As a young Air Force officer I was delighted when I received my first overseas posting - to England. In 1989, I landed in the middle of the English Real Ale movement. I lived just a few yards from a great English village pub. I learned how much flavor beer could have. How it did not need to be ice cold but cellar temperature in the Northern latitudes was just fine. I grew to love English ales, ESBs and their hoppy gift to the world - IPAs. Traveling around Europe, I grew to appreciate German, Belgian, and the other national beer styles.
When I returned to the States, I spent a lot of money on imported beer that was disappointing because it was anything but fresh. Then the American Craft Beer Movement began! Hallelujah!
Since retirement I’ve become a dedicated beer tourist. Wherever I go I seek out and visit new or favorite breweries and brewpubs. I always have fun, enjoy meeting good people, and more often than not I find the best food in town. Brewpubs beat chain restaurants hands down.
I am certainly not alone out there finding great craft beer. In 2015, Craft Beer Tourism was a $22 billion industry in the US. Also that year, I started brewing my own beer - thanks Jim & Deborah at Hop Heads!
When I realized that the beautiful Emerald Coast, from Pensacola to Panama City has at least 12 craft breweries now operating, and a handful more soon to open their doors, I knew that we should have our own craft beer trail. Our many tourists, who largely come for our world-class beaches, Emerald clear Gulf waters, and our great seafood, should also discover and enjoy the tasty product of our talented brewers. Our locals should enjoy our great sources of fresh craft beer and be just as proud to take visitors to our breweries as they are to show them our amazing beaches.
The Emerald Coast Beer Trail is dedicated to giving locals and tourists alike a craft beer experience that is fun, educational, safe and different every time. Whether you use the site to merely inform yourself and launch on a solo adventure, you join one of our scheduled public tours, or you let us create a personalized experience just for your group, I know you will have a great time.
Bill Phillips, Founder
Emerald Coast Beer Trail
Check our calendar and join us for an adventure.