Destin Brewery: ‘Beer for the people and by the people’

Savannah Vasquez
Destin Brewery Owner Kelly Taylor plans to brew several different types of beer, but when asked which type is his favorite he replied, “It sounds cliché but IPA’s are my favorite. It’s what craft beer is about.”

Florida native Kelly Taylor has been dreaming of opening a brewery for half of his life. Since the day he reached drinking age he has dabbled in home brewed beer, but it wasn’t until recent years that he decided to fully pursue his passion for the craft.

“It was a pipe dream for the longest time,” Taylor said. “A friend of mine inspired me to get back into it a few years back. I was building homes at the time and was just ready to get out of the construction industry.”

Taylor said that he and his wife Chelsea have always enjoyed visiting breweries around the country and finally last August they decided to take the plunge with their very own brew house, the Destin Brewery.

“The interest in craft beer has been growing in recent years nationwide,” Taylor said when asked why he chose to open up now. “The local breweries have been growing too with Grayton Beer Company and Pensacola Bay Brewery. Pensacola has their place and South Walton has their place, and I just figured Destin needed to have its own place, its own brewery.”

In just a few short months, Taylor has transformed the 2,200 square-foot warehouse at 505 Mountain Drive into a state-of-the-art brew house complete with a three-part brew system, three four-barrel fermenters, a chiller, a walk-in cooler, and four tasting beer taps.

The idea for the warehouse Taylor said is not only for brewing, but also to be used as a space for small tours and pilot tasting parties.

“We get a lot of local input,” he said. “We are really brewing for locals, but we know our visitors will love it too.”

The Destin Brewery is currently listed online as a nano-brewery which means that beer is produced one batch at a time, and is made solely for the local market. Taylor told The Log that is exactly how he wants to keep it - at least for now.

“Destin started small and so are we,” he said. “We’re small, but we are big enough to keep up with a handful of restaurants in the extreme local vicinity.”

Currently the Destin Brewery has two beers ready to roll out by way of draft in local restaurants. Their blonde beer, Destin Ale and the East Pass IPA will be featured as soon as next week in Craft Bar and World of Beer.

“All of our beer is named after a Destin specific place or characteristic,” said Taylor. “We are also working on our Red Sky Rye and our double IPA, the Bridge Rubble Double to be rolled out in the fall.”

Taylor said although he wants the Destin Brewery to stay focused on the local market, he does anticipate growth in the near future and will always be open to new ideas.

“We are always gonna have new stuff coming out,” he said. “We are going to have a couple of staples, but we will have a lot of small batch brews as well. Being small gives us a lot of flexibility. We can keep things new and interesting. It’s beer for the people and by the people — that’s us.”

For more information or to schedule a tour, visit the Destin Brewery on Facebook. Tours are by appointment only and must include at least 10 people.