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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Playalinda Brewing Co. Takes Off

When one thinks of Titusville, Florida, the images typically invoked are likely those of Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center launches, astronauts, rockets, and the famous T-minus 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, "We have liftoff!" Ah yes, the thrill of it all.

But, there's another reason to visit this area now. One of the newest Florida breweries to enter the local craft brew scene launched on Friday, November 14, at 4pm. And, yes, there was a countdown of sorts leading up to it. Say Hello to Playalinda Brewing Co. 




So, What About That Name?
OK, there's a lot to talk about here.  First, the beer is good - really good.  And, there's that location.  But, where'd that name come from?

Of course, you can learn a lot from talking to people drinking beer at a bar - especially when it's local. I quickly learned that there is a beach here, named Playalinda. (Hmmm, I really like the sound of that, because it means "Beautiful Beach" in Spanish; and, it just so happens to be my name. What a coincidence given my affinity toward beaches!).  Apparently, it's a good spot for fishing. Yeah, ok, sure.  But, the hook seems to be that there's a span of beach where you can take it all off (nude sunbathing!).  How did I not know of that before? Quick internet research reveals that Playalinda Beach was rated the "Quietest Beach" on TripAdvisor in 2013, and it's part of the Canaveral National Seashore. 

According to an article in Florida Today, owner Bryan Scott wanted the name to reflect the city, but with a different focus than on the space center. It works. The theme and some of the beer names cleverly combine the beach with the blastoff (kind of a different way to look at "take off"). So, now we know.


Countin' Down the Brews
This visit marked the last day of a weekend beertrip, having travelled to South Florida for other brewery visits on Friday night and a beerfest in Port St. Lucie on Saturday (more on those later).  Sunday morning started off with a flat tire on I-95, resulting in an unscheduled three-hour delay.  What's better than beer to make that type of thing better?


The tap list was impressive, counting 13 original beers, plus a cider. Brewmaster Ron Raike had designed the list for the grand opening on Friday (which may have included a couple more).  The selection also included a limited release collab with Cigar City Brewing, Whirlpool Session Pale Ale. I opted for the "Brewer's Flight" which consists of five 5 oz pours of the Bottomless Blonde Ale, Rocket Man Red Ale, Bring It IPA, Honey Belgian, and Night Launch Stout.  You can probably see where this is going.  

The Bottomless Blonde Ale (4.8 ABV, 16 IBU) is light in aroma, color and taste, as you would probably expect.  You get the hops in this one, and it's so fresh tasting.  Overall, if you like the "lighter" beers, this one is for you.  Very pleasant.  And, hey, you gotta like that name.  A reference to having a few of them, or a reference to the aforementioned beach?  Either way, it's very easy drinking, with the right amount of hops taste.  

Bottomless Blonde Ale
Should've taken the photo first

Next, the Rocket Man Red Ale (5.2  ABV,28 IBU) is described as a "hop forward American red ale." It has a nice, deep amber color, and a hoppy aroma. The hoppiness goes through to the finish, with good bittering, but not overpowering.  It's tough to find a good red ale, and I thought this is one of the better ones out there.  No "burnin' out your fuse up here alone" on this one, as I'm sure you could find some friends to enjoy this one with you.

The Bring It IPA (8.8 ABV, 66 IBU) is one for the Hopheads out there. The beer menu says it's "close" to an Imperial. Whoa, yeah, it's hoppy, lots of Citra.  Really liked it. 

Next in the flight was the Honey Belgian (6.9 ABV, 18 IBU).  Typically, I'm not a fan of Belgian yeasts.  This one has spices on the nose, and the honey tempers the distinct Belgian qualities. Well balanced.  If you like Belgians, this one is a nice, flavorful brew.  

Rocket Man Red Ale
Damn, drank it before photo
Which brings us to the last beer in the flight, the Night Launch Stout (4.8 ABV, 21 IBU).  I love a good stout, and I loved this one (may have gone a bit crazy on Untappd). Described as an"Irish-style dry stout," it's smooth with chocolate notes.  Not a coffee stout, "just" good stout flavor. It was so good, I had a full pint of it, too. 

The other offerings on the beer menu: Nut Pale Ale, Cask Conditioned Iced Coffee Stout, Chuggin Punkin, American Pale Mild, End of Summer Watermelon, Brett Porter, and IPYea.  I will check some of 'em out on the next visit (if available). The limited release Whirlpool collaboration session ale has lots of citrus and will appeal to fans of the citrus IPAs and the other citrusy Cigar City beers.





With the Night Launch Stout,
and a sign of what's ahead?
The menu also offers a selection of snacks and desserts, to help with the munchies.  There's a full merchandise selection, too, including shirts, hoodies, koozies, glasses.

Gettin' Here
The brewery is located at 305 S. Washington Ave. in downtown Titusville. Not too far off of I-95. It's housed in a 100-year old hardware store building. And, the exterior still has the old sign there. That's pretty cool.


The inside has a homey feel, with a 40-foot copper bar, tables, and a bar rail along the tanks.  There are several TVs. There are a few outside tables, too, where you can enjoy the brew in a hometown-downtown atmosphere. It's definitely a friendly place!





Growlers will be offered, too, although they weren't available for sale yet. But, you can still take some of these awesome beers back with ya, via crowler! Of course I did!


The Space Coast locals are lucky to have Playalinda Brewing in their area. Otherwise, it's definitely worth a daytrip along I-95. I know I'll set out on that course again.  And, once it's warmer, I'll have to check out that beach, too!

Thanks, guys, and see ya soon!