Brew Hounds: Two breweries set to open in Santa Rosa Beach

Matt Algarin
Idyll Hounds Brewing Company's facility in Santa Rosa Beach is currently under construction and slated to open by late November.

There's something brewing in the commerce park in Santa Rosa Beach.

And while the beer is not flowing at the brewery yet, the guys at Idyll Hounds Brewing Company are no strangers to suds.

"I've never been paid to do this, but I've seen the ins and outs of the business and I know I can do this," said Frasier Hansen, co-owner and brewer. "No matter how much I play it off, I'm nervous — this is a huge risk."

With construction of their brewery currently under way, the team at Idyll Hounds Brewing Company plans to bring their style of brew to thirsty beer lovers along the Emerald Coast. The commerce park will also be home to another brewer, Grayton Beer, which has been serving local brews since 2011.

Along with Hansen, the team at Idyll Hounds is comprised of co-owner and brewer Shawn Sherman, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, and brewer Chas Swanson.

After spending 19 years in the kitchen locally, Sherman traded in his apron and chef's coat for hops and grains. Hansen, who has been brewing for the past eight years, and Sherman met while working at a Rosemary Beach restaurant.

"He asked me if I wanted to learn how to home brew and I said 'yeah, it sounds cool,' so I came over and we started brewing," Sherman said. "That was three years ago, and here we are."

Swanson is the newest member of the team, but has known Hansen since the two were high school classmates in Utah.

"Wherever he seems to go, good beer always seems to follow," Swanson said.

When asked about the name Idyll Hounds, Hansen said it's partially an homage to his father, who happens to be one of the project's investors.

"We were looking for things that rolled off the tongue, and we kept playing around with Idyll," he said.

As for the hound, "it's a nickname that he (Hansen's dad) carried his entire life," Hansen said. "People know him as the hound more than they do his first name."

Brewing at home at least once a week, Swanson told The Log one of the groups main goals is to change the perception people have of beer, while encouraging them to try something new and outside of their comfort zone.

"In the craft beer world you have the opportunity to try something new, and you should," he said.

Idyll Hounds will at first introduce two beers. One of which will be a Double IPA and the other an "American-friendly wheat beer." The beers will be the Divide & Conch'r and the Man o' Wheat, respectively.

Idyll Hounds has yet to distribute any of its beer to the public, as they have been spending time introducing themselves to the community and making connections.

Idyll Hounds Brewing Company is located at 845 Serenoa Road in Santa Rosa Beach. Find them on the web at or on Facebook.

Idyll Hounds plans to open its brewery, complete with a tasting room, by late November. For now, it's all about the beer.

"We want to brew what we like and what makes us happy, then we want to introduce that to people," Sherman told The Log. "We're definitely not brewing just to sell to the public, it's not about what everybody else wants to drink."

Grayton Beer Company:

The other soon-to-be brewery in the Santa Rosa Beach commerce park, Grayton Beer, will officially welcome the arrival of its "state-of-the-art" brewing equipment Monday and Tuesday after nearly 11 months of construction at its facility. They will be receiving nine stainless steel fermentation tanks, which will hold as much as 22,000 pints of beer each, as well as other brewing equipment, according to a press release. Grayton Beer is planning to launch five new beers in the coming weeks, the release says, and they will be available bottles and on draft locally from Pensacola to Apalachicola. Grayton Beer Company is located at 217 Serenoa Road in Santa Rosa Beach. Grayton Beer's Martin Tiptrot says they expect to begin brewing by November and having their products in store by December.