Last night there was a party on the roof of the Museum of Science and History (MOSH) to kickstart the Downtown is on Fire movement. In a nutshell the movement’s goal is to showcase downtown Jacksonville to the rest of the city and the world as a place that is hip, happening and a whole lot of fun.
There were speeches from local shakers and movers like Terry Lorrince, Executive Director of Downtown Vision, Inc., David Wingard of Wingard Creative, the masterminds behind the Downtown is on Fire initiative, Ben Davis owner of Intuition Ale Works and Bill Prescott of the initiative itself. But, the star of the event was the beer.
Ben and his creative team at Intuition created a beer specifically for sale only in downtown Jacksonville named Smoke IPA. As the name indicates, the beer is made with malts smoked with cherry and oak woods that give it a delicious smokey and sweet quality you will be hard pressed to find in any other IPA on the market.
The name of the beer — as well as the downtown initiative — are nods to the Great Jacksonville Fire of 1901. In eight hours, the fire burned 146 city blocks, destroyed more than 2,368 buildings, and left almost 10,000 residents homeless. It is said the glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, Ga, and the smoke plumes in Raleigh, NC.
But, the Downtown is on Fire catchphrase and initiative are less about burning things and more about heating things up. The Downtown Collaborative says it best on the Downtown is on Fire website, “As excited as we are about drawing more people to the Downtown area, we don’t expect to reinvent the wheel. In truth, these embers have been burning for some time now, and we exist only to stoke the flame. Our city holds a colorful history, bright future, and endless possibilities. At the center of it all is Downtown, where we believe amazing things can happen. Where all it takes is a spark to start a fire.”
One of those sparks is the beer created by Intuition. The Florida Times-Union’s Matt About Jax caught a bit about the beer on video at the event. Watch it at the link below.