Brewery Visit – Hell ‘n Blazes @HellNBlazes

Oh, the frustration of doing a podcast with substandard equipment.It’s not that I don’t want good equipment, but that stuff’s expensive ana I don’t have a sponsor yet. So when you go to certain places, unfortunately, you are at the mercy of whatever forces built the building and the surroundings environs.The funny thing is, a previous inhabitant of the hundred and twenty year old building that currently houses Hell ‘n Blazes Brewing in Melbourne had exactly the same issue with that building. They were a TV studio, but the building was so old and creaky, and they were so close to the train tracks, that when something happened outside you heard everything inside.
That particular tenant did not last long.Hell ‘n Blazes is doing much better, but of course they don’t have the sound requirements that a TV studio does. They’ve been around since 2014, at almost the tail end of a downtown Melbourne that I absolutely adore (There used to be a First Fridays street festival where the streets were closed off and you could walk up and down, having a drink and enjoying life, but that is unfortunately over).But the brewery is there, backed up with a fantastic kitchen and a wonderful lineup of beers. You’ll be able to hear me interview the head of the brewery and the kitchen when the next episode of the Florida Beer Podcast comes out.The food’s pretty good, and I ended up having their Fire Burger with green chili, jalapeno peppers, and a spicy ancho mayo sauce. Delightfully perfect and I would be remiss if I said I didn’t want to go back and have some more.As for the beers, my wife and I went as completely opposite as could be. I decided to go a little bit lighter and had their Georgia Bound (Hefeweizen, 5.4% ABV, 11 IBU). This is actually their core Huggins Hefeweizen, liberally treated with fresh Georgia peaches. I never knew this was a beer I needed, but now that I’ve had it it’s wonderful. The peach gives such a juicy, fruity quality to a style that already has that wonderful banana flavor, and makes a light and tasty beer just that much more refreshing.My wife is a big fan of bold flavorful stouts, so she went with Cherry Poppins (Imperial Stout, 11.5% ABV, 52 IBU). They labeled this as the ‘Biggest Beer in Brevard’ and I am in no place to argue. It is massively heavy and wonderfully chewy, and that cherry flavor, while not overpowering, is a wonderfully tart and sweet note to pair with the big cocoa and coffee flavors from this stout.Clearly they know what they’re doing, and it’s nice to see that the both the kitchen and the brewery operations coexist hand in hand. We were there for lunch, and they had a sizable crowd from people working in local businesses that were there just for the food, although some people were having a beer as well.I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a brewpub, but it is definitely a fantastic way to get beers and a family-friendly, community considerate sort of brewery that is less a place to drink and more an anchor of Melbourne. And knowing it’s an anchor means that it will be around for a long time, so there is plenty of time to get out there and enjoy some of these flavorful beers.And listen to the creaking.Drink Florida Craft,
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