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Craft beer showing no signs of slowing down in popularity

Graph by the Brewers Association.

Graph by the Brewers Association.

The Brewers Association, a trade organization dedicated to supporting and supplying information about the craft beer industry, has released its mid-year report on the health of the industry. In the first half of 2015, American craft beer production volume increased 16 percent according to the group’s press release.

From January through the end of June 2015, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.

“Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent, although competition in the sector is certainly growing and the need for brewers to differentiate and produce world class high quality beer is more important than ever.”

In addition to the phenomenal increase in production, new brewery openings are occurring at a break-neck pace. As of June 30, 2015, 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were 1,755 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 115,469 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“More and more Americans are discovering the joys of enjoying fresh beer produced by their neighborhood brewery. By supporting local, small and independent craft breweries, beer lovers are gradually returning the United States to the system of localized beer production that existed for much of our nation’s history,” added Watson.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Beer

 

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Team Left Hand hosting fundraiser for MS Society

Movie-night-FLORIDASince 2008, a group of Left Hand Brewing Company employees and friends have banded together to help put an end to Multiple Sclerosis by supporting and raising funds for several MS bicycle rides around the country. One of these supporters is Brown Distributing Company’s Carolyn Graham. A long-time Jacksonville resident, Graham has been a powerhouse in the world of craft beer for many years. Over the past few years she has used her reach within the beer industry to sponsor and help spread the word about events that raise funds to help with the vital work of defeating MS.

The next event on August 6 supports the Left Hand Brewing Company Bike MS PGA TOUR Cycle to the Shore Ride and the Team Left Hand fundraiser night at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, North Florida Chapter. Join the Team Left Hand bicylists and other for an evening of FUNdraising and fellowship as the group presents a viewing of the outrageously funny movie “Office Space.”

Along with the movie, guest will be given to opportunity to enjoy several Left Hand Brewing Company beers, and purchase food from Chew Chew Food Truck and 5Loaves 2Fish Mobile Kitchen. In addition, there will be a number of items up for bid in a silent auction including brews from Funky Buddha, Cigar City, 7venth Sun, a brewery tour for six plus a pint and more from Intuition and a wide array of Single Malt Scotches, vodkas, gins, bourbons and more.

In the over seven years Team Left Hand has been fundraising for MS, they have collected over $1 million. The group vows they will not stop supporting and riding in MS events until a cure is found and MS stands for Mystery Solved.

The event takes place at National Multiple Sclerosis Society, North Florida Chapter at 8940 Western Way Suite 16 on Thursday, August 6 beginning at 6:00 p.m. A donation of $10 is requested for guest 21 and over, $5 for guests six to 20 and kids under five are free.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2015 in Events

 

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Great American Beer Festival tickets to go on sale next week

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Photo credit: greatamericanbeerfestival.com

It is the time of year when all beer-lovers begin thinking about heading for the mountains. No, not the mountains referred to in the slogan for the famous macro-lager, the mountains of Denver, Colo. for the annual Great American Beer Festival. Now in its 34th year, the festival is considered by many to be the greatest in the world and with nearly 3,500 beers to taste from over 800 breweries, it is not hard to see why it has this distinction.

Tickets for the festival have sold out in minutes for each of the last six year, so organizers suggest you make your ticket-purchasing plans early. Tickets are priced at $80 for the general public and $75 for Brewers Association or Homebrewers Association members. Tickets for the members only session on Saturday, September 26 are $65. Member ticket sales begin Tuesday, July 28 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Public ticket sale begins Wednesday, July 29 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Those seeking to attend this year’s festivities are instructed to go directly to Ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets and expedite the sales process. It is also suggested that ticket-seekers log in to Ticketmaster early as tickets will undoubtedly go fast.

The festival is to be held at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver on:

Thursday, September 24: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Friday, September 25: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 26*: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

*Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association members-only session

Saturday, September 26: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

This year the event is expanding by an additional 90,000 square feet to allow for greater attendance and an enhanced experience. New this year is a Meet the Brewers area with breweries that have commited to have brewery staff manning their booths for the entire festival. In addition, with more space, more breweries and more chefs in 2015, GABF’s Farm to Table Pavilion is getting a new name: paired. paired will feature 21 chefs from nine states, including five James Beard Award nominees and two Food and Wine Best New Chefs, each personally plating their dishes for guests and talking about their dynamic pairings. In addition, the exclusive craft beers served in paired are available only in this pavilion and not in the festival hall.  As in previous years, a separate ticket ($145) is required for entrance. paired tickets are available exclusively to members of the American Homebrewers Association and the Brewers Association and as such, can only be purchased during the members only sale on July 28.

General admission tickets entitle guests to:

  • Commemorative tasting cup
  • One-ounce samples of your choice of more than 3,500 beers
  • Festival guide and free app to help attendees navigate the festival hall
  • Access to attend dozens of educational seminars across all four sessions, focused on beer appreciation

For more information visit: www.GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2015 in Beer Festival

 

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Intuition Ale Works teaming up with Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen for Southern beer dinner

Photo by Fernandina Observer.

Photo by Fernandina Observer.

The sleepy little town of Fernandina Beach north of Jacksonville, Fla. has seen an uptick in interest lately among culinary circles. Sure, the area has been known to North Florida residents as a fun place to spend a summer afternoon at its eclectic bars and scattered eateries. It is also known as a place for a weekend of partying at the Isle of Seven Flags Shrimp Festival every year. But, aside from the posh restaurant at the nearby Ritz-Carlton, fine dining was something of a mystery to the area. So, when Chef Kenny Gilbert opened his Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen in the historic town, it caused quite a stir. To celebrate his food as well as the burgeoning North Florida beer scene, Intuition Ale Works has teamed up Chef Gilbert to create a beer dinner that is sure to be as delicious as it is exciting.

Gilbert, born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, started early in his culinary career with the encouragement and help of both his mother and his father. From his mother Gilbert learned the basics of cooking; measuring, preparing and presenting dishes. From his father, he learned the art of BBQ from grilling to saucing.

By age 11, the budding culinary virtuoso had cooked his first Thanksgiving dinner on his own to the delight of his proud parents. In high school he was known to cook meals for his swimming team after practices and meets. His cooking skills were lauded by all and it was no surprise when he expressed a desire to pursue cooking as a career.

According to his website, Gilbert, “…attended The Pennsylvania Culinary Institute where he received a degree in Culinary Arts. Upon graduation, Kenny relocated to Jacksonville, FL, where he joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company as an apprentice in the garde manger kitchen of their Amelia Island property.  Kenny worked his way up to Chef de Cuisine at the age of 23 at the Ritz, helping to consistently secure the AAA Five Diamond Award for the property throughout his tenure there.”

Later, the Chef designed and opened the Jacksonville Beach favorite, Nipper’s Beach Grill a Caribbean-inspired eatery. He was also a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef television program.

For the beer dinner with Intuition Ale Works, the chef worked to create a menu supremely satisfying Deep South-inspired fare.

Starters (served family style)

  • Foie Gras Drop Biscuits / Summer Truffle Maple Butter
  • Baked Texas Oysters / Creamed Mustard Greens, Tasso Ham, Cornbread Gratin
  • Assorted Pickles

Paired with Intuition One Spark Kolsch.

Second Course (served individually)

  • Pimento Cheese Gnudi / Pulled Smoked Alligator Ribs / SC BBQ Emulsion / Baby Limas

Paired with Intuition Riverside Red.

Main Course (served family style)

  • Smoked Crispy Pig Head
  • Fried Whole Local Catfish
  • Sauces: Alabama White BBQ Sauce, SC BBQ Sauce, Tomato Molasses BBQ Sauce, FL Citrus Mop, Hot Tomato Molasses, Datil Pepper Hot Sauce
  • Sides: Corn Casserole, Collard Greens, Steamed Squash, Roasted Beets & Pecans, Hoppin John, Bacon Fat Potatoes

Paired with Intuition Amber Block Skate Ale, infused with a surprise from the chef.

Dessert

  • Caramelized White Chocolate Cake / Pickled Cherries / Vanilla Almond Purée + Crushed Brittle

Paired with Intuition Coffee Dark Star.

The event takes place Thursday, July 23rd at 6:00 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 plus administration fee and may be purchased at this link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intuition-ale-beer-dinner-pairing-at-gilberts-underground-kitchen-tickets-17458429633

 

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2015 in Beer Dinner

 

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Magic Hat introduces year-round IPA

unnamed (1)Magic Hat Brewing Company of South Burlington, Vt. has long been known as a company with a sense of humor. One only has to take a look at the company’s website to verify this fact. They have also been known for the phenomenal success of their mysterious, not-quite pale ale brew #9. Along with #9, Magic Hat boasts three other year-round brews: Dream Machine, Circus Boy and Single Chair. And now, joining these core brands is Electric Peel Grapefruit IPA.

The new addition to the line up is described on the brewery’s website as, ” An electric shock. A sweet scent in the air. A tantalizing tingle. Fresh directions are explored and big ideas are formed. Revealed is a creation peeled from formulas of hops and tang-touched fruit. Electric Peel arrives as a new way to IPA. Strip away the notions, find another motion and plug in to reveal the power of the peel.”

Learn more about the new brew in the official press release below:

South Burlington, VT – Magic Hat Brewing Company recently released Electric Peel – a new, year-round grapefruit IPA bursting with bold citrus hop flavors. This new IPA is designed to send shocks of citrus hop flavors through a medium malt body amplified by grapefruit peel. The result is a delightfully hoppy ale with a bittersweet finish, boasting an ABV of 6.0% and 65 IBUs.

“At Magic Hat, our goal is to brew the best tasting beer on the planet. This means experimenting with different variations of hops and flavors,” said Chris Rockwood, Head Brewer, Magic Hat. “When developing Electric Peel, we wanted to enhance the wonderful grapefruit-like aroma and character that some hops already have, so we tried adding grapefruit peel to the boil. The end result is a refreshing grapefruit aroma, balanced by strong hop bitterness underneath.”

To learn more about the brewing process, check out this Electric Peel video, featuring an exclusive interview with Magic Hat Head Brewer Chris Rockwood.

About Electric Peel

  • Style: Grapefruit IPA
  • Malts: Pale, Carapils
  • Hops: Apollo, Centennial, Chinook
  • Yeast: English Ale
  • Additions: Grapefruit Peel, Pink Grapefruit Flavor
  • Alcohol Content: 6.0% by volume
  • Original Gravity: 13.5° Plato
  • IBUs: 65
  • SRM: 5

Electric Peel’s fresh grapefruit flavor makes it a great summer beer – perfect for backyard gatherings, beach bumming and after-parties. It pairs well with jerk or dry-rub barbeque dishes and coconut shrimp. Electric Peel also complements creamy, soft cheeses and sweet desserts, like Crème Brûlée.

Electric Peel will be available year round. It can be found on draft at some of the best beer bars across the country, as well as in 6-packs and 12-packs at various grocery and convenience stores nationwide.

To reveal the Power of the Peel in a big way, Magic Hat is hosting Electric Peel launch parties in different cities across the country. Check out photos from the Burlington, VT party at the Magic Hat Launch Party album and details about each event at www.magichat.net.

Experience a Performance in Every Bottle with the Magic Hat Brewing Company & Performing Arts Center, creators of #9â, Electric Peel, Dream Machine®, Circus Boyâ, and a revolving roster of seasonal selections.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2015 in Beer Releases

 

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DUI Part VIII: Adjudication

Last year my life was forever changed. I was arrested for DUI as I was driving home from a beer festival. As a long-time beer blogger and advocate of knowing when to say when, this was devastating. Over the next few weeks, I will be telling my story in hopes that my experience will resonate with my readers and deter them from taking any chances when their ability to drive after having a few beers may be impaired.

To read this series from the beginning, click here.

Duval-Court-House-night-litesThe rain came early the morning of February 5, 2015. The streets of Jacksonville glistened in the early morning light as I my brother-in-law drove me the eight short blocks from my home to the new, ominous county courthouse. Even in what most of the country would still call winter, the humidity after a rainfall in Florida can be stifling. It intensifies the warmth and penetrates even the best clothing causing wrinkles and sweat rings to appear. The evening before I had meticulously set out my suit, pressed my white shirt and carefully chose a tie. The weather plotted against my carefully prepared appearance and I fussed with my blue blazer and tried to smooth my slacks. After nine months of dealing with police, the DMV and the courts, my day in court had finally arrived. By the end of the day, I would either be a free man, cleared of all charges or I would learn my punishment. In my mind, it would be an open and shut case since the state had precious little evidence against me. But, in a court of law anything can happen – particularly when the case is one of such a socially sensitive matter.

We parked, found our umbrellas and walked to the front of the opposing justice building as the rain slowed to a light mist. We mounted the steps and entered the towering, echo-filled entry and advanced to the metal detectors. Our umbrellas were inspected as they rode through the x-ray machine on a belt already wet from previous umbrellas. We passed through the inspection and proceeded to the courtroom.

Walking down the long, marble-floored hall to the courtroom produced more echoes and, perhaps worse, stares from those sitting on the benches that line the walls. Some were potential jurors awaiting jury selection, others were plaintiffs awaiting justice and still others were defendants like me, reluctantly appearing to learn their fate.

When we reached the end of the hall we entered the courtroom and I approached the table in front of the gallery to my right. My lawyer, Gary Shumard was already there with his laptop set up and a box of materials. As I walked the last few feet he turned and greeted me cheerily.

“We got this,” he said as he shook my hand.

Within minutes, the judge arrived and the trial began. The jury – four women and two men – was sworn in and instructed as to the importance of their duty and that they should listen only to the facts and not to any hearsay introduced by either the state or the defense. They were told that they would hear from a number of witnesses including several police officers. They were instructed that they were not to rely on emotional responses to make their decision, but only the facts.

The jury instruction complete, the judge turned to the Assistant District Attorney that had been assigned the case by the state.

“You may proceed with your opening remarks,” he said.

The stood and walked to a podium placed near the jury. He was the picture of professionalism, tall with dark, perfectly styled hair in an expensive, perfectly pressed navy blue pin-striped suit. His demeanor was one of total control and it was apparent he was extremely confident. He took a few moments to arrange his papers before looking up and pausing for effect.

“Marc Wisdom, the defendant, is known around Jacksonville as the Jax Beer Guy. He writes about beer on a local blog and is known as an expert on the subject,” he began. “On the night of May 16, 2014, he attended a beer festival, enjoyed some drinks and then got behind the wheel of his truck to drive home. He would later be tested on an intoxilizer and found to have a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of .08.”

The ADA wove a tail of irresponsibility, failed field sobriety tests and observed drunken behavior. He told the jury that more than one police officer described me as having blood-shot, watery eyes a distinct slur in my voice and a stagger when trying to walk. He told of how I slammed in to the rear end of a police cruiser causing injury to the officer inside. He painted a convincing picture of imprudence and promised to prove his statements over the course of the day. He closed by stating that the only possible verdict that could be returned was one of guilty.

As the ADA returned to his seat, my attorney rose and walked towards the podium.

“Good morning ladies and gentleman,” Shumard began. “The state makes a convincing argument about the defendant and much of it we do not dispute. Mr. Wisdom is known as The Beer Guy, he did go to a beer festival on May 16 last year and, unfortunately, he did have an accident with a police vehicle. But, what the state did not tell you is that it took more than three hours for the Sheriff’s Department to test his blood alcohol level, he was asked to perform field sobriety tests that are not recommended for persons more than 50 pounds over-weight and that his demeanor was of a person who is alert and aware of his surroundings, not of a person under the influence. During the course of this trial, you will learn more of the facts that the prosecution has left out and understand why, at the time of the accident, Mr. Wisdom was not under the influence of alcohol.”

Over the course of the next eight hours witnesses – all police officers – were brought forward to testify about the events of the evening. After each was called and sworn in the prosecution began his questioning.

“Officer, do you recall the events of May 16, 2014?” he asked.

Each officer answered yes.

“Is the person arrested that evening here in court today?”

Again, each answered yes followed by each pointing to me sitting with my lawyer.

“Did you interact with Mr. Wisdom at the scene of the arrest?” the ADA asked each officer.

Yet again, each answered yes.

“Could you describe how he looked?” the ADA queried.

Each officer answered exactly the same way as they are taught to respond. Each said: “Mr. Wisdom appeared to have blood-shot watery eyes, a slur to his speech and staggered when he walked. There was also the distinct odor of alcohol around him.”

When the officer who was in the car I had run into was on the stand, the ADA asked about is injuries.

“Officer, were you injured in the collision caused by Mr. Wisdom?”

“Yes,” the officer said as he looked gravely at the jury. “I called in the accident, but remained in my vehicle because I had pain in my back.”

“Did rescue come to the scene?” the ADA inquired.

“Yes, I was taken to the hospital and treated for an injury to my back,” he said.

“Did you have any lasting pain from the injury?”

“Yes, I had to take Tylenol for pain for a month,” the officer said seriously.

As the ADA finished with each officer, my attorney stood to cross-examine.

“Officer,” Shumard began. “Where you aware that Mr. Wisdom wears contact lenses?”

Each answered no even though it is plainly noted on my driver’s license that I must wear glasses or contact lenses to drive.

“Could anything else have caused Mr. Wisdom’s eye to be watery and bloodshot? Crying perhaps?” Shumard asked.

Each conceded that that could have caused my red eyes.

When the officer that conducted the field sobriety test was on the stand, Shumard questioned him regarding the reliability of the tests he performed. In particular the heel-to-toe test and the balance-on-one-foot test. Both of these tests are not recommended and considered inconclusive for testing the sobriety of persons more than 50 pound over weight.

“Did you ask Mr. Wisdom his weight before you began your tests?” my lawyer asked.

“Yes,” the officer replied. “He said he weighed about 280-pounds.”

“For a person his height,” Shumard probed. “Would you say that that is more than 50 pounds overweight?”

“I don’t know,” the officer said as he shifted in his chair. “I am not an expert on obesity.”

“Would it surprise you to know that for a person his height, he is considered to be approximately 100 pounds overweight?”

“I guess,” the officer replied.

Throughout my lawyer’s questioning, he played the video recorded by the testing officer asking questions regarding procedure as the recording played. The video showed that I was lucid and responsive, I did not appear to sway – indeed, the officer was swaying more than I was – even though the official report indicated that I was swaying considerably. It showed that I followed commands, answered questions and cooperated fully. It also showed the officer asking me to perform the inappropriate tests after I had told him that I had poor balance and arthritis in my hips and knees.

In all, more than six officers were called and questioned in front of the jury. By the time all of the officers had been heard, the trial was entering its sixth hour not including an hour and a half for lunch. During this time I was furiously taking notes to give to my lawyer. Much of the accounts given by the police officers did not ring true with my recollections and on more than one occasion, the story was vastly different than what actually happened.

I want to make it clear at this point that I am a believer and a supporter in the police. I have the utmost respect for them and the job they do. But, some of their words were simply not true. I choose to believe that some of these statements are attributable to the amount of time that had passed since the actual incident and not to blatant misstating of the facts.

Finally, after all the officers had been dismissed, the prosecution rested and it was my turn to present my side of the story with the help of my lawyer.

“Your Honor,” Shumard began. “The defense has only one witness to call and it is Mr. Wisdom himself.”

The judge looked at me.

“Mr. Wisdom, you are aware that you are not required to testify and that it is the responsibility of the state to prove you guilty, not your responsibility to prove yourself innocent.”

“Yes, Your Honor,” I said. “I am aware of this.”

“Proceed,” he said from the bench.

As I stood and walked from my seat at the defense desk I walked past the jury. I looked at them and smiled though I was a nervous mess inside. I knew I was innocent, I knew that my blood alcohol level was not over the limit at the time of the accident. I knew that the accident was not due to inebriation but to the confusing lights on Bay Street in downtown Jacksonville – a point that two of the officers agreed with when asked by my lawyer. But, still I was nervous.

My lawyer began by asking me to describe my blog and my duties as a writer for a monthly magazine in Jacksonville. He then asked me to describe the beer festival I had attended and my duties there. I told him that as The Beer Guy and lead beer writer for the magazine that sponsored the festival, I was responsible for talking with the beer vendors, answering questions for the VIP and spreading good-will about craft beer and craft beer culture. I also talked about how it was not unusual for me to stop at a booth and fill in for someone who was pouring beer while they took a break. I also talked about my efforts to educate my readers on the dangers of drinking and driving.

We talked about the period of time immediately before and after the accident. About how I had seen green lights ahead of me when my phone rang and I looked down to pick it up. And we discussed how in that split second I saw the red light and the police car in front of me. I told of how I called my wife immediately and became extremely distraught and even cried.

I was also asked to recount how much I had had to drink that night and when I drank. I told them that most of the beer I drank that night came at the end, after my duties had been fulfilled and things were winding down. My lawyer asked if I had eaten anything during the evening as well and I replied that I had had several slices of pizza earlier in the evening and multiple samples of food from our vendors the rest of the evening.

“I have no more questions,” my lawyer announced and he turned to sit down.

As the state’s attorney rose and walked to the podium, I steeled myself for his questions. He asked me to clarify how many drinks I had had that evening and I said I did not know exactly. He asked how I could explain my red, blood-shot eyes and I told him I had been crying and that I wore contact lenses. He asked about my inability to perform several of the field sobriety tests and I reminded him that they were not fair tests for a man my size and that I specifically told the officer – and it was heard on the video – that I had poor balance and arthritis in my knees and hips. He even asked me if I was too drunk to drive. To which I replied I did not think so and would not have driven if I had thought I was. I would have called my wife who was merely a mile and a half away and asked her to pick me up.

“Mr. Wisdom, do you have an excuse for everything the officers said against you?” the ADA asked in a voice full of venom.

“Everything happens to be true,” I replied evenly.

At that, the ADA released me and a recess was called to prepare for closing comments. It was already 4:45 p.m. and the stress of the day was beginning to take its toll on me. It was down to the wire and from what I had gleaned in the courtroom the case was teetering and could go either way. My lawyer however, was much more confident and was sure the video and my earnest responses on the stand had won the jury over. Further, the crux of the case had not been proven by the state: they had not shown beyond a reasonable doubt that I was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Only that I had blown over the limit three hours after the accident.

Closing remarks went very much like the opening comments. The prosecution tried to discredit me and my testimony while my lawyer quietly presented the evidence that I was not drunk at the time of the accident and therefor could not be found guilty of driving under the influence.

When closing comments were done the judge gave the jury their final instructions and excused them to deliberate. I looked at my watch and it was exactly 6:00 p.m.

My brother-in-law, who had stayed the entire day to provide moral support, and I stepped out to the now deserted hall and sat on a bench. The storms of earlier in the day had cleared, but because it was February, it was already dark outside. I stared out the window trying to play the trial over in my head.

Had my lawyer presented a strong enough case in my favor? Had the ADA proven my guilt? I was pretty sure my lawyer had done a good job of injecting doubt in the testimony of the police officers and pulled the truth from me while I was on the stand. But, as is human nature is situations such as this, I was unsure.

“Man,” my brother-in-law said, breaking my destructive train of thought. “If I ever need a lawyer down here, I am getting your guy. He was awesome!”

“Yeah,” I responded. “He is young and hungry and knew our case was strong. Now we just have to wait.”

No sooner had those words left my mouth when the bailiff opened the courtroom door and announced, “We have a verdict.”

We quickly went back into the courtroom and stood as the jury filed back in. The bailiff took a slip of paper from the jury foreperson and gave it to the judge.

“Madam foreperson, has the jury reached a verdict?” the judge asked.

“We have Your Honor,” she replied.

“In the matter of the charge of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, a chemical substance or controlled substance against the defendant, Marc Wisdom, how do you find?”

“We the jury find the defendant, Marc Wisdom, not guilty.”

We won.

All charges against me were dropped and I was restored to eligible driver status. The stigma of the DUI had been washed from me in two simple words. But, in reality, it was not. For the rest of my life I will carry the pox of having been arrested and charged with DUI.

Still, I was lucky. I knew myself enough to be sure I was not drunk when I drove. Sure enough that I did not want to take a plea, pay my fines, do some community service and be done with it. But, others may not be so lucky. Others may not have the resources to fight this fight. In all the arrest and court battle cost me nearly $10,000. To me it was worth it to be vindicated.

The point of telling this story was to illustrate how easily things can go wrong when you have been drinking. In our current system, it takes just two drinks per hour to be considered impaired. I urge you to keep that in mind the next time you go out for a drink. Always have a plan for getting home. There are many choices from Uber to a taxi or even a friend.

It really comes down to one thing; if you are drinking, do not drive!

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 “l2jkr” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

Interested in a career driving for Uber? Click here to learn how to make it happen!

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in Beer

 

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Matthew’s Restaurant to feature Left Hand Brewing Company beer dinner

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micrositeimage_454016photo1Matthew Medure is something of a local legend in Jacksonville. As half of the famed Medure brothers restaurateur and chef dynasty, he and his brother David own Matthew’s and Medure’s fine dining restaurants as well as the popular M Shack burger joints. On Wednesday, July 22, Matthew will apply his talents to a beer dinner featuring the brews of Left Hand Brewing Company.

The dinner will feature five courses and beers as well as a reception amuse bouche and beer. The menu and pairings run the gamut from light seafood to decadently rich. Below is the full menu as supplied by Carolyn Graham of Brown Distributing, Lefft Hand’s local distributor.

Reception offering:

Sausage and Puff Pastry with Local Honey Mustard, paired with Polestar Pils.

First Course:

Scallop Carpaccio with Summer Melon and Cilantro, paired with Good Juju.

Second Course:

Chinese Sausage and Crispy Jasmine Rice with Curry Aioli Lettuce Wraps paired with Introvert Session IPA.

Third Course:

Braised Pork Belly with Steamed Bao and Pickled Vegetables pained with 400 lb. Monkey IPA.

Fourth Course:

Smoked Beef Brisket with Foie Gras Mole and Mexican Corn paired with Milk Stout and Nitro Milk Stout.

Fifth Course:

Malted Vanilla with Chocolate Mousse, Banana and Smoked, Salted Caramel paired with Black Jack Porter.

Tickets for the dinner are $75 per person. Contact Matthew’s at (904) 396-9922 or via their website — www.matthewsrestaurant.com — for more details.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2015 in Beer Dinner

 

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