December 5, 2022


World Travel Service

From hospitality pupil to beer entrepreneur | FIU Information

From hospitality pupil to beer entrepreneur | FIU Information

Zhi Yang didn’t know a love of beer and a school course on beer making would someday make him an entrepreneur. However greater than a decade after graduating from FIU’s Chaplin Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism Administration and serving to begin the varsity’s first-ever craft beer pageant, now referred to as North Miami Brewfest, the FIU alumnus’ ardour for a chilly one is now his livelihood.

Yang is the proprietor of Commonplace Kegs, a keg and beverage tools provider and distribution enterprise for the craft beer, kombucha and craft espresso industries. Commonplace Kegs makes metal kegs, one-way kegs, keg washers, and even brewing tools and focuses on all the things from brewhouse design to set up and help from its 4 U.S.-based warehouses.

So how did Yang go from the Brew FIU lab to beer baron? 

“We had been all required to do a semester-long internship previous to commencement, and I didn’t wish to do a daily internship at a lodge or restaurant, since my solely curiosity was brewing,” stated Yang from his Greenville, Texas warehouse. “The one craft brewery domestically was Titanic on the time, however dozens of others had been in planning. It was an opportune time to assist craft guys market by having a locals-only craft beer pageant, which complemented the South Seaside Wine & Meals Pageant®, which additionally bought its begin at FIU.”

Yang and fellow classmates Matthew Weintraub and Richard Lopez from his brew science course satisfied Professor Barry Gump, Eminent Scholar and Harvey R. Chaplin Eminent Scholar Chair in Beverage Administration, to allow them to placed on a pageant centered on craft beers. They borrowed no matter they might and even used their very own funds to assist placed on the primary pageant, which came about simply steps away from the Chaplin Faculty on the Kovens Convention Middle at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami.

From hospitality pupil to beer entrepreneur | FIU Information
Yang (left), one of many unique pageant 4, from Brew FIU.


“We managed to scrape collectively about 18 distributors who had been keen to donate time and beer to the occasion, concurrently promoting tickets nevertheless we may, and attempting to watch out to not promote it as a typical beer fest the place most attendees are solely trying to get intoxicated. 

One way or the other, we offered round 200 tickets and managed to make a tiny revenue which was promptly used to buy new tools for the Brew Lab,” he added. 

Yang says attempting one thing new that hadn’t been executed earlier than was “terrifying” but thrilling on the identical time. He credit his schooling and the inaugural pageant expertise for giving him the arrogance and skillset to construct a staff, handle income and method shoppers right this moment. 

The pageant is marking its 10th anniversary this 12 months and welcomes a crowd of 1,600 now. North Miami Brewfest is scheduled to happen Saturday, Nov.14, from 1 to five p.m. on the Museum of Modern Artwork (MOCA) plaza in North Miami. 

“I can’t imagine time has passed by so shortly. this occasion 10 years later, I’m extraordinarily glad it blossomed below the management of Dr. Gump and Dean Q (Professor and Director of Services Administration Mohammad Qureshi). By no means had I imagined this might be an enduring legacy.”

Tickets to North Miami Brewfest are nonetheless accessible at: 

Commonplace Kegs extensive high fermenter of their new keg manufacturing unit in Greenville, Texas.