Space Coast Economic Development Commission Woo Talent Using Beer


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A beer-centric campaign created by the Florida Space Coast Economic Development Commission began as a joke.

Brian Baluta, Director of Communications and Partner Relations, and his team looked at a photo of a smiling couple sipping wine and watching a rocket soar into the sky.

The question arose: “What wine goes well with a rocket launch?”

“We don’t have vineyards,” Baluta said, “but we do have a lot of breweries, many of which were created by engineers.”

Launches & Lagers took off from there.

“This is an idea resulting from our campaign to attract high-end talent,“said Baluta.

EDC has a long history of working with major employers in the region to attract skilled workers to the region and keep them here. The Live Big website includes a link to careers in areas such as “Professional and Scientific Services” and “Health Care and Social Assistance”.

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“Because engineers in particular are in high demand,” said Baluta, “our talent attraction campaign is focused on lifestyle, showing all the different ways different audiences can enjoy life and work on the planet. Space Coast. “

And what better way to enjoy life here than sipping a pint of craft beer?

Brevard County currently has eight craft breweries, with a ninth slated to reopen in a few months and an alcohol-free brewery in the works.

“Where else can you watch a rocket go into space while drinking beer brewed by a rocket scientist?” Said Baluta.

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EDC has operated six of these breweries with its Launches & Lagers campaign.

Preparing for a Lockheed Martin Orion launch? Enjoy it while sipping on a Robonaut Red Ale from the Playalinda Brewing Company in Titusville.

Is a United Launch Alliance Atlas V preparing for take-off? Raise a glass of Giant Leap Kolsch Ale from the Carib Brewery in Cape Canaveral.

Each pairing includes information about the beer, the rocket, and the company that makes that rocket.

“This initiative is very different from traditional economic development campaigns,” EDC President and CEO Lynda Weatherman said recently at the organization’s August board meeting and investor update at Cocoa Village.

After the meeting, attendees were invited to try beers from Beachfly Brewing Company, which will soon be opening in Rockledge; Intracoastal Brewing Company at Eau Gallie; Bugnutty Brewing Company in cocoa; and the Caribbean.

“It’s really cool,” said Zach Featherstone, who worked as a biomedical engineer before opening Beachfly. “You’re leaving the engineering space to be a brewery. It’s really cool to be a part of the tech side of space like this.”

EDC has print versions of Lauches & Lagers, or beer geeks who are also space geeks can visit the Live Big Space Coast website to download a copy. Below the photo of each rocket, potential space workers are encouraged to visit

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When Peter Cranis, Executive Director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism, saw the brochure, he decided it would be ideal for visitors as well as potential residents.

“We adopted it,” he said. “We use it in the drop-in centers, and we have it on our website.… From our side of the house, we promote it as a great experience. It’s another thing people can do when they come here. “

There are a lot of big launches coming this year, he said.

“We’re just trying to encourage people to come here and experience new and exciting things.”

This is the second edition of Launches & Lagers, and Baluta is already thinking about what to do next.

Oceanside Distillery, Brevard’s first distillery, opened in June in Cape Canaveral.

“Satellites and guns? Said Baluta.

E-mail [email protected].

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