If you thought last year was busy with craft beer, 2015 is set to blow your socks off. With more breweries than we can count (we didn't do well in math, hence the writing bit), South Florida will finally close the gap of breweries per capita.
There are many, many, many hurdles in opening a brewery, the least of which is federal permits, which can take months to process. Securing a building takes time. Construction takes time. Heck, brewing beer takes time. All of these factors can delay a brewery from opening for what seems like an eternity.
Here, though, is a list of breweries that we're looking forward to seeing open in 2015. To the best of our knowledge, they are places that will open this year. Of course, anything can happen, but let's pursue an exercise in optimism. Is it all-inclusive? No. There are a lot of folks about to put out some amazing beers. Here is a selection to get your mouths salivating with the thoughts of new and awesome breweries in South Florida.
Barrel of Monks
Opening as a niche brewery in southern Palm Beach County, the Barrel of Monks is a Belgian-centric operation set to open in
early February April. Homebrewer Bill McFee and his wife, Maria McFee (who is a United States Gulden Draak ambassador), have been busy outfitting their Boca Raton-based brewery for the better part of 2014. They even lassoed Kevin Abbott to brew; Abbott previously worked the mash paddle at Due South Brewing Co. and Funky Buddha Brewery.
Wild Oak Artisan Ales
Brewers Matt Manthe and Christopher McElvern cut their teeth in South Carolina at Thomas Creek Brewery before moving to South Florida. Manthe is currently running the tanks at Brewzzi in Boca Raton, but their new small-batch, bacteria-laden brewery slated for Boynton Beach is a hotly anticipated opening. With a drive toward bottle-focused creations (à la Saint Somewhere Brewing in Tarpon Springs), they will be the epitome of small-batch brewing.
Twisted Trunk Brewing
From the operators of Tequesta Brewing comes this new Palm Beach Gardens concept. Co-owners Fran Andrewlevich and Matt Webster are bringing beer to the Gardens after production at the original brewery has been maxed out for several years. The duo has been planning to build additional space; all it took was finding the right spot. These long-standing South Florida brewers will bring their continued professionalism into the world of craft beer. Word on the street teases an opening soon.
Coppertop Brewing Co.
Matt Cox, who had previously brewed at Big Bear Brewing Co. in Coral Springs since 2001, has his own brewing baby to call home. With his place scheduled to open in late February, the veteran brewer will be putting together some solid traditional beers, including bottles for distribution. The facility itself has more construction to go, with Cox and his team having installed the walk-in cooler over the New Year's holiday.
J Wakefield Brewing
Jonathan Wakefield has helped to bring the fruited Berliner weisse into vogue, and his hotly anticipated brewery that has done a few soft opening days this January has brought a lot of buzz to the Miami brewing scene. Located in the street-art-covered Wynwood district, JWB will seek to continue the hype train going for craft beer aficionados. Finally, beer geeks can stop asking 'When will they open?" and start drinking it at regular intervals.
MIA Brewing Co.
With another Miami taproom open, the area is finally going to see the surge in locally produced beer that has been lacking for so long. Owner Eddie Leon opened the brewery permanently on January 9 with a broad palate of beers such as a Galaxy Red Ale, Passion Fruit Pink Peppercorn Saison, and a Grand Cru/Belgian Strong Dark blended with blue agave and aged in tequila barrels. Leon even owns his own distribution company, Most Wanted Beverages, that will carry his kegs to market.
Concrete Beach Brewery
Some might decry the noncraftiness of the Samuel Adams brand, but there is no denying that Jim Koch and the Boston Beer Co. helped to revolutionize beer drinkers' tastes in the '80s and '90s. Now, he has put capital into a venture headed by former Magic Hat founder Alan Newman in what will be called Concrete Beach Brewery. With a focus on Miami-centric flavors and a Hispanics-first attitude, this brewhouse located in Wynwood will fuel the fires of the burgeoning Miami beer scene. We featured a first-taste from the brewery, and while packaged beers can already be found in stores, the taproom will allow for experimentation beyond the basics, turning it into a craft destination.
Three Horns Brewing
Coy Patrick makes damned good beer, and he's seeking out the perfect spot in Palm Beach County to produce it. We first met him in 2013 after a successful homebrewing competition in which he won first place with a commercial-level pale ale (according to Cicerone-certified judges). He's told us he's looking for a space, and once that's done, it's just some quick construction. Oh, and his logo is a triceratops. Baller.
3 Sons Brewing Co.
Beer-festival attendees have seen 3 Sons Brewing all across the area in the past year, including pouring at the venerable Hunahpu's Day last March (and now 2015's upcoming festival). Brewer Corey Artanis, known for big culinary and dessert beers with flavors like pumpkin spice and Neapolitan ice cream, is seeking to open in Dania Beach if all goes well. Artanis said permitting might be approved by March, which could see him opening up before the year is out.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers, and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.
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