Tonight at Wynwood Brewing we celebrate an act of charity and remember a family friend with the release of Miami's newest (and perhaps most exclusive) craft beer, "One True King." And therein lies a tale (and a tail, come to think of it)...
Last April, VeritageMiami, the charity wine event I direct, teamed up with Wynwood Brewing Company for a great fund raising effort: Luis Brignoni and his fellow brewers donated time and talent and allowed us to auction off an opportunity for one high bidder to brew his or her own limited edition craft beer at Miami's top artisanal brewery.
Dean Reyes was the generous high bidder. He was not required to grow a beard to fit in with the Wynwood Brewers, but he did begin spending time at Wynwood Brewing with Luis and the gang to select the style of beer they wanted to make, the types of grain to use, the best way to flavor the beer and the aging process. Eventually the brewing was done and the waiting was over, the beer was named "One True King" (a great story, as you will discover in a moment) and finally it's time to tap the keg. Dean and Luis will do that tonight, Thursday, November 5, and they're throwing a party in the process.
Brignoni says they made an Imperial lager that ended up with a powerful 7.6% abv (alcohol by volume) and, after a lot of discussion, Luis and Dean decided to use the noble Saaz hops in flavoring the beer (if you want to geek out, Saaz is a classic flavoring for Bohemian beers and especially Czech pilsner so it has a terrific pedigree).
And now the best part of the story, as Dean explains how he came to name this one-time-only expression of hoppy goodness. “Besides being a big fan of the television program 'Game of Thrones' for which the 'one true king' is a constant theme, last week our family dog of 13 years passed away unexpectedly. His name was King and he was a Pomeranian with the attitude of a lion. King went everywhere with us, including (coming to) work on a daily basis and everyone loved this little guy. I thought it befitting to pay tribute to him with the beer release, One True King.” And coincidentally, King is also the singular translation for Dean’s Spanish last name “Reyes.”
Brignoni and Reyes will host the release party at Wynwood Brewing's taproom tonight when we finally have a chance to taste how the project turned out. As a benefit of his generous bid, Reyes will take home one keg of "One True King," and the remaining beer in the micro-batch will be sold at the taproom with proceeds benefiting the charitable work of United Way of Miami-Dade until the micro-brew is finished. I'm going to do my part to see that it doesn't last a long time. I plan to fill a couple of growlers and celebrate in style and I hope you’ll join me. Wynwood Brewing Company is located at 565 NW 24 Street in Miami. We'll be pouring from 7 p.m. -- come on by for a taste of the new brew and an opportunity to support newly minted craft brewer Dean Reyes as well as United Way of Miami-Dade.