I am going to use the word quaint to describe Cocoa Beach’s Cocoa Beach Brewing Co. This is not a sleight, I promise. Quaint is the perfect word to describe this absolute gem of a brewery.
Cocoa Beach Brewing opened in 2008 with a little 15-gallon system and has grown to their current 4.5 barrel brew system. Yes, it’s small, but they manage to release bombers and distribute them throughout the Space Coast area. It may be a little difficult to find them, since their facility sort of sneaks up on you. It’s set back in their row of buildings a bit. And the place is great. It’s very homey, mainly because the building used to be a home.
It was built in the ’30’s as housing for the Banana River Naval Air Station (which, after a few changes, became the current Patrick Air Force Base). The house is painted a cheery yellow and, with the exception of the required exit signs, still retains a lot of the warmth and coziness of an old home. One with giant bags of malt in the living room.
The other really, really awesome thing about Cocoa Beach Brewing is their obvious love for the space industry. Once you come in, you’re surrounded by mission patches, posters, and other sorts of intergalactic festoonery. Above the window by the bar is a huge collection of international money donated by visiting workers, astronauts, and tourists. Even their merchandise tends to have a space-ish theme to much of it. When I was there, the sticker I got had one of their great tag lines on it, “Preferred By More Martians.”
But how’s the beer, right? They have 5 taps, but only four were on when I visited. I have tried a few of their beers that are distributed before, so I used this opportunity to sample a few more they had.
The reviews I listed above were for two of Cocoa Beach’s standards. The third one I was finally able to try was 888 IPA (American IPA, 8% ABV, 88 IBU). I’m guessing you can tell where the three 8’s are coming from… The third 8 actually comes from the beer’s original gravity of 1.080. They brew 888 with Centennial and Columbus hops, and it has a big, bitter kick to it. What I liked most about this, however, was the noticeable orange aroma and flavor the hops lent to the beer. Very sweet, and it tends to temper a rather large hop bite the beer has.
The fourth beer they had one tap, one of their seasonals, was F.H.P. Farmhouse Pale (Saison, 6.5% ABV, 45 IBU). While it’s not as gigantically bitter as the 888, F.H.P. held up with some strong hop flavors permeating what was otherwise a very light, easily drinkable brew. With a great dark orange hue to it, F.H.P. does a fantastic job of maintaining a delicate balance between hops and malt, and is a great introductory beer to Cocoa Beach Brewing.
I really liked this place. I love the small feel of the tap room, love the use of tikis as you can see above, it’s literally across the street from the beach, and openly celebrates its connection to Cape Canaveral. I would want them to expand, but then it would lose some of its charm.
Or maybe I can rent out one of the old bedrooms?
Drink Florida Craft,