Unbranded Maverick Beer Asylum to Open in Little Havana

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Unbranded Brewing Company still has at least another year until its opening, but owner Zachary Swanson is set to debut Unbranded Maverick Beer Asylum. The 5,000-square-foot beer store is located at 2554 SW Eighth St. in Little Havana.

The brewery, a 31,000-square-foot space containing a 30-barrel system, will be located in the Hialeah Arts District at 1395 E. 11th Ave.

Because the brewery, a collaboration between Swanson and managing partner Julian Uribe, has a long way to go, Swanson decided to tease his recipes with free samples at a place that will serve as a homebrew supply store and bottle shop selling hard-to-find beers. It'll also be a place where he'll host beginner homebrew courses. One of Swanson's target demographics is the students at the nearby Miami Dade College Interamerican Campus. "Since they're already taking classes, maybe they'd want to take some homebrew classes," Swanson says.

The store is slated to open in February. It would've been earlier, Swanson says, but there was a slight zoning setback.

As for the brewery, Swanson is experiencing what others who've established breweries in Miami have encountered: red tape. He says because of the general unfamiliarity with opening this kind of business, local officials don't know all the ins and outs. In Hialeah, there's no precedent and therefore no business concept within city government to follow.

"It's so hard to tell when it'll open," Swanson says, adding he has submitted plans to the city for review. "No one has ever worked with Hialeah on opening a craft brewery."

Once his store is open, Swanson hopes to attract unconventional types like himself. He says Maverick, like his brewery, is a reflection of his attitude toward making beer that doesn't necessarily fit formal categories like the ones seen in the Beer Judge Certification Program. The homebrew courses will also allow him to shake things up with some experimental recipes and free samples.

Maverick is also a family name he takes from Samuel Maverick, his great-great-great-great-grandfather and one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

"Craft beer is maverick beer," Swanson says. "'Maverick' has this history of being a little crazy, which is why we got that 'asylum' part. But it also could be a refuge. It's like all these crazy maverick people have a place to hang out."

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