If this were a normal year, Veza Sur Brewing Co. would be gearing up for a massive fiesta at its Wynwood digs.
Last year, the celebration consisted of an all-day block party with live tunes, a festive pachanga theme, and guest breweries galore serving up oodles of beer-inspired morsels.
Well, this is 2020.
But while the pandemic has laid waste to the notion of a people-packed event, the party is still very much on in other ways.
“A lot of what we have planned comes down to a sense of gratitude — internally for our team, and for our community,” says Veza Sur cofounder Marshall Hendrickson. "The way Miami has embraced Veza Sur and who we are has helped take us to that next level. If Miami didn’t embrace us from the start, we wouldn’t be where we are today."
Veza Sur’s three-year anniversary kicked off on Monday, August 10 with a nationwide giveaway, where 300 lucky fans (who registered for a chance to win online) were mailed a Birthday Box, loaded with celebratory items like birthday cake mix, balloons, swag, coasters and more.
The Birthday Box giveaway ended last week, but the party continues this week.
On Wednesday, August 19, Veza Sur is releasing some limited-edition merch, including a bucket hat, domino set, and cafecito cup. The merch will be available for purchase online via vezasur.com or in-person at its NW 25th Street brick-and-mortar location.
On Thursday, August 20, head brewer Rhett Dougherty and Spaint — the artist behind Veza Sur’s creative label design — will participate in a special Instagram Live session. Among other topics, the duo will discuss the brewery’s anniversary beer release, Selva Negra, a hearty and full-bodied chocolate cherry stout aged in bourbon and molasses barrels.
To cap off the week, Veza Sur will offer 24-beer cases of select brews for $25 Friday through Sunday, while supplies last.
Amid the festivities, Hendrickson will miss what has become an in-person staple at recent anniversary parties: massive group cheers involving the entire, 40-ish-person Veza Sur team.
Instead, there will be a virtual happy hour with his team sometime this week.
“We’ll be cheers-ing from our couches on Zoom,” he says with a laugh.
Like so many businesses, 2020 has been challenging for Veza Sur. Its taproom was closed for months and many of its partners — restaurants, airports, professional sports teams, and more — have been silent. But the brewery's grocery and package-store partners have been a bright spot. Hendrickson says sales have doubled in recent months. Additionally, he says, Veza Sur’s to-go operations are “doing quite well.”
Once the anniversary wraps, it’s on to the unpredictable year ahead for Hendrickson and his team.
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“It’s pretty hard to plan these days,” he says. “But we do have the Super Bowl coming to Tampa in 2021, and that’s a big market for us. We’re planning a ton of activations — COVID permitting, of course — and we're continuing to support our bars and restaurants."
Hendrickson also hints at some interesting new things to look forward to.
"We do have a couple of innovations set to hit grocery stores, too. It’s not just beer, but we’re experimenting with some other things. We do know people will continue to love local beer, so we’ll keep doing what we do."
Veza Sur Brewing Co. 55 NW 25th St., Miami; 786-362-6300; vezasur.com.