Though Brevard County is now home to 10 independently-owned breweries, the Space Coast hasn’t always had such an abundance of locally-brewed options. As a matter of fact, until recently, the north end of the county was a veritable craft beer desert.
Playalinda Brewing Company opened its doors in November 2014, establishing itself as an oasis of high-quality beer and gathering point for locals and visitors alike.
The first microbrewery in northern Brevard County, Playalinda set up shop in a beautifully renovated, old building in Titusville’s historic downtown district.
The building, once home to Titusville Hardware, is one of the city’s oldest, dating back to 1915. Prior to housing the brewery, the space was a retail location for Titusville-based lighting manufacturer, Barn Light Electric Company.
Donna and Bryan Scott – owners of Barn Light Electric Company – were intrigued when the property was listed for sale. Fans of the craft beer movement, they tossed around the idea of opening a microbrewery in the iconic, downtown building.
In an enthusiastic, ambitious and optimistic experiment, Bryan created a Facebook page for their hypothetical brewery. Within days, the page had hundreds of followers. Donna recalled the immediate, overwhelming support from the community that poured forth via social media.
“It was at that point we decided there was no going back,” said Donna. “We had better follow through on opening this brewery!”
With that, plans for north Brevard’s first brewery moved from conceptual to concrete.
Building a fully-functional, modern brewery and taproom while preserving the historical significance of the century-old building was challenging, meticulous work. The team from Titusville-based Rush Construction Inc. came on board to manage the challenges of historical renovation.
When it came time for setting up brewing operations, Playalinda reached out to one of Florida’s most revered and respected brewers, Ron Raike. Well-known throughout the region for his brewing expertise and experience, Raike initially came on as a consultant to help with setting up Playalinda’s brewing system.
Eventually, Ron shed his consultant status and accepted the invitation to join the team as Playalinda’s Brewmaster. Ron and his wife Katie made the move from Orlando to the Space Coast, joining Donna and Bryan Scott as co-owners of the young company. With the final piece of the puzzle finally in place, Playalinda Brewing Company was born.
Within weeks of opening in November 2014, the brewery was faced with a fortuitous problem – the demand for Playalinda-brewed beer was regularly exceeding production capacity. The brewery expanded their offerings to include guest taps, craft bottles, wine and light pub fare – and began discussing the very real possibility of further expansion.
Just two years after the brewery’s launch, Playalinda Brewing Company’s second location, Brix Project, opened for business in south Titusville. Though the two locations each have a distinctly different vibe, the core tenets Playalinda was founded upon remain fully in focus.
Today, Playalinda’s Hardware Store location serves as a downtown destination for small-batch beers and warm, small-town charm. Just up the road, Playalinda’s Brix Project location has made a name for itself as a hip hub where a constantly-evolving menu, fresh-brewed beer, and craft cocktails take center stage.
Playalinda launched regional distribution of its beers in November 2016, and has plans to expand toward statewide distribution in the years ahead.