Charlie Papazian, brewing icon and National Beer Examiner, is conducting his annual BeerCity USA contest. For the last three years Asheville, NC has taken the honors of this informal, popularity-based contest. And rightly so, Asheville is home to a growing number of fine breweries including Highland Brewing Company and soon Sierra Nevada’s and New Belgium’s east coast brewing facilities.
But, that does not mean that Jacksonville cannot get in on the voting. With five current, soon to be six, active breweries in the area, several brewpubs, and countless beer-centric restaurants and bars, we have just as much a fighting chance as anyone else. Beer it seems is becoming a big deal here in the river city and we need to make sure the rest of the nation is well aware of this fact.
There’s just one tiny hitch, the list on the voting website does not include Jacksonville. Never fear, though, there is a write-in blank at the bottom where you can proudly enter our fair city’s name and voice your desire for Jacksonville to be included on the final ballot.
To cast your vote simply click here, scroll to the bottom of the page and write in, “Jacksonville, FL.” Any city that obtains 100 write-in votes will be included on the final ballot, which will be open for voting May 1-13. You can only vote one time per IP address, so be sure to vote once from work, once from home, and once from your smart phone. And be sure to tell your beer drinking buddies to do the same. Voting closes for the final ballot at 11:50 PM on April 21 – that is this Friday — so do not delay!
Recently I have participated in several conversations, both private and public, about the upward spike in activity regarding craft beer in the Jacksonville area. It seems everyone is talking about it and, more often than not, everyone thinks this is a very good thing. Could Jacksonville be the next beer must-see destination? We are well on our way. Beer has become the next big thing and, if we play our cards right, Jacksonville is poised to be at the forefront of the next wave of cities that have embraced and capitalized on beermania.