A unique nightlife option on the Space Coast gives new meaning to the idea of “cruisin’ for a brewsin'.” Hop in a vehicle, and get a VIP tour of the Space Coast’s emerging craft beer scene.
It’s called the Space Coast Brews Cruise. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, you can climb into a bus with four to 14 other 21-years-and-up beer enthusiasts and visit three of the region’s top microbreweries.
Whereas it used to be challenging to find microbrews in Central Florida, today the Space Coast is “experiencing a craft beer revolution,” says Don Roberts, beer enthusiast and founder of the tours.
Intracoastal Brewing Company is one of the potential stops on the Space Coast Brews Cruise — Photo courtesy of Intracoastal Brewing Company
The bus visits a mix of the top microbreweries on the Space Coast, such as Florida Beer Company, Florida’s largest craft brewery in Cape Canaveral; Cocoa Beach Brewing Company, stationed in a quirky historical building in Cocoa Beach; Charlie & Jake’s Brewery, where you can enjoy beer alongside BBQ; Intracoastal Brewing Company, ideally located in the Eau Gallie Art District; or Merritt Island’s Bugnutty Brewing Company, one of the newest breweries in the region.
Of course, there's plenty of beer-tasting (three- to four four-ounce samples per brewery, plus snacking) involved, and the journey spans a wide range of beer styles – from stouts to pale ales – to appeal to a variety of taste buds.
In addition, the tours mix and match different breweries, and many of those breweries regularly switch up the beer on tap, so this is a tour you can experience multiple times and never have the exact same experience.
Some colorful beer taps at the Florida Beer Company — Photo courtesy of Florida Beer Company
However, the four-plus-hour Space Coast Brews Cruise is educational, too. Learn about the local beer community’s history and unique offerings, as well as more about the art and science behind beer-making and even the health benefits of drinking craft beer.
It’s a different way to tour the Space Coast. Get behind the scenes, meet the passionate crafters and see the genesis of the beverage you then get to consume.
Who knows? Perhaps you’ll discover a new taste that you enjoy.
At the final stop, participants top off the experience with a small bite to eat. It’s nothing huge, so come with a full belly (to offset the alcohol you’ll be consuming in the Florida heat), or schedule dinner immediately following the so-called cruise.
Organizers recommend designating a sober driver, although larger groups can be picked up and dropped off at their hotel door.
While on tour, you’ll also have the option to buy growlers or six-packs of your favorite beers from the tour to bring home to enjoy again. The bus is even stocked with a cooler to keep everything chilled.