Beer & Wine

M.I.A. Beer Celebrates Four Years With Mega Mix Festival

M.I.A. Beer Celebrates Four Years With Mega Mix Festival
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill
M.I.A. Beer Company has celebrated its birthday at home for the past three years, but 2019 is different. For its fourth year in operation, the brewery will throw a beer and music festival at Magic City Casino this Saturday, February 16.

The Mega Mix Beer and Music Festival, named after one of the brewery's most popular beers, also refers to the DJs who will fill the air with throwback electronic dance music.

The evening will offer lots of beer brewed by local breweries and some from beyond the Sunshine State. More than 20 food trucks will also be on hand.

Since M.I.A. began operations in Doral in 2014, with a taproom that followed months later, several more breweries have opened in the area. Among them are Biscayne Bay Brewing Company, which opened its taproom in 2016; the Tank Brewing Company in 2017; and Tripping Animals Brewing Company and Beat Culture Brewery, which both opened in 2018.

These are good things, according to M.I.A. co-owner Eddie Leon, not only because they make Doral a beer destination, but because they're a sign that independently owned breweries still have room to thrive in Miami.

"We don't have deep pockets to compete with the big breweries," Leon says. "Obviously, there's challenges and concerns with the future of the industry because there are a lot more breweries now."

M.I.A. has certainly weathered its setbacks since opening, particularly with the tragic loss of founding brewer Piero Rodriguez in 2016. The brewery has since parted ways with its founding head brewer, Michael Demetrus, as well as some long-serving staff members who've moved on to other opportunities.

One must have perseverance, Leon says, especially during times like the recent 35-day federal government shutdown, which essentially stymied the company's research and development arm. It's in new beverages that the brewery has found some of its biggest success, Leon said, particularly with the flavored alcoholic seltzer water known as HRD WTR.

Fortunately, according to Leon, M.I.A.'s taproom is the most successful facet of the business, despite distributing to 11 states. But in between the blessings and pitfalls, there's always room for a birthday party.

Saturday's celebration will be a small, Miami-centric beer festival with breweries from across the state and beyond including Jdub's Brewing Company from Sarasota, Lord Hobo Brewing Company from Massachusetts, 26 Degree Brewing Company in Pompano Beach, and many others. Rare brews will be offered in the VIP tent.

Freestyle DJs include Rob Base, TKA, Johnny O, and more.

Mega Mix Beer and Music Festival. 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, February 16, at Magic City Casino, 450 NW 37th Ave., Miami; Tickets cost $50 via
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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