When Jorge Garcia, 28, received a Mr. Beer Kit for Christmas in 2008, he never thought he would be entering his beer in community events and contests.
After trying out the kit, he realized it was not the best tasting beer, but he was interested in learning more about the process.
In 2010, he met Robert Tejon, 31, Neftali Medina, 31, and Piero Rodriguez, 31, at Brew Box Miami, which was a local brewing supply store, and they created Misfit Home Brewers, a local beer club that will be one of many breweries showcasing their beer at the Beach Brews Beer Fest on Saturday.
“Our goal was to start a home brewing club that was open to new and different ideas, in a non-competitive atmosphere,” said Tejon.
As a home brewing club, Misfit Home Brewers aims for a taste that is different than other beers frequently sold at stores.
“We don’t want to be in a club that frowns upon wacky ideas like peanut butter beer or watermelon beer,” said Garcia.
Aside from Misfit Home Brewers, local craft home breweries, such as Most Wanted Brewery, Subvert Ales, Opus Ales and Fourth Age Brewing are among the many local brewing clubs, which will be showcasing their beer at Beach Brews Beer Fest.
Luis Somoza, 30, director of Miami Event Productions, which is hosting the event, said he wants to make sure local home brewers get the exposure they deserve.
“Local home breweries have become a trend in our own backyards,” said Somoza. “These are different beers that people don’t usually try. This is why we want to set the stage for them.”
Manuel Jannes, 39, from Opus Ales, a local home brewing club, said there is a healthy craft beer scene in South Florida.
“Although it’s not very commercial right now, I think this year, it is going to erupt,” said Jannes.
Eddie Leon, 44, from Most Wanted Brewery agrees.
“Right now, Most Wanted Brewery is in the planning stages of opening a brewery in Doral,” said Leon. “The more I researched the industry, the more excited I became by its growth and the potential beers we could make.”
Jannes said events like Beach Brews Fest helps local brewing clubs receive the feedback they need from the public.
“Through these events we see what works and what doesn’t work,” he said.
Craft brewing clubs usually make beers that are not frequently sold in stores or served at restaurants.
Each club combines its own ingredients to make unique tasting beer.
“We feel like we make flavorful beers that encompass the melting pot of South Florida,” said Jannes. “We do this by adding fruits that are popular in South and Central America.”
Misfit Home Brewers offer a variety of flavors in its beers, like Cuban coffee, peanut butter, chocolate and peppermint, flavors that have won them awards in previous events like Best Florida Beer and Best Overall Beer.
Fourth Age Brewing, which has been brewing a little over a year, hopes to be recognized this year by their fan favorite “The Flan.”
“I love all our beers,” said Adie Shaqia, 24, from Fourth Age Brewing, “but off the top of my head, “The Flan” is my favorite.”