Beer & Wine

Miami Brewers Collaborate on Beers to Help Hurricane Relief Efforts

Coqui collaboration beer poured directly from the source at J. Wakefield Brewing.
Coqui collaboration beer poured directly from the source at J. Wakefield Brewing. Courtesy of Rocco Riggio of Media Now
In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Miami brewers have collaborated on several beers whose profits will be donated to relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys.

M.I.A. Beer Co. in Doral has teamed up with breweries from the Tampa area — Coppertail, Green Bench, Cycle, and 7venth Sun — to make IRMA IPA. Proceeds from the sale of the beer will be donated to the nonprofit Feeding Florida.

Michael Demetrus, head brewer at M.I.A. Beer Co. in Doral, said the brewers reached out to him to make a batch down south. Several other batches were made, including at Intuition Ale Works in Jacksonville and Civil Society Brewing Co. in Jupiter. "They put the collaboration beer together," Demetrus says, "and they wanted to make this a bigger thing."

Weighing in a 6.7 percent alcohol-by-volume (ABV), the beer wasn't simply named after the hurricane. It's also an acronym for the varieties of hops used: Idaho 7, Rakau, Mosaic, and Amarillo. Every ingredient was donated by the brewery's suppliers, Demetrus adds.

M.I.A. owner Eddie Leon says kegs of IRMA IPA will be tapped at the brewery beginning this Friday. They brewed 14 barrels (about 70 kegs) of IRMA. Each brewery will have up to six kegs for sale in their taprooms. M.I.A. will sell it for $6 per pint.

Miami's J. Wakefield Brewing and Lincoln's Beard Brewing teamed up to make Coqui Rechazado, a Berliner Weisse made with guava, oranges, and bay leaves. Sitting at 5 percent ABV, the beer will be canned this Thursday, and four-packs of 16-ounce cans will go on sale for $18 at both breweries, where the suds will also be on tap for $7 a pint.

In contrast to breweries where the grains, hops, yeast, and canning are donated by vendors, J. Wakefield and Lincoln's Beard are subsidizing the entire cost of the ingredients, labor, and canning, J. Wakefied spokesman Rocco Riggio says.

All proceeds from the sale of cans of Coqui Rechazado will be donated to Puerto Rican hurricane relief through Direct Relief. Riggio says Wakefield hopes to raise about $10,000. "They picked Direct Relief because it had a really high rating. Part of the deal of when you do something like this, you want to make sure it goes to the right organization."

In Oakland Park, Funky Buddha Brewery partnered with Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE) to create Florida Rebuilds, a pale-blonde ale brewed with key lime juice and citra hops and sits at 5 percent ABV.

Brown Distributing of West Palm Beach this week will release draft kegs of the beer to retailers throughout South and Southwest Florida, Tampa, and the Florida Keys. One hundred percent of all beer sales will go directly to CORE, Funky Buddha spokesman John Linn says, adding that the brewery itself will donate 100 percent of beer sales in its Oakland Park taproom directly to CORE. The beer went on tap October 13.

Funky Buddha Brewery. 201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park; 954-440-0046;

J. Wakefield Brewing. 120 NW 24th St., Miami; 786-254-7779;

Lincoln's Beard Brewing Co. 7360 SW 41st St., Miami; 305-912-7390;

M.I.A. Beer Co. 10400 NW 33rd St., Doral; 305-567-5550;
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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