When I talked to Brian Miller, co-owner of Jacksonville’s first craft brewery, Bold City Brewing Company a few months ago about the just-opened downtown brewery and tap room, he told me that his vision was to rotate his brewers through the smaller brewery and let them exercise their creativity. This weekend we will get to reap the fruits of Jeremy Baker’s, one of the Bold City brewers, labors.
Beginning at 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 26, Baker’s first brew — The George and the Dragon Oatmeal Stout — will be on tap. Then at 2:00 p.m., The Jam ESB will become available and finally, at 5:00 p.m., The Pryed of Frank and Stein Rye IPA will flow.
Inspiration for the new brews lean heavily towards Baker’s British roots. The name for his stout is drawn from visits to family in England as he grew up.
“The legal drinking age is lower there,” Baker said in an email from Bold City. “So the first time I could legitimately drink a beer at a bar was just down the hill from my Grandparent’s house. The pub was named The George and the Dragon and George.
The combination of that early drinking experience and the fact that his grandfather’s name is George provided the inspiration for his rich, chocolate forward oatmeal stout. IN keeping with the U.K. theme of the beer, Baker utilized British Phoenix hops in this 5% ABV work of art.
For his 5.5% ABV The Jam ESB, Baker again turned to his British heritage by trying to create a traditional Engish-style pale ale. In this brew he balanced English two-row, mild malts and a touch of crystal/caramel malts with a variety English of hops.
“My goal with this one was to emulate what you would get if you were in an English pub and asked for a pint of bitter,” Baker explained. “This is one of the first styles of beer I fell in love with as a young man.”
The Pryed of Frank and Stein, Baker’s third beer to be released is an English-style IPA brewed with rye that clocks in at 7% ABV and has an American twist — he aggressively hopped the brew with a combination of spicy and earthy hops from the U.S. and Europe. Perhaps most interesting is the highlighted use of experimental hop, HBC 682 said to have a mild and pleasant aroma with herbal, floral and spicy characteristics. In addition, both English and American pale malts were sourced along with distinctive rye malt.
“The ingredients came from all over,” Baker said. “To create a Frankenstein of a beer.”
With Jazz Fest and the opening of Daily’s Place downtown this weekend, you may want to get to Bold City early to stake out a place and try all three of these new additions to the Bold City line up.