Miami's own Wynwood Brewing Company is teaming up with the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove in what promises to be the classiest Oktoberfest in South Florida.
The brewery's Brignoni family has collaborated with the tony resort's chef Ramesh Kaduru to create the Beer Garden, located on the property's terrace. Luis G. Brignoni, president of Wynwood Brewing, says the partnership came about after having a conversation with Chef Kaduru. "We've done collaborations in the past during Fourth of July weekend and also for Father's Day. We've developed a great friendship. The resort has realized the impact that craft beer has in the marketplace, and they have such an excellent place that we would love to showcase for the local folks here in Miami."
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The special tropical Oktoberfest will be celebrated two weekends -- October 4 and 5 and October 18 and 19 from 3 to 9 p.m. each day. No reservations are necessary, and complimentary valet parking will be available at the hotel. In addition, the latter weekend coincides with Grovetoberfest, held Saturday, October 18, at Peacock Park, making Coconut Grove the best place for beer lovers this autumn.
In fact, the Brignonis once considered the Grove for Wynwood Brewing Company's home. Luis Brignoni explains, "Coconut Grove has always been an exciting neighborhood. Tony [Albelo, organizer of Grovetoberfest] puts on some amazing events throughout the year that puts our brand in front of thousands of beer drinkers. Matt [Kuscher, owner of Lokal] has been doing a great job fostering craft beer, not just from production breweries but also from our local homebrewers. The Grove has been, and always will be, a great beer neighborhood. It would be amazing for a brewery to open up there."
The beer garden will feature a German-inspired tapas menu that includes chicken schnitzel sliders with tomato jam, cabbage slaw, and warm German fingerling potato salad ($9); beer-braised grilled bratwurst with sauerkraut ($9); soft warm pretzels served with beer in porter cheddar soup ($7); Belgian beer cookies with orange icing ($5); and apple strudel ($5).
You can't have a beer garden without beer, so Wynwood is serving its own La Rubia, Pop's Porter, and a special holiday brew, the Wyntoberfest. Brignoni describes the holiday beer as "a light-to-medium-bodied Marzen with a rich, toasty, malty goodness. It's a well-balanced German lager with a gorgeous copper color and a mild hop profile."
Of course, you can also celebrate fall at the Wynwood Brewery, which is soon to have neighbors. Brignoni, by the way, is excited to welcome his peers -- Concrete Beach and J. Wakefield -- to NW 24th Street. "We need to rename 24th Street to 'Brewers' Row.' Having more breweries in the area helps all of us out. Now folks can walk from brewery to brewery with no problem and enjoy everyone's fresh brews. I wouldn't say we are a beer capital just yet -- we can certainly hold more breweries -- but we are certainly on the right track."
Brewers' Row. We'll toast to that!
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