America’s craft beer scene is booming, to say the least. With nearly 3,500 operational breweries and brewpubs in the United States, American craft beer has never witnessed better times and the American consumer is all the more blessed because of it. There are the large, well- established craft breweries that command a national presence but there are also the smaller, hidden gems that take time to find but are worth the effort in the end. One good example of the latter is Idyll Hounds Brewing in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.
A Taste of Florida
I just got back from Florida a few weeks ago after spending seven days in Destin, right on the Gulf Coast of the Florida panhandle. I always make it a point to visit breweries when on vacation and I had a couple places lined up and ready to visit. I had never heard of Idyll Hounds Brewing and only learned about it when I inquired with the folks at a nearby brewery. Never one to turn away a new brewing experience, I added Idyll Hounds Brewing to my destination list.
Idyll Hounds Brewing, I discovered, is relatively new and apparently keeps its doors open during working hours to accommodate guests. Anyone who wants to visit is welcome. If the doors are open, just walk on in, head to the tapping area, and ask for a sample.
Small Batches, Big Flavor
Idyll Hounds Brewing has two regular beers brewing and on tap at the moment: Divide & Conch’r Double IPA and Man O Wheat, an American Pale Wheat Ale. When I visited, I was greeted by one of the employees who quickly served me a glass of each beer, talked about Florida and its craft beer scene, and proceeded to show me around the facility. I liked both of the beers and found each one enjoyable in its own right. I was partial to Divide & Conch’r Double IPA because, well, I’m a certified hop head by nature and this beer weighs in at an impressive, over- the- top 100 IBU. It was just the dose of hops I like, and I was very appreciative of the opportunity to sample it and talk with those present about the brewery and its future.
Idyll Hounds Brewing isn’t a large brewery (yet!), but they are a nice size and I must say that the brewing equipment not only looked fresh and new, the area surrounding it was also exceptionally clean! That might seem like an unusual or unimportant thing to bring up, but when you have visited as many breweries as I have, some of which look like a worn- out industrial zone, it’s a refreshing and welcome change to see a facility that is so clean and inviting.
Stop on By
Idyll Hounds Brewing is an interesting little brewery with good beer products and a name that tends to stick with you. To this day, I want to say “Idle Hands” or spell the name of the brewery “Idle Hounds”, both of which are incorrect. I’m sure others have made the same mistake. The name is different and it’s definitely an original, much like the beer products brewed here.
Idyll Hounds Brewing hasn’t made a big splash on the northern Florida coast just yet, but it certainly has the potential to make some inroads in the Florida craft beer scene. It’s close to Destin and the beautiful emerald waters that define this part of the state and it makes for a nice getaway from the beach balls and sun tan oil of the nearby resorts. Stop on by, if you get the chance, and tell them Great Beer Now sent you.