First of all, Impact font!
I do love that logo, though. Intracoastal Brewing Company is a small brewery located in a little out of the way building in Melbourne, Florida, in the Eau Gallie arts district. It’s about a mile or two away from Historic Downtown Melbourne and a short walk away from the intracoastal waterway.
This is Melbourne’s first major brewery, which is odd considering Melbourne’s relatively important and vibrant college scene. It’s small, but it’s there, and if you walk anywhere in the downtown area, you’ll see tons of bars in the area. But no breweries. That’s where IBC fits in. While I was there, I was chatting with co-owner Kyle Smith who said they were really the first in the area to do a brewery/tap room-style facility. The model has caught on in the area, however.
It’s not a large facility, but they make really nice usage of the space. There are two huge oven hoods on the ceiling, a nod to the space’s former life as a production kitchen. The brewing area is right in the middle of the tap room (with a setup built by Kyle himself). It’s pretty interesting, and perfect for the constantly rotating brews they have on tap.
Speaking of the beers, Kyle let me know they almost never brew the same beers twice. By fluke, though, they had just celebrated their 1st anniversary, and had brewed a selection of their best loved beers. Let’s see what they had:
The Dampfbier (Dampfbier, 5% ABV, 25 IBU), other than having a wickedly bizarre name, is a hefeweizen-style beer that has been brewed exclusively with barley malt, no wheat. So you get some of the fruity aromas from a traditional hefeweizen, but the color is considerably darker and you don’t get as much of a bready sort of finish.
The cucumber in the Cucumber Lime Blonde (Blonde Ale, 5% ABV) was surprisingly deceptive. It smelled hoppy, almost like a big IPA, but when you taste it, the hoppiness isn’t really there. It was just the cucumber aromas. The lime and cucumber flavors are present in the beer, but they stay in the background and help to make a nice lightly crisp beer seem to sparkle a bit more.
Ginger Twist Saison (Saison/Farmhouse, 5.6% ABV, 38 IBU) didn’t have as strong a ginger finish as I expected. Ginger goes really well with saisons, though, as they both have that spiky, rough, and unfinished feel on the palate without being too brutal.
Rye Are You So Fresh (Wet Hopped Rye IPA, 7.5% ABV, 80 IBU) was hoppier than many Rye IPAs I have tried. With other ryes, the rye flavor tends to bring out the maltiness in the beer, but this one was brewed with fresh wet hops. That lent the hoppy characteristics of the beer to tend to take over the flavor. The rye has to fight a little to get out.
Dragon Point (American IPA, 6.5% ABV, 70 IBU) is a good, standard American IPA. As such, it’s a bit out of the bitter range for me. I can, however, see fans of IPAs like Jai Alai being big fans of this.
Taproot (Root Beer, 8% ABV) is their hard root beer. I have never seen a Florida brewer brew a hard root beer, so I was pretty excited about this. And boy, is it good. Honestly, pace yourself on this one. It’s every bit as sweet and creamy as some of the top shelf root beers I’ve had in my life. It would be incredibly easy to forget this is beer, so be warned. Then have another.
Black and Blue (American Porter, 5.7 ABV, 35 IBU) is a smooth, easy drinking blueberry porter. The blueberry is very, very light, so it’s not sweet at all. It’s very smooth and flavorful, however, and goes down very easy with a smooth mouthfeel and finish.
Elvis Bacon (American Pale Ale, 5.7% APV) is your new favorite beer. On paper, it’s a brown ale with peanut butter, banana, chocolate, and bacon. To be honest, I really couldn’t find the bacon, but there are so many other incredible flavors that it doesn’t matter much. It’s not like drinking a milkshake, either. It’s still smooth, still unmistakeably beer, but with some really great added flavors to it.
It really looks like the Space Coast area is starting to experience a big craft beer explosion. Intracoastal Brewing looks poised to be on the vanguard of that movement.
Now, can someone please send me a growler of that Elvis Bacon? Please?
Drink Florida Craft,
Chris & Dave