By Samantha Lambert
Looking for a local brewery to visit? Travel down Highway 98 East into Santa Rosa Beach and turn left onto Serenoa Road. Tucked back off the main road is a huge warehouse that is the home of an almost three-year-old brewery called Idyll Hounds Brewing Company.
Inspired by the white sandy beaches and warm waters of Florida, Idyll Hounds carefully crafts fresh, tasty brews. They brew for beer enthusiasts and novice drinkers alike.
Co-owners Frasier Hansen and Shawn Sherman met years ago at the Summer Kitchen where both were working. Both were interested in starting their own brewery. With help from Hansen’s parents, the men started their brewery.
“My parents always supported me in my brewery venture. Unfortunately, my Dad passed away right after we had brewed our first batch of beer,” says Hansen. The brewery is named after Mike Hansen, whose nickname throughout his life was Hound. The “Idyll” part is a poetic term meaning rustic and rural.
The taproom started out with two chemical drums and a small refrigerator. “The land was fairly cheap out here, and we wanted to build from scratch the way we wanted to build it. We built out everything on day one with the exception of three new tanks we recently added,” says Fraser.
“Plus, the area is still growing out here,” adds Sherman.
The two flagship beers are the Divide and Conch’r and the Man O’ Wheat. Divide and Conch’r is dry-hopped with Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook and Amarillo. It has a balanced malt backbone with a large hop profile. Man O’Wheat is an American pale wheat brewed with Centennial, Amarillo and Mosaic hops, with a light citrus finish.
In rotation now are the White Bronco, the Guava and Passion Fruit Sour, and the Mango and Habanero Divide, along with many other beers. Visitors can sit and watch the beer being brewed as they sip on a cold one. There are always at least 24 beers on tap.
Angie and Jeff Cook—along with their friend Rich Goode—visited Idyll Hounds from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jeff is a part owner of Tulsa’s Dead Armadillo Brewery. While vacationing in Northwest Florida, the Cooks decided to try out the beers at Idyll Hounds. Cook liked the taste of the White Bronco. Goode had the Divide and Conch’r and thought it was really good.
“I enjoy the brewing part and creating new beers,” says Hansen when asked what he liked the most about owning a brewery. Sherman enjoys meeting new people and telling the story of how Idyll Hounds got started.
And then there is Sasha the Brew Dog—Idyll’s official greeter—who enjoys posing for pictures and getting her back scratched.
Oct. 7 marks Idyll Hounds’ three-year anniversary, and a big event is planned featuring vendors and live music.
Idyll Hounds beer can be found in most package stores and craft bars from Pensacola to Apalachicola, and into lower Alabama. Idyll Hounds is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. There are food trucks at the brewery on Fridays and Saturdays.
Idyll Hounds Brewing Company is located at 845 Serenoa Road in Santa Rosa Beach. Find out more at idyllhoundsbrewingcompany.com.