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Pleasure Craft

Red Buoy brewers turned a hobby into a passion

Red Buoy craft beers have placed first, second or third in almost every certified competition entered.

Red Buoy craft beers have placed first, second or third in almost every certified competition entered.

Tucked away in a former workshop under a carport that once housed an RV and a boat is the “brew barn” of Red Buoy Brewers. It’s where five home beer brewers — three Indian River County Ocean Rescue lifeguards, a retired lifeguard who now works in the construction industry and a computer specialist — are harnessing the growing taste for craft beer and turning a hobby into a passion for creating their unique, crowd-pleasing brand. 

Their success, both personal and among their peers, is probably matched only by their enthusiasm and dedication to their craft.

Mike Flinn, Jason Flinn, Willie Boscovich, Johnathan Billings and Eric Carson came together a little over three years ago to create Red Buoy Brewers. The name for their enterprise is a natural outgrowth of the lifeguard profession of four of the five. Red buoy refers to a red rescue can, a certain type of floatation device used in ocean rescues, which is on display in the brew barn. 

“It took us months to come up with a name and we must have thrown out a thousand, including some joke names,” Mike says. “Finally, Willie came up with Blue Buoy.” As it turns out, Willie is the only non-lifeguard.