Idyll Hounds Brewing Company Raises The Bar
December 15, 2017 by Abby Eller
Beach, Beer, Repeat - that is the slogan you see everywhere at Idyll Hounds Brewing Company. And trust me, once you've tasted their brewed goodness, you'll be all in for the Repeat part!
In the taproom alongside the shiny silver fermentation tanks, you'll be greeted with a full glass and a friendly smile. The beer options are unique and incredible, and you can't help but wonder … how do they do it?
"Brew what we are passionate about, never constrain ourselves stylistically, and if we're not happy with the product - we do not serve it," says Shawn Sherman, co-owner of the brewery. "It's the philosophy Idyll Hounds is built upon."
Idyll Hounds co-founders Frasier Hansen & Shawn Sherman are bound together by brew love.
Shawn and his best friend Frasier Hansen founded their company in 2013. Idyll Hounds started as a flavor-first brewery in the heart of SoWal in the back of the South Walton Commerce Park. Frasier & Shawn first met while working together at Summer Kitchen Cafe in Rosemary Beach.
Frasier had been homebrewing for over a decade and eventually hooked Sherman with sample after sample of tasty batches. After a couple of years of dreaming, drinking, and planning, they opened Idyll Hounds with the help of Brewer & Head Cellarman, Chas Swanson. Rounding out their current small & efficient dream team is loyal taproom-patron-turned-warehouse manager, Dave Fazkes.
Dave, Chas, Frasier, and Shawn are the Idyll Hounds dream team.
Perfectly put by Chas, "We are an eclectic group of guys that work together to cause chaos in our own little ways."
Entering the production facility, you immediately find yourself in their taproom where thirsty craft beer lovers have front row seats to the daily grind on the brewery floor. Your senses are taken over by the smell of steeping grain & hops; the sound of kegs being cleaned & beer coming down the canning line; and the sight of fermentation vessels & barrels of all kinds filled with aging beer. You can feel this place is alive and your mouth waters with anticipation of tasting that sweet liquid from the draft wall. Currently pouring 24 styles on draft, the taproom offers something for everyone.
"I brew what I like to brew. I like sours, stouts, pilsners, saisons and hoppy beers," says Frasier. "I keep a good mix for people coming in and try to brew a style if a regular customer asks for it."
Sours have become somewhat of a passion project for Hansen. You’ll find several different sours pouring at any time in the taproom. When asked if they have a favorite on the wall, both Hansen and Sherman went straight to Lacin' the Wax - a kettle sour blended with cranberry, raspberry and strawberry.
For the first two-and-a-half years, the Hounds pushed their flagship styles out across the Gulf Coast market- Divide & Conch'r, a Double IPA exploding with flavor, and the Man O' Wheat, a hoppy American Wheat Ale. They've recently added a third beer to their yearly lineup, Ghost Crab Pilsna'. True to it's Bohemian style, this Pilsner is crisp, refreshing, and a sipper for any session.
Sowal locals can also get their hands on the Hounds experimental hop series featuring a different dosing of hops in every batch.
“These are a quick-turnaround to keep them as fresh as possible. We’re working on 10 new can designs for this series. Boosh, a New England IPA, was the first in the series”, Frasier says. “There are so many new ways to hop now. Hop hash, hop oil, hop powder. It’s nice to change it up and experiment with these new products.”
With the addition of the Ghost Crab Pilsna’, the experimental hop series, and their rotating one-offs ... expansion became a necessity.
“This year we’ve purchased two 40-barrel fermenters and one 40-barrel brite tank. These will help us to keep up with demand and build our core brands,” says Shawn, also noting that the best way to connect with the South Walton community and visitors is through the taproom - so changes to that space are on the horizon.
The Idyll Hounds Taproom is open Monday thru Friday from 9-5 p.m. and Saturday from noon - 6 p.m. Pets and children are welcome, and on most Saturdays you can enjoy your beer with fare from local vendors and food trucks. Follow Idyll Hounds Brewing Company on Facebook for updates on events and brews. To find Idyll Hounds Brewing Company head east on Hwy 98 a few miles from Hwy 395 (Seagrove Rd) and turn into the South Walton Commerce Park on the north side of 98.
SoWal Insider Tip: not to be missed is the annual anniversary throwdown - HoundFest. Taking place in early October, the Hounds showcase their love of beer by offering an impressive lineup of draft wall one-offs and limited-release 750ml bottles. Ramping up the fun and fellowship with live music, a cigar rolling station, and numerous food trucks and restaurants set up shop to please partygoers. Go ahead and mark your calendar - you do not want to miss this!