You've heard of breweries collaborating to produce small-batch, limited-edition beer. However, MIA Beer Company (formerly MIA Brewing Company) and Big Cypress Distillery have teamed up to make a hops-less beer called a
A recognized beer style by the Beer Judge Certification Program, a
"The much-lauded German Beer Purity Laws have their inception in anti-gruit and anti-homebrew regulations of this period," according to a gruitale.com article Bonta wrote, stating that homebrewers at the time (who were mostly women, he added) were often defamed as "slatternly cheats who never missed a chance to adulterate their brew."
Miami doesn't exactly have a problem with makers adulterating their brew (but where are the women brewers?), allowing local brewers and distillers to make almost anything they damn
It was Plata who approached the brewery for a collaboration. He first wanted to make a whiskey collaboration. However, because Big Cypress owner Fernando Plata has immediate access to botanicals in his line of work, MIA Beer Company owner Eddie Leon and brewer Michael Demetrus suggested making a
And like a scene plucked straight out of a Breaking Bad episode,
Plata provided the herb mixture, and
The beer, named Big Cypress Hop-less, is available at MIA's taproom, but the gin itself, called MIA Gin, won't be ready for another five or six weeks, Plata says.
The style is a departure from what the American beer drinker's palate is accustomed to.
"A gruit is not a beer that a lot of people make," Plata says. "Everybody wants everything hop-forward in the U.S. now."
Leon describes the beer as having a holiday spiciness, as well as "slightly sweet and tastes like something you would drink in the fall. The prominent spice is coriander."
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This first collaboration between a distillery and a brewery in Miami is a milestone for the county's fairly young craft beer/spirits industry. Plata figures it could be the first gin distillery-brewery collaboration. Both Leon and Plata came away with a newfound appreciation for each other's craft.
"I didn't realize that brewing beer is really the first step in making whiskey," Leon says. "We hope to have a few more collaborations soon."
Stay tuned. Once the gin is ready, Leon and Plata will hold a tasting of it and the beer at a local craft beer bar — perhaps the Local 150 or maybe the Bend Miami, Leon says — and showcase a cocktail made with both.
Big Cypress Distillery is located at 13995 SW 144th Ave., #207, in