Cheers! A Tasting Tour of the Gulf Coast
You already love the beaches of Northwest Florida and Coastal Alabama. Now there’s, even more, to love when you take a tasting tour of the Gulf Coast. Breweries and wineries have popped up everywhere as artisans bring their crafts to the beach. Here are just a few you can’t miss:
GRAYTON BEER COMPANY — SANTA ROSA BEACH
Grayton Beer Company isn’t just about craft brews. It’s about the South Walton way of life. Established in 2011 by Jamey Price, Grayton Beer started out with two simple brews: an IPA and a Pale Ale. He wanted a refreshing beer that complimented long beach days on 30A. What he got was the company’s now famous 30A Beach Blonde Ale, served in almost all local restaurants, bars, and retailers. *Image courtesy of Grayton Beer Company
Stop by the taproom for a tour or tasting. Tours are based around the brewers’ schedule, so give them a call at 850.231.4786 beforehand. Typically, their hours are 4-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. Check them out on Facebook for special events including concerts and find them at 217 Serenoa Road, Santa Rosa Beach.
EMERALD COAST WINERY — MIRAMAR BEACH
The Emerald Coast Winery is an extension of the Chautauqua Vineyards, located about 40 miles from the beach, north of a little town called Defuniak Springs. These Muscadine vineyards produce grapes of the Carlos and Noble variety. The resulting wines are award-winning, and the San Carlos was even featured in Martha Stewart Living Magazine (although you can’t go wrong with the Noble Red). Stop by daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. for a free wine tasting. 850-837-9500
MCGUIRE’S IRISH PUB — DESTIN & PENSACOLA
You might expect a whiskey distillery inside an Irish pub, but McGuire’s made a name for itself with craft beers—and millions of dollars. Literally, millions of dollars hang from the ceiling of each location, signed by loyal patrons. Leave your own signed Washington after sampling McGuire’s Porter, Stout, or Irish Red. (They even brew their own Root Beer). Find them at the foot of the Destin Bridge, just across from The Emerald Grande.
PROPS BREWERY — FORT WALTON BEACH
Four local guys with a love of aircraft and beer are the driving force behind Props Brewery. At the West end of the Brooks Bridge, Props Brewery sits in an unassuming strip mall. Inside, though, is a fully-functioning brewery. Enjoy a Blonde Bomber, Prop Oil Porter, or Rye of the Tiger. Plus, join them for weekly events like “Geeks Who Drink” Trivia Night every Tuesday at 8 p.m. You’ll also find the Blonde Bomber and Flying Coffin IPA in area shops and restaurants.
BIG BEACH BREWING— GULF SHORES
Hands down, Big Beach Brewing is one of the coolest breweries in Alabama. Under an oak-covered lawn, this Southern brewery combines beach vibes with Southern roots. Speaking of roots, the Mullet Over IPA, Business in the Front Small Batch IPA and Party in the Back Double IPA speaks to how much fun Big Beach has with its brewing. If a mullet feels a little too Southern for you, hit their weekly Nama’stay for the Beer yoga class. Big Beach hours run 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Take your own tasting tour of the Gulf Coast and let us know your favorites! Cheers!