Alewife to occupy former Riverside Liquor space

alewifeAs Riverside Liquor exits the location it held in Five Points for a larger location in the King Street Beer District, a new concept for Jacksonville moves in to the vacated space. Alewife intends to educate as well as serve local beer lovers with a tasting bar and bottle shop.

Read more in the official press release below:

Jacksonville, Fla. – Alewife, a new craft beer establishment featuring retail craft beer sales, a tasting bar, and craft beer focused classes, is set to open this fall in Riverside’s Five Points. Owners Kelly Pickard and Jamie Burket have signed a lease to move into 1035 Park Street, the former site of Riverside Liquors. The business model is unique to the Jacksonville area, fulfilling not only the customer’s demand for a quality craft beer product, but also offering opportunities to explore, taste and learn about the evolving world of craft beer.

Featuring an extensive selection of bottles and cans from the best craft brewers in America, including those local to Jacksonville, Alewife will serve as a community-focused establishment to celebrate and discover handcrafted ales and lagers from craft brewers across the country. Guests can grab a seat at the tasting bar to enjoy a flight or full pour from one of the six constantly rotating taps, or they can select a bottle from the cooler to enjoy as they browse the shelves. If guests don’t have time to enjoy a beer on-site, there will be six-packs, four-packs, large format bottles (“bombers”), and single 12 oz. bottles and cans to be taken home.

In addition to the retail operation, Alewife will create a unique niche in the Jacksonville craft beer market by introducing a series of educational classes and workshops designed to expand the communities’ craft beer knowledgebase. These classes, designed for both seasoned beer enthusiasts and novices alike, will pair an educational component with beer tastings, and will be the foundation of Alewife’s goal of educating their customers about the diverse world of craft beer.

The name Alewife is a nod of respect to the rich history behind the role of women in brewing. In medieval Europe, before beer production increased in scale and prestige to become a commercial activity taken over by men, brewing beer was a domestic affair performed by women. When extra beer was available, the women, referred to as alewives, would hang a broom – known as an ale-stake – above the door. This let other households and passersby know that beer was for sale.

About owners Kelly Pickard and Jamie Burket: Pickard, who will lead front-of-house operations at Alewife, is a Cicerone Certified Beer Server, a home brewer and has experience working behind the bar with positions held in both Washington, DC and locally. Pickard has brewed beer with a commercial craft brewery, developed and led craft beer tasting and pairing events for both corporations and individuals, and completed numerous craft beer-focused classes and workshops. Her former professional career was in sustainability project management for an architecture trade association.

Burket, who will run back-of-house operations, has a professional background in facility management, event operations and marketing. Her passion for the craft beer industry has led to participation in various craft beer-centered educational workshops and to extensive beer-focused travels.

Jacksonville has emerged as a city at the forefront of the craft beer scene in the state of Florida, and also the entire southeast. The city features multiple acclaimed craft breweries; local, regional and national craft beer focused restaurants and bars; and a growing craft beer-specific retail market. The Alewife concept will complement the current offerings and provide an experience for Jacksonville residents not currently available.

About Alewife: Scheduled to open fall 2014, Alewife is a craft beer bottle shop and tasting room in Riverside’s Five Points neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida. Owners Kelly Pickard and Jamie Burket will bring a unique craft beer experience to the Jacksonville community by creating a one stop shop for purchasing, tasting and learning about American craft beer. Alewife isn’t just a store or bar; instead, it’s a celebration of beer, the craftsmen (and women) who brew it, and the drinkers who respect it. For more information about Alewife, follow us at and

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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Beer


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Oktoberfest comes to Jacksonville’s Memorial Park

Oktoberfest2013_IntuitionOktoberfest is breaking out all over Jacksonville over the next few weeks. This week brings the Second Annual Art Walk Oktoberfest (see article here) and the first Oktoberfest at Memorial Park put on by the Memorial Park Association (MPA). The event, which takes place October 3 and 4, is being put on to help raise the last $40,000 of $200,000 needed to obtain matching funds from the city for restoration of the 90-year-old park.

Annually MPA receives donations averaging $45,000, 95% of that income is spent on park maintenance, promoting the park and improvements to supplement city efforts.  MPA pays for additional mowing, tree trimming, debris removal, fertilizing and planting of new shrubs and annuals.  MPA board members collectively donate in excess of 500 hours working in the park and promoting MPA’s mission of preserving and enhancing this gem.

Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the 6-acre park was designed by the Olmstead Brothers landscaping company and dedicated on Christmas Day 1924. The park was created to honor the more than 1,200 casualties Florida suffered during World War I.

Friday night, October 3, is VIP night at the festival. For a donation of $125 guests receive a stein, three beers, a pretzel and all you can eat German food including vegetarian options.  In addition, VIP guests can return to the festivities the next day at no additional charge and stein fills for just $5. VIP tickets are only available to MPA members at the association’s website. But, the public is encouraged join. For VIP ticket and membership information visit:

If VIP is not your thing, or in your budget, general admission tickets for Saturday, October 4 are $40 each and entitle guests to a souvenir Oktoberfest stein, one free stein fill, a giant pretzel and live German music.

Returning to Jacksonville once again for this event is Oompah band The Swinging Bavarians. The traditionally dressed band, made up of musicians mostly from the same family, provide rousing German music, yodeling, toasts, slap dancing and authentic ambiance.  Other entertainment will include the crowning of the King and Queen of Oktoberfest, stein holding contests and other traditional German games.

Beer at the event will be provided by local brewers Intuition Ale Works, Aardwolf Brewing Company and Veterans United Craft Brewery.

Food will be plentiful due to a partnership with the Jax Truckies food truck group. Trucks that are expected to be in attendance include: Bold City Pops, Delish Kebabs, Jalapeno Truck, Son of a Butcher and Super Food Truck. Each food truck has committed to creating and serving at least one German dish for the event.

General admission tickets for the event are $40 at the gate or, if purchased online before the date of the event, $35. General admission tickets are available at:

uber_logoThe Jax Beer Guy has partnered with the UBER car service in Jacksonville. Because of this partnership, you can receive a $20 credit for your first ride by simply using the promo code “JaxBeerGuy” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Beer


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Beer gets its own top level Internet domain; .beer

beer toasting to show internet business successThe Internet and craft beer have grown up together. If you think about it, 20 years ago both were still emerging as pivotal forces in the culture of the United States and the world. So, it is only fitting that beer-related businesses can now register for a new top-level domain designation: .beer.

The launch of .beer by registry operator Minds + Machines is part of a major overhaul of the Internet’s naming structure top-level domains by ICANN, the Internet’s governing body. Over 1,000 new domains will be introduced onto the Internet over the next 18 months providing choice, relevance, and name availability to communities and businesses globally.

Among those who will be jumping on the .beer bandwagon first is Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade association that represents the majority of U.S. breweries. Other .beer web addresses already registered are, and Well-known brewers like Elysian Brewing Company and Bear Republic Brewing Company have also already come on board to welcome the new Internet name.

The public can register their .beer names at or at any participating domain name registrar. New .beer domain names will start at about $25 a year.

“We are in the middle of the largest transformation of the Internet to date,” said Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines. “New top-level domains have been embraced by the likes of Amazon and Google, and we’re about to see a tipping point where people naturally adopt domain endings that signal a particular interest, location or activity. We believe that everyone who is passionate about beer will adopt .beer as their natural Internet home. We are proud to be working with the Brewers Association and timing the launch of .beer to coincide with their Great American Beer Festival® in Denver, North America’s most famous beer event.”

Brewers Association Director Paul Gatza said, “As the online landscape continues to evolve, the Brewers Association is working on behalf of our members—the country’s small and independent craft brewers—to ensure they have access to robust online representation. We’re pleased to count the BA and some of our members among the first .beer registrants.”

In 2013, craft brewers captured a US market share of 14.3% in retail dollars and a 7.8% share by volume. In the first half of 2014, the sector continued to see double-digit growth with 10.6 million barrels sold in the first six months of the year, an increase of 18% from the first half of 2013.

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Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Beer News


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Art Walk to host second Oktoberfest in downtown Jacksonville

artwalkFor the second year in a row, downtown Jacksonville will be filled with the rousing sounds of Oompah-pah, the aroma of sizzling bratwurst and the cries of “prost!” for Oktoberfest at Art Walk. Downtown Vision, Inc.’s sponsors the second-annual Oktoberfest @ Art Walk, a benefit for Downtown’s First Wednesday Art Walk, Wednesday, October 1 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

This year the event is hosted by Kerry Speckman, a.k.a The Specktator and promises to be even more fun and exciting than the average Art Walk. The event will feature:

  • A biergarten block party serving German, seasonal and local brews
  • Bring your own beer stein (one pint or less) for a fill at regular price
  • Live oompah-pah music by Dan Witucki and Mein Heimatland Musikanten Band
  • German-inspired dishes from local restaurants
  • Contests and activities for all ages, including pumpkin painting, a beer-stein-holding contest, costume contest and more.

Art Walk spans more than 15 blocks in downtown Jacksonville that includes more than 40 galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants, bars and businesses, plus dozens of artists in Hemming Plaza, street performers along with live music.

uber_logoThe Jax Beer Guy has partnered with the UBER car service in Jacksonville. Because of this partnership, you can receive a $20 credit for your first ride by simply using the promo code “JaxBeerGuy” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Beer Festival


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Documentary “coming-of-age tale’ about craft beer

Brewland-1The craft beer bug bit Mike Sills hard while he was on a trip to Vermont where he visited three outstanding breweries: The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead and Lawson’s Finest Liquids. The awakening led him to approach his friend Matthew Parola with an idea; “Let’s go on a vacation to Vermont, film a documentary and drink some great craft beer.” With these simple beginnings, “Brewland,” a documentary about the craft beer industry in the United States was born. Parola immediately agreed and signed on as producer.

The film is a coming-of-age tale about an industry struggling to define its identity in an ever-changing environment growing at an unsustainable pace. “Brewland” aims to showcase the many sides of the craft beer movement while seeking to reveal both what it means to be a craft beer and what the future may hold for the craft brewing world.

“Craft beer as an industry is growing faster and faster each year. We want to see what brings them all together and why so many people have become enamored with this movement,” says Sills, director of the film.

As the duo dug deeper into the film’s subject matter, they realized that they were just scratching the surface of the story. Their research in Vermont into beer, the industry and brewers revealed a richer, multi-layered narrative that required more research and story development. To help with those activities, the production team hired another friend and writer, Chris Crossen.

With the new help on board, the crew expanded their scope outside of Vermont to include Boston and New York breweries. As the production grew in scope, breweries as far away as Colorado and California came into focus.

But, as the scope of the film expanded, so did the budget. To help finance the project the production team turned to Indiegogo. Indiegogo is an online, crowd-funding website which allows people to donate to campaigns while receiving gifts (called “perks”) in exchange for their contribution. BREWLAND is offering a number of exciting perks attached to their campaign including a custom American Apparel T-Shirts and Hoodies with the Brewland logo; a custom home brew recipe kit; and a brewing session with the crew at Hopster’s in Newton. Contributions are easy to make and can be done on a computer or from the Indiegogo app (available on iOS and Android phone systems).

“IndieGoGo helps creative people raise the funds by reaching out to the people – which is something that has been important to ‘Brewland’,” said writer Crossen. “With the launch of the IndieGoGo, fans can help fund the project and be a part of the making of the film.”

To date the film crew has reached such nationally recognized figures as Jim Koch, the founder of Samuel Adams, Alan Newman, one of the founders of the Magic Hat Brewing Company  and Dan Kenary, the founder of Harpoon Brewing  along with locally recognized brewers such as John Kimmich of The alchemist, Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead, and in an exclusive interview; Alan Davis of the late Catamount Brewery.

As production continues, Parola says, “We have talked to so many people on all sides of the industry. Its been a big learning experience and ton of fun.”

You can contribute to the film’s Indiegogo campaign at:

View the films teaser preview at:

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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Beer News


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Oktoberfest 2014 now in full swing

programma-oktoberfestIn the Old Country, otherwise known as Bavaria, September brings about the most beloved of all ‘fests; Oktoberfest. Today Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16-day festival running from late September to the first weekend in October that hosts more than 6 million people from around the world.

To provide more on the scope of Oktoberfest, one has only to look at the astounding numbers generated by the event each year. Last year the event was attended by 6.4 million people, who consumed more than nine million liters of beer, ate more than 500,000 roasted chickens and 330,000 sausages. The festival grounds covered 42 acres – approximately the size of 32 Everbank Fields – and contained 14 massive beer tents with room for up to 10,000 partiers. Waitresses at Oktoberfest must be able to carry up to 10 full steins of beer – each weighing five pounds when full – without spilling.

To the locals Oktoberfest is known as “die Wies’n,” after the informal name of the fairgrounds. Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations – including Jacksonville’s Jaxtoberfest – modeled after the original Munich event.

The beginnings of Oktoberfest harken back to 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig, who later became King Ludwig I, married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12. The happy couple wanted to share their joyous occasion with the citizens of their beloved Munich, so they invited all to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates. The fields were named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s meadow”) in honor of the Crown Princess, and have kept that name ever since, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n”. Nearly 40,000 Bavarians crowded the fields and enjoyed the fanfare and revelry.

The event ended with horse races attended by the Royal Family. The decision to repeat the horse races the following year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest. In 1816, carnival booths began appearing at the event with prizes consisting of silver, porcelain, and jewelry. The founding citizens of Munich assumed responsibility for festival management in 1819 and it was decided to make the Oktoberfest an annual event.

Only beer conforming to the Reinheitsgebot, at a minimum of 13.5% Stammwürze (approximately 6% alcohol by volume) may be served at Oktoberfest. To tie the festival to its home town, only beers brewed within the city limits of Munich are allowed. Only beers meeting these criteria may be designated Oktoberfest beer. Other similar beers, brewed outside of Munich, are more correctly called Oktoberfest-style.

There are only six breweries that meet all the above criteria. They are:

  •  Augustiner-Bräu
  • Hacker-Pschorr-Bräu
  • Löwenbräu
  • Paulaner-Bräu
  • Spatenbräu
  • Staatliches Hofbräu-München

In 1950 the festival adopted a ceremonial opening presided over by the incumbent mayor of Munich. In the new tradition, at high noon on the first day of the festival there is a 12-gun salute followed immediately by the mayor tapping and drawing the first beer of the festival. When the first stein is filled, the mayor faces the crowd and shouts, “O’zapft is!” which translates to, “It is tapped!” The mayor then presents the first mug to Minister-President of the State of Bavaria. After the ceremony the beer begins to flow and the party truly fires up.

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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Octoberfest


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Bruges, Belgium brewery to build unique beer pipeline

dehalvemaanIn Belgium, beer is practically a religion. By some accounts there are over 90,000 breweries – counting tiny brew pubs and monolithic mega-beer producers — in a country that is smaller than Maine. But, preserving the picturesque beauty of their centuries-old cities is also a priority to the hard-working people or the country. It is for this reason that the De Halve Maan Brewery in the medieval town of Bruges has commissioned the construction of a second-of-its-kind beer pipeline to deliver beer from the brewery to the bottling facility.

According to an article by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the five-hundred-year-old brewery wanted to reduce the amount of truck traffic running through the ancient town.

“The idea is born of environmental and quality of life concerns, and not economic ones,” said company director Xavier Vanneste in the AFP article.

The plan is to build a two-mile long pipeline that will transport beer from the brewery underground to an industrial park and bottling facility where the beer will be packaged for shipment to beer lovers worldwide.

“We always wanted to keep the beer brewed at the historic site,” even after the bottling was moved out of town in 2010, said local official Franky Demon in the AFP article.

The challenge was how to allow the brewery to continue operating while reducing the amount of truck traffic in the “Venice of the North’s” cobblestone streets. Building the pipeline will reduce truck traffic by nearly 85 percent on the city’s streets and alleys.

Contractors will use state-of-the-art techniques to assure that Bruges’ gothic facades and medieval belfry are not harmed during the process. While the brewery will absorb the cost of the project, Vanneste could not estimate the economic cost at this stage.

Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2015.

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Posted by on September 25, 2014 in Imports


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