Miami New Times Brew at the Zoo review: VIP makes the difference

Story and photos by Leah Arluk, correspondent

On Saturday, April 28, 2012, Zoo Miami hosted the third annual Miami New Times “Brew at the Zoo,” and it was really fun for what it was – a beerfest.  I can compare this event to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times Beerfest in that they both had beer, performers and a ton of people in attendance. But that’s where the similarities ended for me. I really enjoyed this event in a different way than the Fort Lauderdale beer festival.

The main difference: The folks at Miami New Times were nice enough to provide me with VIP admission to the Brew at the Zoo. VIP is certainly the way to go if you’re attending a beer festival.

The tickets will cost more, but you really do get lots of bang for your buck.  In the VIP section, we had access to delicious food provided by Taste of the Wild: Zoo Miami Catering and alcohol provided by L’Chaim Vodka and SX Liquor. Also the VIP area had private seating, Port-a-Potties, and private entrances and exits. When I wrote about the Fort Lauderdale Beerfest in April,   I wasn’t able to highlight all of benefits of the VIP ticket  because I was in general admission the whole evening.

As for the actual beers … those were not really the shining star. Although this was a festival about beers, most of the brews weren’t anything really outstanding, I thought. The real highlights of this beer girl’s experience were the home brewers from Cerve Tech and Misfits Home Brewers.

The guys over at Cerve Tech had a Randall set up with Midori Soaked Watermelon Matchsticks and Cascade hops in it. The beer was a passion fruit IPA that blew my mind! Having it filtered through the Randall was so awesome to experience and see.

These people really took massive amount of time and effort to produce a mouthgasmic beer! Also the boys at Cerve Tech were cool enough to take me into their tent and explain to me everything they doing to promote the craft beer community in Miami.

Next up was the Misfits Home Brewers, who have so far not disappointed me with the beer they brew. This time I sampled the Cortadito Arabica Porter. This beer smelled like a fresh brewed coffee and was just as light as that on the palate.

The last notable beer was the specially made Zoo Brew from Zoo Miami. It was a light, grapefruit-y beer that was bitter and yummy.

As for the other beers, they were pretty much run of the mill. I would have loved to see the variety of great craft beers that the Fort Lauderdale Beerfest offered. As for the entertainment, The Spazmatics (an awesome ’80s cover band) had everyone jamming out and being a few feet away from Alien Ant Farm was really a great advantage of being in the VIP.

Seeing that group brought back great memories but being able to attend this phenomenal event has certainly helped to create some great new memories. Thank you again to the great folks at Miami New Times for hooking me up with the tickets. Can’t wait until the next one.

Leah blogs at You can follow her on Twitter,  too.

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One Response to Miami New Times Brew at the Zoo review: VIP makes the difference

  1. Genesis says:

    Overall event was a complete disaster to say the least. A few friends and I purchased the VIP tickets and when we got there, there was no food left at the Taste of the Wild set up. The staff was just there looking how everybody was asking for the food and a few of them just left. Definitely new times must address this in reference to the food. It seems every year is the same old story. I would not pay for VIP tickets ever again.

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