This article originally ran in Navarre Press | THURSDAY, AUGUST 13, 2015
When the Ye Olde Brothers Brewery opened as Navarre’s first craft brewery, the owners wanted to make local flavor a focal point.
The brewery, located 6 miles north of U.S. 98 at 4458 Highway 87, has done just that as four local beers are now available less than a month after they began offering their own brews.
“Things are going very smoothly for us,” said Bill Bunning, who brews the beers for the booming business owned by brothers Larry and Jerry Rolison. “People love what we have to offer.”
Of the 12 taps at the brewery, the local flavors available are honey wheat, porter, stout and an IPA. The selection of beer available also includes an original Ye Olde Brothers beer along with beers from Greyton Beach in South Walton and the Pensacola Bay Brewery.
But a brewery is also about variety and Bunning, who home-brewed his own beer for 20-plus years before working with the Rolison brothers, said flavorful limited edition beers are on the horizon for cus-tomers to enjoy.
The first limited-edition beer is slated to be brewed this weekend and will be a session ale made with hops native to America. It’s expected to be available to the public by the end of August or early September. Two kegs will be brewed.
A saison beer is also expected to be brewed in the near future, the second in what is expected to be a long line of limited-edition beers that will be rolled out over time. The hope is to eventually use four of the 12 taps for beers that will be rotated on a regular basis.
“You want to be able to always change things up because people like having a variety to choose from,” Bunning said. “Most breweries have their standard selection but it’s typical to feature other flavors. We like trying different beers out, but if one was to become immensely popular, we might brew more and keep it avail-able longer.”
Plans are also in the works for a cider beer –Bunning noted people have asked about it – and the brewery also plans to add lagers in late winter or early spring.
One of only four breweries in the area, the local beers are brewed right on-site by a system created by the Rolison brothers. It took two years to build the brewery and roughly $200,000 is invested in it.
Bunning said the brewing process typically takes about five hours but the same beer is brewed twice in a day. Once the beer is brewed, it’s usually available a couple of weeks later, although beers such as the IPA or stout take longer to be available for consumption.
In addition to offering local flavors of beer, Ye Olde Brothers is also a family-friendly restaurant that offers a variety of delicious entrees and brick-oven pizza. There is also a happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, giving customers a chance to take advantage of $1-off draft pints and house wines.
Customers certainly won’t leave Ye Olde Brothers disappointed, and if there’s any indication of its recent success, it’s the sales numbers produced this past weekend on the locally brewed beers.
“Just with our four local flavors, we made about 75 percent of our money off those taps,” Bunning said. “Everything is going really well. The demand is very good.”
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