The brewery is still in the early stages of construction and has yet to receive brewing licenses. Chocron hopes to open sometime in 2017. "We know licenses and permits take time," he says.
Once open, Tripping Animals will feature a taproom that serves not only craft beer but also tapas and wine. Chocron didn't say how large the facility's brewing capabilities will be, but the goal is to reach 1,600 barrels per year.
Meanwhile, he and his business partners will promote the beer and the brand through events such as the Tripping Animals Beer Fest, which took place at ACE Props this past July 21 in Miami's Little River district. Chocron hopes to host another event before the end of the year, possibly before Art Basel.
As for the meaning of the name, Tripping Animals pays homage to fauna native to Florida and Latin America, with each animal taking drinkers on a trip to a certain part of the world. The idea is to create great craft beer and promote a unique atmosphere, as well as spread the craft beer lifestyle, Chocron says.
Chocron describes his brews as very hop-forward, concentrating heavily on IPAs, but he likes to mix it up. In addition to passionfruit and mango-guava IPAs, there will be Hefeweizens and stouts, including a milk-chocolate stout. The brewery's Belgian dubbel won second place at the U.S. Open Beer Championship.
Tripping Animals has roots in Caracas, Venezuela, the hometown of Chocron and his partners. The brewery's Miami origins are a result of that country's ongoing food crisis.
Chocron began learning about craft beer on his own, and a trip to London several years ago supplemented that knowledge. While there, he developed a better appreciation for suds and began learning various styles. He returned home to Caracas and began making beer because no one else was doing it, he says. Soon he and his friends started a nanobrewery called Casa Coronarias.
Brewing became difficult, and ingredients grew increasingly harder to find. As with food, Chocron says, Venezuelans have resorted to the black market to buy beer-making ingredients because inflation has skyrocketed.
Chocron moved to the United States a year ago, as did the rest of the brewery's partners, who already have friends and family in Miami, many of whom are in the real-estate development and hospitality industries, he says. The dire economic situation in Venezuela and his desire to develop his brewery became the motivating factors for moving.
"It's really difficult there," Chocron says. "It's difficult to get ingredients and very tricky to do business there."