North Miami Brewfest returns for its sixth-annual celebration of craft beers and brewers December 9, coinciding with Art Basel and Miami Art Week.
This year, the Brewfest will have a new home. The Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami will host the event in its outdoor MOCA Plaza. In the past, it was held on Florida International University's Biscayne Bay Campus.
The festival is still sponsored by FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and many of its students will man the event. The fest will include about 35 tents, and signage will designate whether each brewery is owned or operated by FIU alumni.
Festival organizer and CerveTech's Nick Armada says interest in the festival from the City of North Miami was strong because it's actively working to attract breweries.
Earlier this year, North Miami awarded more than $235,000 in community redevelopment money to Descarga Brewing Company, which is slated to open at 12355 NE 13th Ave.
Armada says the city signed on to host the beer festival for the next five years. "The City of North Miami is an eager beaver for this to be the crown-jewel event," Armada says. "We want to get the city exposed to the breweries and the breweries exposed to the city."
The beer fest won't be a huge event in comparison to others, Armada says, but hope is that it'll grow into a larger festival, possibly as big as a block party.
Several Florida breweries will participate, as will some out-of-state ones, such as Bell's, Brooklyn, and Sixpoint. Local breweries and up-and-coming ones, including Lost City Brewing, will pour as well. Armada is bringing back CerveTech with four beers he brewed for the event.
Brown Distributing will roll in a truck that will present several of its breweries, Armada says. Food trucks will be available too.
Three seminars will be held at the festival: a Brewing 101 class with Urban Brewers, a food-and-beer pairing with Wynwood Brewing Company and Bulldog Barbecue & Burger, and a class on mead-making, led by Chris Gil of Allfather Meadery.
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Admission to the festival costs $75 for VIP and $40 for general admission. To receive 20 percent off admission, enter the promo code FIUhospitality20 when ordering via eventbrite.com.
Armada's idea is to eventually turn the event into an art and craft-beer festival.
"You need to differentiate yourself as a beer festival these days," he says, "because everyone and their mother is throwing a beer festival."