It’s been nearly three years since Destin Brewery first opened in the heart of Destin and to keep up with the demand for their local craft beer, the micro brewery is set to expand a third time.
"We are selling every bit of beer we produce," said owner Kelly Taylor. "We are in about 200 venues from Pensacola to Panama City and we have not been able to expand past that because we couldn’t produce the beer."
Destin Brewery is currently upgrading from a four-barrel (31-gallon) brewing system to a 20-barrel system, meaning they will be able to produce about five times the amount of beer that they were before.
"Our old system was very labor intensive," Kelly said. "We were running the brew house five times to fill our 20-barrel fermenter. Now, when we run this (new) brew house just one time, we are able to fill our 20-barrel. What used to take two days to fill, we can do in half a day."
In addition to meeting higher local demand, Taylor and his lead brewer, Kirk Laszewski, hope this expansion will spread their beer into Florida’s surrounding states.
"The reason we are going larger is so we can go regional," Laszewski said. "When people come to visit Destin on vacation, they go back home and having our beer on their shelf, it reminds them of their vacation. Our customers have been asking for us to sell our beers in their local markets."
"This expansion will not only be to better serve our immediate area but – down the road – we hope to extend our service to our driving demographic," Taylor added.
However, Taylor said he has no aspirations to become a big beer distributor in the southeast, as he wants to remain Destin’s local micro brewer.
"Our mission has always been to be the village brewer and we feel that we have done a good job of capturing the flavor, style and personality of Destin in our beers," he said. "Destin is small, we want to stay within the city limits. We are here and we are here to stay."