Beer & Wine

Miami Breweries Head to 2017 Great American Beer Festival

M.I.A. Beer Company will make its third consecutive appearance at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
M.I.A. Beer Company will make its third consecutive appearance at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Photo by David Minsky
Four Miami breweries and several others across South Florida will head to the 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) this fall to pour some suds from the Sunshine State.

The 36th-annual, three-day beer festival is the largest of its kind in the nation and is held October 5 through 7 at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. Last year, at least 3,800 beers were poured by more than 800 craft breweries. The festival attracts tens of thousands of attendees, and tickets usually sell out immediately. Tickets for the general public will go on sale August 2.

It'll be the fourth year that Miami breweries have poured at the GABF, beginning with Wynwood Brewing Company in 2014. That's when the brewery won a gold medal for its Pop's Porter, garnering the Magic City national recognition.

This year, Wynwood Brewing, as well as M.I.A Beer, the Tank Brewing, and J. Wakefield Brewing, will return.

Other South Florida breweries, including Funky Buddha, Due South, and Barrel of Monks, will also pour at the GABF.

Wynwood Brewing's Luis Brignoni says that, as a city, Miami is still unrepresented at the GABF. The 2015 festival so far had the highest local showing, with five Magic City breweries. At least 21 Florida breweries are scheduled to pour in Denver this year.

As in the past three years, this GABF will also be a year of firsts. J. Wakefield Brewing will be distinguished in the Meet the Brewer section, which is located in a separate part of the convention center and gives guests a chance to chat with the brewers while trying their beers. Often booths in the main part of the festival are staffed by GABF volunteers who pour the beers. Last year, Wynwood Brewing and Funky Buddha were featured at Meet the Brewer booths.

Funky Buddha will also enter the Pro-Am for the first time. The competition presents professional brewers that have collaborated with medal-winning homebrewers to make beers specifically for the GABF. The Oakland Park brewery teamed up with local homebrewers Joshua Plager and Allen Steen on a beer called Android 3000, a black saison made with rye malt, Nelson Sauvin hops, black peppercorns, orange peel, and peaches.

When the Florida brewers aren't pouring, they'll be wandering the vast convention floor trying other beers or visiting Denver breweries such as Falling Rock Tap House and Crooked Stave Brewery.

The fest is also a chance for brewers to let loose and enjoy the company of one another.

"We don't get a lot of time off, but when do, we have a great time around each other," Brignoni says.

J. Wakefield Brewing Company. 20 NW 24th St., Miami; 786-254-7779; Monday through Thursday 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday through Saturday noon to 1 a.m., Sunday noon to 10 p.m.

M.I.A. Beer Company. 10400 NW 33rd St., Suite 150, Doral; 786-801-1721; Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday noon to 2 a.m., Sunday noon to midnight.

The Tank Brewing Company. 5100 NW 72nd Ave., Bay A-1, Miami; 786-801-1554; Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday noon to 1 a.m., Sunday noon to 10 p.m.

Wynwood Brewing Company. 565 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-982-8732; Sunday through Monday noon to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday noon to midnight.
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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