Schnebly's: Miami's First Proper Brewery

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Schnebly's Redland Winery and Brewery has a fine reputation for making tropical fruit-flavored wines and beers, but now the owners are building  on-site brewing equipment. Having garnered a distribution license, the place is set to become Miami's first real brewery in one month, says Joe Reyes, director of marketing for Schnebly's.

Currently, Schnebly's contract brews its beer from a location in Central Florida and has it shipped to the winery near Homestead.

Despite a growing craft beer scene, Miami doesn't have a brewery. Last year Wynwood Brewing Company announced it would have its brewery up and running by this month, but beer fans are still waiting. A Twitter feed dated February 28 says they hope to be open by the end of the summer or fall.

Miami beer fans already enjoy microbreweries such as The Abbey Brewing Company in South Beach and Titanic Brewery and Restaurant in Coral Gables, neither of which distributes beyond its own doors. The craft beer scene in Miami will transform once Schnebly's onsite brewery is open for business, says Reyes.

"That's all going to change once we open up the doors and show the city of Miami what the culture is all about," says Reyes.

There is some debate among brewing aficionados about the differences between a brewery, microbrewery and brewpub. A brewpub brews and sells beer on-site only, but can become a microbrewery if it sells more than 75 percent of its beer off-site but stays below the 15,000 barrel per year threshold, according to the American Brewer's Association.

In Florida, a separate license is need to distribute beer off-site.

Because Schnebly's already has beer recipes worked out, all they have to do is start distributing once their operation is up and running. For now, they plan to distribute kegs and to local bars within Miami, and eventually begin retailing their bottled brews.

"We're still single, still dating, still looking around to see who will distribute our beer," says Reyes. "We need to make it happen quick."

The brewing capacity and specifications are not yet known, as they are changing as their operation builds. "We may have to prepare for more than expected," says Reyes.

Schnebly's will also become America's southern most microbrewery to distribute off-site.

Located in the heart of Dade County's tropical fruit farms, Schnebly's takes advantage of this proximity to infuse its craft beers with flavors such as guava, mango, and passion fruit. Currently guests can enjoy four different flavors like Big Rod, Passion Fruit IPA, Beach Blonde and Gator Tail.

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