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Monday, February 17, 2014

A Pub Away From Home: Intracoastal Brewing

Intracoastal Brewing Company
652 West Eau Gallie Blvd | Melbourne, FL
www.intracoastalbrewingcompany.com


When I mentioned I was going back home for the holidays, a childhood friend told me about a new nano-brewery that opened up in the Eau Gallie Arts District. I made it a point to check it out. It looked like a small tap room with bring your own food options and the occasional food truck. It looked laid back and sort of like our favorite local NWI watering hole, Hunter's Brewing. Not knowing if it would be full of frat boys or boaters, I added it to my list.

This brewery has a full, spacious taproom. It looks bigger on the inside. It has a long wooden bar, high ceilings, and a window into the brewing operations. Everything is really clean. Behind the bar, the taps float like magic from a water-filled pipe. I felt like I was in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. They integrated driftwood into the decor which went well for its riverside location.

They have board games and long tables set up to add to a community pub feel. The owners are up front and even introduce themselves to get your tab started and make you feel welcome. The bar chat is about movies, sports, and life. I prefer that to the craft beer pro posturing. It's a great neighborhood pub. 

The brew list is clearly outlined on the large chalkboard, with a guest tap, and other beverages available (soda, bottled water, and wine). They have a range of merchandise with their very cool logo on it. They have shirts, can pint glasses, and 32 and 64 oz growlers. I wish I had a decal of the logo, but I did go home with a shirt. 

They have a full tap list ranging from light to rich and heavy brews. When I visited the menu included a Rice Blonde Ale, an IPA, an ESB, a Belgian, a Peach Sour, a cocoa hazelnut Porter, and a Milk Stout. We ordered a flight to try it all out.

It's crazy how much condensation was on the glasses and on the windows of the back coolers. I was definitely in Florida. I can't imagine what they spend on cooling in a year. But modern technology allows this sort of business to prosper, even in tropical climates. I'm glad they opened their doors, and I wish them much success. 



Beer

Mr. K and I split a flight to get a feel for their full tap list.

*Descriptions from the menu.*

Rice Rice Baby
An easy-drinking blonde ale. The use of rice lightens the body and creates an easy and refreshing ale. Drinks like a very light beer. | ABV: 5.9% | IBU: 15

Look and Smell: This yellow ale had a white head. It smelled like rice with a taffy sweetness.
Taste: It was sweet and didn't hide the rice flavors.

That's One Funky Peach
This funky peach beer was fermented with wild yeast and lacto to create a refreshing and tart beer. You will notice the smell of peaches and some sourness, followed by a smooth and tart bite. | ABV: 4.1% | IBU: 15

Look and Smell: This cloudy, yellow sour had a white, bubbly ring for head. It smelled like peach and melon.
Taste: It had a fresh tart flavor. It tasted like a white-fleshed peach. It was musky. It was acidic. It had a peach juice aftertaste. This was a good hot-weather brew. It was crisp and not overly sweet.

Eaugallie Short Bus
This English-style ale is very balanced and easy to drink. Not too malty and not too bitter. This would make any fish and chips dish jealous.| ABV: 6.5% IBU: 40

Look and Smell: This ESB was a cloudy copper-brown. It had  thick white ring on the top of the tasting glass. It smelled bready.
Taste: It was toasted and spicy. It was hearty. The ESB wasn't strong. It was a tasty brew.

Sloppy Sessions
Despite the low ABV, this beer has plenty of hops. More bitter and hoppy than a pale ale, but very sessionable. The hops give off a strong pine, citrus and earthy characteristic.| ABV: 4.8% IBU: 55

Look and Smell: This clear, gold IPA had a thick white ring for head. It smelled like citrus.
Taste: This brew had a pine-flavored spike. It was pithy and slightly juicy. It was more bitter than expected with the 55 IBU it's billed for. It was light. Another brew great for the region.

Right Hand Milk Stout
This beer pours like motor oil. Intensely dark and velvety with a perfectly-balanced roast character. The use of lactose makes it smooth as silk. Brewmaster tested and overwhelmingly approved! | ABV: 6.2IBU: 37

Look and Smell: This black milk stout had a coffee-colored head. It left thick lacing on the tasting glass. It smelled like coffee grounds.
Taste: It was sort of gritty. The thickness coats the tongue. It was a chocolate bitter. It was a tasty milk stout.

Blitzen
This beer smells of fresh citrus and bubblegum. The taste is hops up front, followed by bubblegum and ending with spicy clove esters from the yeast. This beer is very easy to drink considering it comes in at a small 9% ABV. | ABV: 9% IBU: 79

Look and Smell: This gold Belgian Strong had a thin white ring. It smelled sweet.
Taste: It had an orange bitter that was balanced by a sugar sweetness. I did get the bubblegum, I hate that I got it. Was it from reading the description? It was a taste that made me even read the description to try to place it. What a wild flavor. I'm not sure I've tasted that many times in the past. 

Hazel's Cocoa Nuts
An English-style brown ale that was aged on roasted cocoa nibs. This beer has strong aromas of hazelnuts and cocoa. The taste is a smooth brown ale with hazelnuts up front, followed by a strong cocoa finish.| ABV: 5.5% IBU: 28

Look and Smell: This brown ale smelled like rich chocolate.
Taste: It tasted like a milk chocolate bar. There was a touch of cinnamon to it. It was hazelnutty. It tasted like a Rocher chocolate. If Nutella was beer, this would be it. It was odd, but delicious. It wasn't an everyday beer, but it was definitely a treat. Mr. K ordered a pint of this after our tasting.

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