Brew at the Zoo 2015 Goes Local With Craft Beer and Homebrewers

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The sixth-annual Miami New Times' Brew at the Zoo (BATZ) will take over Zoo Miami Saturday, May 9. This year's edition promises to be wilder than ever. The Magic City has embraced the craft beer scene, and so has Brew at the Zoo, with more craft breweries, food, and music, and than ever before.

From 8 to 11 p.m., enjoy unlimited samplings from participating craft breweries, including 3 Daughters, Aviation Brewing Co., Big Storm Brewing, Concrete Beach Brewery, Darwin Brewing Co., Florida Avenue Brewing, Gravity Brewlab, Miami Brewing Co., Islamorada Beer Co., Legacy Caribbean Craft Brewery, Motorworks Brewing, Nelsito's Brew, Orlando Brewing, Saint Arnold Brewing, and Spanish Marie, with many others joining the list daily. In addition to beer, great food will be available for purchase in the general-admission area, and VIPs will receive a complimentary array of delicious offerings. While you're downing your fill of craft beers, ciders, and ales, you'll enjoy live concerts by Locos Por Juana and tribute band U2 by UV (you'll swear that's Bono singing onstage).

Miami's local beer scene is in full swing, and most of Miami's best local breweries, such as Concrete Beach, Miami Brewing Co., J. Wakefield, and Wynwood, will be represented. In addition, some of our best up-and-coming homebrewers will be at BATZ to share their best beers. These brewers, many of whom plan to expand to full-scale breweries in the coming months, are the future of the South Florida beer scene, proving that Miami's craft beer community will get only bigger and better.

Here are a few of the homebrewers that will be at Brew at the Zoo:

Nelsito's Brew
Nelson Torres and Yary de los Rios began brewing less than a year ago, but the two already has a following for their beers that incorporate local flavors. Torres calls Nelsito's Brew a "condo brewer," but they aspire to open a brewery and taproom. Torres says, "Yary and I are still working on perfecting beer recipes and are brewing beer for fun and as a hobby." At BATZ, Nelsito's will feature El Tamarindo, a tamarind ale, and will also pour a sugarcane brown ale, a grapefruit IPA, and a black IPA. 

Legacy Caribbean Craft Brewery
Legacy Caribbean Craft Brewery is a small production brewery based in Opa-locka. It features full-flavored, well-balanced Caribbean-inspired craft beer using fresh fruits. Brewmaster Ismael Fernandez, assisted by his younger brother Hector Gonzalez, will feature a host of beers this Saturday, including the Diaz Legacy, a Belgian blonde made with strawberries, bananas, and peaches; the Humble Noble, a session IPA made with pineapple; Tallulah, a Belgian wheat ale; and Doña Rosa, a summer porch pounder made with guava. 

Hialeah Brewing Company
Eric and Ally are the brewmasters behind Hialeah Brewing Company. As with most startups, they're also in charge of everything else from marketing to business management. The duo is currently hoping to find investors to fund their project and a location within the city's Leah Arts District. The brewers' styles are eclectic — ranging from a classic light beer to some funky experimental brews. As Eric puts it, "We brew everything from wheats to stouts, and utilize all sorts of tropical flavors such as mango, passion fruit, and even coffee to brew our beers." The co-founder of Hialeah Brewing adds, "We are a product of our community and couldn't find a better way to give back than to brew beer with the flavors we grew up eating like arroz con leche, flan, coladas, and pastelitos de guayaba. Cheers to the future and to the great city of Hialeah!"  BATZ attendees will be able to sample their Desayuno, a guava and coffee stout; Homestead Cougar, a basil and habanero porter; Hialeah IPA; Bro, a chai tea porter; and others. 

Spanish Marie Craft Beer and Pairings
Spanish Marie is unique in that the company brews its beers to pair with fine chocolates and desserts that the partners make themselves. For instance, their 3 'N Out APA is paired with a lemon curd cream, while a black IPA is best savored with a chocolate pot de creme with roasted malt topping; King Charles Passion Fruit Hefe goes well with tart and sweet passionfruit gummy candy; and coffee porter is paired with salted caramel. Try them all at Brew at the Zoo. Cofounder Alberto Cespedes says the team is looking into finalizing a location for their brewery and taproom, which will be a unique addition to Miami's beer scene. 

General admission tickets to Brew at the Zoo cost $40 in advance and $50 at the gate; GA tickets include unlimited local and international beer samplings from 100-plus breweries, along with and homebrews and craft beers. 

Beer geeks will love the Brewmaster ticket option: $70 ($80 at the gate) gets you early entrance to the event at 7 p.m., along with a special commemorative pilsner glass and a bag available only to Brewmaster ticketholders. You'll also have access to exclusive beer tappings available to Brewmaster and VIP ticketholders.

Or go wild with VIP tickets: $80 ($90 at the gate) gets you early entry to Brew at the Zoo at 7 p.m., animal encounters, complimentary food, full-size beers, and special spirit samplings. Tickets can be purchased online at newtimesbrewatthezoo.com until May 9. 

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