It has been quite the summer for South Beach Brewing Company.
In July, the brewery — known for its Florida-inspired brunch beers like the Blood Orange Sunset IPA — was slated to open its very first standalone brewpub in the form of a beachy bungalow on 11th Street between Washington and Collins avenues.
Those plans were halted in the heat of the pandemic, owing restrictions on breweries (and bars). To further complicate matters, the new brewpub did not qualify for federal relief from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
A few months removed from its original launch date, it’s time for another go.
Founder Lorenzo Borghese — whom some may recognize as the face of the Animal Aid USA nonprofit or from his stints on The Bachelor and Celebrity Big Brother UK — tells New Times the brewpub hopes to be open “in a few weeks,” pending the approval of a few remaining permits.
“While we haven’t been able to bring in revenue at the new location, there have been some positives,” says Borghese. “Had we opened, we likely would have had to furlough employees and we couldn’t have operated at a low volume. On the flip side, we’ve been able to focus even more on being authentic and build our brand.”
Among the recent developments: an increased emphasis on South Beach Brewing Company as a lifestyle brand, complete with snazzy T-shirts, hats and other merchandise designed by brand partner and Miami artist, Lebo.
Borghese also points to Lebo's vibrant new mural in the brewpub space that proclaims, “I Love Right Now,” and a retro-vibe mini model of the South Beach landscape at the bar.
“Just think of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville with a nice South Beach twist,” he suggests, adding, “We’re aiming to have local clientele as well as some tourists.”
Borghese says the brewpub will brew small batches of beer for tastings at which guests will get to weigh in on which varieties might make the regular rotation.
Among South Beach Brewing Company’s latest innovations is a hybrid between beer and hard seltzer.
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“We had to create a new category in order to get shelf placements in stores,” said Borghese. “We wanted to create a new beer that taps into current trends — low calorie and low carbs. Our beer is less than 130 calories, 100 percent natural, and gluten- and GMO-free. It is brewed with real Florida OJ and is the first of what we expect to be many of our sparkling ale or brunch beer series.”
Speaking of brunch, South Beach Brewing Company is working on a number of beer-infused sauces and dressings and plans to host brunch events soon.
“We just want to help people remember that things will get better,” Borghese says. “I feel awful for every business that hasn’t been able to make it through. But we will make it out of this stronger.”
South Beach Brewing Company. 210 11th St., Miami Beach; southbeachbrew.com.