TITUSVILLE, Fla. – “A wing and a prayer.”
That’s what started one of Titusville’s first breweries just over seven years ago. Playalinda Brewing Company opened its first location in Titusville’s historic district in November 2014, making it the first microbrewery in the area, according to its website.
Donna Scott, one of the owners of the brewery, said the business took flight with “a wing and a prayer” and the community momentum has made it what it is today, now with two locations. Donna and her husband, Bryan Scott, purchased the building that was once home to Titusville Hardware, reeling in the expertise of the business’ brewmaster Ron Raike and his wife, Katie Raike.
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Being two women in charge of a brewery, Donna and Katie said the industry is evolving with more women getting into the business.
“As far as I see the industry now, I think it’s evolved a lot and even in recent years, that is there a lot more. There are a lot more female brewers out there,” Donna said. “There’s even the Pink Boots Society that is dedicated to kind of nurturing and educating females that are in the brewing industry.”
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Katie described the brewing industry “not necessarily like a run-of-the-mill business” with glass ceilings, like the ones associated with other businesses. She said the industry is a bit different than most others because the men want the best end result, regardless of who helps produce it.
“And there’s a lot of propagation now internally of women in the industry ... I’ve never seen it as a thing where it’s like, because we were women, we couldn’t do everything or contribute,” she said. “And they almost appreciate some of the things we bring to the table more than what they would have gathered elsewhere.”
Donna and Katie, who are two of the four owners, both credit the community for the success and find pride in catering to the community.
“Craft beer is very community-oriented, so just being able to see families, you get from generations of people. Sometimes, you think of breweries as young 20s, you know, that that’s the demographic,” Donna said. “Our demographic here in Titusville is from 20s to, you know, up to 90 years old. So, I love that sense of community.”
When a Facebook page was established to announce the brewery was coming soon, Donna said the community interest was overwhelming and she and her husband could not back out of making the brewery happen.
“All of a sudden it was like, ‘Well now we can’t not do this, the community thinks we’re going to do this.’ That little, you know, that seed you were planting? Well, now it has to grow, we have to water it, so there was just so much interest,” she said.
And from there it’s just grown. The first location quickly outgrew the space within a few months of being open.
“When we were still at hardware store and reaching capacity regularly, I had to act as a security guard one night, you know, and say, ‘Hey, we would love for you to come in but we’re full right now.’ And that happened pretty early in (the) hardware store’s life,” she said.
And a perk of a craft brewery is being able to expose people to craft beer if they do not know what it is, Katie said.
“I really do like, you know, describing our beer and let them know what we’re all about, what the difference is between our beer and maybe something else they’ve had,” she said. “... But just having that interaction and then planting the little craft brewery seed in them to make them appreciate all that it takes to do something like this.”
The brewery is hosting its 10-day Peanut Butter Beer Week starting Monday, March 28. Click here to learn more about the event or the brewery.