Just below two years in the past, a brand new brewery opened up in South Florida, a hotbed for a number of the most unbelievable breweries within the nation (learn: Tripping Animals, 3 Sons, and Odd Breed, to call a number of). As if South Florida’s beer scene might get hotter, Jail Friends Brewing Co. in Doral, FL, introduced jam-packed fruit smoothie sours, hoppy hazy IPAs, and lights-out lagers to the Sunshine State.
To say the brewery has crushed it might be an understatement. Within the final twenty-four months, Jail Friends has opened three taprooms throughout the state, added two new beers to their core lineup, and continued to churn out these uncommon, one-off smoothie beers which have change into their trademark.
Because the brewery approaches its two-year anniversary, we sat down with co-founder Juan Pipkin to speak concerning the success of the brewery, a few new beers on the horizon, and what the longer term appears to be like like for Jail Friends.
First, Remind Me, Jail Friends Is Who?
Based in 2019 by 4 Argentinians, Juan Pipkin, Diego Setti, Bruno Laperchuck, and Matias Moroni, Jail Friends was initially the brainchild of Pipkin.
An expert race automobile driver in Argentina, Pipkin had pals who owned breweries, so he started to put money into the method. “I used to be very to study breweries and beer,” says Pipkin. “And I liked to drink… I solely needed to drink good beer.”
So Pipkin recruited Setti, who joined because the brewmaster, and Laperchuck, who grew to become the pinnacle brewer and lab supervisor in command of every thing from high quality management and yeast propagation to sustaining the standard requirements of the beer and excessive degree of sanitation.
However Pipkin didn’t wish to open his place in Argentina, the place the craft beer business has limitations, rising slower than in the US.
Since he already had household in Miami, Pipkin started to discover opening a brewery in America.
In January 2020, Pipkin and Setti visited Florida, touring breweries by Miami, Tampa, and Naples. “We did plenty of miles in two or three days and drank plenty of beer,” jokes Pipkin.
However in all seriousness, Florida appeared like the proper place for Jail Friends. When Argentina allowed residents with vacationer visas to go away the nation, Pipkin and his co-founders moved, organising store in Doral, FL, in early January 2021.
Inside three months, that they had constructed just about every thing within the brewery. “We’re helpful folks,” says Setti. “Apart from the electrical energy and a few piping for water, we made every thing by ourselves. We have been so enthusiastic about constructing our personal brewery, so why not?”
In Could 2021, Jail Friends began pumping out beers, and in April 2022, their taproom formally went reside.
Jail Friends Escapes Their Jail
When Pipkin, Setti, Laperchuck, and Moroni left Argentina, it was to flee a rustic the place craft beer couldn’t thrive.
“We escaped the jail,” says Setti. “The jail was Argentina.”
In response to Setti and Pipkin, the financial scenario in Argentina may be very difficult.
“For instance, this undertaking made in Argentina would take me sixty to eighty years to get better the cash we invested,” says Pipkin. “Or we’d must get fortunate and be purchased by AB InBev.”
However in Florida, Jail Friends has had the liberty to thrive, based on Pipkin. Which is why we named them to our listing of “The 23 Individuals to Watch in Craft Beer in 2023.”
When requested concerning the final two years, he says, “Loopy! It has been extremely good. We’ve acquired plenty of good suggestions from our clients. We’re so blissful and grateful for all our followers who’ve made us very blissful and given us extra power to proceed working onerous.”
Which Pipkin and Co. interpret as not resting in your laurels.
Prior to now two years, Jail Friends has opened three taprooms throughout Florida and expanded distribution to eighteen states nationwide.
Jail Friends, A Taproom for Each Neighborhood
The taprooms are an enormous a part of Jail Friends’ identification. Pipkin feels that they’re among the best methods to achieve clients and inform his story.
“Each taproom is made for every neighborhood,” says Pipkin. “We would like the bartenders to construct a relationship with each buyer.”
At a Jail Friends taproom Pipkin desires you to “go away your issues at residence whenever you stroll within the door,” he says. Take a second out from the stress of your day, sit, calm down, and revel in a beer or two.
To that finish, Jail Friends might be bringing its good vibes to new areas this yr together with Miami South Seaside, West Palm Seaside, Orlando, Tampa, North Miami Seaside, Clearwater, Jacksonville, and Baltimore, with plans to maintain opening much more taprooms sooner or later.
After all, good vibes will solely get you up to now. In Florida, and South Florida particularly, the beer must be on level.
Jail Friends Stuns With Smoothie Sours
When you strive any beer from Jail Friends’ portfolio, two issues stand out straight away: the prime quality and excessive drinkability.
“The very first thing we agreed on was to brew high quality beer,” says Setti.
Pipkin continues, “We attempt to make all our beers with plenty of drinkability.”
To mirror these qualities, Jail Friends targeted on three kinds: smoothie sours, hazy IPAs, and lagers.
Maybe most unusual to the model and the beers that put them on the map is their extremely thick, closely fruited Smoothie Sequence.
After that preliminary journey to Florida, Pipkin and Setti knew they needed to brew kettle sours with a touch of fruit to fight the extraordinary warmth.
However Pipkin had a loopy concept.
What if as an alternative of a touch, they added lots (and we imply lots) of fruit to these kettle sours?
“After I say lots, I imply plenty of fruit,” says Setti. “I’m speaking about forty p.c fruit by weight.”
Fruits like mango, ardour fruit, and peach. All of which went into Smoothie Sequence No.1.
The consequence? An intensely thick, intensely fruity, intensely tropical bitter creation that bought out in lower than every week.
Since that preliminary launch, Jail Friends has gone on to brew tons of beers of their Smoothie Sequence with a complete orchard’s price of various fruits.
“We’re at all times making an attempt new, totally different flavors,” says Setti.
However they’ve additionally honed in on the opposite kinds of their portfolio: lagers and hazy IPAs.
Jail Friends Provides a Crispy Boi and a Juicy Boi to Core Lineup
The smoothie sours have struck a chord, for certain, however Jail Friends doesn’t need it to flee consideration that additionally they make extremely drinkable lagers and intensely juicy hazies.
Which is why they added two new beers to their core lineup in every of these kinds respectively.
Developed particularly for the new climate, Premium Lager has change into one in all Jail Friends’ best-selling beers. And just lately picked up a gold medal within the “American-Fashion Lager” class at Florida Greatest Beer. (The brewery’s Phil The Freedom additionally nabbed a gold within the “Different Hoppy Lager” class).
“We’re in Miami, so we’d like a light-weight and good lager that we are able to make with excessive quantity and high quality,” says Pipkin.
Brewed as a conventional American lager, Premium Lager options solely barley and old-school hops, based on Pipkin.
“It’s a crispy boi that we over carbonated, so the sensation is extra refreshing,” says Pipkin.“That is only a clear, clean beer that you would be able to calm down and drink in every single place.”
Though a seemingly easy beer with a easy objective, Premium Lager has a a lot deeper function. Brewed with the tagline “Style Freedom, Escape Your Jail,” Premium Lager embodies Jail Friends’ personal story.
“[Premium Lager] is no matter disturbing second in your life that you simply wish to escape, seize your friends, and go drink a beer,” says Pipkin. “For us, that was leaving Argentina due to the political scenario [and starting the brewery].”
Becoming then that this essential beer has change into such an extremely common one in Jail Pal’s core lineup.
Piggybacking on these good vibes, Hakuna Matata represents the expression, “No Worries, Be Joyful.”
“That could be a phrase that we’ve liked since we have been younger,” says Pipkin. “When you’ve got an issue, there’s a answer, so no worries.”
Pipkin once more shares that for him and his co-founders “our drawback was Argentina, so we didn’t fear, and we ran from them.”
While you drink this tremendous juicy IPA the thought is to flee out of your issues for a little bit bit and simply drink within the intensely clean tropical notes.
What Is the Way forward for Jail Friends?
After a brilliant profitable two years in South Florida, Jail Friends goals to develop throughout the state.
Pipkin shared that the objective is to have ten taprooms open within the subsequent yr and to proceed increasing distribution in the US.
And naturally, they’ll hold releasing these imaginative smoothie sours, tropical IPAs, and revolutionary lagers.
We are able to confidently say that Jail Friends has damaged free, changing into one in all Florida’s hottest breweries.
“The sky’s the restrict,” says Setti.
As a result of whereas Pipkin, Setti, Laperchuck, and Moroni repeatedly inform folks that they escaped Argentina to start out Jail Friends, additionally they wish to just be sure you know that visiting any Jail Friends taproom ought to be “like coming residence,” says Pipkin. “Solely good vibes.”