Flagler Beach, FL – Cutting the ribbon on Friday night, it was a dream come true for the trio of partners at Coquina Coast Brewing Company in Flagler Beach.
It’s only the second brewery in Flagler County, but it’s already made a quite a splash with locals and visitors alike to the area, who’ve come to sip and sample the authentic Florida brews.
Co-founded with partners Sean Sweeney and Rich Gianzero, it’s been the dream of Curtis Moden for as long as his mom Patsy Moden can remember. On hand celebrate the moment with her son, she beamed as only a proud parent could as he did the honors.
“His father and I moved here in 1977, and this has been his dream for so many years. We’re all very excited and supportive. I like that he uses all local ingredients. I love the story of him finding the material for the bar. Everything goes full circle,” she said. “It’s very Flagler friendly.”
Let’s Get It Started
Moden’s love of brewing goes back 15 years and his discovery of ways to use fresh fruits and vegetables in his recipes. A native of Flagler County, Moden picks his own Seville oranges and uses prickly pear for the ‘FLA Vice’ among the fresh from Florida items in his brew.
“Having the brewery is a dream come true,” said Moden, a University of Florida archeology buff. “When you hear about different civilizations and cultures you hear about wine, mead and beer.”
After crafting all three, he knew beer was where heart was.
“I started brewing, and the things I know people love, back again to archeology, I know people used to use as a food source or drinks or anything else and it’s not being used now in the same way, I like to try to incorporate it into beers,” he said, sharing his passion for gardening which will yield a watermelon beer this summer.
“We use Florida ingredients too. We use all Florida hops, our Bridgetender uses local Jacksonville grown rice and hops from Dade City.”
The trio met working at the Hammock Beach Resort a decade ago according to Sweeney who’s often seen behind the bar and from there the rest is history.
“Curtis has been home-brewing for about 15 years and we all love his beer, so we decided to open up a business,” said Sweeney matter-of-factly.
Moden fine-tuned his skills with a craft brewing startup course at Oregon State University and launched the business, bringing Sweeney and Gianzero on board.
“I’ve always told him from the get go, I know you want to open a brewery one day, as soon as you’re ready, I’m in,” said Gianzero, who says he learned a lot since working with Moden. “Helping with the brewing has been awesome.”
Hosting the four day grand opening event over Memorial Day weekend with a ribbon cutting on Friday night by HT Productions with Kirk Keller as emcee, the three day weekend offered visitors a chance to check out the brewery, take in the sights and enjoy lots of free, live music from area bands.
“We opened the doors mid-October but due to the climate at the time, a pandemic, we weren’t able to do any large gatherings. We decided to wait until the next big holiday weekend and it will be the first trip to the beach for a lot of residents of Flagler County, so we wanted to capture the most traffic and let them know we’re here,” said Sweeney.
If You Go: It’s All About the Locals & Flagler Beach
Heading inside the brewery tucked in the plaza just over the bridge, if you belly up to the bar, one of the owners will proudly share the neat stories of recycling and reusing planks from pallets and carving the beautifully crafted bar, another amazing eye catcher, as you contemplate which of the 4-8 beers on tap to choose from.
Perhaps you’re in the mood for a ‘Bridgetender Crème Ale’, a ‘Palmetto Blonde’, or ‘Sandy Sheets’, anyway you go, they’re all distinctly Flagler Beach. You may even sample a guest beer, yep, they welcome out of towners here, too.
Of course, beer is not the only thing on tap. From trivia nights with Thomas Media Solutions to live music and even the occasional filming for the upcoming TV show ‘Unfinished Business’, Coquina Coast is the place to be.
There’s even a premium wine selection by the bottle or the glass.
Coquina Coast Brewing Company
318 Moody Blvd. Flagler Beach, FL
M: 4-9 PM, Tues: closed, W-Sun: 1-9 PM