Seven Great Places to Enjoy Craft Beer and Sip Spirits During Your Visit
Navarre Beach and surrounding Santa Rosa County boasts several homegrown establishments that will help you relax even further in Florida’s Most Relaxing Place. We’re talking beer, spirits, and wine — much of it made on-site and served in cozy environs that invite visitors to make like locals.
Here’s a rundown of our destination’s boutique-y craft breweries and distilleries:
Santa Rosa County’s first craft brewery was established in 2015 by brothers Jerry and Larry Rolison, system designers by trade. They put that expertise to good use in setting up a brewing system to create their own beers on site. Ye Old Brothers, centrally located in Holley just north of Navarre, has become a favorite gathering spot for locals and visitors. With a quaint, country-store facade and comfy interior, patrons can pair their beers with eats from an extensive menu that ranges from ribs and wings to specialty pizzas and sandwiches. Ye Old Brothers also offers regular beer demos and live music. 4458 Highway 87, Navarre, (850) 684-1495.
Located in lovely downtown Milton in the same block as St. Mary’s Church, Brew Angels pours its own heavenly, house-brewed beers along with those of other top Florida producers — in flights or pints. The large place serves tasty pub fare. Brew Angels is family-friendly, and even offers a menu just for the little ones. So grab a brew, dig into some grub and chill in downtown Milton. 6821 Caroline Street, Milton, (850) 564-0034.
Partners Nick Holmes and Dallas Cook are all about the beer. Their Beardless Brewhaus in Historic Milton — across the street from Brew Angels — does not serve food and is open Thursday through Sunday. The friends, who came to the area from Lexington, Kentucky a few years ago, started by brewing one-gallon batches in Holmes’ garage. Beardless serves year-round flagship beers (from light cream ale to heavy stouts), as well as limited-release brews, sours and barrel-aged ale. Two industrial-sized garage doors open the place up, and most of the seating is outdoors. And where did the name originate? Simple. Nick can’t grow a beard to save his life. 6820 Caroline Street, Milton (850) 665-0663
The newest addition to Santa Rosa County’s craft brew scene is slated to open in late 2019 in Navarre. Longtime homebrewer Michael Bares -, a resident since 2007, received a lot of positive reaction to his beers at local festivals, which prompted him to start his own establishment. He’s building his brewery and taproom from scratch on land he purchased. 2199 HWY-87S, Navarre.
The owners of Johnny Huston’s Grille & Bar opened the Grey Taproom & Wine Bar as a complement to their popular restaurant. Co-proprietor Huston Walters suggests, “Guests can start out at Grey and end up at Johnny Huston’s.” Sounds like a plan. The place has a rustic exterior — “fish camp”-style on raised pilings (offering a nice view) — and a clean, refined interior that seats 70 comfortably. While it doesn’t brew its own suds, Grey offers 30 eclectic beers on tap and more than 30 wines from around the world, plus a terrific selection of cigars. 7622 Navarre Parkway, Navarre, (850) 204-8080.
Santa Rosa County got a jump on the rest of the state when this father/son operation — Paul and Patrick Rollins — became Florida’s first licensed distillery in 2012. Their Esprit De Krewe vodka, two types of Esprit de Krewe rum and limited production spirits are made with Florida molasses and have won awards from the American Distilling Institute. The spirits are made and bottled in house. Try them out in the tasting room, and enjoy a distillery tour. 5680 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze, (850) 503-1275.
Before Milton was incorporated in 1844, locals called it Scratch Ankle for the mounds of briars and brambles that plagued settlers. That quirky bit of history lives on in the names of local festivals and this distillery, located in historic Milton. Scratch Ankle calls its production “grain to glass” and emphasizes local ingredients. They make their whiskeys, bourbons, moonshines, rums and vodkas from ingredients sourced as close to home as possible, and from other parts of Florida. The distillery has a tasting room and offers tours for $10. 5930 Commerce Road, Milton, (850) 665-4800