Beer & Wine

Miami Brewing Company's Jacob Lindsay Brews Special Beer for Schnebly's Lychee Festival

Miami Brewing Company's Jacob Lindsay was tasked with a challenge: Make a beer for Schnebly Redland's Winery's Lychee Summer Celebration on Saturday, July 2, using the exotic fruit grown at neighboring LNB Groves. 

While Lindsay is hardly the first brewer to make a lychee-inspired beer, it's possible no one's quite attained his level of creativity. Lindsay has created three distinct styles of lychee beer, each using separate parts of the fruit: the juice, pulp, and even the seed. 

Lychee is a fruit native to the southern part of China that thrives in Miami's subtropical weather. The festival celebrates the annual harvest season of the lychee fruit, which came late this year, Lindsay said. 

Lindsay researched what to do with the lychee fruit and came across an ancient Chinese remedy using the pulverized seeds to make a tea, which he will incorporate into a style. He's not sure which one he'll feature at the festival, but it could be a lychee creamsicle-style brew made with vanilla and coconuts. 

Using the pulp, Lindsay also made a kristalweiss beer named Beachy Lychee, which is a wheat ale similar to a hefeweizen, but filtered, giving it a lighter body and a crisper, cleaner flavor. 

Another beer is a collaboration with Miami's Gravity Brewlab that incorporated the juice, blending it with lychee honey, fermenting it with brettanomyces wild yeast strain before aging it in Balcones gin barrels

Several Miami homebrewers will be featured at the festival, too. 

Lindsay is planning several collaborations in the near future, teaming up with Denver's Epic Brewing Company,  Austin's Jester King Brewery, and Firestone Walker Brewing Company's Barrelworks in Buellton, California, where he and Jim Crooks will utilize juice from the lychee. 

As a brewer with his finger on the pulse of the industry, Lindsay says the use of tropical fruits in beer is the next big thing among breweries. That puts Lindsay at an advantage since the brewery grows a variety of tropical fruits on its farm including mangos, avocados, passionfruit, and lychees. "The idea of tropical fruits to me are what's happening in beer. We're just trying to showcase that these flavors are amazing. If you're not doing it, watch us now and start doing it." 

Beer is only a part of the festival. As the name suggest, it's all about the lychee. Lindsay is rolling out with a line of homemade lychee sodas made with honey rather than corn syrup. Of course, lychees straight from the tree will also be offered.

Food trucks will be on hand, as well as a pop-up menu created solely for the festival by Schnebly's in-house chef Dewey Lossaso. Other than beer, Lindsay's been working on fermented vegetables — more like fermented green carambola and habanero and mango slices. A variety of pickled fruits and vegetables will be available for people to try. 

In addition to food and drink, local artisans will sell their wares, several live bands will perform, and five of Miami's top graffiti artists (Krave, Fane, Delves, Terms, and Eraz) will host a collaborative art show. 

Miami Brewing Company and Schnebly Redland's Winery's Lychee Summer Celebration runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, at 30205 SW 217th Ave., Homestead. Presale tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids; tickets at the door are $15 for adults, $8 for kids. Tickets include some free tastings, although most beer tastings will be ticketed separately. Parking is free. 
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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