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'Brew Dogs' hunt for craft beer in South Florida

A Miami Vice beer? Esquire Network's “Brew Dogs” make suds with Wynwood Brewing Company.

When Scottish craft-beer evangelists Martin Dickie and James Watt paid a visit to Wynwood Brewing Company in February, they came with a mission: to create the quintessential Miami beer.

They call it the Miami Vice, a porter infused with Key limes and plantains, smoked with maduro cigaros and aged in a rum barrel. Dickie and Watt can be seen making the beer on this Wednesday's South Florida-set episode of "Brew Dogs," Esquire Network's craft-beer reality show. To brew it, the pair collaborated with Wynwood Brewing Company head Luis Brignoni, whose roasty Pop's Porter and hoppy pale ale Beat the Wheat served as Miami Vice's base flavors.

"There are so many ways to brew a beer, and we love deconstructing flavors," Watt says by phone from Scotland, where he and Dickie operate their popular independent brewery BrewDog. "We love making crazy concoctions that push the art and science of beers."

Dickie and Watt use their traveling show, now in its third season, to spread craft-beer madness across different towns around the world, saluting local brews and creating their own with local ingredients. But visiting Miami provided its own strange diversions, Dickie says.

"We're so pasty white from living in Scotland, so my favorite part was rubbing the sunblock into [Brignoni's] chest," Dickie says, prompting a laugh from Watt. "No, it was spending a day sampling rum in Key West. The amazing thing about this show is that we're not only highlighting craft-beer producers, but also spiritmakers, restaurateurs and chefs."

Brignoni, who calls himself a "huge fan" of "Brew Dogs," says reality show producers approached him last fall to shoot the South Florida episode. He describes Dickie and Watt as "wacky and crazy, but super-cool guys" who invited himto stage a rum-running operation inspired by South Florida's Prohibition past as a haven for bootleggers.

"They're so off-the-wall, but it's all about having fun and making craft beer the star," Brignoni says. "At the end of the show, we had this big party where we tasted the [Miami Vice] beer. It was really good. They're smart brewers who came from humble beginnings, and now they're showing people what good craft beer is all about."

Dickie and Watt also visited Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, Due South Brewing Company in Boynton Beach, nearby J. Wakefield Brewery in Wynwood and the Riverside Market Café in Fort Lauderdale.

To celebrate their appearances in the "Brew Dogs" episode, the following craft-beer spots will host watch parties on Wednesday night.

Wynwood Brewing Company (565 NW 24th St., Miami, 305-982-8732, WynwoodBrewing.com. From 7 to 11 p.m., the watch party will feature $5 Vanilla Pops (a vanilla-infused treatment of the brewery's Pop's Porter) and Gallagher (a watermelon-infused Beat the Wheat).

SaltWater Brewery (1701 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561-865-5373, SaltWaterBrewery.com. The 10-11 p.m. watch party will feature limited-release taps. For a $3 upcharge, drinkers can keep the glass.

Riverside Market (608 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-358-8333, TheRiversideMarket.com. The 8-11 p.m. watch party will offer food specials and limited-release taps.

J. Wakefield Brewing (120 NW 24th St., Miami, 786-254-7779, JWakefieldBrewing.com. The viewing party will begin at 10 p.m., and the brewery will tap limited-release beers.

pvalys@sun-sentinel.com or Twitter.com/philvalys

For more, here's a trailer for Wednesday's episode of "Brew Dogs."

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