Tucked away in a rezoned industrial section of Fort Lauderdale's Progresso Village is Uncommon Path Brewing, which plans to open later this month with beers made onsite, wood-fired pizzas, and two brewers who've methodically brought their business idea to fruition.
Uncommon Path owners Marcos Cabrera and Josh Breault tell New Times they plan to have the brewery, located at 710 NW Fifth Ave., in operation (and the pizza oven fired up) later this month. The duo committed themselves about a year ago after signing a lease on an empty building, after which they began the tedious process of building the place out piece by piece. The opening date is currently set for Saturday, September 23.
"We came in with dirt floors and no windows," Cabrera says of the sizable space that's divided between tap room, kitchen, and brew house. "This was just an empty rectangle. I always wanted to do my own thing."
Like many in the beer industry, the road Cabrera and Breault took that led them to brewing wasn't a common one. The inspiration behind the brewery's name comes from the uncommon path they take to making beer and pizza and developing the taproom image.
Breault, a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, works in the IT industry and started homebrewing four years ago. He got his foot in the door a short distance away at Orchestrated Minds Brewing Co., where he met Cabrera, who was the head brewer.
Cabrera, who hails from the Dominican Republic, had been in the beer industry for several years before meeting Breault. Previously, Cabrera ran the homebrew shop at the Craft Beer Cartel in Fort Lauderdale. He studied music engineering in school and spent some time in Berlin before relocating to Florida.
Cabrera also worked in the aviation industry as a loadmaster, whose duty is to load cargo onto airplanes safely — but he was always traveling. "I was just non-existent," Cabrera says.
The two left Orchestrated to venture out on their own. They had saved up enough money and pooled their resources to start working toward Uncommon Path. They split duties in the planning process and took turns attending meetings.
When it opens, the brewery will function as two separate units under different zoning regulations. Combined to create one business, the tap room is zoned as a bar, while the other section functions as a manufacturing facility. The purpose, he says, is to ensure the proper amount of parking spaces for customers.
Customers entering the taproom will see an abstract art mural adorning the wall to the right and the Uncommon Path Brewing neon logo hanging on the wall above the bar on the left.
A Marra Forni wood-fired pizza oven in the kitchen sits in one corner alongside a topping storage station. The space is just big enough to get the job done. Breault describes the oven as "nice and simple with absolutely nothing fancy about it."
Although an employee will perform the pizza-making task, Cabrera says he spent a whole year learning how to make pies from scratch in order to perfect the recipe. The dough, gooey in consistency, is made with brewing yeast, Cabrera shares.
On the beer-making side of things, Cabrera and Breault have assembled a brewing system consisting of a five-barrel mash tun and brew kettle, in addition to eight five-barrel fermenting tanks. At the time of this interview, Uncommon Path's owners haven't finalized a beer menu but say they planned to focus on making lagers along with frequent rotations.
In addition to lagers, look for stouts, IPAs, sour ales, and some one-off experimental brews the duo describes as old-world styles that aren't often made (or are oft-ignored) due to the industry's more popular offerings. For those who prefer wine, Cabrera said the brewery will also have its own curated bottled wine list.
"The point is to keep people interested," sums up Cabrera.
Uncommon Path Brewing. 710 NW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 561-654-1846; uncommonpathbrewing.com.