Miami is not known for being a "beer town." We're not in the mountains of Colorado, but in the tropics. Visitors and locals are so hot and sweaty that we prefer frozen drinks with tiny umbrellas by the pool, right? Thankfully, for those of us who like taste options, not anymore. Over the past few years, craft beers have been popping up in fridges all over town, from the Abbey to Lester's. You pretty much can buy Chimay at the corner bodega these days. It's just so refreshing.
Luis Brignoni, who's heading up a beer venture right here in the busy, burgeoning art center of Wynwood, spoke with us about Wynwood Brewing Company. Though we'll have to wait about a year to taste the product, he told a bit about what to expect.
New Times: How'd the idea come about to put a brewery in Wynwood?
Luis Brignoni: We decided to go into Wynwood because of the community. I love what Wynwood stands for and feel that our beers and values are very much in line with that of Wynwood. We may not necessarily paint on a canvas or create a sculpture, but we certainly handcraft our beers with a passion.
Is this a grassroots venture, or part of a larger brewing company?
This is most definitely a grassroots venture, as most craft breweries around the country are. This is a family venture and plan on being a community based company and will rely heavily on word of mouth and social media.
Florida's not known for its breweries, at all, do you feel like you're pioneers?
As a start up you are always a pioneer. The time is right for a local brewery to produce great beers for Miami and all beer lovers.
What kinds of beer will you be brewing? Will you have a specialty?
Anything from a very light lager to some radical beers for the beer lovers in South Florida. We are thinking of starting with a nice light ale for those hot days we have in Miami that has great drinkability but does not sacrifice in flavor and body, a Black IPA and a Scotch or Strong Ale.
Where is the brewery located exactly?
We currently do not have a location but we are working to secure the perfect location for us.
When do you expect to open?
We expect to be open by March of next year. Our permitting and licensing process takes quite a long time, so it all depends on that. Once we are ready to go, we will be having a nice grand opening ceremony.
Do you plan on selling to local outlets mostly, or nationally or internationally?
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Our plan is to build a strong base here in Miami. As I mentioned, we are a community-based company and we want to plant our roots deep here. We will look to distribute in the state of Florida and eventually nationally. We want to be a flagship for this great city, and the Wynwood area demonstrating craftsmanship, community consciousness and social responsibility.
Can you tell us a little about your head brewer?
We are currently working on the employment contract so I cannot reveal just yet who he is. However, I can say that he has over twenty-five years of experience in brewing and working in the industry. He was the mastermind and founder of large regional brewery. He contacted me when I posted an ad that I was looking for a head brewer for my project here in Miami. He knows the market very well and wants to bring a great brewery to Miami. It was a perfect match from the start.