The Wynwood brewery will ferment Miami's image as a beer city when it opens at 565 NW 24th St. It will be among the first of Miami-Dade's craft breweries and perhaps the first brewery in Miami proper since Wagner Brewery. Brignoni could rightfully be called a pioneer.
Brignoni signed a ten-year lease for a 7,000-square-foot building. He needed a large space, as breweries usually do, to hold the equipment. He hopes to open by November. In the meantime, he still needs to hire contractors, engineers, and architects to design the space. Then he needs to obtain permits from the city, state, and federal authorities to operate.
He has spent the past year ensuring the opening process is staying on target and on budget. "I just try to focus on our goal to get open, and it's not easy," Brignoni says. "The brewery has been getting a lot of hype in the past year, and that's a good thing."
Brignoni plans to have a 15-barrel system, which is typical for small breweries just starting out. Brewing companies Cigar City and Tequesta both began with 15-barrel systems.
Here's another surprise: Brignoni hired brewmaster Jim Patton, who brewed beers for Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana. Abita is one of the largest craft breweries in the nation, and its beers are available in 46 states, including Florida. They are served at Walt Disney World's Port Orleans Resort in Orlando. Patton also brewed for Key West Brewery, which was acquired by Melbourne-based Florida Beer Company.
Patton responded to Brignoni's advertisement looking for a brewmaster on probrewer.com and since then has been instrumental in the development of WBC.
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Brignoni has been making the rounds in Miami. His last tasting was at Brews & Bites in Brickell last April. The recipes are still in development, but Brignoni says he will probably have a blonde ale, a porter, and a double IPA (India Pale Ale).
When WBC opens, Brignoni says, he will need workers to operate the tap room and elsewhere.
The only other production craft brewery in Miami-Dade is Schnebly Redland's Winery and Brewery, which began brewing its beer on premises in March.