Somewhere between growing Bend-based 10 Barrel Brewing Company at home and beyond, two of the company co-founders teamed with new partners to open a small brewpub in Miami.
Brothers Chris and Jeremy Cox, joined Berny Silberwasser, Asbjorn Gerlach and Max-Antonio Burger to create a Latin-influenced brewery they call Veza Sur.
Silberwasser is the founder of Bogota Beer Co., of Colombia. Gerlach, German-born, co-founded Kross Brewery of Chile. Burger is the new ventures and innovation manager at The High End, the craft-beer division of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Veza Sur is backed by Anheuser-Busch, which bought 10 Barrel in 2014 and Bogota Beer Co. the following year.
Bogota Beer, founded by Silberwasser in 2002, opened up the craft-beer market in Colombia, established more than 25 pubs and grew into the country’s second-largest brewery, worth approximately $50 million in 2014, according to the Financial Times. The Brazilian arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev bought Bogota Beer Co. for an undisclosed sum in May 2015, according to Reuters.
The Coxes, and their 10 Barrel partner Garrett Wales, still manage 10 Barrel and its growing chain of brewpubs, although Wales is not part of the Florida venture.
The brewery expansion on NE 18th Street in Bend includes another brewpub, the company’s second in town. It also operates its original brewpub on NW Galveston Avenue and one each in Boise, Idaho, and Portland.
10 Barrel located its two new brewpubs outside of Oregon in trendy or promising neighborhoods: San Diego’s East Village and Denver’s River North. Likewise, Veza Sur is sited in the Wynwood section of Miami.
“From our standpoint, it’s something we wanted to do,” Chris Cox said Tuesday. “And, also, Berny lives in Miami half the time, and so it just made sense.”
The High End, which tends more to buying craft breweries than creating them, liked the pitch. The brewpub, located in a 10,000-square-foot space, with a 15-barrel brewhouse and 5,000 square feet for a taproom, is expected to open in May, he said. The taproom will offer food with Latin influence through a local purveyor, Cox said.
The project started 1½ years ago with a trip by the Cox brothers with Burger to Colombia, where they met Silberwasser, according to Cox and a letter announcing the project sent to wholesalers in Florida on April 17. A spokeswoman for The High End, in an email Tuesday, said the company declined further comment until the brewery opens.
“We were cruising around Bogota, super impressed by the cuisine and the beer, the music and the culture, and thought it would be fun to open a brewery in Miami with Berny,” Cox said. “We’ve been working on this project quite a while.”
Gerlach will be the Veza Sur master brewer. Cox described the project as a meeting of Northwest and Latin brewing expertise.
“Asbjorn is a fantastic brewer and we enjoyed working with him,” he said. “Berny has high expectations and has seen what Asbjorn can do and is excited to let him lead.”
The brewery will distribute locally with eventual plans to package beer in either bottles or cans, Cox said. He has no plans to distribute Veza Sur in Oregon, but he said he may bring some back to Bend just for fun.
The starting lineup at Veza Sur (a play on cerveza and sur) will be eight beers: Latin and dark lagers, a session IPA, an IPA, a Belgian witbier, a coffee porter, red ale and a Berliner Weisse with guava. The taproom will feature as many as 18 taps, with indoor and outdoor seating.
“The beers are really good,” Cox said, “and we’re super excited.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7815, email@example.com