Beer & Wine

Craft-Only Greater Miami Beer Fest at Miami Airport Convention Center Tomorrow

It seems that Miamians are enjoying no shortage of beer festivals these days. But Daddy Brews owner Jacob Lindsay wants to change it up a little. 

On Saturday, Lindsay is throwing a craft beer-only festival at the Miami Airport Convention Center. That means no Bud Light Platinum, Blue Moon, Shock Top, or anything of the ilk. Not that anyone shouldn't drink them, according to Lindsay. 

"I don't consider Blue Moon or Shock Top to be craft beers," he said. "I like them as a craft brewer because they are good starter beers. It shows that beer has more flavor than diacetyl."

Diacetyl is a chemical with an intensely buttery flavor that's an ingredient in some beers, particularly in the big brands, Lindsay says. And he'll have none of it at his festival. 

Instead, the festival will feature more than 65 local and not-so-local craft brewing companies. Some even from countries across the Atlantic Ocean, like Belgium. He spent more than a year making calls, rounding up brewers, and brewing a few kegs of his own. 

Lindsay and CerveTech's Nick Armada began cellaring beers for the festival last year. What they're putting on tap seems like decadence akin to something out of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Like MoL?, which is a Russian imperial stout with over 28 ingredients aged in Bourbon barrels with Ecuadorian cocoa nibs, Tahitian vanilla beans, locally grown Thai chili peppers and Ecuadorian coffee beans roasted by Relentless Roasters. It's a recipe that Lindsay says took him 10 years to perfect. He only made one barrel (31.5 gallons) and it'll be poured in the tasting room.

The collaboration itself between Daddy Brews and CerveTech is bringing more than 20 beers. There will be more than 250 beers at the festival, all selected by Lindsay. 

Lindsay says he had to bring in an army of volunteers to help with bottling and filling kegs with beer, all while teaching people what craft beer is and running a business.

Then there's food and entertainment. Lindsay spared no expense. He's bringing in Chef Pepine, who'll be whipping up some hamburgers with smoked brisket and aged white cheddar, slow-roasted pulled pork with jalapeño slaw, carnita tacos with mango salsa. Babe Froman, or the "sausage queen of Miami," will also be there with her local organic sausages.

Inside the tasters room (the VIP section and then some), they'll have pairings with Miami Smokers to go along with all of the cellared products. 

For entertainment, Lindsay hired a local band called Colbert for live music, and DJ Big Al from Power 96. There will be games like adult tic-tac-toe and corn hole.

The festival will have local vendors who make hand-crafted products like beer soaps, candles and hookahs made from beer bottles.

Being born in Portland and going back to visit at least once a year, Lindsay knows what it's like to see a market dominated by craft beer. According to Beer Marketer's Insights, craft beer in Portland enjoys a 46 percent market share as of 2014, more than MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch combined. Lindsay things Miami can easily achieve, or exceed, those numbers. 

Lindsay doesn't want to top other beer festivals, like Grovetoberfest, but just set a different standard. And unlike outdoor festivals, Lindsay's will be indoors with air conditioning. 

"Daddy Brews has a certain level of standards, and I want to show that standard," Lindsay said.

Tickets for the Greater Miami Beer Fest range from $40 for general admission, to $100 for a VIP Tasters ticket. Miami Airport Convention Center is located at 777 NW 72nd Ave., Miami. Doors open at 4 p.m. and close at 8 p.m. 
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David Minsky is a U.S. Navy veteran and Tulane graduate who has experience reporting on stories from California, South Florida, and the Deep South. He has also won some journalism awards. Email or tweet David with story tips and ideas.
Contact: David Minsky