Rumors of Gordon Biersch's imminent closure had kept him on edge for months. After moving to Miami in April, he packed his belongings into a moving trailer and lived in temporary housing.
"It was all real quick. I had just signed a 12-month lease on a Friday in mid-October, and that Monday I found out that I had two weeks left to work," he says.
So as soon as the Brickell brewery went under, he applied for the position in Wynwood.
Nearly a decade ago, while studying journalism at Penn State, the 33-year-old began his brewing career at a place called Otto's Pub and Brewery. There, he quickly moved up the ranks from the brewmaster's sole assistant to lead brewer -- a position that involved several assistants of his own.
Otto's was a brewpub when Mebane started, but it now self-distributes its beer. This development increased its production capacity, which went from 700 to 800 barrels a year to more than 4,000. This experience helped Mebane secure his new Wynwood job.
"His extensive experience with Otto's -- bringing it from a small craft brewery to what it is now -- assures us he was the best choice for our brewery," says Luis Brignoni, Wynwood Brewing's founder.
Mebane is now responsible for all brewing operations -- from creativity to logistics and everything in between. The brewery is also set to permanently open its taproom December 4.
With a new brewmaster and taproom, the brewery's main focus is to establish itself among Florida's craft brewing industry -- as well as do what great craft breweries do best: making the best beer.
"It's Miami's first production craft brewery, but we really want to be the best. We don't want to make good beer; we want to make the best beer we can possibly make," Mebane says.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.