The tap room at Green Room Brewing in Jacksonville Beach has been open for a little while now selection of beers from other Florida breweries like Cigar City in Tampa, Swamp Head in Gainesville, Tequesta near Jupiter, and local brewers Intuition and Bold City. But this past Saturday that all changed with the grand opening of festivities that included the tapping of four great beers brewed entirely on premises by head brewer Eric Luman.
Contrary to its name, the tap room of this brewery is not green at all. Rather it is cheery blue with surfer influences including several surf boards hanging on the walls. It seems green room is a surfer phrase that means the perfect spot inside the curl of a wave. The vibe is laid back and comfortable with high top as well as regular tables and plenty of seats at the white corrugated metal and dark grey concrete bar. The wall behind the tap handles is made of the same white corrugated metal as the bar with series of black boards above the tap handles detailing the available brews with beer name, brewery, style of beer, and ABV.
Among the beers available on Saturday were Intuition Ale Works’ I-10 IPA, Cigar City’s Jai Alai, Swamp Head Wild Night, and Tequesta Gnarly Barley. But the real stars on Saturday were the brand new brews from the Green Room itself.
On tap at the grand opening were four quality brews; Helles Yeah, Clean Ocean Brown Ale, Shaka Oatmeal Stout, and Head High IPA. Of these four the two permanent beers are Helles Yeah and Head High, the other two are part of a rotating seasonal program. Coming up soon according to the black board in the brewery is a White Belgian Ale that is sure to be a pleaser.
Now that the tap room and beers are introduced, a little more information about the beers being produced at Green Room is necessary.
Helles Yeah (pronounced HELLS YEAH!) is not only fun to say, but it is also a fun beer to drink. An Amercanized version of a classic Munich Helles beer, this brew is a refresher perfect for the hot summer days so typical at Jacksonville Beach. Helles is the German word for light, but do not let that fool you, this sparkling golden brew is full flavored with smooth, sweet malts and a slightly bitter hoppiness at the end. At just 4.6% ABV, you can drink several while telling surf stories with your friends without worrying about the wiping out on your next set.
Head High IPA is the other permanent brew currently available at Green Room. This approachable IPA packs plenty of hoppy grapefruit bitterness into each sip, but also tempers the hoppy kick with a balancing malty sweetness. This is an IPA that experienced hop heads will find extremely sessionable, while newcomers to the hop party will enjoy the beer as a gateway to hoppier drafts in the future.
Next up is Clean Ocean Brown Ale. For those who enjoy nutty, malty, sweet brown ales with a hint of hopped bitterness; this is the brew for you. When this deep amber to brown beverage is placed in front of you, the first thing you should do is sniff the loose head swirling at the top of your glass. You will be rewarded with the aromas of sweet malts, mild hops, and delicate nuts. When you take your first sip a wave of smooth caramel malts washes over you followed by a pleasant, mild bitterness that recedes into a rewarding sweetness.
The last ale available on Saturday was the pitch black Shaka Oatmeal Stout. The shaka sign is more commonly known in Florida as the “hang loose” sign. It is used, especially in surfer circles as a universal greeting, a long distance high-five, and an all-around symbol of good will. All of which are appropriate to the smooth stout that bears the symbol’s name. Tiny, creamy bubbles crown the top of this ebon liquid that smells of roasted malts, rich coffee, and mild hops. A sip sends good vibrations washing over you like a well-loved Beach Boys tune revealing rich mouth feel and coffee flavors.
The folks out at The Green Room have truly gotten off to a great start. If the number of people packed into the tap room at the Grand Opening is any indication, this is going to be a favorite spot of area beer connoisseurs as well as traveling beer imbibers who come to visit the First Coasts beaches. The surf is up, head on out to the beach for a few perfect sets!
Until next time,
Long Live the Brewers!