David Rodriguez and Adrian Castro of Little Havana's Union Beer Store take us to the most iconic Wynwood breweries.
Wynwood Brewing and J. Wakefield Brewery show us how the vibe of Miami's Wynwood art permeates the craft beer neighboorhood.
The Union Beer Store was started by husband and wife duo, David and Cici Rodriguez. The pair had been close to the beer scene for years and one year ago decided to strike out on their own and create Union, a beer store/bar with a fun, super laid-back vibe. With more than 300 different beers in their cooler, they offer locals and tourists a wide range of tastes to explore. Adrian, David’s right-hand man, helms the bar at Union, helping visitors choose the right brew. So it only made sense to have David and Adrian show us around the Wynwood neighborhood.
First up, J. Wakefield. John Wakefield got started brewing with a $50 Mr. Beer homebrew kit gifted to him by his wife. Slowly but surely, the hobby transformed into a lifestyle and brewing beers on his stove evolved into a jam-packed production facility producing a number of unique brews. John tells us how he combined his life as a beer geek with his life as a Star Wars geek to create his incredibly designed, Star Wars themed tap room which highlights the work of a number of local artists and adds to the incredible vibe you can only find in Wynwood.
Next, it’s on to Wynwood Brewing, Wynwood’s first brewery. Started by Luis G. Brignoni, Wynwood also incorporates local artists’ work into the design of the space. Luis invited local artist Lola Blue to design bottles for the brewery, further cementing the relationship between Wynwood art and its businesses. Wynwood has won a number of Great American Beer Festival medals and is aiming to churn out 12,000 barrels of beer this year thanks to help from the Craft Beer Alliance.
Brignoni made a deal with the CBA in which they would have a 24.5% stake in the company (the threshold for still being defined as "craft" by the Brewers Association) and in return, help grows the production and distribution of Wynwood Brewing brews. This has opened up their tanks, allowing Wynwood to be more creative with their in-house production.
If you’ve never been to Wynwood, you should give it a visit ASAP. Just listen to our Wynwood Guide, Robert William de los Rios from The RAW Project. But if you can’t get down here, watch this episode of Foodable’s Beer Artisan for a journey through the art-driven neighborhood to learn more about its history and vibe.