First post, naturally, is Miami Florida.
Although there is a modern surge in the amount of gastropubs serving great food and craft beer, Miami is not a place saturated in brewpubs, and Dade County supports only 1 production brewery. There is talk of a brewery going into the Wynwood art district (more on gentrification and “Neighborhood Revitalization” later), but as of now Schnebly Brewing is our home field brewery.
Production brewery here is defined as a brewery that does majority of its beer sales as a manufacturer, shipping product to distributors rather than serving majority from the bar. Brewpubs may dabble in production, however most of their beer is sold in the front of house through their own taps. Titanic in Coral Gables is one of the few based in Miami that are not associated with a large scale chain. They have a small 10 bbl system in their front window that supplies the entire bar with fresh kegs.
Schnebly Brewing Company in the Redlands started as a winery, bottling classically fermented tropical fruits such as papaya, guava, and even avocado. It is set in an idyllic landscape of waterfalls, tropical fauna, and chickee huts in the agriculturally zoned area 20 miles south east of Downtown Miami. This is the first stop of the brew tour. Since the train portion doesn’t officially start until Wednesday, we drive south for the tasting, about 45 minutes each way. Four beers comprise Schnebly’s entire rotation these days. A light coconut ale that tastes sweet and crisp with a dry finish. A medium bodied mango wheat ale, with more maltiness. A pale ale with the hop profile of a weaker IPA. And my personal favorite, an American brown ale called Gator Tail. A rich dark brown coffee brew with hints of guava and chocolate on the nose and finish. It’s the kind of complexity I expect from an establishment that turns avocado into wine.
The beer is perfect on this hot and muggy South Florida summer. After the tasting it’s back to Miami for a Summer Solstice party. Finished off the night with a Swamp Ape double IPA amongst friends.