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A New Destination for the Craft Beer Scene

By Felicia Solazzo

Top, left to right: David Humphrey, Anthony “Bobby” Jicha, Katie Raike Bottom, left to right: Ron Raike, William Chivers, Bryan Scott, Donna Scott

Top, left to right: David Humphrey, Anthony “Bobby” Jicha, Katie Raike Bottom, left to right: Ron Raike, William Chivers, Bryan Scott, Donna Scott

Joining together once more, RUSH Construction and Playalinda Brewing Company are bringing a 16,000-sqaure-foot production brewery – Playalinda Brewing

Company at The Brix Project – to Titusville late this summer. The new facility will also house a restaurant and beer garden to serve the local demand for beer while growing the company’s product line.

The atmosphere of local breweries harvests a following and loyalty from customers. The average craft beer growth is about 20 percent per year, and the trend is still continuing. According to industry standards, more than 2.8 million barrels – 1 barrel is roughly 30 gallons – of craft beer were produced in 2015, and there were 620 new craft breweries opened in 2015.

Beer customers like choice, and the craft industry is able to produce unique beers with many flavors. Big companies, such as Budweiser’s Anheuser-Busch InBev, produce beer on such a large scale that they cannot deviate from the primary brands.

Furthering a Partnership

Bryan and Donna Scott first engaged with RUSH Construction while looking to construct the current manufacturing facility for their business Barn Light Electric Company. The couple felt it was a natural fit to involve them in the design and construction for the original Playalinda Brewing Company location in downtown Titusville two years ago.

“We had the opportunity to buy the old hardware store in downtown Titusville,” Bryan said. “We bought that with the intent of converting it into a brewery.” Playalinda Brewing Company at The Hardware Store saw great success, with Ron Raike, who has 25 years of experience joining the company as brewmaster and partner, along with his wife, Katie. “We had a lot more demand for our product than we were able to produce, so we saw an opportunity to build a bigger system,” Bryan said.

The Brix Project

Before the completion of their new manufacturing facility for Barn Light Electric, the Scott’s were operating in an old lumber yard facility. “Many years ago, for those of us who grew up in this area, that location is what we used to call the old anning Lumber building,” William Chivers, President of RUSH Construction, said.

PUtilizing the lumber yard propplayalindaerty that they already owned, they began planning the Playalinda Brewing Company at The Brix Project. RUSH gutted and renovated the existing building and constructed a large addition on the back.

The brewpub, with 20 taps, will include a pizza oven and full menu. On the north side of the building will be an exterior garden, an expansion of the tasting room. The tasting room includes two very large windows behind the bar – while you’re sampling beers or snacking on something tasty from the menu, you can watch production in the brewery.

The new facility features a 30-barrel system brewing system, ten times the size of the downtown location. It has a drive- in – not walk-in – refrigerated cooler for daily keg pick-ups and distribution. The area will include canning and bottling operations in addition to keg washing stations.

Crafting a Unique Experience

“I think we’ve really made a mark on the beer scene, especially the craft beer scene, here on the East Coast,” Bryan said. “We’ll be the second largest brewery within a 100-mile radius.” Chivers observed there is nothing like it in the area – not even anything close to it.

“It is going to bring much needed jobs, and it is going to bring a venue to the south part of Titusville that does not currently exist,” he added. That area of Titusville is currently limited in restaurant and entertainment choices.

Left to right: RUSH Construction Project Manager Anthony “Bobby” Jicha, and Lead Superintendent, David Humphrey

Left to right: RUSH Construction Project Manager Anthony “Bobby” Jicha, and Lead Superintendent, David Humphrey

“It is going to be a huge boon for the residents of Titusville and will be a very nice addition to the growing economy that is becoming North Brevard,” Chivers said. Work on the property began last fall with preliminary demolition. Once design was completed this spring, construction began.

RUSH made use of the abundance of wood that was recycled from the original building. When interior demolition began, they considered how to repurpose some of the beautiful wood that was available for the proposed improvements. The pine wood that lines several of the interior walls and the front of the bar, as well as the wood trusses that provide architectural elements of the interior design were repurposed from the original building. The wood that comprises the “ceiling clouds” in the tasting area and the planters are also constructed from some of the recycled wood.

Once the brewery is completed, the company will begin construction of an on-site distillery—the first in Florida to do so, according to Bryan. Commenting on RUSH Bryan said, “They’re a great company, very trustworthy. They have a lot of integrity and are very professional in what they do. I honestly wouldn’t consider anyone else.”