Brevard County Brewery Tours
Craft beers are all the rage and the industry enjoys a strong following and seemingly unlimited growth. With cell phone apps such as Untappd, craft beer lovers from around the world share information about their favorite brews and breweries, leading to trips of discovery to find that special beer!
In early 2017 there are 9 breweries within an hour drive of Port Canaveral and beer enthusiasts will not be disappointed by the efforts to brew quality and imaginative beer. The breweries are shown by yellow icons on the map below.
For easy navigation, please open our Interactive Google Shore Trip Map in a browser on your phone.
In this article we discuss the breweries and possible itineraries to help you plan a tour.
The Breweries are:
- Florida Beer Company
- Cocoa Beach Brewing Company
- Bugnutty Brewing Company
- Playalinda Brewing Company – Hardware
- Playalinda Brewing Company – Brix Project
- Dirty Oar Beer Company (opening soon)
- Charlie and Jake’s Brewery Grille
- Intracoastal Brewing Company
- Lost Shirt Brewing Company
- Hell ‘n Blazes Brewing Company
Please note: The beers on tap change frequently at these smaller breweries and even the same beer tastes different when freshly brewed versus a few weeks old. For this reason we are not going to comment on the quality of the beer produced. It is best to use your favorite APP when researching the breweries. There are hundreds if not thousands of reviews for each beer in APPS such Untappd!
Florida Beer Company
Closest brewery to Port Canaveral. Easily reachable from the Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach hotels when using the SCAT Bus. Please visit our SCAT Bus page for directions.
It is a large brewery and the tasting room can handle any size crowd. In fact, it is so big it feels almost impersonal – a bit like a food court in a mall!
Nevertheless, there is a small play area for kids near the restrooms, many TVs up against the ceiling, several seating tables, large glass windows to watch the brewing operation and a large round bar with a massive round mural in the middle.
We tend to favor more intimate tap rooms but at least you can almost always get parking and a seat at the bar! While we are not going to review their beers, we have to admit the flavored ciders are excellent!
They do not serve food but you can ask the bartenders for takeout menus from different local restaurants who deliver.
Most importantly, however, they always have a great variety of beers on tap therefor this brewery is a must for every craft beer enthusiast.
Cocoa Beach Brewing Company
Near the popular Coconuts Restaurant in an area called the Barmuda, this brewery is in a great but challenging location. There is limited parking in front and a few more in the back but on busy beach days it will be hard to find parking nearby.
Regulars tell us this once was a great brewery with very good beer even when the selection was small. Our visits, however, continue to disappoint despite our best efforts to remain positive.
First off, it is a tiny place with only four seats at the small counter. There is a couch and larger table nearby but the owner decided to use the tasting area as a storage facility leaving the area cramped and in disarray. Outside seating is available but it does not look clean. Do NOT bring small children inside because they may get hurt when stuff gets knocked over.
Worst, however, is the beer selection. One expect more than one beer on tap even at small breweries but the single choice here is simply not enough to attract repeat visitors.
Food is not served but we do not recommend eating here anyway.
If you have plenty of time and just happens to be in the neighborhood, then give it a try. Otherwise, do not bother with including this brewery in your tour.
Bugnutty Brewing Company
On Merritt Island in a strip mall, the brewery looks unassuming from the outside but inside it resembles a neighborhood pub!
To be perfectly honest our first impression when walking in was not positive. The bar was not busy yet the counter was quite dirty and it took a while for the bartender to notice!
Despite that, the many choices on tap looked promising and we quickly settled in to taste a few. The recommended Rhesus Peanut Butter Cup Nitro was good. Very good actually! So was the solid Porter called Minty Mountain Top and several others!
The tasting room is nothing special and looks like a typical 50s Diner with black, bright red and silver decor but thankfully without the checkered floor! There is a fair amount of seating at the bar and tables and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Come as you are and enjoy your beer! You can even bring your well-behaved dog!
With plenty parking spaces outside and darn good beer, Bugnutty Brewery eventually won us over and this one is a must-do in any brewery itinerary!
Hell ‘n Blazes Brewing Company
Way south, Historic Melbourne is a fun place to visit especially when coming from the coast where so many establishments and buildings are typical beach style. The area reminds us of small-town America where the downtown areas have been revitalized to showcase local history and cultures.
It is here where Hell ‘n Blazes established themselves in a 120 year-old building!
For some reason we just love old buildings hosting modern businesses! To us it means the owners put a lot of thought into creating the right atmosphere for their craft and Hell ‘n Blazes did not disappoint!
The very large and very contemporary bar fills almost half the room and could’ve easily overshadowed the rest of the space yet the shiny wooden floor, the structures along the ceiling and the color schemes on the walls make the interior very inviting. Plenty of table seating near the bar and a game room for kids at the back of the building.
We settled in quickly when the bartender handed us two small bags of Pretzels and proceeded to explain the choices on the large tap menu. First round was the Causeway IPA and Huggins Hefeweizen. Both beers went down smooth and we immediately decided this Brewery is a keeper!
They also offer a nice selection of white and red wine for those times when your partner is not keen on beer!
Parking seems to be in the streets nearby but no worries there’s plenty! Do not plan a craft beer tour without a visit to Hell ‘n Blazes. Also make time to explore Historic Melbourne when in the area!
Intracoastal Brewing Company
So during our brewery tours we get to talk to folks. Many folks. We ask them about their favorites local breweries.
One popular brewery is Intracoastal Company – the kind of place where fans drive many miles to visit because they love the vibe and the beers! We had to see for ourselves.
Sometimes things just work out. You cannot pinpoint the exact reason or analyze the cause but you know it when you experience it!
Intracoastal is such a place in the Eau Gallie Arts District of Melbourne. The warm colors, the simplicity of the wooden bench seats next to the bar, the sounds of people talking, the good beer, the size which is just about right – not too small and not too big. It reminded us of the first time we walked into a Starbucks (a very nice Starbucks).
We dove right into a Boss Hefe and a What Gose Around. Sour, tart and lemon with a bit of spice. A fine Gose. The Boss earned its lederhosen with a fine Bavarian wheat taste.
And so it went! People strolled in, sat down and smiled. Yeah, they felt it too!
Parking is limited on the side so look nearby. Then walk up and savor the atmosphere inside! A must stop on any craft beer tour!
Charlie & Jake’s Brewery Grille
At some point during a brewery tour one has to eat, preferably while drinking a homebrew! Then look no further than Charlie & Jake’s!
Good BBQ is not easy to find around the Space Coast and BBQ lovers are always searching for the next pit king! Charlie and Jake’s may not top most lists but there is nothing wrong with their grub!
Located in a strip mall just north of the Pineda Causeway in Suntree (Melbourne), CJ’s is an easy drove from the Port Canaveral area.
As you walk up, the outside/inside bar and patio is a striking feature but frankly you will feel a bit of an outcast at the outside bar – inside is where the action is! Inside you choose between restaurant or bar seating. The decor is modern yet welcoming with dark and earth colors.
We opted for the bar – but quickly changed to a different part of the bar no thanks to the freezing air-conditioners above! That aside we got served promptly.
There were 6 home brews on tap and those happened to be malts and ales except for the Wickham Wheat which was light and tasty. Overall the beer is good but perhaps not as imaginative as the other breweries – but then again our focus were more on the food and we loved the BBQ!
The atmosphere in Charlie & Jake’s is certainly more restaurant than brewery and the beer selection is limited but they are doing a fine job with balancing the two.
Lost Shirt Brewing Company
This one has that startup look and feel. Owned by two guys who are following their dream and working very hard to achieve success.
It is a bit of a drive out to West Melbourne and the location is in an industrial part of town. Only true beer enthusiasts will venture this far out of the way but once you arrive it is a special feeling to be served beer by one of the owner/brewers.
We did not expect much in terms of decor and setting and the truth be the told, the interior is bright white, bland and very short on ambiance. A visit here is all about the beer and a chat with the guys – and this makes it special. You are enjoying young beer brewed with care and the love, anticipation and excitement of its owners and thus you play a small part in the early stages of their journey!
We sat at the small bar and were served promptly with two packets of pretzels! It was both surprising and impressive to see 8 different beers on tap from such a young brewery! We went for the beers on the lower end of the IBU scale – Bad Apple, Beach Break Ale and Decisions Ale – and were impressed with the flavors. Really solid.
It is always a good idea to support up-and-comers and we suggest you add Lost Shirt to your tour plans. Most probably you also get to chat with the owners!
Playalinda Brewing Company – two locations
We like to the leave the best for last so let’s end with the two locations from Playalinda Brewing Company, starting with Brix and finally their Hardware building!
The Brix Project
The second location just north of the NASA Causeway south of Titusville where most if not all of their beers are currently brewed. It is an expanding operation with a distillery planned for later in 2017!
So what do we like best? The beer, the food or the live music? Heck, we just love it all!
The modern traditional decor is what strikes one first as you walk in. It’s the details that impress; look for the “Playalinda Brix Project” logo carved into the backs of the wooden stools, or the flight paddles neatly stacked upright behind the bar. Do you spot the clever invitation to “Shoot It, Share It, Hashtag It”?
It’s cozy and noisy yet modern and cool all at once.
The beer menu is long and varied. You can choose home brews or guest taps. Our first round was the hoppish Pleasure Chest and yummy Key Lime Slice (served with a cool whip rim)! Whoa! Both topnotch!
Then there are the Bites! They call it artisan food and trust us – they’re not presenting alternate facts! We did not eat on our last visit but can tell you the Sunday brunches are a special treat! How about a flight of flavored Mimosas and really good breakfast food!
If you have time for only one top brewery on your tour, then Brix would be the one. Plain and simple.
The original building where it all began in downtown Titusville. If you can, start or end your brewery tour right there!
Somehow the combination of a 100-year old hardware store and a modern brewery is the perfect match! Well, at least in this case when the owners made a genuine authentic effort to preserve the features necessary to maintain the historic character while still providing a safe and comfortable tasting environment.
Granted, it appears the newer Brix Project building may get more attention because of the live music events and such, but tasting beer in the Hardware is unmatched in the area.
The historic decor highlighted by the original wooden hardware cabinet behind the bar is impressive. But look closer and you will notice the “Playalinda Hardware” logo carved into the backs of the wooden stools! Sometimes details matter!
The beer menu is long and varied. You can choose home brews or guest taps. Our first round was the crispy Bottomless Blonde and yummy Key Lime Slice (served with a cool whip rim)! Excellent stuff!
Then there are the Bites! You can easily come for a tasting and stay to eat – no need to dine elsewhere because the sandwiches and platters are sumptuous!
The rejuvenated space program is giving Titusville new life and hopefully its Downtown area will continue to draw upstarts and visitors.
Yes, yes and yes. A must in any brewery tour itinerary. Enough said.