Don’t let the size of 3rd Planet Brewing in Niceville fool you. It may be small in square footage, but their beers and atmosphere are certainly big in flavor and overflowing with Southern hospitality.
It’s not out of the ordinary to see Tim McCool, one of the brewery’s co-owners, making his way from table to table laughing, shaking hands, and greeting both regular visitors and newcomers. The brewery and taproom are housed within an old one-bedroom house along Partin Drive that McCool and his team renovated into a cozy place that proudly displays American Flags, military coins, and a beer can collection.
It’s definitely the type of place where you want to belly up to the bar for a few brews. The taproom features 14 handles that showcase a variety of beer styles, from light to dark and everywhere in between, brewed in-house, as well as some featured beers from local breweries.
“We have a cool environment, a great selection of beers, we’re kid friendly and dog friendly,” says McCool, who opened the brewery and taproom with his business partner in 2016. “We have no TVs or loud music, just my mom’s old radio in there playing music.”
The idea was to encourage patrons to relax, enjoy a cold beverage and talk to each other. Needless to say, it’s worked. 3rd Planet Brewing has become quite the popular hangout in Niceville. From local military members and residents to visitors from as far away as Panama City, the brewery stays pretty busy.
“It’s been incredible so far,” McCool says of the community’s reception. “The city appreciates what we’ve brought to Niceville and what we have to offer.”
So what can you expect to see on tap at 3rd Planet? Their lineup of beers include the: Crow Cream Ale, Rocky Bayou Wheat, Bluewater Hefeweizen, Panhandle Pale Ale, Choctaw-hoppee India Pale Ale, Bear Creek Bramber, Boggy Bayou Stout, Postal Point Porter, and Turkey Creek Tripel, as well as an ongoing series of one-off brews.
Brian Detweiler and Francis Camosse, as well as McCool’s business partner, handle the brewing responsibilities at 3rd Planet Brewing, which derives its name from the fact that Earth is the third planet from the sun.
For Camosse, a transplant from the North, brewing beer was never on his radar when he moved to Florida. But life works in funny ways.
“It’s definitely a sense of pride knowing that I’m helping make beers that people are drinking right here in the taproom,” he says. “It has so far exceeded my expectations.”
Camosse says he has acted like a sponge up to this point, soaking up as much knowledge as possible from his fellow brewers.
“It’s kind of like being in a restaurant where there is a chef creating the recipes and a cook making the food,” he said. “I’m definitely the cook right now and Brian is an awesome chef.”
The team at 3rd Planet is currently brewing four barrels a week onsite and works with Vintage Distributors to offer their beers all along the Emerald Coast from Panama City to Pensacola. In addition to the beer, 3rd Planet holds a weekly running club, offers live music and holds special events. And why not toss in some cornhole while you are there?
If you want to bring a snack or a full-on picnic, that’s definitely not a problem, McCool says. 3rd Planet doesn’t serve food, but they encourage patrons to bring something to eat, or allow them to order pizza delivery and order food from the local restaurants.
And with pints averaging $5-$6, it’s incredibly wallet-friendly to enjoy a locally made craft beer. 3rd Planet Brewing is open Wednesday through Saturday at 4 p.m. If you haven’t been yet, you’re definitely missing out.
“Come check us out and see what it’s all about,” McCool says.
3rd Planet Brewing is located at 120 Partin Drive N. in Niceville, Florida. Follow them on Facebook or visit their website for more information.