Jim Patton, Wynwood Brewing Genius, Talks Craft Beer, Abita and Anthropology
|Courtesy of Luis Brignoni|
Patton joined Luis Brignoni's brewing operation last month. He, Brignoni and Luis Brignoni Sr. are currently preparing to open the first brewery in Miami city limits since the Wagner Brewing Company in 1934.
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Patton is no stranger to making beer. After all, he founded one of the largest and most recognized craft breweries in the United States, Abita Brewing Company. Jim sold the company in 1998 and has moved on, living in Key West for 10 years before residing in California while studying how to make wine.
Other than his brewing know-how, Patton also holds a doctorate in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis. He even once had a promising career in academia, teaching at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond and Xavier University in New Orleans.
Brewing is Patton's forté. With scientific precision and business savvy, he built Abita from a local production brewery to a company that distributes its product to nearly every state in the union. Even though he has nothing to do with the company anymore, his legacy remains. Two of the most popular brands, Purple Haze and Turbo Dog, were originally his recipes.
If beer was illegal, then Patton would be the Walter White of prohibition. His time spent in academia is only surpassed by his knowledge and experience in running a successful small brewing operation.
Since arriving in Miami last month, Patton has been holed up in Miami's newest brewing facility, tweaking recipes to perfection and renovating the new brewery space in Wynwood. Short Order met up with the brewmaster for a little Q&A.