There is no better feeling than a nice cold beer after enjoying a day on the beaches in South Walton. Odd Pelican Beer Company’s high-quality beer matched with their “local spot” ambiance will make you feel like the greatest of all beach bums. Co-owner of Odd Pelican Beer Company, Anne-Margaret Harrison, gave us the inside scoop on the newest brewery that has caught the attention of all beer lovers along the Emerald Coast.
How did you get the idea or concept for your business? Do you have any partners?
AH: Due to the pandemic, Hunter and I both found ourselves back home on 30A. The slow time allowed us to enjoy the simple joys of our lives. Homebrewing and beer tastings became a part of our regular routine, and we loved bringing our friends and family together for these occasions. We didn’t want the fun to end, and couldn’t think of anything better than sharing this with our community. Each of us had something different to bring to the table with experiences in the food and beverage industry, business knowledge, and a passion for brewing. It was the best combination for a brewery, and we couldn’t wait to begin. By June 2020, we had created our business and we moved into our brew space at the beginning of September.
I have one business partner: Hunter Davis. Hunter has spent the past 20 years investing his talents in the local food and beverage industry in Walton County. Hunter spent a few years in Wisconsin where he gained his brewing experience. He moved back to Walton County in 2017 with a newfound talent and love for brewing.
Let’s discuss numbers: What year did you open? How many locations do you have? How many people do you employ?
AH: We started the process of opening the brewery in June 2020. We secured a space in September 2020. We started distributing the beer with Lewis Bear in May 2021, and we opened the taproom at the end of October 2021! We have one location in Freeport and one employee who helps out with bartending and brewing.
What do you sell or what service do you provide? What’s your best seller?
AH: We are in the beer business. We provide high-quality, well-balanced and flavorful beer. Our first beer was created in partnership with Seaside, Florida. A golden ale called Seaside Suds Bud’s Brew. This is the first of three beers that will be in our line of beer: Seaside Suds. Our second beer is the Spectacle IPA, an everyday IPA packed with pineapple and citrus flavors.
What’s unique about what you do or offer?
AH: Our goal is for Odd Pelican to be a brewery that customers can place their confidence in to always provide top-of-the-line beer. We hope that this instilled confidence will allow customers to feel comfortable enough to branch out and try other flavors and styles of OPBC beer. The taproom is a relaxed, outdoorsy atmosphere filled with a fun-loving crowd.
How would you describe your business to a potential customer?
AH: Odd Pelican Beer Company is a local brewery specializing in small-batch beer with a large variety of styles and flavors. Our beer is made to be both flavorful and easy drinking. We are focused on providing high-quality, well-balanced and flavorful beer that can be enjoyed all day.
What do you love most about your line of work?
AH: Opening the taproom has been my favorite part of the process so far! The overwhelming amount of support that we had at our opening night left us speechless. We have received tremendous support from the community, other breweries and all our customers and we could not be more grateful! There is really something special about seeing other people love our beer as much as we do.
Generally speaking, our favorite part about owning a beer company is how it brings people together! Growing up in this close-knit community, we have always loved how food and drink have a way of bringing people from different ages, places and interests together. Hunter has been able to witness this over the past eight years with his private chef business: The Dish and The Spoon. We are excited to be able to share our love for beer with our community, and we can’t wait to watch the Odd Pelican family grow with each new person who tastes it.
What sorts of trends are you seeing in your industry?
AH: Right now, in the winter season, we are making darker beers. We have released a winter ale, stout, amber, brown ale and smoked Irish red in the taproom over the past few weeks to add to our line-up of other beers.
Tell me in just a sentence or two what you feel sets you apart from your competitors.
AH: With the taproom in Freeport and the first line of beer based around Seaside, Florida (Seaside Suds), the reach of the brewery caters to a larger crowd from the start.
What’s the best thing about being a part of the Emerald Coast, personally and/or professionally?
AH: Hunter and I have both grown up in the area and wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else! The sense of community that is so prevalent in the Emerald Coast is what allowed us the opportunity to start this small business. Since the very first day, this community has provided us with all of the support, love and guidance we could hope for.
Are you/your business involved in the community in any way? Volunteering or giving back? If so, how?
AH: Both of us are pretty community-driven and love giving back to the area in any way we can. We have donated beer to several local fundraisers and community events so far, and look forward to continuing to do this in the future. Growing up in the area, we know the importance of the local non-profits and are always looking to support in ways we can.
What does a typical day in your business look like? (Pretend it’s Monday (or Friday!) and take me through the highlights of your day.)
AH: Currently, we are brewing about twice a week on our 5 BBL system. We are working on releasing cans soon and are always testing out new recipes.
What’s your best “insider tip?” (This could be a community tip for vacationers or homeowners or even a tip for customers related to your business.)
AH: Don’t be afraid to try new spots! This area is growing so fast and there are so many great new businesses popping up to add to our already huge collection of local businesses.
Just the deets, please! Where are you located? Business hours? Social media profiles and/or website links we need to know about? (Please feel free to add social media handles or direct links!)
AH: We are located at 355 Bulldog Road in Freeport (in the Freeport Industrial Park). We are currently open Tuesdays and Fridays from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. [Find them on Facebook and Instagram, too!]
One final question: If there was just one thing you wish the public knew about your business, what would it be?
AH: The story behind the name: The story of the Odd Pelican is a familiar tale to many beach locals. Growing up, Hunter’s dad always stopped to count the pelicans. He told Hunter that they always fly in odd numbers. This led to the never-ending question: Where is the missing pelican? We have come to the conclusion that our odd Pelicans can’t help but stand out from the rest. The Odd Pelican is constantly searching for a good time, good company and good beer.