Craft Beer Tour
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice flavor to drink beer at the beach, and in South Walton, you don’t. With a recent craft beer boom in the area bringing top-notch breweries and beer bars, you can have your beer and enjoy it, too. And whether you want to go all in on one brewery or try the whole range in one go, South Walton is the spot where you can make that happen. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can make a full day of it.
First stop: Growler Garage in Santa Rosa Beach. Located across from the Ed Walline Regional Beach Access and filled with motorcycles and painted surfboards, Growler Garage is one of the prime spots in South Walton for craft beer. They have 45 taps featuring beer and wine, and they’ve previously won the “Perfect in South Walton” award for Craft Beer Selection. From local favorites to nationally acclaimed drafts, IPAs to hefeweizens and cider to gose – there’s something you’ll like on tap here.
Next up: Head over to Grand Boulevard in Miramar Beach to visit The Craft Bar, where you can grab a tasty bite to eat with your brew. It’s no slouch in the beer department, with 30 beers, ciders or meads on tap. Relax, enjoy a beer or a craft cocktail, and refuel with soft pretzels, mac & cheese and lunch plates with meat and sides to make sure you can soldier on through the remaining stops on the tour!
Moving on: Grayton Beer Company, South Walton’s original craft brewery, is the next stop on this adventure. Founded in 2011, the company is locally owned and operated and offers tours of its 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art production facility on Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. After starting up with an IPA and a pale ale, Grayton, which is located in Santa Rosa Beach, has since expanded to brew a variety of year-round styles and special releases only available at the brewery. Stick around after the tour and enjoy a beer or two in the Taproom, a pet- and child-friendly atmosphere with 20+ taps (and the occasional food truck appearance). Pair an order of wings or a fish sandwich with your pint at the Grayton Beer Brewpub in Grayton Beach, open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. The focal point of the brewpub, outside of the delicious eats, is its 7-barrel brew system where small-batch specialties are handcrafted regularly.
Onward: Idyll Hounds Brewing Company, South Walton’s second craft brewery, opened in 2013 and is located in Santa Rosa Beach. Heavily inspired by the local environment, Idyll Hounds makes a wide variety of beers for enthusiasts and novice beer drinkers, alike, named after beach scenes and canned in recycled materials. Stop in and enjoy the refreshing and amusingly-named Divide N Conch'r DIPA or Ghost Crab Pilsna', as well as a host of seasonal options.
Forward still: Founded by brothers Scott and Matt Shultz in 2019, Beach & Brew on 30A strives to celebrate the distinct personality of South Walton as well as the whole culture of craft beer. Their festive taproom in Seacrest is a great place to please your palate. There are 30 cold drafts ready to pour – whether it’s a lager from a far-off land or the latest ale from around this area. Pint-sized pals such as dogs and kids are also welcome.
And that’s just the start! There are many other great options for craft beer in South Walton, but for a day jam-packed with craft beer goodness, you can’t go wrong with these options.