A brewery in Doral known as Prision Pals is making some of the area's best beers — but you'll need to search them out if you want to try them.
There's no taproom, but growing local and national distribution is helping put Prision Pals Brewing Co. — which began making beer in March 2020 — on the map. Over the past year and a half, the brewery that began with a lineup of core beers has since grown into a new line of experimental brews described as seasonal, smoothie-style fruited sours that are creating a buzz in the Miami beer scene.
Prision Pals Brewing Co. began as a passion project among founders Juan Pipkin, Diego Setti, and Bruno Laperchuk. The trio hails from South America and came together in 2019 with an idea to brew Argentinian-inspired beers for a Miami audience.
As the name suggests — "prision" is Spanish for prison — the trio say they couldn't escape the feeling of being prisoners in their own land. For Setti, it was also an escape from an uninspiring career in technology and engineering.
"My real passion, like many in this business have discovered, was making beer," Setti tells New Times. "I discovered there is a lot of engineering involved in making good beer. I decided to get a formal education and find my path."
Before relocating to the U.S. in January 2020 to help Pipkin launch Prision Pals, Setti — a longtime home brewer — explored the craft-beer industry in South America. In addition to gaining a Doemens bier sommelier and cicerone certification — even launching his own beer education institute in Argentina — he also completed the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP).
Today, Setti serves the program's regional representative for Latin America, and has acted as a BJCP certified beer judge, sanctioning beer competitions across Europe and Latin America including this year's Great American Beer Festival.
Prision Pal's Doral-based production facility currently produces a number of core and experimental beers, including the brewery's La Colorada Czech amber lager, Dorada Pampeana blonde ale, D1OS Mexican-style lager, Lady Bee honey ale, and Mega hazy IPA.
But it's the Prision Pals new smoothie series, a high-ABV sour ale base treated with 35 percent to 40 percent fruit, that's worth searching out. A medium-bodied beer with intense fruit flavor, the series' newest release, Aloha, is a nod to one of Setti's favorite smoothies in Argentina, with a blend of pineapple, ginger, and mint.
"I'm obsessed with clean fermentation," says Setti. "It's part of why we are now brewing large batches of lager-style beers for other breweries."
Setti says he and his team — including Laperchuk as head brewer and brew lab manager and assistant brewer Christian Garcia — are brewing close to 500 barrels a month, making beer for more than 300 accounts with local, national, and international distribution. Locally, Prision Pals has also been building its business as a contract brewer, utilizing the 15-barrel system to make large batches of beers for smaller facilities, allowing them to enter the market with both local and national distribution. Several South Florida breweries are already working with the team.
While there's no taproom, thirsty fans can find Prision Pals beer locally at a number of South Florida bars and craft beer stores including Price Choice Foodmarket, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Graziano's, Union Beer Bar, Craft Beer Cellar, and Hopportunities. The beer is also available for purchase via the Oznr app.
Prision Pals Brewing Co. 8302 NW 14th St., Doral; 305-487-2780; prisionpals.com. No public taproom.