Grayton Beer Company, established in 2011, is set to begin brewing its own brews in South Walton.
Following almost 11 months of construction, five trucks delivered nine stainless-steel fermentation tanks to the brewery site Monday morning. The vats were moved by a crane and lifted into place by Tuesday. And by November, the county's first locally-brewed beer will be flowing from the state-of-the art brewing equipment.
The largest of the nine vats holds 22,000 pints of brew, resulting in 8,000 barrels of beer per year, and enough capacity to brew the equivalent of 150,000 bottles of beer at a time. In addition to the 18-foot fermentation tanks, additional vessels will arrive to store and manage the hot and cold water needed to produce the beer.
The brewery will feature a tasting room and tours will be given.
"We have been looking forward to this day for some time now," said Jamey Price, the company's founder. "We are starting to see our dream of an independent craft brewery emerging in South Walton."
The company's two beers that were introduced in 2011 have been previously produced in central Florida.
"We always had the intention of working here and wanted to base Grayton Beer here. It just took 12 months longer than anticipated," said Price. "It's exciting. My wife and I wanted to do something local that helped dig our roots into the community."
Price moved to Rosemary Beach in 2006 from Nashville.
For two years the company has brewed the two original styles: Grayton Pale Ale, and Grayton I.P.A. But with the launch of the brewery will come three new styles, including a Belgian white, an amber, and introducing the premier of
Price said the name "30A Beach Blonde" resulted from wanting to do something with a local flair.
"30A is iconic and I wanted to utilize it with the beer," he said. "Giving it the name we did helped us and defined the area."
With 3 percent of beer consumption in the South being craft beer, and the No. 1 market for growth being in Florida, there is a lot of room for growth in the market, said Martin Liptrot, head of marketing and sales.
The goal is to open a locally-owned-and-operated brewery making classic and contemporary beers for the Florida Gulf Coast and beyond. The specialty craft beers will be brewed specifically to complement the lifestyle of the Emerald Coast, and available in bottle and draft.
To accomplish that feat, various recipes are being put together and tried by the head brewer who only wants to be known as Shank.
"Working with a great team of brewers and the finest available ingredients, this high quality brewing equipment will allow us to make beers that drinkers along the coast will truly appreciate," said Shank. "Craft beer is growing across America, and now, in the heart of our community. Northwest Floridians have a brewery to be proud of."
"Who doesn't want to work for a brewery, making beer at the beach?" added Liptrot. "People wanted it brewed here.”
The brewery currently employs eight people, but Price expects that number to double by next year.
"To offer 12-month-a-year jobs is unique in a community that's built on tourism and real estate," he said. "We hope to continue to grow in the area and expand throughout the Southeast."
The brewery is located at 217 Serenoa Road in South Walton Business Park off U.S. Highway 98W.
For more information visit www.30abeachblondeale.com or www.30abeer.com.
ANOTHER BUSINESS BREWING
A second brewery is also coming to the South Walton Business Park in Santa Rosa Beach.
Construction is under way at Idyll Hounds Brewing Company, which plans to open its brewery, complete with a tasting room, by late November.
Idyll Hounds will at first introduce two beers. One of which will be a Double IPA and the other an "American-friendly wheat beer." The beers will be the Divide & Conch'r and the Man o' Wheat, respectively.
The team at Idyll Hounds is comprised of co-owner and brewers Frasier Hansen and Shawn Sherman, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, and brewer Chas Swanson.
"In the craft beer world you have the opportunity to try something new, and you should," Swanson said.
Idyll Hounds Brewing Company is located at 845 Serenoa Road in Santa Rosa Beach. Find them on the web at www.idyllhoundsbrewingcompany.com or on Facebook.