By Kim Duke-Layden | Photography by Romona Robbins
Grayton Beer Company, Walton County’s first brewery, became operational in 2011 just as the craft beer craze started gaining momentum in Florida’s Panhandle—which is, according to one local brewer, the “last craft beer bastion.” Two years later, the brewery is ready to go to the next level, launching several new beers and new branding designs for its existing brews.
Fittingly, “Be Original” is the branding campaign for the brewery’s flagship beer, Original; the eye-catching packaging features a bold red design, and the slogan promotes the brew’s individuality and reflects Grayton Beach’s unique personality. According to Martin Liptrot, vice president of marketing and sales, “Our packaging design has been carefully developed to get the right look and feel for our beers and their drinkers. We know taste and style are important on the Emerald Coast, and our designs are thoughtfully constructed to fit with the great lifestyles we enjoy here on the beach. So far, we have had a terrific feedback on them from locals.” Liptrot describes their Original beer as having a “crisp, refreshing, light taste,” one that is pegged to be the favorite among locals.
Included in Grayton’s range of beers is 30A Beach Blonde Ale, whose brand design features a bikini-clad Marilyn Monroe–esque blonde along with the iconic blue disc logo from 30A.com. Liptrot said the new head-turning graphics emerged after extensive input from a wealth of collaborators. “We have worked with local designers, with Mike Ragsdale and his 30A team, and thousands of 30A fans to get the design just right. We knew the beer needed to have a blonde girl image on it, but getting it right was important. She is stylish, full of vitality and class—she has a little bit of a retro look, and she really fits with the vibe on 30A.”
Each of the beers in the collection has a name significant both to its style of beer and to the brewery’s strong area ties. White Dunes is a thirst-quenching Belgian white—or witbier—that pays tribute to the fifteen treasured coastal dune lakes that exist in South Walton County (such natural wonders are rare and found in only a few places in the world). The 1890 Founder’s Ale celebrates those who first settled in the Grayton Beach area. And, while the popular Pale Ale has retained its original, simplistic name, the packaging and branding design have been given a refreshing boost that better suggests the rich, golden color of this tasty brew.
All the beers are brewed locally in Grayton Beer’s state-of-the-art brewery on Highway 98 in South Walton, Florida, and are distributed by the Lewis Bear Company. Look for brewery tours and tastings in the very near future. For more information, visit GraytonBeer.com.
Recently, the Cola to Cola craft beer trail has blazed eastward to Apalachicola. The Oyster City Brewing Company is slated to open this spring and will be Franklin County’s first brewery. The owners of Apalachicola’s award-winning Owl Cafe and the Tap Room (Rex Humphries and chefs Susan and Cassie Gary) have teamed up with Bo Walker and are very excited to soon be launching Oyster City’s first three specialty beers, whose branded names also reflect their neck of the woods. Hooter Brown Ale is made with local Owl Creek’s private label tupelo honey and is lightly hopped with Cluster hops. Their Apalach IPA has a citrusy profile and a medium-bitter finish. Oyster City’s flagship beer, Mill Pond Blonde—named for the boat basin where the local work boats are docked—is a light-bodied, easy-drinking brew with a lower alcoholic content, perfect for sipping during those hot summers on the beaches and in the boats. Oyster City Brewing Company is located in the former Oasis Building in downtown Apalachicola (17 Avenue D). For more information on opening dates, call (850) 653-BREW. Stay tuned for their new website, which is currently under construction.
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