They used to brew beer at home — until this South Florida brewery let them brew like pros 

Seems like all the hard work of home brewing has paid off for eight lucky brewers.

After perfecting their beer in their kitchens and garages, with just the right amount of malt and hops, they’re ready to brew with the big boys as part of Hollywood Brewing’s BrewMaster Brew-a-thon.

Six teams of home brewers won the chance to make their beer at the brewery’s Hollywood BrewPub on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk. They will take turns using the brewery’s professional equipment in October and November, with guidance from professional brewmasters.

The brewery wanted to become familiar with home brewers in the community and provide them with an opportunity to brew on professional gear, said the program’s innovator, Irina Zabelina, brand manager for the Hollywood Brewery and Hollywood BrewPub. Opening their doors to up-and-coming brewers is a tremendous opportunity to expose them to a whole new audience of craft beer fans, she said.

The tanks at Hollywood BrewPub that home brewers are using during Brew-a-thon. (Facebook)


Four of the six teams have designs on opening full-fledged breweries of their own. The other two are simply happy to be home-brew heroes. However, all will be brewing their own original recipes.

“We are supplying basic malt and hop ingredients to the brewers to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible for each participant,” Zabelina said. “It also allows us to have a full understanding and transparency of the ingredients and methods used for production on our equipment.”

The first group of winners brewed their beer the week of Oct. 9. Joseph Diaz-Tova brewed his Hibiscus Gose. Luis Suarez of the upcoming South Miami-based Old Deck Beer brewed his Vinni Van Gomez, a red IPA. And Jorge Quintana of the upcoming Keys-based Cayo Hueso Brewing, made his Coconut Coma, an American Porter.

The second group of winners will be brewing at the Hollywood Brewpub from Nov. 2-6. Jared Vermeulen, whose home brew operation goes by J-Town Brew Company, will scale up his Monarch Brown Ale, an American brown ale. He’ll be followed by the team of William and Christine Roark of Red White & Brewing Co. with their Parfois, ces Couleurs Fonctionnent, a French saison. Jeremy Logan and Shane Davis of Misfits Brewing Co. will get a chance to brew their Hella Good, a West Coast IPA.

When their beers are ready to pour, the teams will return to Hollywood BrewPub for a meet-and-greet and a question-and-answer session with local craft beer fans. The brewery is waiting for all the beers to be fermented and ready to pour so they have not yet set a date for the event.

Hollywood BrewPub will put their beers on tap and split the proceeds with the home brewers. The brewery is encouraging them to promote their beer in creative ways.

Because it’s the first of its kind, the Brew-a-thon has also been a fun learning process for all involved because the beers they’re brewing are like nothing the BrewPub normally carries. In essence “it’s been a crash course in brewing diversity,” said Zabelina.

Hollywood Brewing will update the Brew-a-thon progress online at