Food & Drink

South Florida Food 50: Andrew and Michael Mendez of Mendez Fuel

emichot@miamiherald.com

Andrew Mendez and Michael Mendez, Manager and owner of Mendez Fuel

Why they’re Food 50: They’ve elevated a humble gas station into Miami’s finest destination for hard-to-find craft beer.

About two years ago, brothers Andrew and Michael Mendez started an experiment inside the brightly painted gas station and car wash on Coral Way and 32nd Avenue that Michael owns and Andrew manages. They installed eight beer taps, stocked the shelves and coolers with more than 200 other beers, and set up a juice bar and deli that serves healthful sandwiches, cold-pressed juices and more. Their experiment — the craft-beer and clean-eating version of El Carajo’s wine and tapas inside a gas station — took off.

Now Mendez dispenses beer from 16 taps into glass growlers and aluminum crowlers. And it always stocks the newest and limited-release labels that beer geeks go gaga over: Some beers last less than an hour from the time Andrew posts about it on Instagram to the time fans clean out the keg or bottles. Between their fresh eats and deep beer selection, the Mendez brothers have developed a niche in the convenience-store market that Miami welcomes with open arms.

Where to find them: Mendez Fuel, 3201 Coral Way, Miami; 305-443-2976.

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