Palm Folly: Fruity brews are the news

The following article appears in the 2024 spring issue of The Food & Wine Guide for South Walton presented by 30A Food & Wine, available now on news racks around the area.

By Michelle Farnham
May 28, 2024

SANTA ROSA BEACH – The South Walton area has its fair share of craft beer breweries and distilleries, wine bars and beachy pubs. Enter the newest game in town, Palm Folly, a woman-owned craft brewery offering fruit-forward hard seltzers – the first of its kind in the state.

Palm Folly

Owned by Meaghan Easterhaus, everything about Palm Folly screams “modern aesthetic,” from the vibe of the taproom to the decorative pulls on the taps to the seltzer flavor artwork. Working under the motto of “Sunshine State of Mind,” the hard seltzers produced by Palm Folly are plant-based, vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO, using real fruit and no chemicals or preservatives. They’re low sugar, which also makes them low-calorie, and unlike a lot of the competition, don’t taste like hairspray.

“The product is so different,” explained Easterhaus. “It’s almost like a beer-seltzer hybrid because we do brew, so our core is a craft brewery. We just use fruit purees instead of a grain. They’ve got kind of beer flavors. So they really do appeal to a wide variety of people, but they’re super natural and no preservatives. That’s all stuff we’re really proud of; we don’t cut any corners.”

So what flavors do they offer? Topping their core six brews is Lucky Catch, a pineapple mango seltzer weighing in at 8% ABV. Mermaid Tears (5%) offers a grapefruit rose flavor, Redneck Riviera has strawberry hibiscus notes (6%), Perfect Beach Day (5%) brings the brightness of Florida oranges, and the Mako Mark (6%) is a blueberry-lemon combo. You’ll also find a selection of rotating seasonal flavors on tap, and indecisive sippers can opt for a four-glass tasting flight.

Easterhaus hinted at a heavy-hitting coconut seltzer weighing in at 10% ABV coming to the small-batch seasonal menu, as well as an IPA and blonde ale on draft.

“I was purchasing other local breweries’ beer, just to support the other beers in the area. My brewer was like, ‘I can brew you beer.’ I said OK, and we just decided to do our own!”

In fact, it was beer that inspired this whole venture. Easterhaus, a registered nurse-turned non-profit employee and mother of four, moved here from the Rockies and saw an opportunity in the 30A area.

“The other breweries here opened more for distribution. They do have a taproom, but I really wanted to bring a more Colorado-style, community-centered brewery to town,” she explained. “I just love the brewery culture there.”

Palm FollyA place to sip and savor

While the seltzers are available on tap in over 50 restaurants across the Panhandle, if you’re looking for a different kind of place in the shade, Easterhaus’s onsite hangout The Folly Club taproom is open during lunch and dinner hours six days a week (closed Mondays).

This family-friendly club is a 1,600-square-foot taproom with tables and chairs, as well as a mezzanine for hanging out.

“We have an indoor/outdoor bar, so when the weather is nice, we have our garage door open to serve the back patio,” she said. “The patio has seating, a fire pit and our little cute wooden swings. And then we have a huge sand area that we call The Island that has egg chairs, cornhole, a soccer net, soccer balls and stuff out there.”

Food is available from the grab-and-go fridge as well as an assortment of snacks to help balance out the ABVs. Easterhaus said she’s bringing in a company to make gourmet pizzas to create a lunchtime crowd option.

If the beach or the pool is calling your name, Palm Folly offers their popular Lucky Catch in cans – available at the taproom only – but if another flavor steals your heart, you’re in luck.

“We have a crowler machine that does 32 ounces of any flavor you want. It’ll seal in a big 32-ounce crowler.”

Palm FollyEventful schedule

The Folly Club is opened up for special events, including goat yoga, chef’s pairings, sip n’ paint and various classes to include pasta- and sushi-making. Customers can even rent out the space for private parties, too.

“We’re going to have a silent disco throughout the summer season, we’ll probably have it once a month. That is so fun,” Easterhaus said. “We’ll be doing a monthly pottery class, and we have trivia every Wednesday night.”

Palm Folly and The Folly Club are located at 2602 Highway 98 in Santa Rosa Beach, near the West end of 30A. Visit them online at palmfolly.com or find them on Facebook and Instagram for seasonal hours.