Tearle of Hop Life agrees. “The competition is getting fierce.
There are only so many tap heads.”
Florida law requires breweries of all sizes to use distribution
companies to sell their products outside of their own tap rooms.
Of the 10 area breweries, only the two youngest ones, Mash Monkeys
Islamorada Beer Company, which has a production plant in Fort
Pierce and company headquarters in the Florida Keys, distributes
most of its production and reaches all of Florida but the far western
Brewing and Ocean Republic, do not distribute their beers.
Brewery 2018 production est. 2019 production
Islamorada 8,000 barrels 12,000 barrels
Sailfish 2,400 bbls 7,200 bbls
Walking Tree 1,850 bbls 2,200 bbls
American Icon 712 bbls 1,385 bbls
Hop Life 1,000 bbls 1,300 bbls
Mash Monkeys 280 bbls 310 bbls
Orchid Island 300 bbls 300 bbls
Pareidolia 225 bbls 300 bbls
Side Door 141 bbls 145 bbls
Compiled by Bernie Woodall
counties in the Panhandle.
American Icon Brewery’s distribution footprint is from Titusville
to Stuart but has ambitious expansion plans. Only Sailfish Brewing
has some of its beer distributed throughout the state.
No area brewer reaches outside Florida at this point.
Craft breweries of the Treasure Coast show off their tanks,
proudly allowing customers to drink the product while looking
through glass at where it came from.
Each of the area’s brewers strives to represent the local culture
in the products they make, using local ingredients when possible.
“The nature of craft breweries has been and even more now is
hyper-localism,” Anderson of Pareidolia says. “In your community.
Sourcing ingredients when you can locally. Supporting local businesses,
local charities. And supporting your local musicians. It’s
part of the whole web of community.”
The Orchid Island Brewery on the barrier island in Vero Beach
typifies the sense of the breweries celebrating its local culture.
Orchid Island, the area’s second brewery that opened in August
2014, celebrates its “Grove to Glass” project by using local fruit,
including some grown on wild trees on the barrier island.
On the Treasure Coast, the biggest employer among the brewers
is American Icon, which employs 80, according to its general
manager, Joe Giquinto.
By volume, total U.S. beer sales fell one percent in 2018,
whereas craft brewer sales continued to grow at a rate of four
percent, reaching 13.2 percent, or 25.6 million barrels, of the U.S.
beer market, according to the nonprofit Brewers Association, a
national organization based in Boulder, Colorado.
Craft beer by retail sales in 2018 was $27.6 billion, up seven
percent, and was 24 percent of total U.S. retail beer sales.
By mid-2019, there were nearly 7,500 craft breweries in the
Orchid Island Brewery owners, Alden Bing and Valerie Bing, are proud that local citrus groves flavor their brews.