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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Get On Board: Surfing Santas and Playalinda Brewing Brix Project Get Crafty

Last month, Titusville's Playalinda Brewing Company and Cavalier Distributing announced that they had teamed up to distribute the Playalinda beers across Florida. The beer began to appear in Central and North Florida bars and restaurants in mid-November, coinciding with a series of official launch events that took off in Orlando and Melbourne, before heading north to Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Playalinda Brewing recently celebrated its Two-Year Anniversary at its original downtown Titusville brewery (see story here). The release events are introducing many outside of Space Coast to the brewery's core beers, including the Bottomless Blonde Ale, Robonaut Red Ale, and Pleasure Chest IPA. As the launch events enter the final week, one beer that is splashing its way across the menu boards is Playalinda's special-release "Surfing Santas" Cranberry Blonde Ale. You'll want to get "on board" with it! And, here's why.

Cocoa Beach is known as a surfing town. It's also home to the Surfing Santas of Cocoa Beach. At first glance, it sounds like a bunch of surfer dudes riding some waves in Santa suits. And, that's exactly how it got started. On December 24, 2009, George Trosset hit the waves dressed as Santa, along with two elves (aka his son and daughter). Following a published photo, more locals asked about joining him, and on Christmas Eve 2010, there were 19 "Surfing Santas."  Each year, interest grew, and so did the number of jolly red-suited participants. In 2012, the spectacle caught the attention of local news media, and the group asked the City of Cocoa Beach about moving the event to a downtown spot. Santa participation steadily increased, as did the crowds on hand. Well-known local businesses began to sponsor the annual gathering. On Christmas Eve 2015, over 600 Surfing Santas took to the waves, while 8000+ spectators cheered them on and watched from the shore. 

But, it's not just "a bunch of surfer dudes riding some waves in Santa suits." The Surfing Santas use the event to raise funds for Grind for Life, a local cancer support group whose mission is to help cancer patients with travel expenses for treatment, along with offering support and awareness. The Surfing Santas event also helps to support the Florida Surf Museum in its quest to preserve and explore Florida's surfing history. In addition to donations and sponsorships, the Surfing Santas sell t-shirts and other accessories to raise funds for the organizations that they support. Last year, the group sold over 2000 shirts. 

On Christmas Eve 2016 at 8 a.m., the Surfing Santas will once again convene at 2 Minutemen Causeway in downtown Cocoa Beach and ride the surf to shore. The festivities run til 1 p.m., and also feature hula dancers and ukelele music. This year, the event includes  a costume contest, and the attire can be anything Winter or Holiday related. Apparently, there are no real rules, but keep in mind that it is a family-friendly event. A custom surfboard will be awarded to the costume contest grand prize winner.

Of course, an event of such proportions that highlights Holiday merriment and revelry with a charitable cause deserves an official beer! Playalinda Brewing got on board with the group, and Brewmaster Ron Raike brewed up a beer that blends a dose of Holiday cheer with a thirst-quenching Florida character at the same time: the "Surfing Santas" Cranberry Blonde Ale with Orange Zest. 

But, there's also a backstory. A few weeks ago, the Surfing Santas arrived at Playalinda Brewing's production facility and brewpub, the Brix Project, to celebrate the holiday season with a special tasting of the holiday beer and a tour of the new 16,000 s.f. brewery that opened in late September of this year. After having visited both Playalinda Brewing locations the prior weekend for the anniversary party, this writer grabbed her Santa hat and headed back in her red sleigh to the Space Coast for what was a holiday party like no other.

All decked out: Surfing Santas at Brix Project

Brewmaster Ron Raike with
Surfing Santa Clifford Keuhner
on the brewhouse deck

The group even staged a  "Mannequin Challenge," which was festive in its own right (think Surfing Santas and beer), and I was thrilled to be part of it (video by Visit Space Coast).

"Surfing Santas" Cranberry Blonde Ale with
Orange Zest: Easy to drink, perfect for beach!
Holiday with a bit of tart.


The Brix Project is the new production home to Playalinda's 30-barrel brewhouse. In addition to a bar that offers 20 taps of house beer, guest beers and ciders, the venue features a full kitchen. Menu items range from appetizers, soups and salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and burgers, to entrees such as seafood, steak and pasta. The brewpub is housed in a former lumberyard and manufacturing building, and all of the furniture in the new bar/dining area is made from repurposed wood from the original building. 




The impressive brewhouse is visible through a window behind the bar. And, this is a brewhouse destined to produce a large amount of beer for thirsty Floridians: three 60-barrel fermenters, two 120-barrel fermenters, two 60-barrel brite tanks, and one 120-barrel brite tank -- with space for additional capacity. As Brewmaster Ron Raike explained, the large-scale Brix Project was conceived at the same time as the original small brewery at the downtown Hardware Store location. (That's advance planning at its finest.) One of the beers on tap at the brewpub and in distribution is the "Inaugurale," an Imperial Red Ale (8.4%) that represents the first batch brewed in the new brewhouse. For a look at some of the beers that Playalinda offers, see my earlier stories. The beers are "on point."











The special-release Surfing Santas beer is available at both Playalinda Brewing locations in Titusville, and at establishments along the Space Coast.


Playalinda Brewing's original downtown "Hardware Store" brewery is located at 305 S. Washington St. The Brix Project brewpub and production facility is several miles away, at 5220 S. Washington St., Titusville. Both locations are a short drive off of I-95, near the Kennedy Space Center (which means that if you're in the area for a rocket launch, you can take off to one of both of the Playalinda Brewing locations for beer and food). 

In the meantime, get on board with the Surfing Santas and have Rudolph take you to the Space Coast for what looks to be a wild ride on Christmas Eve! 

I had an awesome time hanging out with the Surfing Santas and getting the behind-the-scenes look at Playalinda Brewing's Brix Project. And, another shout-out to Playalinda Brewing for the invite. I'll be back as I visit Space Coast regularly for brewery visits and other events ... In fact, the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Fest celebrates its 20th year January 25-30, 2017 in Titusville. I attended the Fest in 2016 (and, yes I stopped at Playalinda Brewing). 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone! And, I'll see you around "Florida somewhere" with a beer!   

Til next time,
Cheers,


Linda





Linda Johnson,
Certified Cicerone®

© 2016 BrewNymph, LLC. All photos and text. All rights reserved. BrewNymph; Peace, Love, Pints; Where the Beer Meets the Beach, and Beer is my Trademark are federally-registered trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC; BeerSphere and I'm Fun; Deal With It! are trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC


Monday, December 5, 2016

Making HEADlines: 

QUETZALCOATL RETURNS TO GREEN ROOM BREWING DECEMBER 17

Jacksonville Beach, FL: Green Room Brewing is set to release the 2016 version of its Quetzalcoatl Imperial Mayan Red Ale, made with cassava root, poblano and serrano peppers and chocolate. Since 2012, each December, Green Room offers the unique beer on tap and through a limited bottle release in its tap room. The occasion calls for a day-long party, featuring special treatments of the red ale available on draft in the special events "brewery bar." This year, the event will also include newly-tapped Christmas beers. Bottles of the Quetzalcoatl ale - limited to 500 - will go on sale to the general public at noon on Saturday, December 17 only at the brewery.

This past May, the brewers went one further, with a special limited edition of the ale aged in tequila barrels. That release party also included a separate brewery bar taplist featuring the Quetzalcoatl in Horchata, Java, Mango & Cocoa, Datil & Lime, and Lime Salt Brett treatments. If that bottle release is any indication, be forewarned: these bottles go fast. The May bottle release sold out in about an hour and a half. The ale is inspired by Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of wind and learning, which translates as "feathered serpent." [source: Wikipedia].

The Just Doggin It food truck will be at the brewery, and Firewater Tent Revival will provide live entertainment in the evening. 

Green Room Brewing, a surfing-themed brewery in the heart of Jax Beach, celebrated its fifth anniversary in June.  Read the anniversary story here.

Green Room Brewing is located at 228  - 3rd St. North in Jax Beach. 

Cheers,
Linda
Certified Cicerone®


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Old Coast Ales: Riding Into St. Augustine on a Bicycle Built for Brew

The wheels are in motion for Florida's newest brewery to open during Nights of Lights in the nation's Oldest City. Inspired by the St. Augustine community and a passion for brewing locally-made beer, Old Coast Ales is gearing up for an opening date by the end of 2016. 

Co-owners Jon Boisclair and Matt Hooker have been seen around town sporting "Old Coast Ales" shirts and hats for over two years, as they worked their way through the arduous task of finding a property and building a brewery. There's now a light at the end of part one of their adventure, and the two are eagerly anticipating the next phase: sharing their handcrafted beers with the public in their brewery and tap room at 300 Anastasia Blvd., near the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine. 


Yes, really: On the way soon......
Jon and Matt started the project about three years ago. They have been homebrewing for around 4 years, and converted Matt's garage into a homebrewing headquarters. They knew that they wanted to have their brewery call St. Augustine home and set out looking for properties. In the meantime, they were tweaking and experimenting with beer recipes on their half-barrel homebrew system (yes, that means that they were drinking it, too: you have to test the brew), and they currently have 16 different styles of beer in their lineup. 

In May 2015, they decided to set up shop at a former auto garage property, which property owner Chad Light intended to refurbish. I happened to be sipping on a beer at The Kookaburra coffee shop when an excited Matt stopped in with lease in hand.


The "before":
The former garage at 300 Anastasia Blvd. circa May 2015
(photo by Old Coast Ales)
Shortly afterwards, a wooden fence went up around the property as construction and renovations took place. Since then -- behind the scenes -- concrete was poured, floor drains installed, floors raised, gas lines installed, and a new facility was born. And, check out how it looks now:


The "after": The brewery and tap room sits on the right half;
tenants for the left half are still in the works
(photos by Linda Johnson)


 
The main entrance to Old Coast Ales tap room.


Outdoor patio, under roof. Won't this be an awesome spot
for people watching along Anastasia Blvd.?
The new brewhouse features a seven-barrel brewing system, consisting of a mash tun, brew kettle, two seven-barrel fermenters, and a seven-barrel brite tank. Old Coast Ales obtained the new, hand-built mash tun and brew kettle from Bennett Forgeworks in Ridgway, Colorado. Matt and Jon brought the tanks back from Deutsche in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this year. The brewhouse is set up for approximately 500-700 barrels of beer per year, and there is space for additional fermenters. According to Jon, scaling up on the larger brewing system has been challenging in terms of timing and quantity of ingredients, but those are things that get worked out. Spent grain from the brewing process finds its way to a local farm for use as feed. 

I visited with Jon and Matt at the still-under-construction-but-oh-so-getting-there brewery last week. Jon was building out the bar as we spoke, and later that night, had completed the framing. The space occupies roughly 1900 square feet, comprised of the brewhouse, bar area, and a lounge/game/brewery activity area. Plus, there's a pretty cool covered outdoor patio space accessible from the lounge area, which overlooks Anastasia Blvd. The tap room might be described as "industrial rustic," with hanging bronzed light fixtures and a cypress ceiling. Jon and Matt work in the trades (Jon in HVAC and Matt in painting), and they put the inside together themselves -- from the 150sf walk-in cooler, insulated with concrete and styrofoam, to the bar area. Take a look:


Brand new brewhouse! (photos by Linda Johnson)
Fermenters and brite tank ...
By the way: Yes, there's beer in there!
Industrial meets rustic:
cypress ceiling, hanging lights in tap room

The tap room will feature 12 taps at the end of the bar pouring beer directly from the walk-in cooler. Old Coast Ales will have its own house beers on tap when it opens for business. (They're just a bit busy right now.) And, yes, the fermenters are already full of beer -- a brown ale and a session IPA -- just waiting to be kegged and stored in that cooler.  The brew schedule has an IPA and Porter being brewed in the upcoming week. The bar will seat around 8-10 guests, with a view of the brewhouse through a glass window. One wall will feature a "leaning bar" with a shelf for holding beer, and the tap room will also include tables. Here's how it's shaping up:


Framing: Bar area just off the main entry. Overhanging lighting.
Room with a brewhouse view through the large window.

(photos by Old Coast Ales)


More progress! You're getting thirsty, very thirsty!
So, you're probably asking what kind of beer you can expect from Old Coast Ales. There will be a variety of styles here, with no one particular specialty. The four "main" beers are Empirical IPA, Signal Pale Ale, Port-O-Call Porter, and Boulevard Brown. Other beers you're likely to find in the Old Coast Ales rotation at any given time will be: hefeweizen, summer ale, hoppy brown ale, ESB (Extra Special Bitter), smoked oak strong ale, vanilla milk stout, dark rye, golden Belgian ale, Double IPA, saison, Brett (brettanomyces) saison, and a West-Coast style IPA. ABV's generally range from 5 - 8.5. There's a beer for everyone! While Old Coast Ales has limited local distribution in the long-range plan, in Year 2 or 3, for now, the focus is to continue to brew high-quality beer for the community-inspired tap room. They'll continue to tweak recipes as they go forward, along with creating additional new beers. 

If the Porter is any indication, Old Coast Ales is on track. I was able to try the Porter as part of a local fundraiser last week, and it's solid: roasty, chocolaty, with a hint of caramel, slightly bittersweet, with no overpowering flavors; a well-balanced brew that, I think is safe to say, will be a favorite for many.

Old Coast Ales Porter: Looking forward to more of this one!
(photo by Linda Johnson)
But, let's change gears, so to speak -- what about that bike? Yes, it really does exist. The bike, known as "The Alcohauler," is a functioning bike, inspired by a 1930's Dutch beer delivery bike. Jon's brother, Josh, a bike-builder, built the bike some years ago for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Josh's bike business, Empirical Cycles, is also the inspiration for the brewery's Empirical IPA. The Old Coast Ales theme of neighborhood and community is built around the bike, which will be on display at the brewery, as well as local events. 

The Old Coast Ales signature bike: "The Alcohauler"
(photo from Old Coast Ales)
Old Coast Ales has its brewery licenses in place, and once the tap room build-out is complete, and the beer kegs are full, it will be ready to start serving its beers to St. Augustine locals and visitors alike. It's been a long road since Jon and Matt started their Kickstarter campaign in September 2014 to raise funds to help purchase brewing equipment (there's even a video of Jon riding the bike). While the partners have been working to do whatever is necessary in launching the brewery, once the dust settles, both will continue to brew, with Jon taking on the main brewer duties, and Matt handling the admin side of things. When asked what they would like their guests to think after a visit to Old Coast Ales, the words "friendly vibe," "fantastic service," "exceptional product," and "great experience" sum it up. 

Old Coast Ales is located at 300 Anastasia Blvd. in a district of St. Augustine becoming more and more known simply as "The Boulevard." Hours will be announced as the opening date approaches, but look for the tap room to be open during the afternoons into the nighttime hours at least 5 days a week. The site also offers 15 parking spaces (are those cheers I hear?), as well as street parking along Anastasia Blvd.

Soon, you'll be able to share some beer and conversation at Old Coast Ales, as part 2 of their ride (the fun part) is just getting started.


Congrats to Old Coast Ales on the new brewery! And, special thanks to Jon and Matt for the site access and putting up with all my questions. See you on opening day!

The Holiday Season is here, and I'll be roaming around downtown St. Augustine and travelling on the trolleys for Nights of Lights again this year. Stop and say Hi! Be sure to check out the events pages on brewnymph.com for local North Florida beer events and additional Florida events. See you around "Florida somewhere!"

Til next time, 

Cheers!


Linda








Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®


© 2016 BrewNymph, LLC. All rights reserved. BrewNymph; Peace, Love, Pints; Where the Beer Meets the Beach, and Beer is my Trademark are federally-registered trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC; BeerSphere and I'm Fun; Deal With It! are trademarks of BrewNymph, LLC


Making HEADlines: 

12/3/2016: PALM BEACH WINTER BEER FEST: A HOLIDAY EDITION OF INDOOR FLORIDA BEERFEST FAVORITE

West Palm Beach, FL: The popular annual "Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest" in West Palm Beach in July is known for offering beerfest attendees a chance to sample over 150 different beers with a cool catch -- the fest takes place indoors, with A/C.  No matter what elements Mother Nature decides to send South Florida's way, the beer flows in climate-controlled conditions.  This past July marked the fourth annual Fest (see story here). Because the fest has proven to be hit with the South Florida beer enthusiast crowd, fest organizers will offer a Winter Holiday edition of the beerfest on Saturday, December 3.

The first Palm Beach Winter Beer Fest will also take place in the Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach from 1-5pm (general admission). A VIP ticket option allows one-hour early access at noon. The fest once again will benefit Little Smiles, a non-profit children's charity devoted to helping children affected by serious illnesses by offering fun activities and emotional support. 

As Jennifer Cartwright, of the fest organizing committee, says, "We want to get Palm Beach
County in a festive mood…with craft beer!" The Winter Beer Fest is also a Holiday Party. In addition to craft beer sampling by local, regional, and national breweries, this Fest includes bourbon and whiskey tastings. A Holiday Mixology Bar will serve up a variety of festive drinks, while also offering tips on making holiday concoctions for home holiday parties.   Jennifer expresses the mood of the event as a "giant get-together to celebrate the holidays." 

Tickets can be purchased here. General admission tickets are $45 in advance, $55 at the door. Both admission options include commemorative tasting glass, unlimited craft beer sampling, and unlimited bourbon and whiskey tasting. VIP tickets are $75 in advance, $100 at the door, and in addition to the early entry at noon, features a food ticket, special timed releases, special limited release bottle of FOX Sports beer by local brewery Barrel of Monks Brewing. A Designated Driver admission is also available for $10, including unlimited water and soda. A variety of food trucks will be on site, and a music stage will feature live music throughout the afternoon. 

Combining a beerfest with spirts packaged in a festive, holiday vibe? That gives a new meaning to "getting in the holiday spirit!" 

Cheers,

Linda
Certified Cicerone®



Friday, November 25, 2016

Making HEADlines: 

11/22/2016: BARLEY MOW BREWING COMPANY AND OUT OF THE POT CATERING BRING CRAFT KITCHEN "THE RAVEN" TO LARGO, FL

LARGO, FL:  Barley Mow Brewing Company, known for its black raven artwork, has announced a partnership with Out of the Pot Catering to open a craft kitchen in Largo.  The new venture, "The Raven," will open with 18 taps of Barley Mow beers. The gastropub will feature "unique, seasonal and beer infused dishes, one-off chef inspired brews and craft cocktails," according to a press release issued by Barley Mow Brewing. "From Bulgogi tacos and Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese to fried olives and handmade ice cream sandwiches, The Raven promises to tantalize one’s taste buds while being authentic to its local audience." A Grand Opening is planned for Friday, December 16. 

Barley Mow Brewing Company, which celebrated its four-year anniversary in July, operates a 30-barrel production brewhouse, in addition to its original two-barrel brewing system in its tavern. Barley Mow's beers, including the flagship Americana Golden Ale, Unkindness Black Ale, Maven Milk Stout, and Quackalope IPA are canned onsite in its 25,000-square-foot facility and distributed throughout Florida.  

Barley Mow Brewing Company is located in downtown Largo at 518 W. Bay Dr.  The brewery tavern features 14 rotating taps and a beer engine, along with wine and a liquor bar. The Raven craft kitchen is located at 2535 E. Bay Dr., also in Largo, approximately two miles or six minutes away. 

In explaining the brewery tagline "Simple. Honest. Craft.," Owner/Head Brewer Jay Dingman explains that 
"[the brewery's] beers are brewed simply, with hard work and thoughtful ingredients by honest people who are sincerely and wholly dedicated to their craft. Simple. Honest. Craft."  

Congratulations to The Raven.  


Thursday, November 17, 2016

All Systems Go! for Playalinda Brewing, Titusville: Two Years and Launching (Again)

Two years ago (almost to the day), a small community brewery named Playalinda Brewing Co. opened in downtown Titusville, Florida. Owners Bryan and Donna Scott and Ron and Katie Raike transformed a former hardware store into a brewery, and, well, that sounded pretty cool. A couple days after the Grand Opening on Nov. 14, 2014, I stopped at the new place for the first time. About all I knew of Titusville was that the Kennedy Space Center is closeby, and it's not far from Cocoa Beach, a surfing town and the TV home of "I Dream of Jeannie." During my visit, I started talking to others at the bar (as I like to do), and I learned that "Playalinda" is also the name of a local beach, which is known for the usual beach activities, with a twist: a part of it is home to a clothing-optional stretch, in other words, a new meaning to "take-off." I've visited the brewery and tap room several times since then. 


Two Years of Beer:

Fast forward two years to Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016: Playalinda Brewing celebrated its Two-Year Birthday. And, what a party it was! I had that one marked on the calendar for a while, and who could resist something called "Birthday Cake" beer? 

Playalinda Brewing's three-barrel brewhouse and tap room sit side-by-side at the downtown "Hardware Store" location (it's called that now for a reason; more on that below). The only thing separating the brew tanks from the tap room guests is a chair-rail wall for holding beer. The tap room features shelves and the old tin ceiling from the hardware store days. The tables and chairs are heavy wood that match the shelves. Outside is a sidewalk patio, which provides a view of the downtown Titusville business district, and makes for a great people-watching spot to enjoy that beer. The entire vibe is very laid back and casual. 

As expected, there was a steady stream of foot-traffic at the brewery for the Birthday Party. 


Outside at the Hardware Store, downtown Titusville, for Two-year Birthday Party
Meanwhile, inside....

But, I had heard of that Birthday Cake Beer, so that was the first thing on my mind:


Birthday Cake Beer: Funfetti Birthday Cake Blonde Ale
I'm not sure I've heard of anyone else who does such a beer, and I missed it last year.  The brewery's signature Bottomless Blonde Ale (5% ABV) gets a special treatment, topped with whipped cream and confetti sprinkles. Not too surprisingly, it tasted like a cake, and perfect for the happy occasion!   


Beer and Whipped Cream ...
The tap room menu featured 11 house brews, along with 9 guest taps, and a root beer. In addition to the infamous Birthday Cake Beer, the tap list included: La Mure (blackberry infused Lambic style), You Blue It (Cask Brown Ale with blueberry & vanilla), Caramel Macchiato (blonde ale with local roast coffee, caramel & vanilla beans), Key Lime Slice (Pilsner treated with lime), Titusvillain (pumpkin ale), Geographically Challenged (Belgian Double IPA), Robonaut Red (signature red ale, hop and malt balanced), signature Bottomless Blonde (light, refreshing blonde ale), Inaugurale (Imperial Red Ale), and Pleasure Chest (tropical IPA). Playalinda brews a wide variety of styles at any given time, and while I missed having the Night Launch Stout on the menu, there was no shortage of beer styles to please any palate. So, yeah, you can see where this is headed:


Left to right: Caramel Macchiato, Pleasure Chest IPA,
Key Lime Slice (what's that, more whipped cream?),
You Blue It Cask Brown, Bottomless Blonde ...
That's a lot of flavor, right there!
Playalinda's Bottomless Blonde (5% ABV) is one of those beers that can easily be a "go-to." It's lighter and refreshing and will complement any type of food or activity; and, hey, you gotta love the name (remember the beach?). The Key Lime Slice (4.4% ABV) was a treat from the start, with its lime aroma, and lime flavor that's tart, but not ridiculous, and this one surprised me (in a good way); well, hey, it's like a tart blonde (ahem). Another pleasant surprise was the You Blue It Cask Brown Ale (5.5% ABV): I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of blueberry in a brown ale, but I found it very pleasant, with a subtle blueberry that became more prominent on the backend, while not being too sweet overall. The Pleasure Chest IPA (6.6% ABV) is an easy-drinking IPA with a floral profile, and I noticed a bit of spiciness; a repeatable IPA for you hop-heads. 


Ah, there she is.... 


What's in your....


... Pleasure Chest 

And, that wasn't all. Playalinda also offered beer-and-cupcake flights, featuring five beers (Titusvillain, Cask Blueberry Brown, Caramel Macchiato, Pleasure Chest, and Birthday Cake) with five mini-cupcakes (Chili Mocha, Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel Bacon, Lemon, and Funfetti). Hey, I don't make this stuff up:


Photo by Playalinda Brewing Co.

All in all, it was a fun celebration, and there was no evidence of "Terrible Two's" here. And, a special shout-out to Michelle Mulak, Playalinda's Director of Marketing, for introducing me to co-owners Donna Scott and Katie Raike! So glad to have finally met them in person, and I enjoyed talking not only about beer, but also about Chicago experiences with Katie (turns out she's from the Midwest, too). 


Just talking beer with the ladies:
co-owners Donna Scott, Katie Raike

photo by Playalinda Brewing Co.


Here's to Playalinda Brewing Co. on turning two. I recommend visiting here, and don't wait til next year's Birthday Party.

But, there's more.... Another Countdown, and... 

Launching Around Florida ...

There's another type of "launch" in the works. In early November, Cavalier Distributing and Playalinda Brewing announced that they have partnered to distribute Playalinda's beers throughout Florida. For now, the distribution will cover Central and North Florida, and Playalinda's beers will be available on draft at bars and restaurants. 

While some of the Playalinda "core" beers are already making their way throughout the area, official launch parties are scheduled to begin in Central Florida on November 18 in Orlando, followed by events along the Space Coast and in the Jacksonville area. Be on the lookout, too, for some additional special release beers to make an appearance at these events:


11/18: Redlight Redlight (Orlando) – 5 pm
11/19: Brass Tap Mills Park – 4pm
11/21: World of Beer Viera –7pm
11/21: The Mansion (Melbourne) – 7pm
11/22: Gnarly Barley (Orlando) – 5pm
11/22: Coasters (Melbourne) – 7pm
11/22: The Village Idiot (Cocoa) – 7pm
11/23: The Thirsty Topher (Orlando) – 5pm
11/30: World of Beer Dr. Phillips – 6pm
12/2: Rossi’s Pizza (Orlando) – 5pm
12/6: Alewife Craft Beer and Bottle Shop (Jax) – 6pm
12/7: Engine 15 Brewing (Jax Beach) – 4pm
12/8: Brewz & Dawgz (St. Augustine) – 6-8pm
12/8: Planet Sarbez (St. Augustine) - 8:30pm
12/9: The Public House (Orlando) – 5pm
12/10: World of Beer Downtown Orlando – 5pm
(events subject to change)


So, how does a brewery with a three-barrel system handle distribution like this? Enter Playalinda's new 30-barrel production facility, the Brix Project. The Brix Project, also located in Titusville, opened in September, and features a full kitchen in addition to a brand-spanking new brewhouse. And, while I also stopped by the Brix Project on Saturday, I made another visit on Tuesday... 




Playalinda Brewing has teamed up with the Surfing Santas of Cocoa Beach to brew up the "Surfing Santa" Cranberry Blonde Ale with Orange Zest for the Surfing Santas beach fundraiser next month (see the "BeerSPHERE Page" of brewnymph.com for a summary). I had a great time hanging out with the Santas at the special brew event (which provided a new meaning to holiday party), and getting a behind-the-scenes look at the Brix Project brewhouse, as well as tasting the merry concoction. 

And, hey, you just might see that Surfing Santa beer at one or more of those Playalinda launch parties .....  But, that's all Part 2 of this story (coming soon).....  In the meantime, I'll just leave you with this sneak peek:


The Surfing Santa Cranberry Blonde Ale
with Orange Zest...
Be good, and maybe Santa will bring you one

Had a great time at Playalinda Brewing for two days of visits! Be on the lookout for the beer in Central and North Florida! Thanks again to Playalinda Brewing for the hospitality!

And, hey, it's almost Thanksgiving, so be sure to get some beer for your dinner (and maybe to help you with all that family stuff). There are still lots of beer events going on, and 2017 will be here before you know it. Check out the BeerSPHERE and Tap This Pages on this website, and get a beer! See you around a beer somewhere in Florida.....

Cheers!

Til next time,


Linda 






Linda Johnson
Certified Cicerone®



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