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Tap Into Dirty Oar Beer Company, Cocoa Village

September 28, 2017:
For well over a year, the crew from Dirty Oar Beer Company had attended beerfests and beer events sampling their house-brewed small batches and handing out logo stickers for their up-and-coming new brewery in Cocoa Village. No longer a "brewery-in-planning" as of this past summer, Dirty Oar Beer Company is now up-and-running with a fun neighborhood tap room and outdoor beer garden -- and, their own house beers on tap.



Co-owners and brewers Pat Buonomo and Chris Hughes met while both were bartenders at Bugnutty Brewing Company in Merritt Island. Just so happens, that's where I met each of them for the first time several years ago - they're the kind of guys with whom you just start talking beer. Since then, they began homebrewing together and then branched out and explored opening their own brewery. During the Spring of 2016, they started popping up at beerfests with Dirty Oar beer and/or stickers in hand. The process of opening the brewery included demolition, design and construction of the former King Street furniture store site, which they had acquired in early 2016. 






The brewery's social media posts poked some fun at the "under-construction" phase, but over the 4th of July weekend, the tap room opened its doors as a neighborhood bar serving nineteen guest taps of beer. Seven weeks later, on August 19, the brewery hosted a Grand Opening celebration and tapped six of its own house beers: Stout, Pale Ale, Spiced Brown Ale, Saison, American Ale, and a Double IPA. 

The brewery is located on State Road 520 (King Street) in Cocoa Village, and it's an easy find from either the beach or I-95. Yes, that means beertrip (add another reason to make a brewery roadtrip to Space Coast)! Driving east on SR 520 from I-95, you'll notice the Cocoa water tower as you approach the brewery --- hold that thought.


Of course, it's a photo op, right at the outset when you enter the tap room! A colorful wooden chair, along with a representation of the city water tower greets guests. Note also, the armrests are in the shape of paddles, or oars. 

The inside space measures around 2400sf, with nine picnic tables and a 12-seat bar.  On the walls are four large-screen TVs and abstract artwork. The bar has a colorfully stained copper surface.

On the day of my visit, the brewery offered seven house beers on the 20 taps, along with guest taps and two ciders. With some exceptions, beers are poured in full or half pints, and also in shorter five-ounce pours. 



Taking a tour around the tap room...







Behind the bar: co-owners, Pat Buonomo, Paul Hill, Chris Hughes
Pat pouring the Sexy Beach (say what?)
Expect a rotating tap list of house beers in the tap room, with three likely to be on tap most of the time: Hey Buddy Golden Ale, Time Warp DIPA, 520 Extra Pale Ale. Dirty Oar doesn't focus or specialize in any one style, but rather the brewers will brew all styles, mix things up with ingredients, and "keep it fun," said Head Brewer Chris. 

Make your own flights with the five-ounce shorter pours:
Hey Buddy Golden Ale, Sexy Beach Raspberry Coconut Blonde Ale,
SR 520 Extra Pale Ale
The Hey Buddy Golden Ale (5.1 ABV, 11 IBU) is a refreshing, very light beer in terms of body and weight, is easy-drinking and a natural for the warm climate. Without a doubt, one of the more "fun" beers I've probably ever tasted is the Sexy Beach Raspberry Coconut Blonde Ale (4.9 ABV, 24 IBU). Not only is it a mouthful to say (no pun intended), but it is a mouthful of flavor. The beer is floral and tropical, with pleasant fruit notes and a well-balanced amount of coconut that doesn't overtake the beer as a whole. With ten pounds of raspberries and over two pounds of coconut puree in the brew, it's a delightful beach experience in a glass. That full glass that Pat poured above? It was in the video that I recorded here -- and check out the glass, too: a mini-barrel. This beer will put you in the mood for a beach towel and an umbrella. Rounding out the three short pours is the SR 520 Extra Pale Ale (6.4 ABV, 55 IBU). The Mosaic hops impart a fruity character, complemented by oats for a fuller mouthfeel. The beer finishes dry with a slight lingering aftertaste, and is repeatable. 

Of course, there simply must be a Stout in the picture, and enter the Solar Darkness Stout (4.7 ABV, 33 IBU). It's more of a "sessionable" stout with the lower ABV, while still exhibiting roasty and chocolate flavors, along with a hint of burnt undertones. Although not technically an "oatmeal" stout, the addition of oats gives the beer a creamy mouthfeel. 


Stout in hand: Solar Darkness Stout
Beers at Dirty Oar are brewed on a three-barrel brew system, which was obtained from Copp Brewery in Crystal River. Also in the brewhouse are three seven-barrel fermenters and one seven-barrel brite tank. And, it's all climate-controlled (good news for the brewers)!


Chris in the brewhouse..... with the oar
The name "Dirty Oar," by the way, is a reference to the brewers' mash paddle, and it's a name that's "hard to forget," added Chris. 

But, there's more. Just through the back door of the tap room is a 1400sf outdoor beer garden. Surrounded by a wooden fence, the beer garden has a colorful group of eight picnic tables and overhead party lighting. 






Yes, there's even parking on the side and behind the brewery
Dirty Oar Beer Company is a fun, neighborhood type of place, and Pat and Chris are a couple of fun guys. During a baby shower for Chris' wife, as Chris told the story, no one knew whether the baby was a boy or a girl, until he served the Golden Ale dyed pink -- it's a girl! 

For only having its house beers on tap for a short time, the brewery is well on its way. Tap into Dirty Oar Beer Company when visiting Brevard County in Florida's Space Coast!  

Oh, and the photo op?


With the Sexy Beach...
Of course, no brewery visit is complete without a visit inside the brewhouse, either: 


Had a fun time visiting with Chris and Pat again,
seeing the new place, and, well,
having a couple of beers, too!  Thanks, guys!
And, that Sexy Beach sure got around.
Dirty Oar Beer Company is located at 329 King St., Cocoa. It is currently open four days a week: Thursday, 4pm-10pm; Friday 2pm-midnight; Saturday: noon-midnight; and Sunday, noon-6pm. And, don't forget your growler (32 or 64 ounces). 



Another fun beertrip to Space Coast! Congrats to Dirty Oar Beer Company on opening and getting their beers on tap. It looks like the guys will be at some upcoming beerfests this fall, too.  

Speaking of beerfests, be sure to keep yourself updated on the Florida Fall Beerfest season, by following the BeerSPHERE Page on brewnymph.com - new entries constantly, with info and links!

See you out and about Florida Somewhere and around a beer or two! Thanks for reading.

Cheers!
Til next time,






Linda

Linda Johnson,
Certified Cicerone®

(all photos by Linda Johnson)


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