Recently the yearly BeerCity USA ballot for 2012 was finalized and, after a successful write in campaign, Jacksonville is now represented on the list. National Beer Examiner Charlie Papazian began the annual competition in 2009 as part of National Craft Beer Week. Since the inception, Asheville, NC home of Highland Brewing and soon to be home of Sierra Nevada’s and New Belgium’s east coast brewing operations, has won the title. Albeit, in 2009, Asheville did tie with Portland, OR.
But, this year Jacksonville is in the running and that means all bets are off and northeast Florida is about to get on the craft beer map. That is not just home town pride speaking. Jacksonville has a real chance. In the past three years this river city by the sea has stormed the craft brew scene and is becoming a true brew force to be reckoned with. With five breweries currently operating in the area, one more opening by the end of the year and several more in the works, Jacksonville is poised as the next great American beer destination.
Intuition Ale Works
Quenching the thirst of beer lovers since November of 2010, Ben Davis the owner and chief brewer at Intuition is a man with a passion for beer. His west coast and Belgian inspired brews elicit rave reviews from Tap Room patrons and beer lovers around the city. A visit to the brewery Tap Room will yield up rp twenty choices of freshly brewed beer worthy of a pint or two.
Bold City Brewery
Begun back in 2008, mother and son team Brian and Susan Miller became the true beer pioneers of Jacksonville when they opened Bold City in an old furniture warehouse alongside the railroad tracks in Riverside. Since then the duo has garnered a fanatical following that often fills the parking lot of the brewery on Friday and Saturday nights.
Green Room Brewing
When Eric Luman decided it was time that the Jacksonville Beaches had their own brewery, he started work on bringing Green Room into existence. The laid-back brewery – the name is a surfing reference that describes the tunnel inside a waves curl – attracts beachcombers and party people alike. Taps in the Tap Room feature house brews as well as other Florida-brewed beers.
Mile Marker Brewing
In the nation’s oldest city of St. Augustine, the team at Mile Marker have been putting out quality brews and making lots of friends along the way. Though the Tap Room is a bit out of the way, it manages to attract beer lovers who seek out fresh, tasty beer after a day of exploring the historic district.
The new kid on the block, Pinglehead, is actually a reincarnation of Brewer’s Pizza. In a bid to be able to distribute the beer they brew in the Orange Park brewery, the guys decided to convert from a brew pub to a full-fledged brewery. Thirsty patrons can still get Pinglehead brews at the bar of Brewer’s Pizza and soon they will be able to purchase the brews in other local establishments.
With these brewery choices, brewery restaurant choices like Ragtime, Seven Bridges, and A1A Ale Works, Engine 15 brew pub, and many, many well-tapped restaurants, Jacksonville is a shoo in for the 2012 BeerCity USA title. Voting goes live May 1 and closes on May 13. Watch for the link here and prepare to vote Jacksonville in for this year’s title.
- Pinglehead Brewing ready to distribute (sprbrewcrew.wordpress.com)
- Jacksonville BeerCity USA 2012? We have a chance! (sprbrewcrew.wordpress.com)