Highland Brewing hosting several Jacksonville events in May

???????????????????????????????Highland Brewing Company has been a staple in Asheville, NC for more than 20 years where they have created beers that they describe as a, “Wee bit different.” The brewery along with their local Jacksonville distributor, Brown Distributing Company, has recently announced several fun and exciting events scheduled to highlight their exceptional brews.

The first event will take place Tuesday, May 12 at The Parlour behind Grape & Grain Exchange in San Marco. The tasting event will feature Highland’s Gaelic, St. Terese Pale Ale, Black Mocha Stout, Kashmir IPA and current seasonal on tap as well as a selection of shandies created by the Craftologists at The Parlour. Also at the tasting, guests can enjoy samples of Troy & Sons Platinum, Oak Reserve, Blonde and GGX-barrel aged whiskeys. Cocktails will also be available. The event runs from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Oscar Wong, founder and owner of Highland Brewing Company with your's truly, The Jax Beer Guy.

Oscar Wong, founder and owner of Highland Brewing Company with your’s truly, The Jax Beer Guy.

The second event is a Highland Brewing Company beer dinner hosted at Total Wine & Spirits in the St. John’s Town Center in Jacksonville. The dinner will feature dishes created by the culinary wizards at Southern Roots Filling Station and paired with five to six Highland brews. In addition to the delicious food and drink, Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland’s president and co-owner will be in attendance and will speak about the brewery and the impact it has had on her life, Asheville, NC and the region’s amazing beer culture.

Highland Brewing Company was founded by Oscar Wong who, after retiring from a career as a successful civil/structural engineer, landed in Asheville in 1994. He started Highland Brewing “as a hobby” in the 3,500 square foot basement of Barley’s Taproom in downtown Asheville. Over time his brewing ambition grew and the brewery moved to its current location. The brewery operates from a 50 barrel main brewing system and a 3 barrel pilot system that is used for special projects and test batches. In a typical week the brewery cranks out 500-700 barrels of delicious beer that translates to over 30,000 barrels a year.

Highland is committed to being as green as it can be by recycling nearly everything. Through responsible practices, the brewery is able to restrict waste that must be hauled to a landfill from the brewery to less than a single dumpster a week. Spent grain, yeast, hops and filter media is given to local farmers as feed for livestock. The amount of water used is restricted to about 2.5 barrels per barrel of beer opposed to the typical brewery’s s

even barrels. Highland even installed 1,045 solar panels on its roof to reduce their dependency and draw on local power resources.

Ticket information for the Highland Beer dinner can be found at the Total Wine & Spirits website:

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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Beer Dinner


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Ponte Vedra eatery to feature craft beer

image001Food and craft beer go together like, well like food and craft beer. It seems like more an more new restaurants are catching on to that simple fact. With the soon-to-open Supper Food & Brew downtown, Kitchen on San Marco and now Trasca & Co. Eatery in Ponte Vedra, craft beer is proving to be a major force in the new restaurant scene.

Speaking of Trasca & Co. Eatery, check out the press release below to learn more about the restaurant’s signature and unique sandwich, the Panino.

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL – April 8, 2015Trasca & Co Eatery, located in the Sawgrass Village Shopping Center, will open for business on April 13th, and host a grand opening celebration from 1pm – 5pm on April 26th.

 Trasca & Co Eatery is a one-of-a-kind, locally-owned, vintage, neighborhood eatery.  The Eatery, which is owned and operated by Ponte Vedra residents Sara and Travis Trembath, will specialize in an Italian-inspired sandwich called the Panino.  The Panino starts with a secret family dough recipe, which is made fresh daily.  The dough is rolled flat, delicious meats and cheeses are added, before it is sent through an oven for 5 minutes at 495 degrees.  It is then topped with vegetables and homemade sauces, before being eaten like a rolled-up sandwich.  The Panino traces its roots back to the year 1974, when this delicious concoction was invented by Sara’s grandmother Everetta Frasca in Colorado Springs.

 The Eatery focuses on using the most flavorful ingredients to deliver a delicious hand-crafted sandwich, in an eclectic, fast-casual setting.

 In addition to 23 varieties of the Panino, Trasca & Co Eatery will also serve pizza, craft beers on tap, Zingerman’s coffee, and Puck’s craft sodas.

 “We believe people from the Beaches community are hungry for something different,” said Trasca & Co owner Sara Trembath. “People want amazing food and great service, without having to get all dressed up, or wait for a special occasion.  The Eatery will give them that in a fun, quirky environment.”

 Trasca & Co Eatery will be open daily for lunch and dinner, and will also serve coffee and light breakfast items through a walk-up window.  Daily hours: 7am-10pm.

 A grand opening celebration is planned for April 26th from 1 to 5 pm, and will include live music, a custom t-shirt bar, activities for kids, and of course, tons of delicious samples!

 Follow Trasca & Co Eatery at or

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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Beer Restaurants


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Ben and Jerry’s collaborates with New Belgium to create tasty new brew

New-Belgium-Salted-Caramel-BrownieWhat happens when one of the best loved ice cream makers in the United States gets together with the nation’s third largest craft brewer? All sorts of dessert-flavored beer goodness, that’s what! And, to top it off, the proceeds from sales of the brew will go to charity! Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream of Vermont along with New Belgium Brewing Company of Colorado have announced plans to produce a co-branded beer that will benefit snowboarder Jeremy Jones’ Save Our Winters organization founded to help raise awareness of global climate change.

The beer, Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, will weigh in at 6.3-percent alcohol by volume (ABV), but that is about all that is known about the beer at this time. Judging from the name, one could deduce that the beer will feature chocolate, caramel and salt flavors, but whether the beer will skew towards a sweeter or drier character is yet to be announced.

“Although our TTB filing for the beer is now public, specifics around the campaign are still in development,” said New Belgium Director of Sustainability, Jenn Vervier in an official press release. “At this time I can confirm that Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium are collaborating to raise awareness around issues we are passionate about, and that the results will be delicious.”

Industry insiders predict the beer will be available sometime in the fall of 2015.

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Posted by on April 15, 2015 in Beer News


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Brew Bus rolls in to Jacksonville April 24

brew_bus_jaxIn cities around the country craft beer is becoming a force to be reckoned with. More and more, cities are realizing that craft beer can be a source of pride to residents and a means for advancing tourism. At the same time, beer enthusiasts are always looking for ways to enjoy several beers from several different breweries in a single day. Enter the answer to the prayers of local and out-of-town beer aficionados alike: The Brew Bus.

Born in Tampa, the Brew Bus is the brain child of Anthony Derby, the Brew Bus began as a private charter service and quickly grew to offer weekly public tours. The idea for the service sprang from Derby’s college days at the University of Colorado. After attempting to visit three Colorado breweries on his own in one day, he realized that there was a need for a transportation service that caters directly to others like him that were interested in craft beer.

Derby reached out to his mother, Toni Derby, president of Cigar City Brewing Company in Tampa, and pitched the idea. Shortly after that, in 2011, the first Brew Bus tour launched in Tampa with a load of craft beer lovers happily on board. Later, after graduating from college, Derby took over operations of the Brew Bus company and founded Brew Bus Brewing Company that produced his own line of beers for distribution in Florida, Pennsylvania and New York.

Brew Bus Brewing produces five beers that are also served on the Brew Bus during tours. Among the beers produced are Rollin’ Dirty Irish red Ale, Last Stop IPA, Are Wheat There Yet? Hoppy Wheat, You’re My Boy, Blue and Double Decker English Style Porter.

“When we were identifying a new city to launch our tours in, the choice was easy.” said Derby. “With attractions like the Jax Ale Trail, the many award winning breweries, not to mention new ones set to open this year, Jacksonville is a really exciting place to be right now.”

To welcome the Brew Bus crew to Jacksonville, World of Beer on Southside is hosting a launch event Wednesday, April 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Last Stop IPA and Double Decker English Style Porter will be available on tap along with Rollin’ Dirty Red in c ans. The following night, Thursday, April 23, the Brew Bus gang will visit Engine 15 in Jacksonville Beach. E15 will feature several Brew Bus beers on tap at the event.

Brew Bus tours will begin in Jacksonville on Friday, April 24 with Engine 15 and Bold City Brewing Company acting as the starting points. The Brew Bus offers public brewery tours and private charter packages that visit all of the local breweries in the Jacksonville Area. The Brew Bus offers multiple all-inclusive tours each week where passengers can sample beer and get a behind the scenes look at brewery operations.

“We’re not just an ancillary tourism business,” said Derby. “We’re here to bring new business to our local breweries and introduce people to craft beer. We really want to see the craft beer scene in Florida continue to grow.”

The company will offer two types of tours initially in Jacksonville; The Sampler Tour and The Full Pour Tour.

The Sampler Tour includes visits to three local breweries in 3.5 hours. Tickets include two 4-ounce samples at each brewery you visit plus a Brew Bus Brewing beer and additional samples on board. This experience leaves on Friday evenings and costs $45 per person.

The Full Pour Tour takes riders to three local breweries in five hours. Tickets include a brewery tour, round trip transportation, two Brew Bus Brewing beers on board, and a pint at each brewery you visit. The Full Pour Tour occurs on Saturday afternoons and costs $55 per person.

To book your trip or learn more about The Brew Bus, visit

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Posted by on April 15, 2015 in Beer News


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Beer plentiful at One Spark 2015

one_spark_beerFor the past three years, One Spark has been drawing thousands of people to Jacksonville’s downtown core. The crowds are festive, entertainment is plentiful and pitches come rapid-fire as ‘Creators’ try to connect with potential voters and investors. And, because no festival is complete without food and drink, four entire city blocks have been set aside to feed the hungry masses. In addition, there are two official beer gardens, one on private property and a smattering of beer booths – both official and private throughout the festival’s footprint.

The official beer gardens, one on Forsyth Street and another on Hogan Street adjacent to the landing, feature two beers brewed exclusively for One Spark by Intuition Ale Works. Now producing the brews for the third year, Intuition supplied over 400 barrels of One Spark Kolsch and One Spark Alt for the festival.

Both beers are based on the German beers of the same names. Kolsch is one of only a few beers brewed in Germany that is an ale, most others are lagers. Traditionally Kolsch is brewed in Cologne, Germany and is the country’s answer to English Pale Ales. The brew is straw yellow in color and possess an assertive, but not over-powering hop flavor.

“It’s kind of unique because it is a rebel beer,” Ben Davis, owner of Intuition Ale Works said of One Spark Kolsch at the festival’s Opening Ceremony. “It did not really follow the German purity laws.”

In Germany, beer is a restricted product that is supposed to fit into the strict Reinheitsgebot of 1487, sometimes called the “German Beer Purity Law” or the “Bavarian Purity Law.” The regulation sought to control the ingredients that could be used in brewing by restricting brewers to just water, barley malt and hops. Barley malt was specified so as to keep brewers from competing with bakers who used wheat and rye for bread. Later, in 1993, the Purity Law was replaced by the Provisional German Beer Law in 1993, which allows constituent components prohibited in the Reinheitsgebot, such as yeast, wheat malt and cane sugar.

The other beer produced by Intuition for One Spark is an Alt. Like Kolsch, Alt is an ale that is closely associated with Dusseldorf, Germany. Alt, or Altbier as it is known in Geramny, is copper-colored, cool-fermented, cold-conditioned, clean-tasting, with an aromatic hop presence, a firm creamy head, a medium body, and a dry finish. The Intuition version of the beer also presents a nutty, caramel-like flavor that satisfies thirsty One Spark visitors.

“Just like the Kolsch, Alt is a rebel beer,” Said Davis. “I did not really abide by the German law. So, it’s kind of a beer we really like to make because most craft beer breweries are kind of disruptors.”

In addition to the official brews of One Spark, several private groups are offering beer during the festival. Outside of the Burro Bar at the corner of Ocean Street and Adams Street, several taps of SweetWater Brewing Company beers are set up for festival goers to grab as they walk by. And at the Laura Street Trio at the corner of Laura Street and Adams Street, a beer garden has been set up with brews from Session, Unibroue and hard ciders from McKenzie’s.

Beer at the official tents will cost you $6 for a 16-ounce pour or $12 for a 22-ounce souvenir pilsner glass with a fill and $6 refills. Beer at the Laura Street Trio cost $5 for a 16-ounce pour.

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Posted by on April 9, 2015 in Beer Festival


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Ancient German Gose beer style making a comeback

VictoryKirschGoseAs the craft beer movement spreads and becomes more and more popular, brewers are always looking for different styles of beer to introduce to American palates. One style that has begun to appear with more frequency is the German Gose (pronounced go-zuh) style. With its slightly salty and tangy flavor, Gose is a bracing and interesting addition to the portfolio of craft beer styles that begs the question, “Why make a salty beer?”

As a style, Gose originated over 1,000 years ago in the German state of Lower Saxony specifically in the town of Goslar through which the brew’s namesake river — the Gose — flows. About 100 miles west of Leipzig, Goslar rose to prominence in the 11th century, not only as one of the wealthiest and most important copper, lead, zinc, salt, and silver mining towns in the German Empire, but also as a brew center. The naturally saline water of the aquifer in and around Goslar was renowned for its high mineral content and lent that saltiness to the beers brewed in the region.

By 1738, the mines in the Goslar began to deplete causing the population to shift to Leipzig. Along with the population, the breweries followed. Gose production quickly grew in Leipzig until it became the predominate style in the city and region. By 1826, Gose production in Goslar had fallen to such a small amount that the city council decided to abolish production. Gose’s popularity rose so much that by 1900 there were more than 80 licensed Gose houses in Leipzig.

Because of wars and communist occupation, during the 20th century Gose slowly disappeared and became an extinct style. BUt, after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 the style made a comeback due in great part to Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof (Gose Brewery Bavarian Station), which opened its doors in 2000.

Now, Victory Brewing Company has tackled the style producing the distinctly flavored Kirsch Gose. Read the press release below for more information abut this new brew and the Gose style.

Downingtown, PA, April 7, 2015Victory Brewing Company (Victory) announces Kirsch Gose, its first endeavor incorporating natural fruit juices, which add subtle flavors over a unique tart and salty finish. Gose is a German-style brew that takes its name from the salinic river Gose. Promising to excite with the sharpness and sweetness of fresh cherries, Victory puts a modern twist on an old-world, time-honored process to bring a distinct and refreshing session ale to market.

Kirsch Gose was borne out of the passionate artistry of Victory Brewing Company’s brewers and blends a variety of wheat malts, Czech-grown Saaz hops and cherry juice to create a distinctly bracing, light-bodied pleasantly sharp beer with a nod to European tradition while featuring American ingenuity. With an ABV of 4.7% and exciting flavor profile, Kirsch Gose invites fans to ‘Taste Victory.’

Available throughout Victory’s 35 state distribution footprint, Kirsch Gose’s suggested retail price for a 12 oz. four-pack is approximately $9.99, but varies upon location. Use Victory’s Beerfinder to discover a nearby location, or download the free Victory Mobile app for Android or iPhone.

Goses, which are traditionally brewed to be slightly tangy and salty, have a longstanding German history since the 16th century. They are brewed using both malted barley and wheat to provide a bit of sharpness and a smooth mouthfeel. After the brewhouse additions of spices such as coriander, the style is then fermented with wild, top-fermenting yeast to produce a dry, bubbly, puckery product. Interestingly, because brewing goses required more wheat than the standard lager beers then in vogue, they fell out of production as post-World War East Germany (where it was primarily brewed) needing to ration their supply for bread making as opposed to beer making.  The demolition of the Berlin Wall, in combination with the booming North American craft beer movement in the late 80’s, encouraged the gose resurgence in Germany with local Leipzig brewers and provided a canvas of endless creative possibility for North American craft brewers.

“At Victory, we rely on our German training to keep the best brewing traditions alive, while incorporating inspiration from the wide world of flavor possibilities, ” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski. “Kirsch Gose is a slightly different, definitely delicious sensation that we hope our fans enjoy as much as we enjoyed creating it.”

About Victory Brewing Company

Victory Brewing Company is a craft brewery headquartered in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Founded by childhood friends, Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet, Victory officially opened its doors in February of 1996. In addition to the original Downingtown brewery and brewpub, Victory recently opened a second state-of-the-art brewery in Parkesburg, PA to expand production capabilities and serve fans of fully flavored beers in 35 states with innovative beers melding European ingredients and technology with American creativity. To learn more about Victory Brewing Company visit us on the web at

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Posted by on April 7, 2015 in Beer Styles


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Jax Beer Society to host booth at One Spark 2015

Jax Beer Society logoThe Jacksonville beer scene has been building for years. Ever since Brian and Susan Miller opened Bold City in 2008 craft beer fans have been clamoring for more and more hand-crafted, full-flavored beer. Now, six years later, Jacksonville’s eight craft beer breweries and three of the area’s beer distributors have banded together to found the Jax Beer Society an organization dedicated to promoting Jacksonville craft beer and craft beer culture.

The group announced today in a press release that they will host a creator booth at this year’s One Spark Festival in downtown Jacksonville. Read the press release below for full details.

Jacksonville, FL – Jax Beer Society, a nonprofit trade association committed to developing and preserving an active beer culture throughout Northeast Florida, launched earlier this year and made its debut at the Riverside Craft Beer Fest in late February.

“Jax Beer Society is thrilled to be part of One Spark, which is one of Jacksonville’s most exciting events. We hope to raise awareness of our group, build involvement in the community, and add to the already growing number of beer enthusiast and associate memberships. Additionally, we are excited to promote Jax Beer Week, which will take place Nov 8-14,” said Kara Scremin, President of Jax Beer Society.

Membership is open to brewers, wholesalers, associate members (e.g. retail outlets, brew pubs) and craft beer enthusiasts who are interested in working together to advance the emerging craft and specialty beer scene in Jacksonville and to promote regional events and festivals that support the industry.

Jax Beer Society founding members are: Aardwolf Brewing Co., Bold City Brewery, Engine 15 Brewing Co., Green Room Brewing, Intuition Ale Works, Pinglehead Brewing Company, Veterans United Craft Brewery, Zeta Brewing, Brown Distributing, Champion Brands and North Florida Sales.

“Our beer community has always been very supportive of each other. So, it was only natural that we come together to elevate Northeast Florida’s beer culture and make a focused effort on Jax Beer Week. The interest and support the community has shown for Jax Beer Society has already been overwhelming — and we’ve only just begun,” said Scremin.

Memberships can be purchased at or by visiting the Jax Beer Society booth at One Spark located outside Visit Jacksonville, 208 N Laura St. the organization’s main focus will be the coordination of Jax Beer Week which will take place November 8th through 14th. Jax Beer Society will organize a number of events across the city that focus on promoting the area’s craft and specialty beer scene. Jax Beer Week will culminate in a two-day grand tasting event at Hemming Park in downtown Jacksonville on November 13th and 14th.

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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in Beer


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