Beer & Wine

Local Brewery Owners Host First-Ever Miami Beer Week

The Miami Beer Week mascot is the classic aluminum espresso pot — a homage to the cafecito, Miami's unofficial official beverage.
The Miami Beer Week mascot is the classic aluminum espresso pot — a homage to the cafecito, Miami's unofficial official beverage. Photo by Mario Daniel Alvarado
If you love craft beer, a new event is shaping up as one of the largest beer-focused festivals in South Florida.

Next month, the first-ever Miami Beer Week will take over the Magic City. It's a multiday event that founder William Rivera hopes will put Miami on the map as a craft beer destination.

Alongside Union Beer Store bartender and Panolo's pop-up chef/owner Adrian Castro, who serves as Miami Beer Week’s president, Rivera, the event's vice president, hopes to spotlight the city’s flourishing craft beer community with what he asserts will be South Florida’s largest beer-centric event to date.

A longtime craft beer aficionado, Rivera has plenty of real-world experience promoting the craft beer industry. A founding owner of New York-based Equilibrium Brewery, Rivera sold his shares in the business and relocated to Miami, where he founded Miami-based gypsy brewery Dream State Brewing and created Beerscovery, an app that helps users locate breweries while traveling.

Together, Rivera and Castro are leveraging their passion for the industry to promote the region’s craft beer community to more than just a South Florida audience. They're going into the inaugural Miami Beer Week aiming for a celebration similar to NYC Beer Week, Philly Beer Week, and Tampa Bay Beer Week.

“I woke up one day and thought, ‘Why not us?’ I see so many other beer communities doing similar events. Our hope is that Miami Beer Week will become the catalyst that helps turn this city into Florida’s top craft beer destination,” Rivera tells New Times.

Earlier this year, Tripping Animals Brewery in Doral signed on as the event's sponsor, helping to promote the project with branding, merchandise, collaborations, and marketing.

During Miami Beer Week, each of the more than 20 Miami breweries will take part in the festivities, hosting one-off events from tap takeovers to collaborative beer releases.

Says Tripping Animals cofounder Ignacio Montenegro: “The idea is to make everyone shine. We’re all in this together.”
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Miami Beer Week president Adrian Castro (left) and founder and vice president William Rivera raise a toast with "Lager Me Bro," the official collaboration beer available during the inaugural event.
Photo by Mario Daniel Alvarado
Miami’s first official annual beer week will consist of 11 straight days of craft beer celebrations beginning Wednesday, April 20. The event will feature a series of curated beer events located across Miami-Dade and Broward counties while serving to showcase the area’s food, culture, and art scene through the lens of craft beer.

Festivities kick off on April 20 at Kush Wynwood with an all-day tap takeover and culminate with a farewell party at the Tank Brewing Co. on May 1.

“The idea is to keep the entire theme for the week very Miami-focused, from the headlining event at Miami’s OG beer bar to Tripping Animals’ annual anniversary celebration, Irie Jungle,” Rivera says.

In addition to the scheduled events, Miami breweries and participating bars and restaurants will be pouring Miami Beer Week’s official collaboration beer. “Lager Me Bro,” a 4.2 percent ABV beer, was brewed at Tripping Animals in collaboration with the city’s craft brewers, beer bars, and pop-up vendors. It will be available to order on draft with its own tap handle at participating locations beginning April 20 and throughout the event while supplies last.

“There’s this stigma that people outside of Miami think Miami is limited to just South Beach, and that’s not the case,” Castro tells New Times. “Starting a Miami Beer Week is something long overdue. It’s about showcasing a community that we are passionate about."

“We want to invite everyone to come be a part of craft beer history,” Rivera adds. “This is our time to ensure local craft beer the attention and recognition it deserves.”

Miami Beer Week. Wednesday, April 20, through Sunday, May 1, at various locations across Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Visit miamibeerevents.com for a complete calendar of events.
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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