Freedom Para Venezuela, a limited-edition beer from the Tank Brewing Company, will be officially released at a launch party at the brewery Saturday.
The beer is technically a rebranding of the Tank's Freedom Tower Amber Ale. The beverage is named for the iconic building at 600 Biscayne Ave. in downtown Miami where Cuban refugees were processed upon entering Miami, according to Stefano Medina, the brewery's marketing manager. Now a museum, the building stands as a monument to liberty and new beginnings for the thousands who fled Fidel Castro's regime.
Many Venezuelans look upon the tower for the same meaning, Medina says.
Approximately 1.5 million Venezuelans have emigrated since their country's Bolivarian Revolution began with the election of Hugo Chávez in 1998, according to the Nuevo Herald.
Venezuela's current president, Nicolás Maduro, is facing calls to step down as his country slips further into social and political turmoil.
"Even before Maduro and Chávez, there was always a big Venezuelan community in Miami," Medina tells New Times.
Former Venezuelans are well represented in Miami's brewing industry. Tripping Animals Brewery co-owners Daniel Chocron and Juan Torres once lived in Venezuela before moving to the States, and Bousa Brewing Company's Enrique Garcia was raised there.
The beer's new label was designed by Republica Havas, the Tank's marketing agency, which changed the artwork to represent the Venezuelan flag next to the image of the Freedom Tower. Medina says making the label was "the right thing to do."
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Medina says the beer is meant to bring awareness to Venezuela's situation and also raise money for Somos Ayuda Vzla, a Miami-based "nonprofit foundation dedicated to
Miami breweries have previously banded together for other charitable efforts. In December 2018, Veza Sur, MIA Beer Company, Biscayne Bay Brewing, Concrete Beach, Wynwood Brewing, and J. Wakefield joined Sierra Nevada in brewing Resilience Butte County Proud IPA to raise money for Camp Fire victims in California. In 2017, M.I.A collaborated with other Florida breweries to make beer to fund Hurricanes Maria and Irma relief efforts.
Saturday's party begins at 5 p.m. and will include Venezuelan figures such as a DJ and the actress and influencer Anabelle Blum. The can release will occur at 8 p.m. Admission is free.
The Tank Brewing Company. 5100 NW 72nd Ave., A-1, Miami; 786-801-1554; thetankbrewing.com.