Opening a new business always has challenges but opening a business in the aftermath of one of the area’s most catastrophic hurricanes and in the middle of a global pandemic certainly makes for a daunting situation. Not even these obstacles could stop three Bay County locals, Allan Branch, Dan Magner, and Tim Whaler, when it came to fulfilling their dream of establishing a brewery and gathering spot in Historic Downtown Panama City. History Class Brewing Company opened in June 2020, and despite a year filled with restrictions and unprecedented times, the community has welcomed the new hangout with open arms. Co-owner Allan Branch shares the unique story behind History Class and its delicious brews.
What was the inspiration behind History Class Brewing Company?
History Class was born with several inspirations, Tim has a passion for brewing beer, Dan has a passion for creating delicious things to eat, and we all share a desire to bring more positive energy to Bay County and Panama City, specifically Historic Downtown Panama City. We wanted to create a business which serves the public and honors the stories of our town. History Class’s goal is to celebrate the past and create new history in downtown Panama City.
What are your hours of operation?
We celebrated our first year in business on June 13th. We are open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays, stay in touch with any hour updates by following our social pages or Google listings. Opening a business like this after Hurricane Michael and in the middle of a pandemic has been interesting, but this community and their overwhelming support made our first year a huge success. This community has relentlessly supported us, I can’t say thank you enough.
What is your most popular brew?
It changes often, however, we do sell a lot of our Belle Booth Blonde Ale, which is a light beer, and we also sell a lot of our McKenzie’s Milk Stout, a darker beer. With 16 taps of our own beer, there is a beer for everyone (of legal drinking age).
How often do you add/change varieties?
It really depends, I’d say once a week there’s a new beer on tap. So pretty much every time you come to History Class there are new beers to try.
Is your beer served anywhere besides your brewery?
We’re not focused on distribution, we want to bring people to downtown Panama City to experience our city and brewpub. However, you can grab a few 32oz can of beer to-go. We can beer on-demand, anything offered on tap.
What kind of events/entertainment do you offer?
We have live music Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and Thursday nights are trivia nights.
Please share any additional fun or important details about your business:
While we make every drop of beer ourselves, we are not just a place for beer. We have wine, glass bottle coke products, homemade lemonade, and a kitchen that slings smoked chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches, truffle fries, caprese salad, and the best darn banana pudding you have ever had. Guaranteed. I love that our kitchen, while it is tiny, produces incredible food options. We are honored to be downtown and proud to serve you. Stop by and see us any time!