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Shipyards out for Intuition

18 Jul

The search for a suitable location for the expansion of Intuition Ale Works continues. A few weeks ago, brewery owner Ben Davis submitted a preliminary site plan for a brewery, tap room, and beer garden to Jacksonville leaders. His plan called for the brewery to be built on a portion of the Shipyards property on the northside riverfront between Berkman Plaza and the sports complex. The city declined to split the property, so Davis is looking again.

Davis is looking because his nearly two-year-old brewery is running out of capacity. His brewery on King Street on the edge of the Riverside neighborhood is brewing constantly since they became the first Florida brewery to can their beers. In January Intuition began canning there three most popular brews; People’s Pale Ale, I-10 IPA, and Jon Boat Coastal Ale.

“We just can’t keep up with demand,” Davis says. In the last year his brewery produced 2,200 kegs of beer and Davis says he hopes to increase that to 6,000 next year. With the size constraints he has now, that may be a tall order to fill.

Because Davis needs a building with high ceilings to accommodate large fermentation tanks, he is having a difficult time locating a building. His hope is to be able to put his second brewery downtown to present a strong image of Jacksonville to residents and visitors alike. But, after looking at several buildings, he has still not found one to suit his needs. An article a few weeks ago in the Jacksonville Business Journal indicated that if Davis cannot find a suitable building downtown he may scrap the idea of a second tap room and put a brewery only into an industrial building on the westside or near the airport.

The thought of the brewery going outside the city core has some participants on local discussion boards like Metro Jacksonville up in arms, though. Many have suggested buildings in the Springfield warehouse district may be a solution, others have suggested downtown buildings that are currently unoccupied. For now though, Davis is still looking.

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