Tag Archives: Jacksonville

Second craft brewery wins rezoning approval and green light to open in Jacksonville’s Springfield Historic District


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Last night, Tuesday, December 13, 2016, Hyperion Brewing Company officially became the second brewery to receive approval to open on Main Street in the Springfield National Historic District. With a Jacksonville city counsel vote consisting of 18 yeas and one nay, the brewery helmed by Alexandra McKeown and brewer Troy Orton will open at 1740 Main Street.

As I have noted in the past, this is exactly the type of business needed to help revitalize the Main Street Business District and bring other, quality businesses to the area. Time after time other cities have seen breweries bring enormous boosts to areas in need of restoration.

And, I am not the only one that says breweries bring gentrification. James Fallows, a freelance writer who, and his wife Deborah spent three years working on a project for The Atlantic that sought to find out what factors lead to the success of American cities following the Recession of 2007-2008. In the article, Fallows created a list of items that indicated a city was bouncing back. The final item on his list is of particular interest to beer-lovers.

“One final marker,” Fallows wrote. “Perhaps the most reliable: A city on the way back will have one or more craft breweries… A town that has craft breweries also has a certain kind of entrepreneur, and a critical mass of mainly young customers.”
Fallows was not the only advocate for craft breweries as economic engines for change. An article in USA Today published July 6, 2016 cites multiple examples of how craft breweries improved down-trodden and undesirable neighborhoods.

“The arrival of a craft brewery,” the article stated. “Was also often one of the first signs that a neighborhood was changing.”

One example cited by the article is the story of how Great Lakes Brewing Company transformed the downtown Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio from a decaying district, “Marred by abandoned buildings and boarded-up stores,” to a thriving market district complete with a renovated market, specialty shops, bars and restaurants.

The examples of what a craft brewery can do for a neighborhood are even visible right here in Jacksonville. To provide proof of the benefit craft breweries can have on a neighborhood at a Land Use and Zoning committee meeting, I looked at property values in the Silvertown neighborhood of Jacksonville where Intuition Ale Works maintains a brewery and Bold City Brewing Company has both a brewery and a tap room.

The results of my informal and unscientific study showed a staggering 18% increase in property values over the past eight years. It also showed an increase in home renovations and property sales. This is significant because Bold City opened in 2008 — eight years ago — followed by Intuition in 2010.

With Main & Six Brewing Company and now Hyperion Brewing Company coming within just a block of each other, Main Street is poised for rapid growth. This growth can only serve to increase property values for long-suffering Springfield residents who, though the neighborhood is growing and attracting younger families and professionals, have longed for a catalyst to spark the rejuvenation of the Main Street shopping district.

Only time will tell if the addition of Hyperion and Main & Six breweries will foster more interest in Main Street from other businesses. But, if the examples of other urban neighborhoods holds true, things are definitely looking up. In the meantime, Springfield residents will soon have the benefit of being able to walk to their own local breweries. And that ain’t bad.
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Posted by on December 14, 2016 in Beer, Local Brewery


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Oktoberfests and Beer Fests abound this time of year

Oktoberfest (1)Whether you are German or just German at heart, this time of year has every beer-lover thinking of brats, oompah and brews. Mid-to-late September is the traditional time for Oktoberfest, the German wedding celebration turned beer festival. If a trip to Munich is not feasible for you, fret not; there are plenty of Oktoberfests and other beer festivals around Jacksonville to keep your beer boot full and your brat craving sated.

September 12

Anheuser-Busch Oktoberfest
111 Busch Drive, Jacksonville

Craft beer aficionados may turn their nose up, but Anheuser-Busch was started by a German in St. Louis over 100 years ago. This year the brewing behemoth is throwing a German-style party at six of their breweries around the country including right here in Jacksonville. The polka-infused fest will feature some of the company’s German imports like Spaten and Franziskaner along with traditional food items like pretzels and bratwursts.

Tickets are $30 and include a stein, two beers and one food item. You can purchase them here.

September 17 (and every Thursday night)

Hemming Park Beer Garden
Hemming Park, Jacksonville

It may not be an Oktoberfest per se, but it is a beer garden and the Germans love their bier gartens. Swing on downtown for this weekly social gathering and enjoy a beer under the tree canopy of Hemming Park. While you are there, grab a bite to eat at the on-site food truck and enjoy the views of Jacksonville’s lovely, and increasingly lively, downtown.

No ticket is needed. Cash bar.

September 19

Seawalk Pavilion, Jacksonville Beach

This second year event evolved from a very popular first year at Mellow Mushroom, Jax Beach. With over 20 breweries pouring more than 60 brews, this event is sure to be a continued hit for years to come.

“In our eyes, Bruval is the perfect mix of Duval and craft beer,” said Tye Wallace of Void Magazine, the event’s sponsor. “Simply, we see Bruval as the celebration of really good beer.”

Guests may attend the event free, but all-you-care-to-drink tickets are $30 in advance and $40 after September 16. To purchase tickets go here.

September 27

Under the Fuller Warren Bridge, Jacksonville

From 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. the grounds of the Riverside Art Market will transform into a music-filled, performance art displaying conglomeration of freak bikes, dragon boats and beer.  Tickets for UNLIMITED Beer Sampling are only $30 in advance or $35 the day of the event!

For Beer tickets, call 904.860.2465

October 3

Intuition Ale Works Oktoberfest
710 King Street, Jacksonville

After a couple of years celebrating Oktoberfest away from the brewery, Intuition has brought the celebration home and plan to close off King Street in front of their building. Plan on eating light the morning of the event because the $40 ticket includes all-you-can-eat German sausages and other specialties, a souvenir stein with one beer fill and a giant pretzel.

Get your tickets here.

Engine 15 Brewing Company Oktoberfest
1500 Beach Blvd #217, Jacksonville Beach

The Jax Beach Brewery holds its annual celebration in its parking lot as usual with plenty of beer, food and fun.

No ticket necessary. Cash bar.

European Street – Beaches Oktoberfest
992 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville Beach

Every year the folks at European Street host a community-focused Oktoberfest celebration. This year is no different. Expect to find plenty of German beers on tap along with pretzels and brats. The first 100 guests to purchase beer tickets will receive an authentic Warsteiner beer boot. There will also be traditional music, stein hoisting contests and raffles.

No ticket necessary. Cash bar.

Green Room Brewing Company
228 3rd Street North, Jacksonville Beach

Join the surf crowd for a fun-filled Oktoberfest celebration featuring cold brews, music and plenty of fun.

No tickets necessary. Cash Bar.

October 7

Oktoberfest at Art Walk
Downtown Jacksonville

Each month the Downtown Art Walk attracts art-lovers, partiers and assorted others to the downtown core. Over its run, the event has become a monthly ritual for many of the city’s hip and happening as well as those looking for a fun, lively night out. As has been the custom for several years, the October Art Walk takes on a decidedly German flair with a beer garden in Hamming Park, music, games and a ceremonial keg tapping by new mayor Lenny Curry.

No ticket necessary. Cash bar.

October 9 and 10

St. John’s Town Center

Now in its third year, the massive Oktoberfest-themed party has moved from the Shipyards downtown to a more central location at the Town Center. Look for a large selection of German and domestic craft brews along with plenty of mouth-watering food. Entertainment will range from German Oompah bands to local bands. In addition there will be a variety of games including a dachshund race.

General admission tickets are $8 per day or $12 for both days. If VIP is how you roll, you will receive a souvenir mug and larger pours for the same price as regular for $40 one-day and $60 for both days. Beer price is $6.

For tickets click here.

October 16

Beaches Oktoberfest
Seawalk Pavillion, Jacksonville Beach

This three-day celebration begins on Friday night with Craftoberfest a craft beer festival with more than 30 craft breweries represented. Beers may be purchased individually for the event an unlimited-sampling pass is available for $30 early bird sales or $45 full price.

The fun continues on Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18. VIP passes cost $30 for early purchasers and $45 after that. Included is a stein, beer passport, one free beer and more. Or, you could go All-Access for $50 early and $65 later and get all the above plus unlimited sampling Friday night.

Purchase passes here.

October 17

European Street – Riverside Oktoberfest
2753 Park Street, Jacksonville

Every year the folks at European Street host a community-focused Oktoberfest celebration. This year is no different. Expect to find plenty of German beers on tap along with pretzels and brats. The first 100 guests to purchase beer tickets will receive an authentic Warsteiner beer boot. There will also be traditional music, stein hoisting contests and raffles.









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Posted by on September 10, 2015 in Beer Festival


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Funky Buddha Brewery beers coming to Jacksonville

Funky_Buddha_2Funky Buddha has been making, well, funky, brews in South Florida since 2010. In the years that have passed the brewery has grown from humble beginnings in Boca Raton, Fla. as a small brewpub into a 40,000 square-foot facility powered by a 30-barrel and a three-piece brewhouse that feeds nearly 28,000 barrels of capacity. That kind of growth indicates a rabid base of devotees and a high degree of quality of the beer produced. After winning over much of Florida’s southern areas, the brewery is now migrating north to launch – in a flurry of tasting events – in North Florida and Jacksonville in particular.

Last year, I had the opportunity to visit the Oakland Park, Fla. facility and taste several of the brewer’s beers. As I sipped brews and chatted with the staff it became apparent that the rave reviews and fanatic followers were not exaggerations. The brews were well-made, balanced and tasted exactly as described by the staff. For example, one of Funky Buddha’s most storied brews is its No Crust Brown Ale. It is described as being inspired by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and, after tasting it, I could taste each individual component of the flavor bringing to mind the crustless sandwiches I used to find in my lunch box as a kid.

According to the brewery’s website:

Funky Buddha Brewery… is committed to producing bold craft beers that marry culinary-inspired ingredients with time-honored technique. Our mantra is big, bold flavors, made exactingly with natural ingredients. So, for example, if we say a beer will taste like peanut butter and jelly, you can be sure you’ll smell and taste the fresh roasted peanuts and fruity berry jam. Our flagship beers such as Hop Gun IPA and Floridian Hefeweizen, also strive towards big, bold flavor. It’s who we are.

You can taste the brews and discover for yourself the appeal of this remarkable brewery at a number of events being hosted around Jacksonville over the next few days. See the list below for when and where.

Tuesday, August 18

  • Alewife, 1035 Park Street – 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Blind Rabbit, 901 King Street: a la carte food pairing – 7:30 p.m. to 9:30p.m.
  • Kickbacks, 910 King Street – 9:30 p.m. to whenever

Wednesday, August 19

  •  ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, 295 Royal Palms Drive – 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  •  Royal Palm Village Wine and Tapas, 296 Royal Palms Drive: a la carte food pairings – 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  •  Zeta Brewing Company, 131 1st Avenue North: tap enlightenment – 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 20

  • Beer:30, 1543 San Marco Boulevard — 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Kitchen on San Marco, 1402 San Marco Boulevard: a la carte food pairing — 6:30 9:00 p.m.
  • Grape & Grain Exchange/The Parlour, 2000 San Marco Boulevard – 9:00 p.m. to whenever
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Posted by on August 18, 2015 in Craft Beer Brewery


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Intuition Ale Works teaming up with Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen for Southern beer dinner

Photo by Fernandina Observer.

Photo by Fernandina Observer.

The sleepy little town of Fernandina Beach north of Jacksonville, Fla. has seen an uptick in interest lately among culinary circles. Sure, the area has been known to North Florida residents as a fun place to spend a summer afternoon at its eclectic bars and scattered eateries. It is also known as a place for a weekend of partying at the Isle of Seven Flags Shrimp Festival every year. But, aside from the posh restaurant at the nearby Ritz-Carlton, fine dining was something of a mystery to the area. So, when Chef Kenny Gilbert opened his Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen in the historic town, it caused quite a stir. To celebrate his food as well as the burgeoning North Florida beer scene, Intuition Ale Works has teamed up Chef Gilbert to create a beer dinner that is sure to be as delicious as it is exciting.

Gilbert, born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, started early in his culinary career with the encouragement and help of both his mother and his father. From his mother Gilbert learned the basics of cooking; measuring, preparing and presenting dishes. From his father, he learned the art of BBQ from grilling to saucing.

By age 11, the budding culinary virtuoso had cooked his first Thanksgiving dinner on his own to the delight of his proud parents. In high school he was known to cook meals for his swimming team after practices and meets. His cooking skills were lauded by all and it was no surprise when he expressed a desire to pursue cooking as a career.

According to his website, Gilbert, “…attended The Pennsylvania Culinary Institute where he received a degree in Culinary Arts. Upon graduation, Kenny relocated to Jacksonville, FL, where he joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company as an apprentice in the garde manger kitchen of their Amelia Island property.  Kenny worked his way up to Chef de Cuisine at the age of 23 at the Ritz, helping to consistently secure the AAA Five Diamond Award for the property throughout his tenure there.”

Later, the Chef designed and opened the Jacksonville Beach favorite, Nipper’s Beach Grill a Caribbean-inspired eatery. He was also a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef television program.

For the beer dinner with Intuition Ale Works, the chef worked to create a menu supremely satisfying Deep South-inspired fare.

Starters (served family style)

  • Foie Gras Drop Biscuits / Summer Truffle Maple Butter
  • Baked Texas Oysters / Creamed Mustard Greens, Tasso Ham, Cornbread Gratin
  • Assorted Pickles

Paired with Intuition One Spark Kolsch.

Second Course (served individually)

  • Pimento Cheese Gnudi / Pulled Smoked Alligator Ribs / SC BBQ Emulsion / Baby Limas

Paired with Intuition Riverside Red.

Main Course (served family style)

  • Smoked Crispy Pig Head
  • Fried Whole Local Catfish
  • Sauces: Alabama White BBQ Sauce, SC BBQ Sauce, Tomato Molasses BBQ Sauce, FL Citrus Mop, Hot Tomato Molasses, Datil Pepper Hot Sauce
  • Sides: Corn Casserole, Collard Greens, Steamed Squash, Roasted Beets & Pecans, Hoppin John, Bacon Fat Potatoes

Paired with Intuition Amber Block Skate Ale, infused with a surprise from the chef.


  • Caramelized White Chocolate Cake / Pickled Cherries / Vanilla Almond Purée + Crushed Brittle

Paired with Intuition Coffee Dark Star.

The event takes place Thursday, July 23rd at 6:00 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 plus administration fee and may be purchased at this link:


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Posted by on July 14, 2015 in Beer Dinner


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Jax Ale Trail a success six-months in

jax-ale-trailSix months after its debut, the Jax Ale Trail is being lauded as an unqualified success. Launched in early December 2014, the Jax Ale Trail is a self-guided tour of Jacksonville’s eight craft breweries. Trail followers can pick up a “Passport” at one of the breweries on the Trail or the Visit Jacksonville office on Laura Street in downtown Jacksonville. By presenting the passport and ordering a beer at each brewery on the Trail, visitors earn a stamp. Fill the passport up with a stamp from all eight breweries on the Trail and trailblazers earn a Jax Ale Trail t-shirt when they turn the completed passport in at Vist Jacksonville office downtown.

By the numbers, over 14,000 passports have been distributed since the inception of the program, more than 400 completed passports have been turned in by visitors from 25 different states and five different countries.

Here are some of the highlights from the past six months:

  • 416 completed Jax Ale Trail Craft Beer Passports mailed to Visit Jacksonville
  • 323 (78%) were from Florida, 93 (22%) from out of state
  • 281 (68%) from Duval County and surrounding areas, 135 (32%) from visitors from other areas including:
    • 25 States: Ala., Calif., Fla., Ga., Hawaii., Ia., Ill., Ind., La., Mass., Md., Maine, Mich., Minn., N.C., N.D., N.J., Nev., N.Y., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Texas, Utah, Va.
    • 5 Countries: USA, Canada, France, Brazil, Scotland

Jacksonville’s eight local craft breweries include Intuition Ale Woprks, Bold City Brewery, Aardwolf Brewing Company, Green Room Brewing, Engine 15 Brewing Company, Pinglehead Brewing Company, Veterans United Craft Brewery and Zeta Brewing Company.

For more information on the Jax Ale Trail go to

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Beer News


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