Bousa Brewing Company has closed, and in its place, a new establishment with a focus on craft beer and community has emerged. Enter Focal Beer Cafe, where it’s all about being local.
“The name itself is a combination of focus and local,” general manager Leo Diaz tells New Times. “Our message is: Don’t lose your focus, drink local.”
In July 2019, Focal Beer Cafe took over Bousa, a brewery Enrique Garcia and Juan Pablo Vergara opened in September 2017. The duo quietly handed operations over to Focal Beer Cafe owner/operator Humberto Perez, who recently changed the name to encompass the new business focus and philosophy.
Perez is the former president and founder of both Bay Brewing Company and Ybor City Brewing Company and began his craft beer career as the former president for Cerveseria Regional in Venezuela.
The brewery is located in the Little River business complex, part of the 29-block stretch just north of Miami’s Midtown area. While the layout of Bousa’s original 12,000-square-foot warehouse and adjacent 1,500-square-foot tasting room have remained largely unchanged, the vibe is another story.
Although Focal Beer Cafe is currently operating on a to-go model, those who wish to visit the brewery will soon be able to do so all hours of the day thanks to extended taproom hours that will allow patrons to visit morning, noon, and night.
Focal Beer Cafe general manager Leo Diaz (left), Humberto Perez, and head brewer Carlos de la Rosa (right) stand inside the Focal Beer Cafe brewhouse which took over Bousa Brewing Co. in July 2019. .
Photo courtesy of Focal Beer Cafe
“We are a brewery first, but we are also a place where you can come to work, hang out, and share a coffee in the morning or a beer or two in the evening,” Diaz says.
Expect a number of creative releases from Focal Beer Cafe head brewer Carlos De La Rosa.
Right now, patrons can sample a number of new and rotating brews including the flagship Mayami Blonde, an easy-drinking ale with hints of citrus. You can also order the El Puma double IPA, Intern Hefeweizen, and the OG Tropical stout, a classic British-style stout brewed with a touch of orange zest, roasted coffee, and cacao.
While the original brewhouse remains largely the same, the addition of several new fermenters will allow for more small-batch, experimental brews, adds Diaz.
Moving forward, the goal is to expand Focal’s reach beyond the brewery. When the taproom closed in March, it allowed Focal to switch its focus from mainly onsite consumption to creating a new stream of revenue via canning and local distribution.
“When we got hit by the pandemic, it put us on pause, but it helped us to step back and refocus what we want to be,” Diaz says.
Focal Beer Cafe. 7235 NE Fourth Ave., Miami; 305-363-5166; focalbeercafe.com. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday for pickup.