CRAFT Spirits and Beer: Miami Gets a Taste of Artisan Spirits

If your idea of a good way to spend a rainy south Florida afternoon was sampling dozens of small batch spirits and some really fine beers, then you weren't disappointed by the tasting gallery, held this past Saturday at Soho Studios in Wynwood.

Distillers from all over the country came to introduce their spirits to Miami, with many of our area's best bartenders attending to seek inspiration for new cocktails. In addition to craft spirits, Miami's growing beer scene was represented with Michael's Genuine Home Brew, Gravity Brewlab, J. Wakefield Brewing, and Wynwood Brewing serving up their best.

Bonus! Michael Schwartz serves crispy rice salad to go with his Genuine Home Brew.

Midnight Moon moonshine in all sorts of (deceptively) yummy fruit flavors. Our favorite way to enjoy? Drizzle on some vanilla ice cream (provided by Rok Kat Ice Cream Co.).

This Palm Ridge Whiskey is distilled and aged in small casks in central Florida (somewhere between Orlando and Ocala). It's smooth and sippable, with orange notes and a rich amber color.

Watch out old-boy's club. Making whiskey is not a man's game anymore. Troy Ball is the woman behind Troy & Sons Distillers out of Asheville. Their Blonde whiskey is hand crafted with heirloom turkey red wheat and North Carolina white corn, then aged in honeycomb charred oak barrels. Troy calls it a "kinder spirit". We call it "girl power".

The J. Wakefield crew took time from working on their brewery to share some beers. Look out for some updates on their progress, coming soon.

High West Distilleries' David Ortiz and Miami bartender Robert Ferrara share some trade secrets at CRAFT.

California-based St. George Spirits offered a range of gins, but the Terroir Gin stands out. Made with Douglas fir, California bay laurel, coastal sage, and other botanicals, this gin would make the ultimate Christmas martini (we'd garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a cranberry).

Miami Club Rum's Matt Malone and La Diva Cucina's Laura Lafata, share a laugh at CRAFT.

Wynwood Brewing Company served their entire roster of fresh, Wynwood-made brews.

Miami Rum Renaissance Festival's Robert, Robin, and Rob Burr on the lookout for new rums to try.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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