What’s going on in Vero Beach? Diesel Engines, Legally Drunken Goats and American Icons

What a crazy mix right?  That’s exactly what I thought too.   Well anyone that’s spent any time in Vero Beach has probably seen this big brick building right next to the railroad tracks just off of Rt.60.  It’s just been sitting there quiet and empty for many years. Vandalized, abandoned and rotting away.

Vero Beach Diesel Power Plant

Click here to see some great historical images of it on the National Registry Gallery


What’s the real story of this old brick beauty?

This near-century old historic building in downtown Vero Beach, Florida, was built in 1926 replacing an earlier power plant due to extensive growth in the area.  It was built in the masonry vernacular style by architects Carter and Damerow and by the engineering firm of Kennard and Sons.  It was known back then as the Vero Beach Diesel Power Plant or the City of Vero Beach Municipal Power Plant.   The structure was the city’s first public utilitarian facility and is the city’s oldest municipal building.   On February 26, 1999, it was added to the US National Register of Historic Place.

historic registry

Fast forward to 2016 the old diesel plant was sold to Michael Rechter who brought his dream to life with an incredibly extensive renovation project that cost a mere $6 Mill.  Transforming this power palace giving it a new name and renewed life.  Now known as the American Icon Brewery a cool and funky hot spot opened in September 2017.    The menu has a great selection and the beer board is full of tempting libations.

See their menu here:  American Icon Brewery Vero Beach

Here I am today after a luncheon meeting with some of our marketing brains.

photo 2

You’ll see right behind us that big red sculpture which is actually remnants of a diesel engine that was left behind in this once forgotten place.   See if you can spot it in the old photos on the National Registry. 😉   I highly recommend stopping by this sparky spot for lunch or dinner and while you’re there try some of their home brewed beer.

Outside you’ll find plenty of mingling spots and lots of comfy seating, games like a life sized Connect Four, corn hole and many others.  Just sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere.   As far as the food goes, I chose the “Legally Drunk Goat Burger”.  Sounded like it was worth a shot, especially based on it’s popularity on social media…  it didn’t disappoint!  I saved a bit to enjoy some for later.  Yum!

legally drunk goat burger

goat burger

This is all that what was left of my drunken goat – there was plenty to fill you and save some for later.  Yes, they branded the bun!  Delish!

I’ll be returning again to try some of the other items on the menu and maybe a couple brews too.

American Icon Brewery

Standing proud and beautiful the new American Icon Brewery in Vero Beach, FL.


I’m a proud and long time resident of Vero Beach.  A safe and fun place to be with family and friends.  Great for anyone that wants to enjoy the beautiful Florida Sunshine State in a small and beautiful town that is graced with a ton of history.

Call me to find out about more great places in Vero Beach, Florida.

Jennifer Bailey, REALTOR® e-PRO®
Dale Sorensen Real Estate • Vero Beach, FL

Photo credit: Old Vero Beach Power Plant – By Ebyabe (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Info Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vero_Beach_Diesel_Power_Plant
and a personal visit to the new facility 🙂