Though beer has been around for hundreds of years, the craft beer industry hasn’t. This industry can be traced back to the 70s, but it didn’t start gaining real momentum until the early 2000s. At one point, craft beer was made primarily in the home. Now, the Brewers Association cites that there are over 7,000 craft breweries across the United States.
Of course, an industry can’t have such exponential growth without high demand. While it may have seemed strange 10-15 years ago, it is common for people to travel to new cities with the purpose of visiting different craft breweries. For any beer lover, cities like Asheville, Boston and Denver come to mind as great travel spots for this. However, with work and family life, planning a trip can sometimes be hard to do. Thankfully, for those of us on the Space Coast, we don’t have to travel too far from our own backyards to enjoy a delicious, craft beer experience.
Playalinda Brewing Company
Playalinda was the first, and remains the only, microbrewery in Titusville. The brewery opened its doors in 2014 in a renovated building that once belonged to Titusville Hardware. Playalinda is owned by Ron and Katie Raike and Donna and Bryan Scott – owners of Barn Light Electric – and Rush construction was called in to manage the historical renovation. The community immediately fell head over heels – and for good reason. With a unique offering of beers and a warm atmosphere, demand increased so rapidly, that the owners had no other option than to expand. In 2016 they opened their Brix Project location, but this space served a different need than their flagship. Here, they offer an expanded menu, a broader cocktail and wine list and even host a Sunday brunch complete with a mimosa flight.
Though Playalinda’s breweries remain in Titusville, they signed a statewide distribution contract with Cavalier Distributing in 2017, meaning you can find their beers in retailers across the state. They also have a relationship with Disney and provide different brews for Run Disney, The Flower and Garden Festival and Epcot’s annual Food and Wine Festival. Did you happen to see pictures of the Rainbow Sherbet Glitter Dream Ale on Instagram or various Disney food blogs this past year? That was a Playalinda creation! Of course, this is just one of hundreds of Playalinda’s finest.
Laura Sasaninejad, Playalinda’s marketing director, shared that between both locations, Playalinda has 40 taps and they are constantly changing. So, no matter your preference, Playalinda will assuredly have something for you.
Intracoastal Brewing Company
Like Playalinda, the demand here is high. With both outdoor and indoor seating, Intracoastal is a great hangout spot any time of the year. They have two separate bars from which you can order, and there is a food truck on site so you can eat bar snacks along with your brews. Intracoastal has cornhole, hosts local musicians and, Intracoastal is unique in that it is both kid and dog friendly. Though most bars and breweries may not have an age requirement to enter, most are typically not a place you’d want your child to be. Thankfully, Intracoastal isn’t like most bars and breweries. With such an open outdoor space and so many friendly visitors and staff, parents don’t have to feel guilty for bringing their kids out when they want a drink.
The brewery is also heavily involved within the community. Every Sunday, Intracoastal hosts yoga classes with local yoga studio, the Yogi Perogi. They also host trivia nights on Mondays as well as the Intra Run club every Wednesday. There is no cocktail list or wine menu, so if you’re not a huge fan of beer, don’t worry; you can still enjoy great food and live entertainment. However, if you are a craft beer lover who can’t decide what to try, you can order a flight! The tap list is constantly rotating, so keep coming back to experiment and try something new. And, if you find something you like, grab a growler and bring Intracoastal home with you.
Growing up watching 80s movies, I’ve always felt a little disappointed that arcades and arcade bars had become a thing of the past. Yes, I’ve played in arcades at various bowling alleys and adventure parks, but I’ve always felt that these were a bit overpriced and underwhelming. That said, you can imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that Downtown Melbourne was home to an arcade bar/brewery.
The owners of this brewery are best friends who love two things: video games and craft beer. After spending much time brewing from home, they decided to take the leap and open their own brewery. Though I can’t speak from experience – as I did not grow up in the 80s – Quarters is everything I had imagined an arcade bar would be. The interior consists of dark wood, tabletop games and of course, classic arcade games. The beers’ names are all plays on popular video games and some of the taps are shaped like game controllers. Once you decide on a beer – or a glass of wine – you can hang out at the bar, grab a table or start some friendly competition. It is good to note that Quarters has two units, so if you walk in and the place is a bit crowded, you can take your beer and walk next door.
Though the games inside are mostly classics, they also host weekly and monthly game tournaments, where community members are invited to compete against each other in popular games of today, such as Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. The prizes typically include a free beer and bragging rights. With so much fun to be had, you’ll barely feel time passing you by.
If you fall in love with a particular beer, ask your bartender about bringing home a keg. That’s right – a keg. And, as the name implies, don’t forget your quarters!
As a Space Coast native, Sara enjoys using her love of writing to speak directly to the community that raised her. She graduated from Florida State University with a B.A. in English, and has written for a variety of magazines; however, her love for publishing and writing developed as a young girl, when she received her first copy of Teen Vogue. When she isn't writing or at work, she is traveling around the state with friends, visiting coffee shops, going to live shows and brushing up on her photography skills. Follow her on Instagram or connect with her on LinkedIn.