is included in each post.
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