Cocktails & Spirits

Misfit Home Brewers' Robert Tejon: "We're Pioneers on the Beer Frontier"

It's a new year, and for Miami's Misfit Home Brewer's club, 2013 looks like it's gonna be a big one.

Of all the trends that overtook South Florida in 2012, craft beer had to take the cake. And the dudes behind Misfit have been a major factor in the elevation of our local beer scene.

This past weekend they repped their specialties at the Miami Beer Festival, and they've got lots of other plans in store for the coming year.

Read also:

- Photos: Miami Beer Festival at Marlins Park

- Misfit Home-Brewers Help Lead Miami's Craft Beer Invasion

- Gravity Brewbar Coming to Wynwood: A Brewpub With a Bottling Line

Robert Tejon, Neftali "Nifty" Medina, Jorge Garcia and Piero Rodriguez, Misfit's founders, have been hard at work since we spoke with them last year. Tejon is also the head brewer of Wynwood's future Gravity Brewbar, and between that and the Misfits, he's been a busy, busy brewing bee.

As always, he and his team continue to get creative, experimenting with local fruits and other additions.

"We did a sour Saigon which is a Belgian farmhouse ale; a douple IPA and just a regular IPA. Unicorn Blood, a hoppy dark red ale; Black Santa, a stout that's been aged on candy canes. It tastes really delicious. We have a couple sour beers that have just gone through a slight bacterial infection that makes the beer taste a little different."

This weekend, the group served up specialty batches at the Miami Beer Festival at Marlins Park.

But what's changed since last year? "We're looking to organize a little more, get the treasurer set up. We're about 30 people deep. Not bad for a little club that's only been going on for two years," Tejon says.

Misfit now includes a whole assortment of offshoot clubs, including Subvert Ales, Nifert's Manor Brewery, Beer Snob and the Moron Brothers.

And lots more is in store.Gravity Brewbar has been in the works for awhile, and the plan is to throw open the doors this year. The concept is a micro brewery owned by Diego Ganoza, and Tejon is brewing all their beers.

Gradually, Tejon is working towards making this his main gig. "I don't think it's gonna start off that way, it might be a second job for awhile, but it could evolve into a lot more. That's what we're hoping. South Florida is like the last frontier when it comes to beer. We're pioneers on the last frontier," he laughs.

And until Gravity becomes a reality, fans can find the Misfits at various festivals and events. They keep people abreast via Facebook, so if you're just dying for a sip of that Black Santa - you can track them down from there.

Over the long haul, Tejon's been nothing but impressed by his experience and the people he's encountered. "I expected a whole bunch of drunk frat boys, but it's unbelievable how they've bonded together, everybody helps each other out. We're just a rough city man, but it's a lot of nice people that I've met, everyone's really down to earth."

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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of
Contact: Hannah Sentenac