Head brewer brings art and science at Ye Olde Brothers beers

Ye Olde Brothers Brewery (YOBB) offers some of the best micro-brews in the country, right here in our backyard, but it is a sister, not a brother, that leads the charge.

An unlikely series of events brought Rachel Breite to Navarre where she found her dream job in a unique role as the head brewer at YOBB.

Breite, originally from Festus, Missouri, received her degree in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston. She worked on fishing boats for Alaskan Observers, Inc. as a Pacific Northwest Ground Fish Observer – or in other words, a fisheries biologist.

To get a feel for what she had to endure for up to five days at a stretch, tune into Discovery Channel’s series, “Deadliest Catch.” She worked on “The Redeemer,” of the Discovery Channel’s, “Deadliest Catch Dungeon Cove” fame, but not at the time of filming.

Breite came to know Navarre Beach thanks to her dad. She had always loved the beaches, so after a year of freezing Oregon weather, cold water and a boat full of fishermen – Navarre, Florida was the place to be. She worked at YOBB as a waitress and soon shift manager eventually working her way up to head brewer in January 2018.

Breite has enjoyed and sought out craft beer since college.

“I was lucky to be surrounded by people that took an interest in me and my interest in brewing beer while working at Ye Olde Brothers,” Breite said.

Of the twin brothers that own YOBB, Larry and Jerry Rolison, Jerry is the brother most involved in the actual brewing of beer. They affectionately call Breite the “brew mistress,” though Breite prefers to be called Rachel.

“Her beers are way superior to anything my head brewer had produced. This is nota­ble, since he had better than 15-years of home brewing experience. Rachel will be the head brewer for YOBB as long as she wants to work with us,” Rolison said.
Part of the appeal of hav­ing Breite join the brewing team was her background in science.
“If you can understand the biological and chemical pro­cesses going on with beer you can manipulate it to create the art you want. It is a marriage of art and science,” Breite ex­plained. “I love biology and water chemistry. I feel I have an advantage because I know and understand the chemical reactions that are taking place and the biological informa­tion through the fermenting process.”
Breite feels that since beer is 90 percent water, you can “nerd out” and tweak the water profiles to craft beer. She takes great care to brew to style specification.
“For example, I look at the starting number, the final number, the color and the alcohol by volume or ABB. If I am going to call a beer a hefeweizen – it will hit every measurement,”she said.

Ye Olde Brothers’ brews of­fer a wide variety of beer styles and has worked hard to estab­lish a solid base of what Breite calls “good, clean beer.” Breite is happy to say that every style is approachable.
Each beer is carefully craft­ed with unique elements, including flavors incorporated through infusion.

For those that don’t like beer, YOBB brews their own root beer. Many have said it is the best root beer they have ever tasted, and root beer float are available on the premises.
You can’t get YOBB anywhere but Navarre, and those looking for souvenirs can purchase a growler of the beer of your choice at the family-friend­ly restaurant that is the heart of the brewery. The restau­rant serves smoked meats, brick-oven pizzas baked in the old-world tradition, wine along with their craft beers and other beers brewed locally and throughout the world.
Monthly Breite also leads a free “How to Brew”demonstration on the porch of the brewery.

“I enjoy working with the brothers and what they stand for. They used ‘Ye Olde’ in their name for a reason and it is nostalgic back to the days before prohibition when every local community had their own craft beer,” she said. “I truly appreciate their approach to beer, and we are honored to be the local brew­ery for Navarre.”
Come learn a thing or two from Breite (or just sample the flight) at YOBB on beautiful Navarre Beach, Navarrelistings.com.

Navarre Beach a top 25 U.S. beach

Navarre Beach is the 12th best beach in the U.S., according to the millions of users on TripAdvisor. (It’s number one according to me, but that’s just personal preference.)

Our local coastline placed 12th out of 25 destinations that made the cut for the 2019 Travelers’ Choice Awards Top U.S. Beaches. That put us out ranking coastlines throughout the country for our white sandy beaches, friendly southern charm and fantastic eats.

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, announced the winners of its Travelers’ Choice awards February.

Award winners were determined based on the quantity and quality of traveler reviews and ratings for beaches on TripAdvisor, gathered over a 12-month period.

Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Director Julie White said the announcement was exciting. White is tasked with shouting from the rooftops how great our beach is and delivering on that promise to the thousands of people that visit our shores each year.

“I was thrilled to get that kind of an accolade because those are the critics that you want, your visitors. Those are the best critics,” she said.

VP for TripAdvisor’s global communications had some positive feedback for us as well. Desirée Fish said the Travelers’ Choice awards are driven by visitors, not the company.

“With cold weather causing many of us to wish for sunnier days, now is the perfect time to make your dreams come true and plan your next beach getaway at one of these amazing, award-winning beaches! This list of travelers’ favorite beaches around the world has something near or far for surfers and sunbathers alike,” she said.

According to TripAdvisor, Navarre Beach is “a beach for solitude and simplicity, along with the longest pier in Florida.” I can echo that one.

One recent review used in the judging said: “We visited Navarre Beach after stumbling upon it, one of the BEST well-kept vacations secrets in the U.S. The beaches are white powder, the water looks like the Bahamas and the locals are chill and friendly. Great restaurants, hotels on the ocean and overall feel. We’ll be back!”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

“I looked at the reviews, and what we are putting out there is what we are getting back: calm, beauti­ful, white sands, relaxing,” White said.

Navarre Beach beat out the better-known Hawaiian shorelines and other well-advertised Florida beaches. Why? It’s because there is an authenticity here that just cannot be replicated.

Our miles of untouched natural coast, open to the public, leave guests who stumble across us coming back for more, but even with those draws, our coast remains uncrowded even in the peak of summer. That is a rarity for Florida beaches. Come see for yourself what all the buzz is about at Navarrelistings.com.

Mardi Gras: Good times set to roll on Navarre Beach

“Laissez les bon temps rouler!”

Mardi Gras season is here, and it is parade time! Thousands are set to overtake Navarre Beach for the 33rd Annual Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade Feb. 23.

Mardi Gras season kicked off Jan. 15, and groups such as the Navarre Krewe of Jesters have been ringing in the celebration ever since. I may or may not have already eaten King Cake…twice…

Anyway, the Navarre Beach festivities are set to culminate with the Mardi Gras parade on the beach in advance of Fat Tuesday, which this year occurs March 5.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Voodoo on the Beach.” Neat right? I am totally busting out my voodoo inspired garb for this year’s festivities.

Navarre Krewe of Jesters has announced the parade will happen rain or shine on Gulf Boulevard. That is the main road of the beach where the multiuse path is located.

Step-off is set for 1 p.m. sharp.

 

Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade
Themed “Voodoo on the Beach”

Feb. 23 from 1-5 p.m.

Gulf Boulevard on Navarre Beach

 

With music blaring, dozens of colorful floats carrying revelers dispensing free “throws” such as beads, toys, moon pies and other treats will parade down the roadway.

Previous years have drawn crowds in excess of 35,000 people, making this a festive, but family-friendly, party to remember. Bring the whole family, along with chairs or strollers, and make a day of it.

This year’s court includes even includes our local County Commissioner Dave Piech as Grand Marshal.

But with all that fun and crowds, planning ahead is important. Those wanting to celebrate need to plan to be on the beach early. Aside from the limited space available along the parade route, access to the beach is likely to stop early in the day with the closing of the beach bridge.

Santa Rosa sheriff’s deputies close the bridge onto the beach midday each year, though they can opt to close it earlier for safety and traffic control. The Krewe has no control over that timing or their decision, so being prepared is important.

If you plan your stay at one of our beach front condominiums or house rentals, you don’t have to worry about the bridge. You can just walk to the parade route, but if you do need to head to the mainland to pick up some festive wear, be sure to be back on the beach by 10 a.m. to avoid the traffic and closure.

As the Krewe says “it’s rain or shine – and since 1986 it has never rained on our parade.”

Restaurants will be open, as will the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center if you want a little pre-parade fun.

It’s not too late to join in the fun at NavarreListings.com

Japanese culture comes to Navarre Beach

More than a decade later, a group of familiar faces from across the southeast and across the world gathered at Gulf Coast Kiln Walk for the 14th Annual Woodstoke Festival to celebrate the arts of two continents.

The kiln walk welcomed not only local artists but a special cultural guest this year. Japanese master potter Masayoshi Shimizu, or Masa as he is affectionately known to his American friends, was a guest of Navarre Beach’s Gulf Coast Kiln Walk Society. This is the second time the Kiln Walk has brought Masa to the region.

The legendary artist placed his works alongside those of 35 other artists in the state’s largest kiln, the anagama. And after firing, those works were revealed to the public.

The anagama kiln is a traditional Japanese woodfiring technique. Burrowed into a mound of dirt, the anagama’s name translates to “cave kiln.” The wood that fuels this earthen dragon burns so hot that the ash turns to a sort of glass on the surface of the pots, reaching temperatures in excess of 2,400 degrees.

Masa flew across the world to attend this year’s festival, sharing his wealth of knowledge with the countless artists that call this area home.

Their works were on display during the festival, enticing visitors and showcasing the cultural heritage of Navarre. Masa returned home following the festival.

If you missed the festival, don’t worry. Masa’s work is still available for viewing at Pensacola State College as part of “Beauty in Use, Celebrating Japanese Cultural Traditions.”

Masa brought the collection to share with the public as part of a long-standing cultural exchange program between Florida and the Japanese state of Wakayama.

The theme of the show is “beauty in use” which perfectly encompasses Masa’s intention in his work. He said his art best shows its beauty when being used in traditional tea ceremonies, as vessels for displaying flowers and through other purposes.

His pottery focuses on using elements of the region where it is created, including locally sourced clays. He incorporates local plants and even shells into his glazes.

The collection is viewable now through June 27 at the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for the Visual Arts in Pensacola just a short drive from Navarre Beach.

At the close of the show, the pieces will call Navarre home.

Attendance of the show is free and open to the public Monday-Friday. Plan your dive into Japanese culture at NavarreListings.com.