Legacy Caribbean Craft Brewery, located at 13416 NW 38th Ct., will open its taproom to the public this Thursday, January 19, officially marking Opa-locka as a craft beer destination in Miami-Dade.
Legacy co-owner/brewmaster Ismael Fernandez tells New Times the brewery has received all of its permits. The taproom will initially open with limited hours until the brewery can keep up with distribution and provide enough suds for the taps.
Being able to brew more requires an upgrade to Legacy's current system, considered a "nanobrewery" capacity. Legacy brews two barrels at a time, but that will most likely change when Fernandez ups the capacity to seven barrels sometime in the near future.
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Fernandez, his wife Sonya, and his brother Hector first opened their brewery at a different Opa-locka location in 2013. They operated for two years on a provisional permit and dealt with frequent harassment from city code enforcement officials, which Fernandez says was no coincidence.
At the time, Opa-locka officials were in fact attempting to extort Fernandez for more money, but he wouldn't budge. Meanwhile, the FBI was investigating several city officials for corruption, including City Manager David Chiverton, who was involved in a citywide scheme to shake down businesses for money. Chiverton eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in federal prison last November.
With all of that in the past, Fernandez looks to the future. Expanded taproom hours will most likely happen, Fernandez says, but right now he's testing the waters. "We just need to start slow not to make too many mistakes," he says.
The taproom will be open Thursday through Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.