Jacksonville is a beer city. You know this and I know this. But, alas, the world does not know this. Last year for the Beer City USA competition we managed to get our city by the sea on the ballot for the illustrious title. We will have to come together and work to get our budding beer-topia on the ballot again this year.
Every year, for the past four years, the competition for Beer City USA opens up. The competition is less of a scientific poll and more of a popularity contest. Never-the-less, it is a fiercely fought contest that cities across the country covet. Charlie Papazian, the founder of the American Homebrewers Association and the Association of Brewers which later became the Brewers Association, thought up the contest to bring attention to the many communities that host craft breweries.
For the past four years Asheville, NC has reigned as either the sole or co-Beer City USA. And the craft brewing community seems to have taken notice. The mountain community, with its funky, off-beat vibe has become a sort of Eastern United States epicenter of beer. So much so that the big boys of the craft brewing industry have made in-roads to the area by opening or announcing to open several new, East Coast breweries. Oskar Blues, the innovative brewery from Colorado, has already opened a brewery in the area and will soon be joined by Sierra Nevada and New Belgium.
Jacksonville has the potential to be another beer hub for the eastern portion of the country. We already have an astoundingly good collection of breweries. In all the Jacksonville – St. Augustine – Gainesville area hosts 13 breweries and there are several more in the planning stages. That number rivals the number in Asheville and many of the other cities that are perennials on the Beer City USA ballot. Surely, a city with so many breweries and by default beer-lovers should be on the ballot. And, once on the ballot, we have to make a good showing.
In order to get on the ballot for Beer City USA, Jacksonville beer-lovers will have to suggest our city when nominations open April 22-26. As the time gets closer, I will post information on where to make your nomination and, once we get Jacksonville on the ballot, where to vote. Be sure to follow this blog, friend me on Facebook (sprbrewcrew) like the Jax Beer Guy on Facebook and follow both JaxBeerGuy and Sprbrewcrew on Twitter. You can also keep up to date on developments via The Brews News email newsletter that you can subscribe to at http://www.JaxBeerGuy.com.
- Jacksonville becoming a beer destination, local tour operator to represent in Boston (sprbrewcrew.wordpress.com)
- BeerCity USA revs up – Craft beer news to celebrate (examiner.com)
- Jacksonville to host national beer gathering this weekend (sprbrewcrew.wordpress.com)