The elements are slowly but surely falling into place for Alan Newman and his team at the soon-to-launch Concrete Beach Brewery in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami.
Last we saw Newman, the brewery was in the middle of construction. Though there are now more walls and doors than there were a month ago, there is still some time left until completion. With that opening timeline moving closer, and accounts soon waiting to be filled, Concrete Beach Brewery opened its doors to showcase a duo of beers that it will first put out into the market.
First up in the preview was the Stiltsville Pilsner, named after the famous grouping of homes in Biscayne Bay. It pours a super pale crystal clear straw color with a firm and frothy stark white crown. It offers up floral and herbal aromas with a touch of lemony citrus, the moves to some crisp grain heft (not malty sweet, though) and a subdued American hop finish. Though it is labeled as 'European style pilsner', it feels more American in execution, and solid at that. At 5.2% abv, it's a mild entry to American craft standards.
Next up for sampling was Rica, a wheat India pale ale that has a hop base that includes Cascade, Citra, and Nelson Sauvin. The Cascade is hugely evident up front on the aroma and bitter taste, and is accompanied by that enviable Citra juiciness. The wheat rounds out all of the flavors and gives the beer some heft, while the the mixing of hop flavors do their thing across the palate. From those in attendance, this is the beer that seemed to get the most conversation time.
"There's a lot of work going on here at the brewery," brewmaster John Carpenter told us. "We're currently brewing in Cincinnati to bring it down here," he said. Concrete Beach Brewery is a venture of Alchemy & Science which is itself a venture of Newman's and Jim Koch of Boston Beer Company. They will be brewing the packaged beer out of bigger facilities up north, but providing all draft accounts out of the Miami location.
"This was never about making a Sam Adams 'South'," lead brewer Chris McGrath told us during a tour of the production facilities. "Everyone wearing this logo," he said, pointing to his shirt, "is in love with beer. We're building a market here, [Miami] has everything going for it." McGrath assured us that everything beer-wise would be developed here in Miami.
"The people will decide what is popular and what our flagship is," he explained. "It's all up to them."
Stiltsville and Rica are slated to be available in 12 ounce bottles at numerous retailers starting at the beginning of October. Watch for the public brewery opening to happen only slightly afterwards.
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