Focal Beer Cafe Is Brewing in Miami’s Little River Neighborhood
Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of the New Times free.
The Bousa Brewing Company has closed and a new facility with a focus on craft beer and community has emerged in its place. Step into the Focal Beer Cafe where it’s all about being local.
“The name itself is a combination of focus and local,” General Manager Leo Diaz told the New Times. “Our message is: don’t lose your focus, drink locally.”
In July 2019, the Focal Beer Cafe Bousa, a brewery that opened in September 2017, took over Enrique Garcia and Juan Pablo Vergara. The duo quietly passed operations on to the owner / operator of the Focal Beer Cafe, Humberto Perez, who recently changed the name to include the new business focus and philosophy.
Perez is the former president and founder of Bay Brewing Company and Ybor City Brewing Company, and began his craft beer career as the former president of Cerveseria Regional in Venezuela.
The brewery is located in the Little River business complex, which is part of the 29-block section north of Miami’s Midtown neighborhood. While the layout of Bousa’s original 12,000-square-foot warehouse and adjoining 1,500-square-foot tasting room has remained largely unchanged, the vibe is a different story.
Although the Focal Beer Cafe is currently operating on a to-go model, those who wish to visit the brewery will soon be able to do so at any time of the day thanks to the extended taproom hours that allow customers to visit morning, noon and evening.
Leo Diaz (left), General Manager of Focal Beer Cafe, Humberto Perez, and head brewer Carlos de la Rosa (right) stand in the brewhouse of Focal Beer Cafe, which Bousa Brewing Co. took over in July 2019.
Photo courtesy of Focal Beer Cafe
“We’re a brewery first, but we’re also a place where you can come to work in the morning, hang out and have a coffee, or have a beer or two in the evening,” says Diaz.
Expect a slew of creative releases from Focal Beer Cafe head brewer Carlos De La Rosa.
Right now, customers can try a range of new and rotating beers, including the flagship Mayami Blonde, an easy-to-drink ale with a hint of citrus. You can also order the El Puma Double IPA, Intern Hefeweizen, and the OG Tropical Stout, a classic British-style stout brewed with hints of orange peel, roasted coffee, and cocoa.
While the original brewhouse remains largely unchanged, the addition of several new fermenters will allow for more experimental beers in small batches, adds Diaz.
Going forward, the goal is to expand Focal’s reach beyond the brewery. When the taproom closed in March, Focal was able to shift its focus from local consumption to creating new revenue streams through canning and local distribution.
“When we were hit by the pandemic, we took a break, but it helped us step back and refocus on what we want to be,” says Diaz.
Focal Beer Cafe. 7235 NE Fourth Ave., Miami; 305-363-5166; focalbeercafe.com. Open for collection Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Keep The Miami New Times Free … Since we started the Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we want it to stay that way. We offer our readers free access to concise coverage of local news, food and culture. Produce stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands with bold reporting, stylish writing, and staff everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Feature Writing Award to the Casey Medal for the Deservable Journalism have won. With the existence of local journalism under siege and setbacks having a greater impact on advertising revenue, it is more important than ever for us to raise support for funding our local journalism. You can help by joining our I Support membership program which allows us to continue to cover Miami without paywalls.
Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who has been reporting on the South Florida food scene for the New Times since 2011. She also enjoys drinking beer and writing about the growing craft beer community in the region.