Inspired to choose St. Augustine by fond vacation memories, friends Vance Joy, Mike Fiero, Mark Mueller and Dennis Grune opened Mile Marker Brewing in a countrified neighborhood warehouse just south of the outlets (and at the same exit).
A Northeast-Florida-meets-Key-West vibe seeps into the fluctuating crowd of tourists and regulars stopping in for one of the dozen or so beers on tap, including the popular Mile Marker (MM) Zero Blonde Ale, MM 70 Palm Beach Coconut Porter (which the website calls a “veritable smorgasbord of nine different malts and brewed with fresh real shredded coconut”), MM 82 Islamorada IPA and other tasty concoctions.
While you’re there, one of the owners or staff might take a break for a brew with a cast of characters who seem more like an extended family than a random mix of customers. Like Head Brewer Taylor Strunk, who says he wound up in the brewing scene by “pure happenstance,” there’s a sense that everyone just sort of happened in and is so glad they came.
So enjoy a heady Islamorada and play a game of foosball while tropical fish swim along to island beats, bartender Miguel Corzo rings a bell behind the bar to acknowledge a good tip, and someone inscribes a dollar bill with a memory and secures it firmly to the ceiling. As he gets you a fresh one, Corzo might say, “It’s all fun and games ’til the beer runs out.” Luckily, there’s plenty of Mile Marker to go around.