Wynwood is certainly becoming Miami's mecca for beer. Wynwood Brewing Company has been serving up beer and tours for months, while Concrete Beach and J. Wakefield are working on their respective venues. Next on tap, however, is Boxelder Craft Beer Market, a craft beer purveyor set to open in Wynwood this fall.
The craft beer market and tap room is the brainchild of husband-and-wife duo Nicole and Adam Darnell, two professionals in the art industry who decided to pursue their mutual lifelong love of beer. Even the name of their market relates to the growing beer scene in Wynwood.
See also: MIA Brewing Company Opens for Production
Nicole Darnell explains that Boxelder, a type of maple tree, was placed on Florida's waterbanks because of its quick growth of an intricate root system. She explains that, "the boxelder would allow other trees and plants to grow quickly. We thought that was a great metaphor for what's happening in Miami's beer scene. A few pioneering places, like Wynwood Brewing Company, are paving the way for Miami's craft beer scene to really flourish."
Nicole Darnell, a fourth generation Floridian, says that she and husband, Adam, are both passionate about beer, but Adam is the one with hands-on experience. "We both worked in the art world for a very long time, but even before that, Adam grew up brewing beer with his father out west. Then, we moved to Miami in 2000, and Adam worked as a bartender at The Abbey. We both tinker with beer at home, and the appreciation of beer culture is something we both love. It was a decision on both of our parts to leave the art world to be a part of the craft beer world."
Darnell adds that she loves that Wynwood brings the art and beer world together.
"This is the epicenter; what's happening in Wynwood is amazing. Wynwood Brewing are the pioneers in the neighborhood, and we are proud to have them as friends. Wynwood went from this edgy, artsy neighborhood to having an amazing craft beer scene. It's the best of both worlds."
The Wynwood shop, located on NW Second Ave., is scheduled to open in October, and will feature over 100 bottles of beer and about a dozen beers on tap. Nicole, who calls herself and her husband "craft beer provisioners," said Boxelder will feature a beautiful bar where people can enjoy a beer or two as well as taking home beers in bottles and growlers.
The beer selection will showcase local brewers, as well as interesting craft beers from breweries worldwide. "We're going to try to be as eclectic as possible. We're going to support a lot of South Florida brewers, because we want them to be as successful as possible, but we also want people to be able to come in and try something they haven't tasted before." Adam, by the way, will be the primary curator of the beers available at Boxelder.
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In addition to drinking, Nicole wants people to know there's a rich history -- and science -- behind what's in that pint glass. "We want people to experience everything beer has to offer, and that includes the educational aspect of beer. We love the science behind beer. Adam has spoken to a local professor of biochemistry, because we want to have a talk about the chemical reaction that happens when yeast is introduced. Beer is not just about drinking. It's been around for thousands of years and there's something really magical about it."
After all that beer-geek talk, Nicole assures us that there's nothing intimidating about beer -- or Boxelder. "I don't want to sound too 'hippy-ish,' but we want to be a place that the breweries can highlight new releases and the entire community can come together. We want to be that center point. If you're new to beer, Adam and I will be behind the bar to help you pick the perfect beer. We'll do tap takeovers so people can try something new and different. We're not promoting any one type of beer. We like all beer. If it happens to be from our local buddies in Wynwood or Due South or MIA, great -- but if there's something amazing out there, we want to share it with Miami."