Hell 'N Blazes Brewing Company's new menu is as enticing as its brews.
There is only one direction the Hell ‘N Blazes Brewing Company (HNB) is going, and that is up. Hell ‘N Blazes Brewing Company is stepping up its game in the kitchen, pairing its best local brews with American southern fare. The 16,000-square-foot brewery is housed in an 1898 historical landmark building in downtown Melbourne and features a full-service kitchen offering the comforts of All-American bar food, plus quality homecooked, southern meals for all ages and palettes, including vegetarian and vegan entrees.
Hell ‘N Blazes Brewing Company is a watering hole for beer connoisseurs as it is a family-friendly gathering place. And that’s exactly how Owner Don Difrisco envisioned his establishment.
“This place is super family-oriented. We really care about each other here,” said Hell N’ Blazes Chef Drew Campbell. “I want the food to reflect all the care, love and hard work that has gone into the building and have it live up to the high standards that our beers have set.”
Campbell pours her creativity and passion for food into each entree, creating recipes in-house with most dishes made from scratch. She has enjoyed infusing Brewmaster Todd Furbeck’s award-winning beers into her cooking.
Melbourne native Furbeck, who grew up with the company’s general manager Andy Pinkerton, Difrisco’s nephew, considers himself a true-to-style brewer and crafts his brews to reminisce tradition and simplicity whilst dancing with the southern gastro pub flavors of Campbell’s menu. Furbeck recommends pairing Glory Days IPA with the bacon-wrapped jalapeno brisket-stuffed poppers dressed in habanero brew infused garlic-molasses BBQ sauce. Or, give the 32901 IPA a try with the chicken cobb salad. The refreshing Palm Bay IPA pairs nicely with almost everything – HNB’s signature candied maple bacon strips to the grilled vegan Beyond Burger dressed with a delightful BBQ house bistro sauce.
Among the expanded vegan/vegetarian menu items is the kid-approved, plant-based, soy-free chicken nuggets made from bamboo. To the unsuspecting 9-year-old and 30-something-year-old, these crispy battered tenders with the house BBQ sauce were nearly identical in flavor to what one would find in a happy meal.
Campbell is dedicated to creating dishes that stay true to HNB’s identity and atmosphere. “I cook what I would want to eat at home. We want people to be comfortable and hang out. We aren’t interested in flipping tables. There is a hunting-outdoorsy vibe going on and I didn’t want to be another BBQ place. I wanted to do southern without the heavy fried and gravy items. I don’t want menu items that fill people to the point of competing with the beer.” Think complimentary pairings, my friends.
First-timers may seek comfort in the beer flights. The brews are all inspired by history, the city of Melbourne, or both. Core beers include the Causeway IPA, Northern Flow Lager and Huggins Hefeweizen. Newer releases are the Smoked Pumpkin Habanero amber ale, Mabel’s Monster Mangos and Palm Bay IPA.
This 122-year-old building has elements of historical charm throughout. Take a walk down memory lane on your way to the game room where you’ll also pass the 10-barrel brewhouse. Old photos adorn the walls outlining the building’s unique history from its inception in the 1800s as the first and only bank between Miami and Jacksonville, then came the addition of a mortuary, Huggins Hardware Supply and a furniture store.
When opening in 2015, the Difrisco family wanted to preserve the historical elements of its past. Original hardwood floors, awnings, windows and artifacts displayed throughout bring the 100-year-old building alive. Sit with the friendly spirit of Mabel Huggins by Mabel’s piano near the front of the building. Visit The Vault, which can be reserved for private events, on the opposite side of the brewhouse and you will find the original bank vault door restored to its original glory.
The main tap room and game room are bordered with flat screen TVs streaming ESPN and the news. Country music faintly plays in the background.
The next time you find yourself in downtown Melbourne with an empty stomach give HNB a shot. Bring the entire family for good food, beer and shuffleboard.
1002 E New Haven Ave, Melbourne, FL 32901
Facebook: Hell ‘n Blazes Brewing Co.