Wynwood has grown into one of the top Miami destinations in recent years, a midtown area becoming increasingly known for two things; street art, and craft beer.
In addition to The Wynwood Walls and a growing number of art galleries, neighborhood buildings also serve as canvases for graffiti art that can be found everywhere, and any Wynwood Walking Tour focused on art always crosses path with a craft beer company.
As the only place in the Western Hemisphere to host an annual Art Basel, the area gets constant attention from the international art community.
The local craft beer scene is also getting global attention, both from beer enthusiasts, as well as beer companies that want to share a space in this creative community.
Since Miami is often seen as the unofficial capital of Latin America, Wynwood is the ideal location for North American Craft Beer Culture to be fused with the flavor and flair of the brewing scene of South America, so when the founders of two craft breweries from far-flung locations wanted to collaborate on a craft beer venture, this trendy neighborhood in Miami seemed like the obvious choice.
As the only craft beer company in Colombia’s capital city and a pioneer of the craft brewing scene in their South American home, Bogotá Beer Company is well aware of what it takes to create full-bodied beer that’s suitable to the tropical climate.
Based in the Pacific North West, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. has expertise in other areas. Founded by three friends in 2006 they have been producing a series of innovative India Pale Ales meant to be enjoyed in the great outdoors.
The result of this partnership was Veza Sur Brewing, a brewery that’s made in Miami with Latin American inputs reflected across their range.
A visit to their Brewery and tap room is perfect for any visitor to Miami, whether craft beer connoisseurs seeking local flavor, or weary travelers seeking refreshment in their urban oasis after an afternoon admiring the nearby art of the Wynwood Walls.
Even outside of Wynwood, their bottled beers can be found across Florida and are well-suited for sipping at any time of the year.
Spanglish Latin Lager is reminiscent of the tropical lagers found across the Caribbean, but just like 10 Saints Beer from Barbados or Havana Lager at nearby Concrete Beach, there’s just a bit more character and a longer finish compared to more mainstream pale lagers.
La Yuma Dark Lager adds some darker nuances and deeper malt notes but still keeps it casual enough that it’s easy to enjoy a six-pack or more by the pool on a summer day.
Mangolandia is even more enjoyable as a session beer since it’s still light with some added complexity; on the nose there are notes of mango blossom followed by fresh fruit on the finish. Because this seasonal blonde ale is brewed with fresh mango, it serves as a great introduction to some of the tap room offering that are also brewed with ripe tropical fruits.
Just like Mangolandia, Arroz con Mango is also brewed with pulp of the fruit that it’s named after, but the Latin flavor is increased with fresh ginger and habanero that complements the more tart mango taste. Combined with the high proof, these ingredients allow every sip to be sharp and spicy, while rice flakes keeps it crisp and creamy.
The Lulo Sour uses fresh guava pulp to balance tangy elements, the result is a balanced beer with a rounded and sweet finish.
Additionally, there’s a Maibock infused with Hibiscus Sangria, and a Gose matured on key limes and jalapenos.
Beyond these beers that focus on tropical fruit infusions, there are offerings that showcase Veza Sur as a serious contender capable of competing with craft beer companies across the country.
Vezayuna Sourdough Breakfast Ale is a tart and tasty beer that involved a member of the brewing team making sourdough starter from scratch, using it to ferment breakfast cereals, inoculating the mash, and then allowing traditional ale yeasts to complete the brewing process.
Another option for a breakfast beer is the Per’la Coffee Porter; a dark beer laced with a blend of Brazilian coffee beans; there’s an espresso roast for robust coffee notes, and lightly toasted Arabica beans that lend nuttiness and a creamy mouthfeel. When served on nitro, the fresh coffee results in a decadent experience that will surely impress any lover of cream stouts or draught Irish stouts.
Finally, the ideal way to complete a tasting of Veza Sur Beer is by trying one of the barrel-aged beers that are sometimes on tap in limited quantities.
These limited edition beers are carefully laid in casks and left to mature in a loft adjacent to their lagering tanks. Since these are done in small batches, offerings typically are only available for a short time.
La Curita Imperial Stout brings together dark malts and molasses in the brewing process before a maturation in bourbon barrels along with Madagascan vanilla beans. Every sip from the snifter that it’s presented in is rich and rewarding, reminiscent of a long aged rum, with lingering notes of charred oak, tobacco, and fruit cake. As the beer warms up, the molasses aroma become more evident alongside notes of lightly toasted cacao nibs.
Beyond just beer, a variety of cocktails that use beer as their base are served at the bar. Each one was meticulously crafted by the same team behind some of South Florida’s most popular cocktail destinations like the Broken Shaker, or The Anderson. These concoctions bring together seasonal beer, fresh juice, and specially made syrups.
Following an Imperial Stout, it made sense to enjoy a Café Con Flan, the only one of these cocktails to use a dark beer.
This shooter adds a layer of flan foam to the Per’lita Porter in a decadent dessert that’s a mash-up between Irish coffee and a cafecito sweetened with dulce de leche.
Unsurprisingly, their range of seasonal Micheladas is extremely popular on early afternoons when the Miami sun is still high in the sky. These Mexican cocktails bring together Spanglish Latin Lager, and ingredients like Tajín, Sofrito sauce and seasonal juices.
Shoot the Moon is reminiscent of a Tiki cocktail, with fresh mint leaves, a blend of Florida juice juice, and house made amaro adding an additional element to the Lulo Sour that plays behind the scenes.
A visit to Veza Sur would not be complete without trying another signature item that allows them to stand out from the other breweries in the area; Chopp Beer.
This is a Brazilian style of serving freezing cold beer with a thick layer of velvety foam that originated as a way to prevent pints from getting warm between sips.
Just like the cards at a Brazilian Rodízio, the coasters for a Chopp at Veza Sur are red on one side and green on the other to let the waiters know whether you’re ready for another beer or for the tab.
Anyone attending one of the free brewery tours held three times weekly gets a complementary Chopp when the tour begins. These tours are a great opportunity to enjoy one on the house while also learning the stories behind a favorite Veza Sur beer, or find out about an upcoming release.
The range of beer alone is enough of a reason, but ice cold Chopp, and specially curated cocktails make Veza Sur stand out from the other breweries in the community. A visit to this brewery needs to be on everyone’s Miami Bucket List.
Complementary Beer for this article was sponsored by Veza Sur Brewing Company, Wynwood’s Latin Craft Brewery and Bar.