Beer & Wine

Ten New Miami Breweries to Look Out for in 2017

Tripping Animals is one of ten breweries set to launch in Miami-Dade.
Tripping Animals is one of ten breweries set to launch in Miami-Dade. Courtesy of Tripping Animals Brewery
With nearly 200 licensed breweries, Florida is considered one of America’s fastest-growing states for craft breweries.

The Florida Brewers Guild identifies a little more than 20 new breweries from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach County, but that number isn't accurate if you count production and small-scale microbreweries with taprooms open to the public. Still, all the facts and figures become insignificant when you consider the big picture: Something special is happening here.

It's certainly the case for Miami, where breweries are coming online on a regular basis. With the beer temperature heating up, a number of newcomers have announced plans to open breweries and taprooms.

Here are the ten hottest breweries set to open in Miami:
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Courtesy of Sweet Mercy Brewing Company
1. Sweet Mercy Brewing Company
Longtime friends Robert Silar and Eric Alvarez began homebrewing six years ago. After plenty of positive feedback from friends and the community after pouring at several events, including a Kush homebrew share, the duo decided to make brewing beer a professional endeavor. The name "Sweet Mercy" is a nod to Silar's wife's grandmother: her favorite Southern slang term that perfectly summarizes the feeling you get when you try their beer. The two say their hope is for Sweet Mercy Brewing Company to be a true neighborhood brewery; they have long-term plans to create a community-based facility focused on charitable outreach before concentrating on distribution. Keep an eye out for a crowdfunding campaign later this year.

Sweet Mercy will operate with a brewhouse capable of producing 300 barrels a year, including the brand's four core beers: an IPA brewed with Misca, Cascade, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops; a wheat beer brewed with fresh mango; a pale ale brewed with Centennial hops; and a traditional brown ale. Keep an eye out for seasonal releases, which will include a saison, an imperial IPA, a session IPA, and an Oktoberfest. Further down the road, expect a wild-ale and barrel-aging program.

Scheduled to open late fall 2017 in Hialeah or Little River.
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Photo courtesy of Dee Stecco @beerliveshere
2. Unseen Creatures Brewing & Blending
Unseen Creatures Brewing & Blending cofounders Marco Leyte-Vidal and his wife, Vicky, are bringing Miami its first fully dedicated farmhouse-inspired wild-ale brewhouse. Marco, a lawyer by day, began homebrewing several years ago and plans to create his favorite styles alongside a brewer who has extensive experience with the specialized kinds of beers that will be produced at Unseen Creatures.

A seven-barrel system will also make the brand's core pale ale, pilsner, and saison on its "clean" side, but the main focus will be the oak-barrel-aged, mixed-fermentation wild and sour beers. A Brett-fermented table beer dubbed Artifact is described as tart, funky, and easy-drinking. The brewery will focus on the taproom and will have a limited distribution to select South Florida accounts.

Scheduled to open early 2018 in North Miami.
Unbranded Brewing Co. founder and brewer Zach Swanson.
Courtesy of Unbranded Brewing Co.
3. Unbranded Brewing Co.
Unbranded Brewing Co. founder/brewer Zach Swanson and operating partner Julian Uribe hope to open one of Hialeah's first breweries later this year. The company gets its name from Swanson's great-great-grandfather, a Texas cattle rancher known as Samuel Augustus Maverick. "He didn't brand his cattle, which at the time was a crazy thing to do, so people began calling the unbranded steers and cows 'mavericks.' The name stuck, and now everyone who does something unconventional and eccentric is given the same name." At Unbranded Brewing, the name will be a nod to Swanson's unbranded beers (they won't be named but instead will be referred to only as the style or type of beer).

The 30-barrel brewhouse, located in Hialeah's burgeoning Leah Arts District, will produce an all-new line of core brews Swanson plans to create alongside his future head brewer. Originally from Houston, the longtime homebrewer won the 2014 North Carolina Brewer's Cup Silver Medal for his Nutjob brown ale, and best hop-forward beer at the 2015 Grovetoberfest for his Tailgate session IPA. He has also experimented with sours and barrel-aging, including his F'ing Old Fashioned, a bourbon-barrel-aged old ale with cherries and orange peel. When Unbranded launches, expect to find at least one confirmed specialty or seasonal release: a traditional "wee heavy" Scotch strong ale, one of Swanson's favorite styles.

Scheduled to open between winter 2017 and spring 2018 at 1395 E. 11th Ave., Hialeah.
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Spanish Marie Brewery cofounder Robert Pando.
Courtesy of Spanish Marie Brewery
4. Spanish Marie Brewery
This summer, Spanish Marie Brewing founders Jaime Medina, Robert Pando, and Alberto Cespedes will launch a full production brewery, tasting room, and retail shop in a warehouse complex just north of Miami Executive Airport. The 1920s/speakeasy-themed brewery will offer beers that pay homage to the area's history. The Spanish Brewery's groundbreaking tasting on Sunday, March 12, gave residents a taste of the brews to come during a private sampling with the owners while also giving locals a first glimpse of the space.

The trio plans to begin offering several core beers, including the 3-12-28 black IPA, brewed with chocolate malt; King Charlie Hefeweizen, a passionfruit-infused wheat ale; 1926 Coffee porter, malty Cuban espresso-infused porter (formerly known as La Cafetera, winner of Grovetoberfest’s homebrewers competition); and 3'N'Out APA, a bitter pale ale.

Taproom is scheduled to open summer 2017, with full production beginning early fall 2017 at 14241 SW 120th St., Miami.
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Descarga Brewing Company team, including Felix Pons (left), Tony Meneses, and Manny Jannes (center).
Courtesy of Descarga Brewing Company
5. Descarga Brewing Company
Descarga Brewing Company cofounders Jesus Rascon, Danny Gutierrez, and head brewer Manny Jannes began brewing together as Opus Ales in 2013. Today the name is an homage to their combined Cuban heritage, a play on the Afro-Cuban word "descargas," or "jam session." Locally, the team — which now includes marketing coordinator Felix Pons and graphic designer Tony Meneses — has earned a reputation for its fruited beers inspired by the cuisine and culture of South and Central America and the Caribbean. The team is working with the City of North Miami to build a 2,600-square-foot nanobrewing facility located across the street from the city's planned Tri-Rail station.

Descarga will brew a constantly rotating selection of beers and styles, each flavored with seasonal fruits and adjuncts. However, longtime favorites such as the Palero Baltic porter (aged on Palo Santo wood that offers strong hazelnut, cinnamon, and coffee flavors); Hi-Ju-Doin, hibiscus, juniper berry, and raspberry Belgian ale; and Saison Completa will make regular appearances. There are also plans to create an all-new flagship they've dubbed NoMi Homey, a dry-hopped white pale ale they will brew in honor of North Miami.

Scheduled to open July 2017 at 12355 NE 13th Ave., North Miami.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna

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