M.I.A. Beer Company taproom.EXPAND
M.I.A. Beer Company taproom.
Courtesy Julia Rose Photography

M.I.A. Beer Co. Third-Anniversary Celebration Includes Big Cypress Distillery Collab Cocktails

M.I.A. Beer Company, which opened its taproom in January 2015, will throw an anniversary party in Doral February 24 to celebrate three years of pouring fresh, local beer for the community.

Though there will be large quantities of suds to go around, beer won't be the only alcoholic beverage available. M.I.A. will also serve cocktails made with gin and vodka.

But it's not just any hard liquor. M.I.A collaborated with Miami's Big Cypress Distillery to distill the brewery's HRD WTR into vodka and an imperial red ale into gin.

HRD WTR is a line of alcoholic seltzer water that M.I.A began brewing in 2017. It's not exactly a beverage that breweries are known to make, but M.I.A. took a risk, and HRD WTR turned out to be a big hit. It's made with champagne yeast, and minerals are added later, according to head brewer Michael Demetrus.

The drink became popular not only by itself but also as a mixer.

"A lot of accounts started using them in cocktails," says Kathleen Fleming, the operations manager for M.I.A. "When we found out about that, we started experimenting on our own."

Soon HRD WTR cocktails began appearing in M.I.A.'s taproom. But the brewery took it a step further and had the canned drink turned into a spirit.

According to Big Cypress' Fernando Plata, HRD WTR was distilled twice in two stills. It's not the first time M.I.A has collaborated with the distillery. Two years ago, the brewery made a hops-free beer called a gruit, which Big Cypress turned into gin.

This time, M.I.A. will serve cocktails containing liquor that originated from the brewery. The drink list includes a gin fizz, blueberry vodka martini, mojito, and Tequila Sunrise. All drinks contain various flavors of HRD WTR with other alcohols and mixers. It's the first anniversary party with hard-liquor drinks, Fleming says.

But M.I.A. is a brewery, so how can it sell booze? It uses a caterer with a liquor license. According to Fleming, M.I.A. went with Dade County Food Group.

Besides the cocktails, there is the huge draft list, which includes M.I.A. flagships such as 305 Golden Ale, guest taps, and special releases like a collaboration brew with California's the Bruery — a gose with pink Himalayan salt, Buddha’s hand (a citrus fruit), and Cara Cara navels.

Several vendors, including Miami's Master Brewer Academy and BREWtiful Apparel, will be onsite. Food from Pepito's Plaza, MasaCraft 305, Box of Chacos, and others will be available for purchase. Music courtesy of DJ Juan Luv (AKA Volksmusik DJ) and Otto Von Schirach will flow.

Admission to the party is free, but drink tickets cost $5. Each beer sells for one ticket, and cocktails are two tickets each.

In a short time, the brewery has become a community hub, Fleming says.

"We've grown a lot in three years, and we're celebrating with the community that has made it possible."

M.I.A. Beer Company Third-Anniversary Party. 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, February 24, at 10400 NW 33rd St., #150, Doral; 305-567-5550; mia.beer.

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