The Miami beer scene grew a little stronger as Miami Brewing Company brought in Andrew Guthrie to be its new brewmaster. Guthrie will come on board as the creative talent behind all of the brewery's recipes.
Guthrie will be MBC's (also known as Schnebly Redland's Winery) first proper brewmaster since the company started making beer roughly two years ago. Before him, MBC relied on a wine maker to brew, not that this was a bad thing because they brewed some pretty good stuff.
See also: Schnebly: Finally, a Microbrewery
Hailing from Cutler Ridge in south Miami-Dade, Guthrie taught himself homebrewing three years ago and it became an obsession, as it usually does for anybody serious about brewing. His first beers were an IPA, a milk stout and a pumpkin ale. He and his associate Brian Scott Horne established a home brew club by the name of Beer Snob Ales, making beers like IPA-Hole and Sticky Icky.
He started making this way into the Miami beer festival circuit, making appearances at the Biscayne Brewers Bash and Miami Beer Festival, where he became acquainted with the crew at Miami Brewing Company.
Beer Snob Ales is still active and will give Guthrie a platform to develop future recipes for MBC. The current line-up at MBC includes their signature Big Rod Coconut Ale, Shark Bait Wheat Ale, Gator Tail Brown Ale and Vice IPA. In addition to creating his own styles, Guthrie will continue to improve existing recipes. With Guthrie now on-board, great things are expected out of this brewery. "I think it's nice that there's somewhat of a clean slate to work with," Guthrie said.
Owner Peter Schnebly and marketing director Joe Reyes recognized his talent and one day Reyes essentially drove to his home and brought him directly to the brewery.
"We were weak in the beer department," Reyes said. "But being Miami's first production craft brewery, we needed the ammo. He's very soft spoken but he knows his beers."
By hiring local, Schnebly is proving that he doesn't have to search far and wide to find talent. But Schnebly also has high expectations for Guthrie. "He is going to bring a lot of diversity to our brewing operation because he is doing extreme craft," he said.
And Guthrie is proving that starting a hobby like homebrewing can land you a job as a brewmaster at a commercial brewery.
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Besides hiring Guthrie, Schnebly has big plans for the brewery. He is currently in the process of expanding the size from 4,000 to 12,000 square feet, which will allow for some pretty crazy beer gardens in the future.
Once it receives the canning line in the coming weeks, the brewery will begin to can its beer for the first time . The machinery will ship from China on September 1 and Schnebly plans to have it operational by November. He says Big Rod and Gator Tail will be the first ones appearing in stores.