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Intuition to present proposal for downtown brewery

intuition planAccording to an article by the Jacksonville Business Journal, Intuition Ale Works is set to make another shot at building a brewery in downtown Jacksonville. The location is reported as being at the corner of A. Phillip Randolph Boulevard and Bay Street just steps from the Baseball Grounds, Veterans Memorial Arena and Everbank Field.

Ben Davis, owner of Intuition has been looking for a suitable location to expand his burgeoning brewery for several years now. A previous attempt to build downtown on the Shipyards property was thwarted by the city. The proposed new location is just a few blocks the Shipyards.

Davis is scheduled to appear before the Downtown Development Review Board Thursday to pitch his idea. The proposed brewery would occupy an existing building with an attached brick warehouse. Plans submitted to the city reveal a rooftop biergarden along with an indoor tap room.

Intuition has made several attempts to find a suitable building or location over the past few years with Davis stating that his ideal location would be in the city core because of his desire to be part of downtown revitalization. The brewery’s Smoke IPA, and IPA brewed with smoked malts, was brewed specifically to be sold at downtown breweries and to support the “Downtown is on Fire” campaign.

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Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Craft Beer Brewery

 

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Pinglehead Brewing ready to distribute

It has been promised for some time and today it has finally happened, Pinglehead Brewing – the beer production segment of Brewer’s Pizza – has achieved what, to some, is the seemingly impossible: they are now licensed and legally able to sell the beer they make on-premises in growlers. And soon, they will be kegging and distributing their beer to area restaurants and bars, so you will be able to get a pint of the tasty Pinglehead Red at establishments other than Brewer’s Pizza.

Why did this take so long and what is the big deal about selling beer they make at Brewer’s/Pinglehead to patrons at the restaurant/brewery? In a few words; Florida law.

Due to the byzantine nature of Florida beer laws, all Florida breweries, even the smallest, mom and pop operations, must use a distributor to sell their products to retail. Brewpubs, such as Brewer’s Pizza and Engine 15, can brew their own beer and sell for on-premises consumption, but they cannot sell their own beer in growlers for off-site consumption. This law in particular rubs brewpub owners wrong since they can sell other brewery’s products in growlers, just not their own.

Most of these laws have ties to the state of the beer industry before Prohibition. Before the country went dry, breweries often owned bars and sold lots of beer for very low prices. The combination of low prices and brewery-owned establishments led to over consumption in the eyes of do-gooders. It also led to fierce competition among breweries for consumer share.

After Prohibition, laws were passed to keep the breweries in check and to prevent them from owning bars and keeping beer prices too low. The thinking was that higher beer prices would encourage moderation. The three-tier system was introduced in which brewers were required to be separated from the retail sale of beer by a middleman or distributer. This system effectively inflated the price of beer by requiring another entity to handle the product and add charges because of their handling. Essentially this meant that in order for a brewery to sell beer for off-premises consumption, they have to package the beer in a bottle, can or keg, a distributor has to pick the beer up and transport it to heir warehouse, then the distributor must take the packaged beer to a retail location for sale to the public. What this literally means is that even if a keg of beer is brewed right next door to a tavern, the tavern could not simply go next door to purchase a keg of beer; they must order it from the distributor who may be all the way on the other side of town.

To make things even more difficult, in the state of Florida, entities are only allowed to hold a license in one tier of the three-tier system. This law is what prevented Brewer’s Pizza from the retail sales of beer for off-premises consumption. Because Brewer’s Pizza already held a license for retail beer sales, they could not get one for manufacturing beer. Therefore, they had to go through the long process of separating the brewery from the restaurant, and then license the brewery as a manufacturer of beer under the Pinglehead name.

Confused? Many people are.

The bottom line is, now that Pinglehead is a licensed manufacturer, they can hire a distributer to sell their beer to other bars and restaurants. The brewery can also sell beer for off-premises consumption at its brewery location just as Intuition Ale Works, Bold City, and Green Room can. And that is cause for celebration.

In the coming weeks expect to see Piinglehead showing up in a few bars and as a featured beer at the upcoming Jacksonville Craft and Import Beer Festival, May 18.

 

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Boldly Going Where No Jacksonville Brewery has Gone Before

Jacksonville’s own Bold City Brewery has been garnering a lot of national attention lately and with good reason. Since opening on Rosselle Street in the Riverside/Avondale area in 2008, Bold City has been turning heads. They were the first craft brewery in Jacksonville, they are owned by a mother and son team, they were the first in the area to bottle their beers for distribution to local grocery stores, and they were the first local brewery to serve their beer at local sporting events.

In the tradition of many of the great breweries of the Old Country, Bold City is a true family effort, too. Members of the Miller family (no relation to the other brewery by that name) man the taps in the tap room, assist with cleaning out fermentation tanks, marketing their brand, and bottling the beer. On Wednesday evenings you can usually find the whole family manning the bottling station as they cap and crate pallets of beer.

The brewery’s journey towards success began back in 2002 when Brian Miller – the son of the mother and son team – began home brewing beer. He joined the local brewing club, C. A.S. K. and soon after began collecting accolades on his brews. Soon after that the idea of running a brewery began to grow in the back of his mind. The seedling grew to a fully formed idea and Miller approached his mother Susan with the plan for the Jacksonville brewing icon. After researching the idea thoroughly, Susan Miller left her job at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida to join the Bold City team.

In Brian’s own words, “The concept of opening a business, any business, can be a scary one, but at some point, you have to allow yourself to dream about what could be and push forward with your aspirations.” So, with an infusion of capital supplied by a mortgage on Susan’s home, the two set out to build a brewing empire all their own.

Today Susan manages the business aspects of the operation including the Tap Room and dealing with suppliers. Brian has turned the brewing reigns over to his longtime assistant and has taken over the job of Brewing Operations Manager. In the more than three years since the brewery has opened, Bold City has expanded the size of their equipment and their facility. Recently they took out the wall of an adjoining unit in the warehouse they are situated in and built a third cooler.

And all that hard work has paid on in spades not only with legions of fanatical followers, but recently three separate and highly-respected publishers have honored the humble group.

Men’s Health named Bold City in its article “The Best Beers from NFL Cities” citing Fritz’s and Bold English in its write up, “Try Fritz’s Hefeweizen for a sterling example of a German wheat beer, or the Bold English Old Ale if you’re looking for deeper flavor.”

Draft Magazine, in its article on breakfast beers (yes, beer is now a breakfast drink alongside Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s) recommended Killer Whale Cream Ale paired with croissants.

And, Rate Beer, one of the ‘Net’s most popular and authoritive beer websites, named Bold City as one of the Top 50 Breweries to visit in the world. Bold City was ranked right up there with Sierra Nevada in California and St. Sixtus in Belgium.

Never let it be said that a man’s dream cannot come to fruition; at least not around Bold City brewery. Brian and the gang may have something to say about that. And, though it took plenty of hard work and long hours, the great folks at the brewery wouldn’t change a thing.

Until next time,

Long Live the Brewers

Cheers!

Marc Wisdom

 

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