MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Something very special is brewing in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.

Using molasses and sugarcane from Florida, Matt Malone is producing the first bottles of rum made in Miami’s Destileria Caneca LLC.

Originally from Minnesota, Malone’s life changed in 2004 when a car accident left him left him with severe back pain, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. No longer able to travel or do the heavy lifting required as a tile and marble agent, Malone changed directions.

The family of Malone’s wife, Joan Rodriguez-Malone, has been making rum in Puerto Rico for five generations. Inspired to keep Ron Caneca and the family’s tradition alive after her grandfather died in 2003, Malone decided to learn the craft of distilling rum. He first trained in Puerto Rico and then took classes through the Bavarian Brewery Technologies.

Malone said his rum will have the Spirit of Miami and he’s not kidding. His stainless steel tanks, which are lined with toasted oak, have speakers hooked up to them. Malone said when he played samba music into the tanks and he found the wood, which pulsed to the beat, released its tannins more quickly. .

Malone has not yet released the name of the 84-proof classic Caribbean white rum which he hopes to begin selling on New Years Day. Since he cannot sell it directly from the distillery, he’s lined up 50 venues that have promised to carry the first batch. While the distillery is currently a one man operation, Malone hopes to hire four employees by the beginning of next year and produce 120,000 bottles of rum by the end of the year.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)


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