Even if you don’t practice Santeria (sorry, had to), there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the religion. As a system of beliefs, it merges Indigenous American and Christian images and ideas with Yoruba traditions brought to the New World by Yoruba slaves.
Somewhat less likely, but still entirely possible, is that you’ve heard of the song Babalu, written by Margarita Lecuona in the 30’s. Here it is, sung by the man that popularized it in the United States, Desi Arnaz:
I am fully aware of exactly how important the show Miami Vice was to the cultural identity of Miami and Miami-Dade County. In many ways, Miami never really left the cocaine-fueled 8o’s behind.
It’s just interesting that 1) So many people use plays on Miami Vice for their beers and 2) Few of them are in Miami-Dade.
MIA Brewing is. And that lends a bit of gravitas to their Miami Weiss (Hefeweizen, 5.8% ABV).
Doral’s MIA Brewing is finally canning. Yes, they’re a young brewery, but if you know anything about what they’re up to, this doesn’t come as a surprise. And yes, I know the brewing and canning is actually taking place at BrewHub in Lakeland, but it’s still quintessentially MIA.
One of those things that make their beers so unmistakeable is their distinct visual style. I’m not sure who does their art direction, but anything that MIA does carries that look. Of the 4 cans that have been released, none are more stereotypical than MegaMix (Pale Ale, 6% ABV, 58 IBU).
Unless you actively drive in South Florida, the name Tamiami Trail probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to you.
First, it’s not a hiking trail. It’s a road, the last bit of U.S. Highway 41 to be exact, and it stretches from Tampa into the heart of Downtown Miami.
It’s that stretch in Miami-Dade County that is most important, since that bit of road also has the famous moniker of Calle Ocho.
Imperial anything tends to scare me just a bit. Not only do they tend to be really, really strong, but they also tend to be really, really strong.
Scary strong. Wake up and you’re being mauled by a grizzly bear with chainsaws for paws that’s riding a cybernetically-enhanced great white shark scary.
MIA Brewing doesn’t seem fazed by scary. Heck, they thrive on scary, pushing out their first major solo bomber release as a big, big, scary Imperial Stout with a big, scary, Russian pirate Scarface sort of character on the front.
Russian. Scarface. Hence, Czarface (Imperial Stout, 10% ABV)
The best I can check, the name Baltizar refers to a Brazilian soccer player, a Belgian indie band, several hundred fictional characters, or even a 12-liter bottle of wine. MIA Brewing is good for truly obscure names like that.
It’s also good for beer, and they’ve shown that they can master pretty much any style. Up next on the list of beers for them to knock out of the park was the Baltic porter known as Baltizar (Baltic Porter, 7% ABV).
Baltizar by MIA Brewing
If you’ve ever been to a Catholic Church (or the hispanic section of any Florida grocery store), you’ll notice really tall glass-enclosed candles, possibly with some sort of saint on it. That is known as a veladora.
Predictably, these veladoras are a fixture in South Florida. And it’s the inspiration for Doral’s MIA Brewing’s Veladora series of Berliner Weisse sour beers.
Of the series, I managed to get my hands on one of them, Mal De Ojo (Berliner Weisse, 4% ABV), at Ft. Lauderdale’s Riverside Market.
Mal De Ojo by MIA Brewing
I’m sure someone knows how this occurred, but I never expected two new(ish) breweries so far away from each other to be collaborating so quickly.
The two breweries in question are Doral‘s M.I.A. Brewing and Coppertail Brewing in Tampa. These two recently teamed up, with the Coppertail team making the 6 or so hour drive from Ybor City to Doral to meet up with M.I.A. and throw a little love the way of Ghostbusters. Seriously. It’s all because their beer is named, interestingly enough, Crossing Streams (IPA, 7% ABV).
Crossing Streams by MIA Brewing and Coppertail Brewing