John Falco was tired of driving from Kendall to Wynwood for a cool spot to hang out. So he built his own.
Falco, head brewer and one of six partners to start Lincoln’s Beard Brewery in suburbs west of Miami, has opened a new brewery and pizzeria in west Kendall, what even he once labeled “the edge of the world.”
Strange Beast is the first of two new brewpubs Falco and his partner are opening. This one is at the corner of 152nd Avenue and Southwest 72nd Street in west Kendall. It’s just minutes from his home, his former high school, Sunset High, and a community he thought was thirsty for craft beer and pizza — and didn’t want to drive across the county.
“The thought of going into Brickell and Wynwood was foreign to me,” Falco said. “I wanted to be in my neighborhood.”
Strange Beast, a direct translation of the Kaiju Japanese monster movies with which the brewery is adorned, opened June 30, serving locally and nationally brewed craft beers and pizzas made in house. Falco brought on pizzaiolo Doug Sorek from Colorado to design the pizza menu.
Strange Beast joins Spanish Marie Brewery, the first craft beer maker to open an independent spot in west Kendall at 14241 SW 120th St.
Falco, 38, a former Air Force intelligence officer, will begin brewing his own beer at Strange Beast in late August when their own 7-barrel brew system is finished.
Simply-topped, 48-hour, cold-fermented pizzas cooked in a 700-degree gas oven keep bellies full at Strange Beast. Among the choices are the Baby Godzilla ($13), with spicy chorizo from nearby Los Tanitos Argentine restaurant and butcher shop, and a vegetarian ‘Shroom pizza with a porcini, silver dollar and shiitake mushroom blend.
“Pizza is a great vehicle to bring people together and that’s what it’s all about: hospitality,” Sorek said.
Palmetto Bay is the site for his second brewpub with Lincoln’s Beard partner Todd Maxwell, a spot he says will have its own character, beers and menu. It will be called Maxwell Bros. Clothing Store, a speakeasy-type approach named for Maxwell’s longtime family business in Millersburg, Ohio.
Their neighbor will be a new partner, Sweet Melody ice cream, which was just weeks from opening inside two Mojo Donuts locations before their agreement fell through. Maxwell Bros. and Sweet Melody are expected to open by February 2020 at 17379 S. Dixie Highway.
“It’s going to be a little bit funky and weird, like all my spots,” Falco said.
Strange Beast Brewpub and Pizzeria
15220 SW 72nd St., Kendall