If you had any doubt that Intuition Ale Works in Jacksonville, Fla. was a world class brewery, those doubts should be put aside in light of Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column yesterday, Aug. 6. King is a sports columnist on Sports Illustrated magazine’s website SI.com and is known for occasionally ending his columns with a tidbit about his coffee and beer infatuations. On Aug. 6 he lamented the lack of a Starbucks in downtown Jacksonville and mentioned that Intuition’s brews gave Sweetwater 420 a real run for its money.
King’s said in his column, “The Beer of the Week (and trust me, there was a lot of competition, particularly from Intuition Brewery in Jacksonville) is Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale, which made me think I was back in Seattle. Really crisp and wonderful on the palate.”
But, for locals, Intuition’s People’s Pale Ale takes the top honors. One needs look no further than beer rating website Beer Advocate for confirmation. On Beer Advocate, users are allowed to provide a short review of beers they have tasted and then assign the beer a rating in five different categories; appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel, and overall impression.
On the site both beers fare well and fall in to the good category. Local drinkers of People’s may disagree with that assessment and find the beer to more than merely good, but that is the rating on the site. Commenters said the brew was, “Surprisingly hoppy for a PA (Pale Ale),” and “A nice hoppy aroma with obvious citrus and piney notes.” Others thought that the brew was closer to an IPA than a Pale Ale with a nod towards big Pale Ales such as Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale. Overall the beer earned an 83 out of 100 average score from reviewers.
Sweetwater 420, a regional beer brewed in Atlanta, Ga., also rated an 83 from site users; however the site’s originators and top tasters known as “The Bros” rank the brew an 80, giving People’s a slight edge. Reviewers said 420’s aroma “is more English hop than the pine/fruit west coast hops,” and its flavor was “All malt taste with a minimal amount of hop flavor, just mildly spicy.”
Whichever way you look at it, though, both brews are quality beers just made in different sub-styles. Where People’s is a true west coast Pale Ale with it big, near IPA hoppiness, 420 is a milder less hoppy Pale Ale more reminiscent of an English style. Jacksonville, locals will likely line up on the side of People’s while Atlanta beer-lovers are sure to stand behind their local favorite 420. And that is as it should be, locals sticking up for their home-town favorites.