Just east of the I-95 in Wynwood, on Northwest 24th Street, you'll notice a new, bright-orange mural is in the works. It's not a famed, European street artist's Art Basel-commissioned piece. It's Wynwood Brewing Company's way of welcoming Basel throngs to Miami's first brewery.
The building housing it was, not long ago, another piece of real estate in the old warehouse district. Owner Luis Brignoni, a Puerto Rican-American and Wynwood native, says he spent months working to get the necessary permits for a type of business the city had never seen before, in a part of Miami where zoning laws cause much debate.
After roughly one week of events promoting the brewery's soft opening in late September, WBC will be ready to open Dec. 4, in time to rake in the business Art Basel is expected to bring.
Brignoni hired a new brewmaster just this November, now-defunct Gordon Biersch's Nik Mebane. Mebane, a Pennsylvania State grad, moved to Miami just four months before the Brickell brewpub shuttered. Before the move, he worked at Otto's Pub and Brewery in State College, Penn.
Now he's in charge of producing Wynwood's La Rubia blonde ale, Pop's Porter and the brewery's other signature suds.
You can try these brews before WBC's opening date by getting on the first Miami Brew Bus on Dec. 1. For $60 plus fees, you'll get a tour of three South Florida breweries: the Funky Buddha in Oakland Park, Wynwood Brewing Company, and M.I.A. Brewing Co. in Doral.
It's worth noting only the Funky Buddha is officially open to the public. The other two businesses will welcome visitors in a rare display of reverse "Miami time."