Misfits Home-Brewers brew club cemented its reputation by winning the award for Best Overall Brew at the 15th annual New Times Beerfest in Fort Lauderdale last Saturday, Now one member is taking his prize-winning skills to the next level by starting a brewpub venture in Miami.
Robert Tejon, the head brewer of Miami brew club Nifert's Strong Ales, along with Diego Ganoza, is planning to start Gravity Brewbar somewhere near the 2300 block of NW Second Avenue in Wynwood.
Miami is already home to a few brewpubs such as Abbey Brewing Company, Titanic Brewery and Restaurant and chain Gordon Biersch, but Tejon, 30, plans to stir the primordial wort of the local beer scene by adding a system to fill beer growlers or a bottling line to Gravity Brewbar.
"That's how you develop a pretty good following," says Tejon about adding a bottling line to a brewpub.
If and when Gravity Brewbar is established, the unique brewpub with a bottling line will be the latest addition to Miami's ever-growing appetite for truly local beers.
There is no official opening date yet. Tejon and his partners are carefully planning the details: in particular the beer recipes, the precise location, and the food.
"We can't rush into anything," says Tejon. "We don't just want to open up a place and make some run-of-the-mill beers."
Among the selections will be some of the winning recipes featured at Saturday's Beerfest, such as Pineapple Express, a hoppy wheat pale ale with a burst of pineapple, and a wheat porter, as well as guest taps. Another beer, and a personal favorite of Tejon, will be a dark, cloudy, sour wheat beer known as a Berliner Weisse.
Tejon is juggling several ideas on what exactly Gravity Brewbar will be, besides a brewpub. Among the ideas are a restaurant or a small cafe that makes beer. Food ideas vary from a gastropub to tapas or maybe a specialty deli.
For now, the website's menu reflects items such as classic Peruvian ceviche, pork belly sliders, pork wonton with foie gras, Korean-fried chicken with spicy yogurt-kimchee, bratwurst, salads, pizza and a few other promising menu items, all with descriptions written in Latin.
Tejon hopes to have Gravity Brewbar opened by the end of the year or sooner. "The canvas is still pretty blank, we're trying to fill it in," says Tejon. "We're gonna put our name out there and hope that people show up."
It should be noted that Nifert's Strong Ales is an offshoot of Misfit's, but started by Tejon and his friend "Nifty" Medina. The name is coined from an amalgamation Robert's and Nifty's first names. Nifert's specializes in brewing Belgian-style ales and sour beers.
"We're just trying to push the beer scene down in Miami a little bit,"says Tejon. "It would be nice to have a good watering hole in the area and get the beer people here."
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