Grayton Beer Company Marketing Director Chelsea Blaich is the frontline contact and doer-of-all-things for the up-and-coming brewery out of Santa Rosa Beach.
SANTA ROSA BEACH – Grayton Beer Company owner Jamey Price spreads his arms far apart to explain how his business works.
His right hand represents the brewing and manufacturing wing of their award-winning beer. His left hand represents his company’s sales wing.
“So you have this one thing over here and one thing over here,” said Price, gesturing to either hand. “We can make great beer all day long and send out sales people going door-to-door to sell it all day long, but you need to have someone who can connect those two things. For us, that’s Chelsea. She’s the one that makes that connection for us.”
Price is talking about Marketing Director Chelsea Blaich, who has been with Grayton for two years and is also closing in on the end of her yearlong stint as president of the Young Professionals of Walton County.
Blaich’s job, in her own words, is to “have all the answers” for anything and everything to do with Grayton, which has a 30,000 square-foot brewery (217 Serenoa Road) and a Brewpub (170 E. County Highway 30A) in Santa Rosa Beach. Grayton was founded in 2011, and the Brewpub opened in April 2018.
The main facility in Santa Rosa Beach really is something to behold – a beer lover’s paradise, to put it lightly. Visitors step into a world of large, silver tanks stretching up to the ceiling that seem like high-rise buildings. There’s also a taproom with expansive seating that can also be converted to use for events, including concerts or wedding receptions.
Walking through Grayton’s office, it’s not hard to tell what kind of trajectory the company is on, with the walls dedicated to pictures signed by some of the musical acts and celebrities to come through, including country star Jason Isbell.
“One of the cool things about being here is the look on people’s faces when they walk in (to the brewery) for the first time,” Blaich said. “It really is jaw-dropping.”
Blaich, a Panama City native, earned her Business Administration degree from Huntington (Ala.) College. After college, she worked for the Walton County Tourist Development Council before spending four years with Proffit PR out of Miramar Beach, where Blaich lives with her husband, Chase.
Price created the marketing director position at Grayton specifically for Blaich.
“My favorite thing to tell people is that I went from working with women in all heels to bearded, manly dudes brewing beer, which is a bit more relaxed vibe,” Blaich said. “The thing about (Grayton) is that the effort these guys put into their product and what they’re putting out is really something to admire.
“It made me really want to sink my teeth into the job, and for the size we are and the production now that we have, where we’ve grown to selling in six states, is an impressive feat for a small, family-owned brewery. And I think that’s what makes it special.”
Blaich’s role at Grayton is all-encompassing, and includes everything from social media to community outreach. Last week, Grayton made a big splash on the national scene with a silver medal in the Red/Amber American Ale at the Great American Beer Festival, perhaps the most elite beer competition in the world and one that draws over 60,000 visitors to Denver every year.
“(Blaich) handles everything, from marketing demands in print and social media to PR,” Price said. “She’s the one that is the support system for the team that’s out there selling beer in order to get us more points of distribution … I can’t say it enough, but she really is a phenomenal asset.”