Foodpreneurs – Family, Friends, Food, Fun
How Three Friends Created
Intracoastal Brewing Company
One thing almost everyone enjoys is getting together with friends to enjoy a tasty beer. Whether it’s an after work wind down or a Sunday afternoon game, pairing it with your favorite foods….beer, as much as food, is often centric to celebration.
This is one of the many pleasures brewmaster and part owner of Intracoastal Brewing Company Donald Atwell finds in creating beer. “The greatest part of being a food/beer entrepreneur is when you see people happy and truly enjoying a product that you have put all your time, effort and passion into creating. I feel that sharing great beer or great food is one thing that, no matter what, will always bring people (family, friends, and even strangers) together.”
Intracoastal has three partners that own the business: Atwell, Kyle Smyth and John Curtis. The story of how they started is probably as you may have imagined. The three friends and neighbors came together to enjoy a cold brew one afternoon and found they all had a more serious love of beer. Atwell recalls, “The short and dirty story is that I had been wanting to open a brewery for a while and I met Kyle when he moved into my neighborhood. We started hanging out and he learned that I wanted to open a brewery. Kyle mentioned he had a friend, John, and they were thinking about starting a business together as well. After many beers and brainstorm sessions (two years worth), we all came together and decided it was time to make this happen. We found the right spot in a great location in the Eau Gallie Arts District, which we knew we could grow with, and the rest is history.”
From the get-go, Intracoastal knew that growing this brewery as an integrated part of the community was going to be incredibly important. So they kept the concept simple: “Intracoastal Brewing Company is a community-driven microbrewery focusing on a constant rotation of local, fresh and creative beers,” Atwell seamlessly states. This same approach to the brewery has stood since the day they opened.
“We opened Intracoastal Brewing Company in September 2013 in the heart of the Eau Gallie Arts District. We began small and our goal was to always take care of our community first. We wanted to provide our customers with not only a great product, but a great experience.
While the temptation and ability is now there for Intracostal to grow into a large-scale brewery, the owners have chosen to grow smart instead. Pouring out beer for the masses just isn’t their style; instead, their organic, community-first approach fits their hand in glove philosophy more comfortably. “From day one, our focus was to make the highest quality product, provide great customer service and create a small family feeling.
We wanted every customer to feel like part of our family. We knew that if we grew too fast we would risk losing our small family feeling for not only customers, but our employees as well. By this controlled and organic growth we have been able to maintain and will continue to maintain our family atmosphere for our customers, employees and community.”
Intracoastal took on some risk opening this business in Brevard. At first they weren’t one hundred percent sure the concept would work. “When we first opened, people weren’t really sure about our concept. We had a constant rotation of different beers and the tasting room was a new thing to this area,” recalls Atwell. However, they found that this small challenge was actually a blessing in disguise and the lack of a place like Intracoastal in Brevard worked to their advantage. Atwell continues, “This small challenge eventually became one of the blessings for us. We have been able to have fun and be creative, which in turn led our customers to have multiple flavors (of beer) to please any palate. Our customers have always been very supportive.”
Atwell and team have always kept a positive attitude throughout the growth of Intracoastal and he offers these words of inspiration to other foodpreneurs out there: “The biggest challenges were always the things we didn’t foresee or think about. It will always take longer and cost more than you think. There are always going to be obstacles and roadblocks, but you have to keep moving forward.”
Thanks to a tasteful blend of ingenuity, risk, gut instinct, passion and friendship, Brevard now has a proper place to go and grab a cold one with their friends and the ‘family’ of Intracoastal Brewing Company.
Intracoastal Brewing Company
652 West Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32935
321-872-7395 | www.intracoastalbrewingcompany.com
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