A well-known brewer in Miami’s craft beer scene was killed in a car crash over the weekend.
Piero Rodriguez, one of MIA Beer Company’s founding brewers, was killed in an accident early Sunday, owner Eddie Leon confirmed. He was 34.
“We are completely devastated,” Leon said.
Leon said Rodriguez worked a late shift at the bar Saturday night to make extra money and his last sentiment before leaving was that he couldn’t wait to see his 9-year-old son, Rebel, on Father’s Day. Leon said Doral police told Rodriguez’s family that he lost control of his car on NW 33rd Street at the tight curve in the 8900 block, just minutes down the street from the brewery. He struck a light pole, wasn’t wearing his seat belt and was ejected, Leon said.
“He was telling everybody how excited he was to see his son,” Leon said. “It’s a sudden loss that we’re all having a hard time coming to terms with.”
Friends, colleagues and family took to social media Sunday to remember Rodriguez.
“Miami’s craft brewery family has recently lost a beloved member,” Wynwood Brewing Company posted on its Facebook page. “Our entire love and support goes to Piero’s family and friends from M.I.A. Keep brewing in heaven, brother.”
Rodriguez put his beer-making hobby to good use when he met three other ale-makers at a supply store in 2010.
Together they formed Misfit Home Brewers, a beer club that was among different breweries that showed their craft ales at the Beach Brews Beer Fest that same year.
In an interview with the Craft Commander — a website that interviews local brewers — Rodriguez said that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was the reason he got into making beer.
In 2013, Rodriguez spoke to 24/7 Miami Radio about MIA Beer before it opened in Doral.
“We’re a full production brewery, under construction at the moment, we are looking to be open by the beginning of next year,” said a cheery Rodriguez. “We are trying to grow the craft beer scene in Miami, introducing people to new styles of beers, new flavors in beers, we’re working with several different recipes at the moment.”