Tag: press

Ye Olde Brothers Brewery to host Craft Beer Fest

This article originally ran in Navarre Press | MARCH 4-10, 2021

Calling all beer lovers.

Ye Olde Brothers Brewery will be hosting the 2021 Craft Beer Fest Saturday, March 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come sample your favorite beers from along the Gulf Coast. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at www.yeoldebrothersbrewery.com/beerfest. They include entry to the event, beer tasting, live entertainment and a souvenir glass, while supplies last.

Ye Old Brothers Brewery will celebrate their sixth year in business in April, and the popularity of the brewery and family-friendly restaurant continues to grow. It is located along Highway 87 in Holley, just a few minutes outside of Navarre.

Ye Old Brothers is the place to be on weekends. On Friday nights, they have cornhole tournaments starting at 6:30 p.m. for anyone who would like to come play or watch. Brunch is served Saturday mornings and all-day Sunday with bottomless mimosas or a bloody mary pitcher – each only $15.

The brewery-restaurant serves a delicious brunch menu, featuring brisket and western omelets, breakfast pizza made with homemade sausage and bacon gravy as the sauce and French toast made with thick Texas toast.

Ye Olde offers a great selection of craft beer and food. Brewed right on-site, 16 of the 18 beers they sell on tap are their originals.
But it’s not just beer you will find at Ye Olde. Delicious wood-fired oven pizza made with top quality ingredients, including homemade sauces and dough, is one of the menu’s biggest hits.

Manager Christy Skerrett started working at Ye Olde Brothers Brewery in March 2017 and has watched the brewery grow and evolve into what it is.

“We are making the brewing process as efficient as possible,” Skerrett said.

Her favorite beer currently is Raspberry Wheat, which is one of their newer craft beers on tap.

Freshly smoked meat is available including ribs, pulled pork or brisket. And if you are looking for dessert after your meal, turtle cheesecake and apple cobbler with ice cream are among your choices.

Ye Olde is branching out into the catering realm and loves to help the community through fundraising efforts such as military appreciation causes and supporting first responders. They purchased a flat-top grill to make catering and mobilizing Ye Olde Brothers easier.

Though Ye Olde is on the northern edge of Navarre, the trip up the highway is one that is well worth it because it is much more than a place to have a tasty meal or drink a great craft beer.

“It’s kind of like a destination thing,” co- owner Larry Rolison said. “If you give people a great experience, they will come back. And we’ve been able to do that.”

Ye Olde Brothers Brewery helps raise funds for early detection of breast cancer

This article originally ran in Navarre Press | OCTOBER 22-28, 2020

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as you may know, and Ye Olde Brothers Brewery is doing their part to help spread awareness and fight this terrible disease.

For the entire month of October, Ye Olde Brothers Brewery has been serving a Raspberry Wheat and donating $1 for every beer sold to The Pink Pirates of Navarre, a local nonprofit established to raise awareness and funds to assist with the early detection of breast cancer.

The brewery will also be hosting a breast cancer awareness brunch fundraiser the morning of Oct. 25 with all profits going toward the Pink Pirates to help promote awareness of the importance of regular mammograms and to raise funds for those that may not be able to afford one otherwise.

The Sunday brunch will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Plates will consist of biscuits, gravy, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and fruit and will cost $12. Coffee and juice will also be included.

Ye Olde Brothers is also getting ready for Thanksgiving season, when they will be serving their smoked turkeys again this year! For just $40, you and your family won’t have to worry about putting a turkey in the oven at 5 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. You can enjoy a fully smoked and bagged 11-14-pound turkey from Ye Olde Brothers Brewery. All you have to do is heat it up when you’re ready to dig in. Turkeys must be ordered by Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. and can be picked up Monday through Wednesday the week of Thanksgiving. They will also be offering homemade creamy pumpkin pies for $15. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

Ye Old Brothers Brewery celebrated their fifth year in business in April, and the popularity of the brewery and family-friendly restaurant continues to grow. It is located along Highway 87 in Holley, just a few minutes outside of Navarre.

The brewery-restaurant is thriving and offers a great selection of craft beer and food. Brewed right on-site, 16 of the 18 beers they sell on tap are their originals.

But it’s not just beer you will find at Ye Olde. Delicious wood-fired oven pizza made with top quality ingredients, including homemade sauces and dough, is one of the menu’s biggest hits.

Manager Christy Skerrett started working at Ye Olde Brothers Brewery in March 2017 and has watched the brewery grow and evolve into what it is.

“We are making the brewing process as efficient as possible,” Skerrett said.

Her favorite beer currently is their Raspberry Wheat, which is one of their newer craft beers on tap.

Freshly smoked meat is available including ribs, pulled pork or brisket. And if you are looking for dessert, enjoy some creamy pumpkin pie, key lime tart, apple or blackberry cobbler, or their delicious homemade root beer float.

Ye Olde is branching out into the catering realm and loves to help the community through fundraising efforts such as military appreciation causes and supporting first responders. They purchased a flat top grill to make catering and mobilizing Ye Olde Brothers easier.

Ye Old Brothers is the place to be on the weekends. Friday nights they have cornhole tournaments starting at 6:30 p.m. for anyone who would like to come play or watch. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday mornings with bottomless mimosas or a bloody mary pitcher. And on the last Saturday of the month, Ye Olde even has live music in the evening on their heated back deck.

Groups can start booking their Christmas parties now to secure a spot.

Though Ye Olde is on the northern edge of Navarre, the trip up the highway is one that is well worth it because it is much more than a place to have a tasty meal or drink a great craft beer.

“It’s kind of like a destination thing,” Larry said. “If you give people a great experience, they will come back. And we’ve been able to do that.”

Ye Olde Brothers Brewery serves savory smoked chicken wings

This article originally ran in Navarre Press | JULY 16-22, 2020

Ye Old Brothers Brewery recently celebrated their fifth year in business in April, and the popularity of the brewery and family-friendly restaurant continues to grow. It is located along Highway 87 in Holley, just a few minutes outside of Navarre.

Owners and brothers Jerry and Larry Rolison are system designers by trade and have been involved in the contracting business for 30 years. About six years ago they decided to start brewing their own craft beer.

“We got to thinking, we do automation and can design our own system. And then we decided why not build a brew pub and sell our beer,” Larry said. “It took on a life of its own from there.”

The brewery-restaurant is certainly thriving and offers a great selection of craft beer and food. Brewed right on-site, all 18 beers they sell on tap are their originals.

Their newest beer on tap is the fruity Strawberry Wit. They are even working on perfecting their own cider so there will be a drink for everyone’s preferred taste.

But it’s not just beer you will find at Ye Olde. Delicious wood-fired oven pizza made with top quality ingredients, including homemade sauces and dough, is one of the menu’s biggest hits.

Recently they updated their dough recipe by adding garlic and Italian seasoning to give it a nice subtle flavor.

A hot item at Ye Olde Brothers Brewery right now is their honey hot smoked chicken wings. Honey hot is just one of the seven available sauce flavors, including ghost pepper, mild, hot, honey barbecue, mild barbecue and hot barbecue. The wings are brined and smoked for two and a half hours, then fried for two and a half minutes to give them that crispy finish.

Manager Christy Skerrett started working at Ye Olde Brothers Brewery in March 2017 and has watched the brewery grow and evolve into what it is.

“We are making the brewing process as efficient as possible,” Skerrett said.

Her favorite beer currently is either the Coffee Cream Ale or the Mocha Mile Stout, which are two of their newer craft beers on tap.

Freshly smoked meat is available including ribs, pulled pork or brisket. And if you are looking for dessert after your meal, apple cobbler, blackberry cobler, homemade brownier made for two and key lime tart are among your choices.

Ye Olde is branching out into the catering realm and loves to help the community through fundraising efforts such as military appreciation causes and supporting first responders. They purchased a flat top grill to make catering and mobilizing Ye Olde Brothers easier.

Ye Old Brothers is the place to be on the weekends. Friday nights they have cornhole tournaments for anyone that would like to come play or watch, starting at 6:30 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday mornings with bottomless mimosas or a bloody mary pitcher. And on the last Saturday of the month, Ye Olde even has live music in the evening on their heated back deck.

Though Ye Olde is on the northern edge of Navarre, the trip up the highway is one that is well worth it because the brewery and restaurant is much more than a place to have a tasty meal or drink a great craft beer.

“It’s kind of like a destination thing,” Larry said. “You have to have ideas to get people in. Our craft beer was our first idea. The brick oven was the second. And now we have the smoker. If you give people a great experience, they will come back. And we’ve been able to do that.”

Beer crafters show off their brews

This article originally ran in Navarre Press | Thursday, April 4, 2019

By Jamie Gentry

Garage operations, commercial brewhouses and mom-and-pop shops came out in force Saturday to Ye Olde Brothers Brewery inaugural Craft Beer Fest 2019.

As Navarre’s first craft brewery and a leader in the region, Ye Olde Brothers brought together more than 20 local and regional craft brewers to offer samples of their wares in a friendly competition.

As live music played, hundreds of 21-and-overs sipped samples ranging from fruity concoctions to classic styles. John Washington, with pretzels around his neck, was among those tasting to decide their vote.

“I love this place. Ye Olde Brothers is a real good place. The food’s good. The beer’s good,” he said. “Whenever they have something going on out here, I try to get involved. It was bigger and more people than I thought it would be. This place is pretty well packed.”

Home brewers Brett Reid and Thomas Grier of Alga Beer Co. took home the title of People’s Choice. Alga is looking to open a brewery business in downtown Pensacola in the near future.

“It is awesome,” Reid said. “To be a home brewer right now and beat out regionally commercial breweries is pretty dope.”

The company’s standouts were a crawfish saison made with Zatarain’s seasoning and lemon zest as well as its Galapagos double IPA.

“We ran out of almost everything,” Reid said.

The name Alga is a combination of the abbreviations for Alabama and Georgia. The company got its start as two dudes meeting up on the weekends to share their creations. Reid lived in Birmingham, and Grier was living in Atlanta.

As they learned more about the art and science of brewing, the pair decided they could make this a career. So they moved to the region.

“Northwest Florida has a budding craft beer scene, and we have been welcomed with open arms,” Reid said.

Coming in second by just one vote was Navarre’s up-and-coming brewery, St. Michael’s Brewing Company. Located at 2199 Highway 87, St. Michael’ s owner Michael Bares has already cleared land for construction of a new brewhouse and tap room. His company’s cream ale, Irish stout and other brews were favorites among those sampling.

“We are waiting for some of the engineered building plans to come back to us,” he said. “Then we go back to the county for our second review. Then hopefully we can start pulling permits for construction.”

Bares said the festival was a great opportunity for the craft brewers, win or lose.

“This is where we need to be, our hometown brew festival. We want to support Ye Olde Brothers, and I think it is a fantastic opportunity to give out some of our samples and grow some customers,” Bares said.

He said it really comes back to a sense of friendly competition among the micro and craft brew industry.

“We all talk to each other, try to help each other out because our biggest threat is big beer, not the little guys. We are all independent, so we need to get together and protect that,” he said.

With victory came a feel-good prize. The winning brewery gets 10 percent of the day’s proceeds donated to the charity of its choice.

While St. Michael’s would have given those funds to the local lifeguards, Bares said the business will find other ways to support local first responders.

“Part of our initiative and mission is to support first responders and military,” he said.

Alga chose Junior Entrepreneurship of Northwest Florida as the beneficiary of its winning effort.

“We firmly believe in entrepreneurship, and we think if we can foster entrepreneurship through local elementary and middle schools and high schools, there can be more of us or any business really,” Reid said. “We don’t think anyone should ever feel that they just have to have a job, go to work and live out your life that way. You can be your own boss. You can do your own stuff.”

Brewing business success. Beer crafters turn hobby into profession

This article originally ran in Navarre Press | Thursday, July 12, 2018

By Jamie Gentry

From hipsters posting Instagram pics of the newest IPA at their local pub to military veterans brewing in their backyards, the United States loves its beer.

And with that love has come an infatuation with homegrown breweries, known as microbreweries. But is it really profitable to brew your bread and butter?

The answer, apparently, is yes.

Michael Kee cofounded Props, a successful microbrewery in Okaloosa County, with Nate Vannatter. Kee said they opened the business due to a mutual love of brew.

“When you see someone drinking your beer and see people enjoy the beer that your brewing or the food that you made, it is great. To sit back and see what you built is rewarding,” Kee said.

His business partner pointed out that getting free beer is also a great benefit.

Props has grown from a single location with a cobbled-together brewing setup to three full-size locations including a full restaurant and successful tap room.

Kee said keeping tap rooms going means keeping the beer flowing. He said his operation and many other area breweries, such as Pensacola Bay Brewery, have been turning a profit for years.

Larry Rollins, co-founder of pub Ye Olde Brothers Brewery, talks about beer like religion. Ye Olde Brothers is Navarre’s first microbrewery.

But rather than trying to bring people to church, Rollins wants to see more folks “convert” to good beer.

“People want real beer, not chemically manufactured stuff,” he said.

Rollins said the high concentration of military personnel and veterans in the area, especially those who have been to the pubs and microbreweries of Europe, are more likely to drink the “real” stuff.

“When they have been overseas drinking real beer, they don’t want to drink the Bud, Bud Light, Coors stuff,” he said.

He said the appeal is in the quality and the support of local commerce.

“Citizens realize that if they are buying from a craft brewery they are supporting a local business. We are creating our own product and putting it out to the public. There is this passion with brewers to create this great product,” he said.   

Hoppy history
The success of these inebriating entrepreneurs can be tracked back more than 40 years.

Following the end of Prohibition, federal laws were put in place heavily regulating the beer brewing industry. With plenty of lobbying money to throw around, the larger companies had no trouble blocking the small fry from entering the market, Rollins said.

Then President Jimmy Carter came to the rescue. According to The Atlantic, Carter signed HR 1337 into law in 1978. In that bill an amendment put forward by California Sen. Alan Cranston lifted the restraints on small breweries.

From less than 100 U.S. breweries in 1978, the industry has ballooned to 6,372 microbreweries, regional brewers and brew pubs last year, according to the Brewers Association for Small and Independent Craft Brewers.

They spread like wildfire after the law changed and continued to grow in the following decades.

Locally, Panhandle residents have been making local brew for at least 84 years.  The area’s rich, hoppy history starts in 1935 in downtown Pensacola. The Spearman Brewing Company was reportedly a haunt for military folks during World War II and served up the stuff under the slogan “the pure water does it” until it closed in 1964.

Since then, 15 breweries have open their doors from Escambia to Okaloosa County, but currently Santa Rosa lays claim to only two of them.

The Brewers Association found that of those breweries that opened in the last eight years, roughly 91 percent are still in business. That success rate dwarfs the common success rate for businesses in general. Only about half of those enterprises survive past their first five years.  

Max Fisher, journalist for The Wire and The Atlantic, wrote of the craft beer boom that while “emerging small scale, distributed production can compete against an installed large-scale infrastructure base.”

But enough about economics. Back to the beer.

The art of the brew
Running a brewery is an art form, said Navarre homebrewer Michael Bares.

“We are like artisans,” he said.

Like many in the brewing business, Bares started out as a hobbyist, honing the craft for a few family members and friends on the weekends. Over time, his friends started urging him to take his craft out of the garage and into the open market.

He and his wife, Paula, have decided to oblige. St. Michael’s Brewing Company, a brewery and tap room, is set to begin construction in the coming months. Its website already boasts pictures of cream ales, dark Irish stout and several “coming soon” brews.

Bares said he appreciates the fine-tuning it takes to make a quality draft, a passion shared by Rollins.

Rollins said it takes “someone that is a chemist and a janitor. They have to understand water. If you don’t have the water right, you will never have the beer right.”

But the payoff, they said, is worth it.

“Personally, I think the greatest feeling for me is being able to take the ingredients, the grains and the hops, and make something that tastes wonderful,” Bares said.

It’s not easy
But doing is businesses is never just about the passion. There needs to be capital to back the project.

Rollins said beer making is often a more expensive endeavor than folks realize.

Bares, who has invested his retirement savings into making his business a reality, ran into difficulties quickly. He said the lack of existing commercial buildings in Navarre ready for purchase left them having to buy vacant property and construct the building themselves.

“The budget has increased significantly. We started believing it would cost $120,000. Now it is more than $1 million,” he said. “We didn’t realize how expensive it was really going to be.”

The business will be requesting an exception to the county’s Heart of Navarre zoning code to allow for metal siding on the structure. Bares said that exception request is solely for the sake of saving on construction costs.

Kee said the cost of equipment can also be a huge expense. Bares agreed.

“We could spend nearly a half million on equipment alone,” he said.

But Bares is getting some help. Rollins said he has offered a hand to the up-and-coming business.

Speaking of small brewery owners as more a brotherhood than a competitive marketplace, Kee points out that the breweries often compare notes. They share ingredients. They work together to perfect the craft.

“It is a very giving and sharing culture,” he said.

Rollins said he welcomes more brewing culture to come to Navarre.

“If we have two breweries, that is just more reason for folks who like beer to come here,” Rollins said of St. Michael’s. “Our competition is not the other breweries. Our competition is the big guys with the lobby money trying to put us out of business.”

Ye Olde Brothers is more than a restaurant, it’s a destination

This article originally ran in Navarre Press | THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2018

Ye Olde Brothers Brewery just celebrated its third year in business in April and the popularity of the brewery and family-friendly restaurant located along Highway 87 in Holley, just a few minutes outside of Navarre, continues to grow.

Jerry and Larry Rolison are system designers by trade and have been involved in the business for 30 years. Four or five years ago they decided to start brewing their own craft beer.

“We got to thinking, we do automation and can design our own system. And then we decided why not build a brew pub and sell our beer,”

Larry said. “It took on a life of its own from there.”

The brewery-restaurant is certainly thriving and offers a great selection of craft beer and food. Brewed right on site, they keep four or five of their own beers on tap. The other seven are from different breweries in the area, including Pensacola Bay, Coastal Empire and Grayton Beach.

Ye Olde is one of only four breweries in the area and will soon have a 10-barrel system up and running. Jerry Rolison, Lloyd Mathern, Jordan Bennett and Rachel Breite are involved in the beer brewing process, which will become more efficient when the new system is up.

But it’s not just beer you will find at Ye Olde. Delicious brick oven pizza made with top quality ingredients, including home made sauces and dough, are one of the menu’s biggest hits.

And manager Christy Skerrett said the chicken wings are among the best that you will ever eat, noting she will put her name to that statement. A variety of sauces are available to go with the wings.

Smoked meat is now available as well, including ribs, pulled pork or brisket, and if you are looking for dessert after your meal, creamy pumpkin pie, turtle cheese cake and apple cobbler with ice cream are among your choices.

Though Ye Olde is on the northern edge of Navarre, the trip up the highway is one that is well worth it because the brewery and restaurant is more than a place to have a tasty meal or drink a great craft beer.

“It’s kind of like a destination thing,” Larry said. “You have to have ideas to get people in. Our craft beer was our first idea. The brick oven was the second. And now we have the smoker. If you give people a great experience, they will come back. And we’ve been able to do that.”

Local flavor focus of Ye Olde Brothers Brewery

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.”

Brewery makes history in Navarre

This article originally ran in Navarre Press | THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2015

By Brian Lester

When the clock struck 3 Friday after-noon, Bill Bunning rang a bell behind the bar and filled the first glass with craft beer from the tap at Ye Olde Brothers Brewery in Navarre.

The moment marked the official opening of the first craft brewery in Navarre.

“It’s been a long journey,” said Larry Rolison, who co-owns the brewery with his brother, Jerry. “It’s been a slow process at times because we pay for everything as we go, but it’s great to see it finally happen. We’re happy with it.”

Ye Olde Brothers has been open for four months, and has a menu that includes brick-oven baked pizza. But the brewery took time to become a reality as the Rolison brothers designed it themselves.

“It took us about two years, and people were getting a little impatient with us,” Larry said. “A lot of research and development went into it. We have about $200,000 invested in it, including the building for the brewery. It took us time because you make mistakes during the process and have to go back and try again. It was a challenge for sure, but it was worth it.”

The Rolison brothers haven’t always been involved in the brewery business. For about 20 years, they’ve owned a business that produces control panels. They also work as industrial electrical contractors.
“We never imagined we would ever do this, but one day we decided to look into it,” Larry said. “This brewery is more of a toy for us because we already have our other business. We did a lot of studying online on how to build our own beer brewing system.”

Bunning met the Rolison brothers through a mutual friend and soon became involved in the business idea. He had been brewing his own beer at home for more than 20 years.

“I heard they were building a brewery and so I brewed beer for them to show how good the product was,” Bunning said. “They were happy with my beer and brought me on board.”

The brewery features 12 taps, including one original from Ye Olde Brothers. Three other beers are from Greyton Beach in South Walton and eight are from the Pensacola Bay Brewery.

The ultimate hope is to have only locally brewed beer for customers to enjoy.

“The key to a successful brewery is local flavor,” Larry said. “We know we can make our own and it will be just as good. By making all of our own beers, we also make more of a profit because we’re not paying to buy it from somewhere else.”

Ye Olde Brothers is one of only a handful of craft breweries in the area. Aside from the breweries in Pensacola and South Walton, there is one in Fort Walton as well.

In fact, Larry and Jerry took a trip over to Props in Fort Walton to look into how a craft brewery was run before building their own.

“We did a little investigating and felt like we could build a better system,” Larry said.

The Rolison brothers are pleased with what they have accomplished and have visions of marketing their system in the future.

“We can show off our system to others that want to build brew pubs,” Larry said. “Our brewery system is a big showroom and a great marketing tool. There is good potential for profit.”

Business is booming at Ye Olde Brothers Brewery

This article originally ran in Navarre Press | THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2015

Just seven weeks after opening, the well-lit parking lot at Ye Olde Brothers Brewery stays packed.
The new restaurant, which is easily accessible from Highway 87 South, is located in Holley, just a few miles north of Navarre.

“Go early to get a table,” Holley resident Jo Ann Timlin recommends, suggesting patrons try the pizza, which is cooked over an open flame in an authentic brick pizza oven.

The restaurant features a welcoming wrap-around porch with rocking chairs and a terrific view of the sunset.
Friendly servers offer a sampling of different specialty and craft beers called a “flight.” The 2-ounce servings of six beers selected from a menu are served iced cold. A variety of wines is also available.

Other selections on the menu include chicken parmesan and seafood recipes from Ron Schaffer, former proprietor of DaVinci’s restaurant in Navarre.

Word seems to be spreading that Schaffer is operating the establishment, which is owned by the Rolison twins – Jerry and Larry.

“I appreciate all the support Navarre is giving us,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer’s five decades in the restaurant business seems to be paying off. Former customers are driving in from as far away from Alabama to enjoy the food.

It’s definitely worth the trip.

Local brothers to open family-friendly brewery

This article originally ran in Navarre Press | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014

By Shana Roberson

Larry Rolison knows exactly who the customers at his new restaurant, “Ye Olde Brothers Brewery,” will be. They will have an affinity for craft beer and great food. They will appreciate the quality, vintage appeal of the restaurant which features colonial lighting, Spanish Saltillo tile floors and rocking chairs lining the wrap-around porch.

“We’re going to take it slow and make it what the customers want,” Rolison said of the business philosophy guiding the restaurant.

Rolison is one of two brothers who have run a successful electrical business, BJL Sources Inc., for more than 15 years. He and his twin brother Jerry create custom controls and system integrations for companies all over the country.

“We automate things,” Rolison said of the work he and his brother do.

The Rolisons were born in Vidalia, Georgia, and have lived in the area for three decades. When they moved from Fort Walton Beach 15 years ago, they bought a plot of land and built their home. Then they purchased a plot of land for their business, which continues to grow. Recently, the adjacent land became available.

BJL Sources has proven successful for the brothers and has earned them a “large amount of cash” that they wanted to invest instead of having to “out run the banks.” Ye Olde Brothers Brewery was the perfect solution for the Rolisons.

Crafting beer and beer-making equipment
The brothers used their technical expertise to design and build a system that computerizes the brewing process.

At first they will offer other craft beers locals have come to love like those from McGuire’s Irish Pub and Sweetwater Brewery Company.

They will also have their own house versions of an IPA, a Porter, a stout, and a Bass Ale. And once they’re really rolling, Rolison hopes to also have bread ales and specialties like pumpkin ales. He also plans to invite local craft beer brewers to come up with their own recipes. “If we like it, we’ll name it after you and serve it right here,” he said.

Don’t forget the food
The Rolisons will garner pizza expertise from Ron Schaeffer, who locals may remember ran one of the first restaurants in Navarre. DeVinci’s featured Italian cuisine and pizza during its 20-year run.

The wood-fire oven will be able to cook a pizza in two to three minutes, and the pizzas will be served through a sliding glass window. Another small window to the porch will also be used to serve pizza as well.

Pizza won’t be the only item on the menu, however. The restaurant will feature additional fare, including a few familiar beer companions: chicken wings and steak, among others.

The wood fire oven, capable of burning up to 1,000 degrees, will allow the chefs to cook steaks on a fire any-where from 600 to 800 degrees. Rolison hopes to provide steaks on par with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, which is famous for cooking steaks at similar temperatures.

Finishing touches
Food was not the only consideration the Rolisons painstakingly mapped out. Spanish Saltillo tiles on the floor, drains in the kitchens and plastic coating on the brewery walls will make for easy cleanup.

An air-conditioning system that rang in at nearly $5,000 is also part of the plan to make customers happy.
“It’s gon’ be comfortable,” Rolison said with a nod.

If they choose to expand, the porch will allow them to add up to 150 diners. The spacious restaurant inside has room for 86. The bar sits off to the right with the rest of the area ready for dine-in customers. At the rear of the restaurant is a large kitchen that will prepare the non-wood-fire oven food.

Speakers will play blues, jazz and soft rock – but “not too loud.” Rolison said he hopes to create a family atmosphere and has put safety and security at the top of his priority list. Security cam-eras and a brightly lit parking lot are a part of that plan.

The Ye Olde Brothers Brewery will not offer mixed drinks and he has already spoken with those nearby, including local churches, to assure them it won’t be a “beer joint.”

Rolison hopes to cultivate a regular, local customer base when they open in January.

“If I don’t get a tourist, I don’t care,” he said.


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