Strange Beast, a brewpub and pizzeria by John Falco and Todd Maxwell, opened in West Kendall this past weekend.
Falco is best known in the Miami beer community as a co-owner of Lincoln's Beard Brewing Company, which premiered in 2016. He's still involved with the Bird Road Arts District brewery as a silent partner who occasionally consults.
With Lincoln's Beard firmly established, Falco says he wanted to branch out with some ideas he developed independently. "I think it was just time for me to explore another venue and see what I can do with a different concept," Falco says. "My focus now is 100 percent on Strange Beast."
The name of the brewery, by the way, is inspired by the Japanese kaiju movie genre, which features giant monsters like Godzilla, Mothra, and King Kong. The term translates into "strange beasts," which, according to Falco, is the perfect name for his creation. "I thought it was just the coolest name for a brewery."
The 1,400-square-foot brewpub contains a seven-barrel brewing system that Falco says will be operational in August. The place will produce a core beer: a juicy IPA called Lawyers Don't Surf (a reference to the 1991 action film Point Break). A Mexican lager and rotating brews are in the works.
Strange Beast is currently offering an all-Florida tap list, with most beers in the $6 to $7 range. Falco says although he's not set on only offering hyper-local beers, it just makes sense right now. "There's so much good beer being made right here in Miami."
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Strange Beast also offers pizzas from a gas-fired oven. Most pies cost between $11 to $13, with the favorite being Doug's White Pie. Named after the brewpub's pizza chef, Doug Sorek, it's a white pie that starts with a roasted garlic purée, topped with mozzarella and ricotta, and finished with shallots and crushed black pepper. "It's so intensely beautiful," Falco says. "The garlic is roasted in the oven, so it's nice and sweet."
Though build-out and construction of the project was "kind of a nightmare," according to Falco, his efforts paid off with a successful first weekend.
"That's what it's all about," Falco says. "Simplifying everything with a smaller space and having a good time."
Strange Beast Brewpub & Pizzeria. 15220 SW 72nd St., Miami; 305-209-0406. Tuesday to Thursday 4 to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday noon to 9 p.m.