By Samantha Lambert
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name
And you’re always glad you came
That lyric from the Cheers TV show theme song could double as the mantra of 3rd Planet Brewing in Niceville. “It’s a community atmosphere here,” says co-owner Tim McCool. “No TVs, no Wi-Fi, kid-friendly, dog-friendly, and food-friendly. We want people to come inside and communicate with each other.”
McCool and co-owner Jason Doster are military veterans who met when they both worked in Washington, D.C. They discussed opening a brewery together and in July 2015 drove to Gainesville and bought a Sabco Brewer System. It was a 10-gallon pilot system that they used to try recipes on in their garage. The two spent nine months trying different recipes on family and friends and then expanded to tastings at festivals.
In April 2016, McCool and Doster opened the first 3rd Planet Brewing on Partin Drive in Niceville. They opened with eight beers of their own on tap and six “guest taps” of local beers.
Brian Detweiler has been the head brewer for two years. Francis Camosse has been with the brewery for two and a half years and is now the general manager of the 3rd Planet’s new location. John Emsing is the manager of the original location.
Another major component of this group is Sue McCool, who is “the heart and soul of this place” according to husband Tim.
3rd Planet’s second location in Niceville recently opened at 1400 E. John Sims Parkway in Niceville. The grand opening was held in June, and Camosse says it “felt like a big neighborhood get-together.”
The new spot is known as the Mothership. “It’s such a fun place to work. It’s really nice to bring the craft beer experience to Niceville,” says Emsing.
The original location, the Launchpad, is 800 square feet and had no room to expand. The Mothership, on the other hand, is about 2,000-3,000 square feet. “At the Launchpad, we had the capacity to brew 480 gallons of beer a month,” says Detweiler. “At the Mothership, we can brew 900 gallons of beer a week. We also plan to test batches and ‘launch’ new beers at the Launchpad before bringing them over to the Mothership.”
The most popular beer right now at 3rd Planet Brewing is the Dank Side of the Moon, a juicy, aromatic IPA featuring Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo hops. Another popular beer on tap is the Blue Water Hefeweizen, a wheat brewed in the German style with more restrained citrus and spices. The Boggy Bayou Stout, a chocolate milk stout brewed in the English style, is also popular. 3rd Planet also serves Beer on Nitrogen, which has a creamy top and less carbonation.
“Our distributor is Vintage out of Destin,” says Mr. McCool. “We also have kegs such as Dank Side of the Moon and Blue Water Hefeweizen available, and special beers for special events through our distributor.” They also hopes to start canning their beer this fall with help from Destin Brewery.
Patrons of both locations can have food delivered, pack a picnic, or purchase food from the food trucks parked at both locations. Trivia is held every Tuesday night and will switch back and forth between the two locations for the present time. In the future, there will be themed trivia nights several times a month, during which participants can win 3rd Planet gift cards.
There is live music at the Mothership and a running club that meets every Wednesday night. Private parties can also be held at the new location. Future plans include a 5K race, a cornhole tournament, and life-size foosball.
“Our employees are phenomenal. Our service is fantastic, and our beers are great!” says Mr. McCool. 3rd Planet Brewing started with a passion for beer. Everything on tap is either a signature 3rd Planet beer or a beer sourced from other local breweries. They were recently named the Finest Craft Brewery on the Emerald Coast in the Northwest Florida Daily News readers’ poll.
Discover more at 3rdPlanetBrewing.com, or call 850-424-4257.
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